IV. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, HARASSMENT, AND DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
These procedures govern the reporting, initial review, investigation, and resolution of complaints of alleged violations of this Policy when they involve Pomona College student Respondents.
Individuals who believe they have been subjected to sexual misconduct, harassment and/or discrimination are encouraged to report such conduct. Any College faculty member, coach, student affairs professional staff and student resident assistant, as well as other College designated Responsible Employee, who receives information of an alleged sexual misconduct, discrimination and/or harassment is obligated to file a report with one of the College representatives set forth below.
A. Reporting an Alleged Violation of this Policy
1. Reporting to the College
Individuals who believe that they have been the subject of or have witnessed alleged sexual misconduct, discrimination and/or harassment are encouraged to contact any of the appropriate College representative listed below:
Title IX Coordinator
Erica Moorer, Associate Dean
909-621-8017; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: Alexander 102
Deputy Title IX Coordinators:
Brandon Johnson, Sr. Associate Athletic Director
909-621-8420; Email: brandon.Johnson@pomona.edu
Office: Athletics, Montgomery Building
Pierre Englebert, Associate Dean of the College
909-607-2496; Email: email@example.com
Office: Alexander Hall 236
Ellie Ash-Bala, Associate Dean, Student Affairs; Director, Smith Campus Center
909-621-8611; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: Smith Campus Center Suite 244
Brenda Rushforth, Assistant Vice President/CHRO
909-607-1686; Email: email@example.com
Office: Pendleton Building 121
Under no circumstances is an individual required to report sexual misconduct to a supervisor or academic instructor who is the alleged perpetrator.
Administrator On-Call (AOC)
Students can always reach an Administrator-on-call 24 hours a day by calling Campus Safety (909-607-2000) and asking to be connected to the Administrator-on call.
The College encourages any member of the College community who experiences any form of sexual violence to immediately contact the Claremont Police Department (“CPD”) by contacting Campus Safety (909-607-2000) if they are on campus or by dialing 911 if they are off campus.
In addition, individuals may also directly report sexual violence at any time after an incident by contacting CPD:
570 West Bonita Avenue
Prompt reporting is encouraged, because facts often become more difficult to establish as times passes. However, the College will investigate and take appropriate action in response to all reports regardless of when the alleged conduct occurred. The ability of the College to respond to the conduct is limited if the Respondent is no longer a member of the College community. If a College student leaves the College with a pending complaint against them, they will not be permitted to return to the College until the case is resolved through these procedures.
2. Assessment of Complaints and Related Outreach
The College’s Title IX coordinator or other designated employee will assess each report of sexual harassment and provide outreach, as appropriate, to each identifiable student who is alleged to be the victim of the reported conduct. Such outreach communications will include all of the following information:
- The College has received a report that the student may have been a victim of sexual harassment.
- A statement that retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in a complaint process, or both, under this section is prohibited.
- Counseling resources within the College or in the community.
- Where a crime may have occurred, notice that the student has the right, but not the obligation, to report the matter to law enforcement.
- A link to an overview of the College’s investigation procedures.
- The availability of potential interim measures, such as no-contact directives, housing changes, and academic schedule changes, where applicable.
- The importance of preserving evidence.
- A request for the student to meet with the Title IX Coordinator or other designated employee to discuss options for responding to the report.
- An overview of how the College responds to reports of sexual harassment and link to descriptions of potential disciplinary consequences.
3. Privacy and Confidentiality of Reports to the College
One of the most significant concerns expressed by Complainants and witnesses when they come forward is a desire for privacy. Respondents who deny responsibility for the wrongdoing also have expressed a strong desire for privacy until the matter has been resolved. The College deeply respects these concerns, as cases involving sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault are particularly sensitive and demand special attention to issues of privacy.
