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Respondent Support

If you have been identified as a Respondent in an alleged violation of the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, you are entitled to fair treatment as well as access to supportive measures and accommodations. The Title IX Coordinator will work with you to evaluate your care, implement your supportive measures, and discuss your options under this policy. Receiving a letter of notice does not mean you have been found in violation of University policy. You are presumed to be not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the end of the formal grievance process.

What should I do?
  • Talk to someone you can trust: a friend, family member, counselor, or member of the clergy.
  • *Confidential support is available from CAPS. CAPS counselors can provide counseling to help deal with feelings related to being accused, decision-making, and concerns about relationships.
  • Familiarize yourself with the University of Richmond's Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct. Students should review Appendix A of the Standards of Student Conduct and employees should review the Policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Involving Faculty or Staff so that you know what to expect. The Title IX Coordinator can answer any questions you may have.
  • Talk with the Title IX Coordinator about any supportive measures you may need. 
  • Be aware that retaliation against a Complainant, or any behavior that could be interpreted as such, will not only make the situation worse and could result in additional complaints of misconduct and possible sanctions.
  • Consider whether there is information to gather that might be helpful. For example, you might gather text messages, emails, Facebook postings, or other social media postings. If you have already deleted text messages, contact your phone carrier to find out if they can be recovered. If you think of possible witnesses, it might be helpful to write down their names so that you do not forget them later, when asked as part of the investigation.
  • Do not contact the alleged Complainant or their friends through any means — in person, by phone, by mail, by social media, via electronic communication, or through someone else.

 

*This option is for Student Respondents only

I received a No Contact Order. What does that mean?

A No Contact Order (NCO) is an administrative directive that the University can initiate, usually at the request of a reporting student/employee. It instructs a student/employee not to have any contact, either direct or indirect, with another student/employee. “Contact” includes, but is not necessarily limited to, in-person contact, telephone calls, email, texts and other forms of electronic communication, social media-based messages or postings, and third party communications including through proxies.

A No Contact Order is not intended to be punitive. It is intended to keep all involved parties safe and to prevent escalation of a situation. The NCO will remain in place as long as necessary. A no-contact order does not mean that an investigation has commenced but may be issued in conjunction with an investigation.

If a student is found responsible for violating a NCO, that student will be sanctioned through the University conduct process.

If an employee is found responsible for violating a NCO, that employee will be disciplined under the progressive disciplinary process.

What supportive measures are available to me?

You have the right to request and to receive appropriate supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the supportive measures are implemented in a prompt, fair, and equitable manner and do not disproportionately impact you. Some examples of supportive measures include academic accommodations, assistance with scheduling CAPS appointments, and changes to work schedules.

What is an advisor and should I have one?

Both parties have the right to have an advisor of their choice present at all phases of the formal grievance process or mediation process. The advisor can be a trusted faculty/staff member, friend, parent or legal counsel. During a University Hearing Board (UHB), the advisor will be responsible for cross-examining the other party and any witnesses. If you do not have an advisor for purposes of cross-examination, the University will provide an advisor of their choice to conduct cross-examination.

The Advisor cannot be:

  • A witness or provide evidence in the case;
  • An active participant in the University’s process;
  • An on-campus confidential resource (CAPS, Ordained Clergy, Student Health Center staff)
  • An advisor to both the complainant and respondent simultaneously
The Complainant filed a formal complaint to pursue the grievance process. What does that mean?

During the formal grievance process, there will be an investigation into the reported conduct. The Complainant, Respondent and any witnesses will meet with the Title IX Investigator. The Title IX investigator will also ask the parties to provide evidence which could include things like text messages, social media posts or receipts. Once the investigation is complete, the Title IX investigator will prepare a draft investigative report which both you and the Complainant will review and comment on prior to the final report. Once the report is finalized, a Hearing Board will convene to hear testimony from the parties involved including any witnesses. The Hearing Board will make a determination of responsibility based on the facts of the case presented in the investigative report and during the hearing. If the you are found responsible, the Hearing Board will determine the sanctions that will be imposed. Each party has the ability to appeal the decision of the Hearing Board.

If the respondent is a student athlete, the Athletics Director will be notified that the Respondent will be participating in the grievance process.

The Title IX Coordinator can answer any questions you may have on the formal grievance process.

The Complainant files a formal complaint to pursue mediation. What does that mean?

Mediation allows both parties to participate in the process and determine a variety of outcomes that can benefit the parties involved. The parties must be willing to negotiate on desired outcomes. In mediation, each person’s needs are central to the solution generation process. At the same time, each party learns about the other’s point of view. The parties keep control over the resolution and can explore creative solutions to resolve the conflict. The mediation process is less-time consuming, more flexible and does not involve an investigation into the incident reported. No witnesses participate in the mediation process. Mediation is better than ignoring a conflict, as it helps parties find closure to situations and move forward with their lives.

The parties will work with a mediator to determine the outcomes of the mediation. Once the outcomes have been agreed upon, each party will sign a mediation agreement. The mediation agreement will be filed with the Title IX Office to ensure the parties comply with the outlined agreement. Once the mediation resolution agreement is reached and signed by all parties, the parties are bound by the terms of the agreement and the matter cannot be addressed through the grievance process.

If the respondent is a student athlete, the Athletics Director will be notified that the Respondent will be participating in the mediation process.

The Title IX Coordinator can answer any questions you may have on the mediation process.

Will a Title IX investigation be part of my academic record?

The University considers the records of a sexual misconduct investigation to be confidential and the University uses reasonable methods to protect the confidentiality of those records.  Information gathered in the course of a sexual misconduct investigation will be disclosed to University officials only to the extent such officials require such information to perform their responsibilities to the University.  Information gathered during an investigation may be shared with other involved students (for example the Complainant or Respondent) to the extent necessary to conduct a thorough and equitable investigation, in the course of a student conduct or other disciplinary proceeding and as permitted or required by applicable law or court order. Information gathered in the course of a sexual misconduct investigation will not be disclosed to third parties except as required by law, court order or with appropriate written consent.

The records of an investigation involving University students are considered to be education records subject to the Federal Rights to Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and the University’s FERPA policy

The University is required by Virginia law to include a prominent notation on the academic transcript of each student who has been suspended for, permanently separated for, or withdraws while under investigation for a violation fo the Standards of Student Conduct involving sexual violence, as defined in the University's Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct. This transcript noation will be removed if the student is subsequently found not to have committed an offense involving sexual violence or if the student completes the terms of their suspension and is determined to be in good standing according to applicable University policy. Consistent with state law and federal regulations, the notation will be removed from a transcript after three years for a student that withdraws while under investigation or is permanently dismissed from the University.

Health care and counseling records are confidential and will only be disclosed with appropriate written consent or as required by applicable law or court order.