The College will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the privacy of the parties involved in an investigation and/or hearing for a complaint as well as the confidentiality of the details of an investigation, any hearing, and except where permitted by law, the sanctions imposed. This includes redacting private, confidential (including but not limited to medical) information unrelated to the facts and circumstances of the case pursuant to FERPA and other federal and state, privacy protections, as well as the College’s Policy. The College will inform in writing all individuals involved in the investigation and/or hearing process of the critical importance and expectation that, while the processes are ongoing, they maintain the privacy of the process and any information shared with them as a result of their participation. Further, all documents provided in preparation for or related to the hearing proceedings may not be disclosed to any other party under FERPA as such documents constitute education records which may not be disclosed outside of the proceedings, except as may be required or authorized by law. All hearing proceedings will be confidential and will not be discussed outside the process, except as may be required or authorized by law; this includes any witnesses and advisors/support persons.
Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing details of complaints with family/partner, counsel, or a support person/advisor below, who may support or assist the parties in presenting their case. Those persons are also expected to maintain the same level of privacy as Complainants and Respondents and the College will provide a writing regarding privacy to Complainants and Respondents so that they can deliver it to such persons. Nothing communicated in this Policy is intended to limit or prohibit constitutionally-protected speech.
Following resolution of an investigation and any related hearing, the College does not impose any restrictions on the parties regarding re-disclosure of the following: the name of the student (Respondent or Complainant), the findings of the hearing, any sanctions imposed by the College, and the rationale for the findings and sanctions.
If at any point the Complainant requests confidentiality with respect to the Respondent and/or decides not to pursue action by the College, the College will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request, and will generally grant the request. In these situations, the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct may be limited. The College is required to weigh the Complainant’s request for confidentiality with the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment, including for the Complainant. In determining whether to disclose the Complainant’s identity or proceed to an investigation over the objection of the Complainant, the College may consider whether any of the following apply:
- There are multiple or prior reports of sexual misconduct against the Respondent.
- The Respondent reportedly used a weapon, physical restraints, or engaged in battery.
- The Respondent is a faculty or staff member with oversight of students.
- There is a power imbalance between the Complainant and Respondent.
- The Complainant believes that they will be less safe if their name is disclosed or an investigation is conducted.
- The College is able to conduct a thorough investigation and obtain relevant evidence in the absence of the Complainant’s cooperation.
If the College cannot maintain a Complainant’s confidentiality, the Complainant will be notified by the Title IX Coordinator prior to making this disclosure or initiating an investigation. The College will also take immediate steps to provide for the safety of the Complainant where appropriate. In the event the Complainant requests that the College inform the Respondent that the Complainant asked the College not to investigate or seek discipline, the College will honor this request.
If the College determines that it can honor the Complainant’s request for confidentiality, it will still take reasonable steps to respond to the complaint, consistent with the request, to limit the effects of the alleged sexual harassment and prevent its recurrence without initiating formal action against the alleged perpetrator or revealing the identity of the Complainant. These steps may include increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the alleged misconduct occurred; providing additional training and education materials for students and employees; or conducting climate surveys regarding sexual violence. The College will also take immediate steps to provide for the safety of the Complainant while keeping the Complainant’s identity confidential as appropriate. These steps may include support measures such as changing living arrangements or academic accommodations such as course, assignments, or test schedule changes. The Complainant shall be notified that the steps the College will take to respond to the complaint will be limited by the request for confidentiality.
4. Responsible Employees and Confidential Resources at the College and in the Community
Responsible Employees are those College employees who are not Confidential Resources (defined below) and have authority to take action to redress sexual harassment or provide interim measures to students, or have a duty to report sexual harassment to an appropriate school official who has that authority. If a Responsible Employee learns, in the course of their employment, that a student may have experienced conduct prohibited by this Policy, they must promptly notify the Title IX Officer or designee. In addition, if any of the following people learn, in the course of employment, that any other person affiliated with the College may have experienced Prohibited Conduct, they must promptly notify the Title IX Officer or designee:
(i) Title IX Coordinator or deputy Title IX Coordinators;
(ii) Residential advisors;
(iii) Housing directors, coordinators, or deans;
(iv) Student life directors, coordinators, or deans;
(v) Athletic directors, coordinators, or deans;
(vi) Coaches of any student athletic or academic team or activity;
(vii) Faculty and associate faculty, teachers, instructors, or lecturers;
(viii) Laboratory directors, coordinators, or principal investigators;
(ix) Internship or externship directors or coordinators; or
(x) Study abroad program directors or coordinators.
An individual who wishes for the details of the incident to remain completely confidential may speak with certain designated College employees who, by law, shall maintain confidentiality and may not disclose the details of an incident, subject to certain exceptions in the law (e.g., child abuse). If an individual makes a report to these confidential resources but not to the persons or entities identified in section IV.A.1 above, then the College will not be in a position to take action because it will not have notice of the incident. These Confidential Resources are identified below:
Project Sister Rape Crisis Counselor at the Claremont Colleges, EmPOWER Center.
The EmPOWER Center has limited counseling hours; call the number below or check the Pomona College Sexual Assault: Pomona College Processes & Resources website.
1030 Dartmouth Ave
Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services staff
Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st floor
757 College Way
909-621-8202, 909-607-2000 (after-hours emergency)
Student Health Services staff
Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st floor
757 College Way
909-621-8222, 909-607-2000 (after-hours emergency)
Members of the Clergy including the McAlister Center chaplains.
McAlister Center for Religious Activities
919 North Columbia Avenue
Individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct, including sexual assault may also seek confidential support from a local or national groups, including:
Project Sister Advocates at Pomona College
Campus Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocates are a trained student group who are available through on-call system to assist students who have experienced sexual assault or misconduct on a 24/7 basis. The Advocates can be contacted at any stage of the processes discussed herein. They have completed the 40-hour advocate training with, are certified and supervised by Project Sister and the CARES office and as such are granted the legal privilege of confidentiality.
Project Sister Sexual Assault 24/7 Crisis Hotline (Claremont, CA):
House of Ruth (24/7 Crisis Hotline for Domestic violence support):
National Sexual Assault 24/7 Crisis Hotline (RAINN):
Consistent with Education Code section 66281.8(a)(2)(C)(i), the College has determined that the Assistant Director of the CARES Office is not a responsible employee.
B. Retaliation Policy
Retaliation is defined as the taking of an adverse action by any student, faculty or staff member against another individual as a result of that individual’s exercise of a right under this Policy, including participation in the reporting, refusal to participate in, or assistance with the investigation, reporting, remedial or hearing processes as provided in this Policy. Retaliation includes adverse actions intended to improperly deter involvement of another in these procedures set forth in this Policy, and may involve actions intended either to intimidate or to penalize individuals for their participation. Retaliation is strictly prohibited by law and this Policy; any person who is found to have engaged in retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action. Persons who believe that they have been retaliated against for making a complaint/report or for cooperating in an investigation or hearing should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator. A complaint filed in good faith under this Policy shall not constitute retaliation.
C. False Reporting Policy
It is a violation of College policy to file a knowingly false complaint under this Policy of alleged discrimination, harassment and/or sexual misconduct. A complaint by an individual against another based on the filing of a knowingly false complaint may be pursued using the steps followed for sexual misconduct harassment, and discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct related complaints as outlined in this Policy and may be filed only after there is completion of the underlying complaint. A complaint filed in good faith under this provision shall not constitute a false report. A finding of no responsibility is not, by itself, evidence that the underlying complaint was not filed in good faith.
D. The Title IX Coordinator’s Initial Review of a Report
1. Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator’s Team
The purpose of the Title IX Coordinator is to promote and protect gender equity at Pomona College as required by Title IX and related federal and state laws. The Title IX Coordinator does not favor Complainants over Respondents or Respondents over Complainants. The Title IX Coordinator does not promote the College’s interests other than its interest in gender equity as evidenced in this Policy and provided by law. The Title IX Coordinator’s primary jobs are to administer the procedures in this Policy in order (i) to make appropriate support and resources available to Complainants, other persons who have experienced sexual harassment, discrimination or misconduct, and Respondents; (ii) to provide equitable and prompt resolution of complaints; (iii) uphold the College’s sexual harassment, discrimination and misconduct processes and procedures; and (iv) to support ongoing prevention, education and outreach efforts related to sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination.
Although a report may come in through many sources, the College is committed to ensuring that all reports of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination are referred to the Title IX Coordinator, which ensures consistent application of this Policy.
The Title IX Coordinator may enlist the Title IX Coordinator’s Team to assist in the review, investigation, and/or resolution of the report. Members of this team include the Title IX Coordinator, deputy Title IX coordinators, and the associate deans of students. At any point during the process, from initial intake through the appeal, the Title IX Coordinator and the Title IX Coordinator’s Team may consult with an expert on trauma-informed response and sexual assault response or with the College’s legal counsel.
Depending on the relationship of the Complainant and the Respondent to the College (student, staff, faculty, or other) and the nature of the report, additional Title IX Coordinator’s Team members may include representatives from other Pomona or TCCS offices as necessary, such as Campus Safety, Dean of the College, or College’s Office of Human Resources. The members of this Team oversee the resolution of the reported harassment or misconduct through the College’s resolution procedures.
2. The Title IX Coordinator’s Intake and Initial Review
Upon receipt of a report, the Title IX Coordinator or its designee will provide resources and support information and will conduct an Initial Review. The first step of the Initial Review will typically include an initial meeting between the Complainant and the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Coordinator’s Team. The purpose of the meeting is to gain a basic understanding of the nature and circumstances of the report; it is not intended to be a full investigation interview. At this meeting, the Complainant will be provided with information about resources, procedural options, and interim remedies.
During and following this meeting, the Title IX Coordinator or, when appropriate, the designated Title IX Coordinator’s Team member, will make a reasonable assessment of the safety of the individual and of the campus community and will determine whether the College has sufficient information to determine the appropriate interim measures, if any.
The Title IX Coordinator or, when appropriate, the designated Title IX Coordinator’s Team member, will also consider the interest of the Complainant and the Complainant’s expressed preference for the manner of resolution (e.g., in a harassment case, for example, there might be an initial preference for mediation efforts that does not impact the ultimate decision to be made regarding whether a violation of policy occurred). Where appropriate, and as warranted by an assessment of the facts and circumstances, the College will seek action consistent with the Complainant’s request. Mediation is not an option for resolution in cases involving allegations of sexual violence.
The Title IX Coordinator Team will make use of a checklist of tasks that shall be completed by the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Title IX Coordinator Team in connection with the intake and initial review. A sample of the checklist, which may be modified from time to time, is set forth as Appendix A below.
The Title IX Coordinator also will promptly inform the Respondent of any action(s) (including any interim protective measures) that will directly impact the Respondent, and provide appropriate opportunities for the Respondent to respond to such action(s) as set forth in this Policy.
Interim Measures and Support Resources
The College may take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation in order to protect an individual’s rights and personal safety, the safety of the College community, or if determined to be necessary to ensure the integrity of the investigation or adjudication process.
Determinations regarding interim measures are made by the Title IX Coordinator or, when appropriate, the designated Title IX Coordinator’s Team member, on a case-by-case basis. Such measures include, but are not limited to, referral for an interim suspension (immediate, temporary suspension pending the outcome of investigation and/or hearing process), a “no contact” letter (an order that an individual refrain from direct or indirect contact with another person or persons), restrictions on access to campus or areas of campus, and/or appropriate changes in academic schedule. Interim measures may include reporting the matter to the local police.
Either a Complainant or Respondent may request a “no-contact” letter/directive or other protection. However, the College will not issue an interim mutual no-contact directive automatically, but instead shall consider the specific circumstances of each case to determine whether a mutual no-contact directive is necessary or justifiable to protect the noncomplaining party’s safety or well-being, or to respond to interference with an investigation. A no-contact directive issued after a decision of responsibility has been made shall be unilateral and only apply against the party found responsible.
Upon the issuance of a mutual no-contact directive, the College will provide the parties with a written justification for the directive and an explanation of the terms of the directive. Upon the issuance of any no-contact directive, the College will provide the parties with an explanation of the terms of the directive, including the circumstances, if any, under which violation could be subject to disciplinary action.
Not all of the measures listed in this section will be necessary in every case. If an individual identifies an interim measure that is not already provided by the College, the College will consider whether the request can be granted. In those instances where interim measures affect both a Complainant and Respondent, the College will minimize the burden on the Complainant wherever appropriate.
Failure by any individual to adhere to the parameters of any interim measure is a violation of College policy and may lead to disciplinary action. Individuals are encouraged to report such failures by another party to the Title IX Coordinator. Depending on timing and other circumstances, allegations that an individual has violated any interim measure may be investigated and/or adjudicated (where appropriate) separately from or as part of an ongoing matter.
Other interim measures and available support services may include:
assistance with identifying off-campus resources;
assistance with transportation, parking, and/or travel needs;
assistance in obtaining a court-issued restraining order;
varied forms of academic assistance, including academic support services, tutoring, alternative course completion options, rescheduling of exams and assignments, changing class schedules, transferring course sections or withdrawing from a course without penalty;
change of work schedules, job assignments, and worksite location;
Interim measures assume no determination of responsibility. Both parties will receive a document setting forth the interim measures that have been deemed appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator reserves the right to increase, reduce or otherwise adjust interim measures as appropriate based on feedback from Complainants and Respondents.
Consistent with its Student Code, the President of the College is empowered to order interim suspension of any student if it is deemed necessary for the well-being of the College community and until such time as the case can be referred to a hearing or the circumstances necessitating such action are remedied. During an interim suspension from the College imposed by the President, the student shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) and all other college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible as the President may determine to be appropriate. Interim suspension from campus or the residence halls will be followed with speedy access to a hearing for the suspended student(s). See Article VI.D of the Student Code for more information.
How Complainant Requests for Confidentiality Impact the Title IX Process
The Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator’s Team will take all reasonable steps to respond to a complaint consistent with a Complainant’s requests for confidentiality. However, the team’s ability to do so may be limited based on the nature of a Complainant’s request. For example, if a Complainant requests that the Complainant’s name or other identifiable information not be shared with the Respondent or that no formal action be taken, the College may be limited in its ability to fully respond to the complaint. The College will balance the Complainant’s requests with its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all College community members and to afford a Respondent fundamental fairness.
In the event that a Complainant does not wish to proceed with formal action, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator’s Team, as appropriate, will decide, based on the available information, whether additional steps are required. In making this decision, the Title IX Coordinator’s Team will consider following factors: whether the Complainant has requested confidentiality; whether the Complainant wants to participate in additional steps; the severity and impact of the sexual misconduct; the respective ages of the parties, including whether the Complainant is a minor under the age of 18; whether the College can undertake any action without the participation of the Complainant; whether the Respondent has a pattern of committing sexual misconduct; the existence of independent evidence; the extent of prior remedial methods taken with the Respondent; and any legal obligation to proceed based on the nature of the conduct.
Conclusion of the Initial Review
At the completion of the Initial Review, the Title IX Coordinator, in collaboration as appropriate with the Title IX Coordinator’s Team, will determine whether to refer the report for further investigation. An investigation will not necessarily result in a hearing. The facts developed by the investigator may not warrant a hearing or the Complainant may decide not to go forward with a hearing after the investigation is complete. However, even if a hearing is not pursued, the College has the discretion to take interim measures that ensure campus safety.
The Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Coordinator’s Team will discuss the determination with the Complainant and provide information to assist in understanding available resources and procedural options, which will be communicated to the Complainant in writing.
Once the Title IX Coordinator has referred a report for further investigation, the parties will receive formal notice of the investigation which will include the following:
The identities of the parties (if known);
A summary of the alleged conduct, including the date(s), time(s), and location(s) of incident(s) (if known);
The Policy sections alleged to be violated by the conduct;
The grievance process, including any available alternative resolution processes;
A statement that Respondent is presumed not responsible until a determination of responsibility is made following the investigation and hearing;
A statement that the Institution will not make a determination of responsibility until the conclusion of the grievance process;
A notice regarding whether interviews will be recorded, and that only the Investigator is permitted to record interviews;
A description of the parties’ opportunities to present, inspect, and review evidence;
A statement that the parties may have an Advisor of their choice, who is permitted to be an attorney, who may accompany the parties at all stages of the process in a strictly non-participatory manner;
A summary of the hearing process and a statement that the Hearing Decision will make factual and policy findings regarding the allegations;
A statement that findings will be based on a Preponderance of the Evidence Standard;
A notice admonishing the parties against retaliation; and,
A notice informing the parties they are prohibited from making false statements or knowingly submitting false information.
Any new allegations that arise during the course of the investigation that could subject either party to new or additional sanctions shall be subject to the same notice requirements outlined above.
The Title IX Coordinator will also inform the Complainant and the Respondent that retaliation is prohibited by law under the VAWA, Title VII, and California state law, as well as College policy. The College will take strong responsive action to protect the safety of any individual.
The Title IX Coordinator will document each report or request for assistance in resolving a case involving charges of sexual misconduct, gender discrimination or other violations of this Policy, whether by the Complainant or a third party, and will review and retain copies of all reports generated as a result of investigations. These records will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.
E. Alternative Resolution
In some circumstances, where both parties are amenable, the College may permit alternative resolution instead of the hearing process provided in this Policy. Some of the factors that the College may consider when determining eligibility for alternative resolution include the previous history within the College, severity, scope and nature of the alleged policy violations, including whether the conduct alleged is part of a pattern and involves multiple members of the College community. If successful, engagement in any approved form of alternative resolution will not result in a notation on either Party’s disciplinary record.
If the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator determines that such an alternative resolution process is appropriate under the facts and circumstances of the case, one or more of the following, or similar, methods may be utilized:
1. A meeting of the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Complainant, and the Respondent; and/or
2. Resolution Agreements by the College between the Complainant and Respondent; and/or
Referral of the case to a mediator who has both legal and/or personnel relations experience. The mediator will discuss the issues with both principals and seek appropriate actions by the principals involved to reach an acceptable resolution. The purpose of mediation is for the parties who are in conflict to identify the implications of a student’s actions and, with the assistance of a trained Facilitator, identify points of agreement and appropriate remedies to address them. Either party can request mediation to seek resolution. Mediation will be used only with the consent of both parties, who will be asked not to contact one another during the process. The Title IX Coordinator will also review any request for mediation, and may decline to mediate based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Either party has the right to terminate the mediation process and choose or resume another option for resolution at any time. Consistent with California law, the College does not permit mediation, even on a voluntary basis, to resolve allegations of sexual violence (i.e., rape or sexual battery).
The mediation process will typically commence within thirty (30) business days after the initial report is received and both parties have consented to mediation, and will continue until concluded or terminated by either party or the Title IX Coordinator. During mediation, any potential investigation will halt, and calculations for time frames will be paused. If the mediation results in a resolution, the disciplinary process will be concluded and the matter will be closed. If a resolution cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator to re-evaluate other options for resolution, including initiation of the Investigation and/or Hearing process.
During mediation, a Facilitator will guide a discussion between the parties. In circumstances where the parties do not wish to meet face to face, either party can request “caucus” mediation, and the Facilitator will conduct separate meetings. Whether or not the parties agree to meet face to face, each party will be permitted to bring to any meetings an Advisor and a Support Person of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.
At the conclusion of the mediation, the Facilitator will memorialize in writing the agreement that was reached between the parties. The Title IX Coordinator will monitor adherence to the proposed solution and close the matter when compliance is satisfactory.
The Title IX Coordinator will keep records of all reports and conduct addressed through mediation.
4. Restorative Justice
A Restorative Justice (“RJ”) Conference is a dialogue, facilitated by an employee or contractor with appropriate training, intended to restore relationships and repair harm after a conflict has occurred. Both the responsible party and the individual(s) affected by the conflict come together to identify what harm was caused and, collaboratively, determine how conflict and trust might be, respectively, resolved and repaired.
A party may request to engage in RJ at any stage of the disciplinary process; however, RJ may not be an appropriate mechanism for all conflicts. To qualify for RJ, the student accused of wrongdoing must accept responsibility and express remorse for the harm that was caused. Additionally, all involved parties must agree to and abide by measurable and timely actions within the scope of this Policy and directives. The Title IX Coordinator will review any request for RJ, and may decline to initiate RJ based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
In circumstances where the parties do not wish to meet face to face, either party can request Shuttle Diplomacy. This is a crafting of an agreement using the restorative justice framework that does not require parties to participate in an in-person conference with each other. The RJ Facilitator will work with parties individually to create an agreement that both parties can agree to.
The RJ conference proceeds only if all parties agree to participate willingly. The RJ process typically commences within thirty (30) business days after the initial report and receipt of written agreements from all involved parties. The conference will continue until the conference is successfully concluded or until the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conference will not be successful. If successful, an agreeable resolution is reached by all involved parties, at which time the process is concluded, and the matter is resolved. If a resolution cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator to re-evaluate other options for resolution.
The Title IX Coordinator will monitor the parties’ adherence to their proposed solution and reserves the right to close the matter when compliance is satisfactory. The Title IX Coordinator will keep records of all reports and conduct addressed through RJ.
These informal procedures are intended to resolve actual or perceived instances of harassment and discrimination through agreement and mutual understanding between the parties involved without the need for more formal action by the College. That said, the College retains the right to review/revise any draft terms reached through any of these alternative resolutions processes between the parties if necessary to address or prevent a hostile educational environment or to ensure students’ access to education.
At the conclusion of any alternative resolution procedure which results in the parties and the Title IX Coordinator or deputy Title IX Coordinator agreeing the charge has been successfully resolved, each party will be asked to sign an acknowledgment that the informal procedure was performed with their agreement and resulted in a resolution of the charge that was satisfactory to her or him.
The details of any conditions agreed to by either party (e.g. counseling, the avoidance of a particular behavior) may be included in this agreement. Signing the acknowledgment form is the final step in the informal resolution process, and is entirely voluntary. There will be no adverse consequences for anyone who declines to participate in the informal resolution procedure or who participates in an informal resolution procedure and then subsequently declines to sign the acknowledgment of resolution. The signed agreement/acknowledgment will be kept in the confidential files of the Office of Student Affairs and available to its Title IX and Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
If either party declines to sign the agreement/acknowledgment, the alternative resolution procedure will be deemed unsuccessful and result in a formal investigation process.
F. Time Frames for Resolution
The College seeks to resolve all reports of violations of this Policy, especially those involving sexual misconduct, within 90 to 120 business days of the issuance of the notice of investigation by the Title IX Coordinator or its designee. A thorough investigation and/or procedurally proper hearing and appeal may necessitate one or more extensions for good cause. Extension requests will be evaluated and denied or granted by the College’s Title IX Coordinator. The College seeks to complete any appeals processes within forty (40) business days. While all time frames expressed in this Policy are not rigid requirements, they are meant to be followed except upon showing of good cause. Circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames. Failure to resolve a report within these time periods does not, in and of itself, constitute a procedural error. Any such argument of procedural error must also include an explanation as to how the delay materially impacted the outcome of the Formal Grievance Process.
Circumstances that may require the extension of time frames include the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening school break or vacation, or other unforeseen circumstances. The College will seek, if possible, to continue investigations or scheduling of hearings during breaks, or if the student is on leave or off-campus due to study abroad or other reasons. Due to the time frame expectations for these kinds of cases, the College acknowledges that academic deadlines, and curricular and/or co-curricular commitments may have to be delayed or not met; they do not constitute bases or rationales for delay. As the College recognizes that the investigation and adjudicative processes take precedence over academic deadlines and/or commitments, the College will provide academic accommodations, including reduction of course loads and other accommodations (to the extent possible). The College will not unreasonably deny a student party’s request for an extension of a deadline in this Policy related to a complaint during periods of examinations or school closures.
In the event that the investigation and/or resolution processes described in this Policy are anticipated to exceed this time frame, the Title IX Coordinator will notify all parties of the reason for the delay in writing and the expected adjustment in time frames.
Student Respondents will not be eligible to be considered for graduation until the completion of the entire proceedings, including any appeals process. In such circumstances, fair and reasonable efforts will be made to expedite the process, including seeking the cooperation of all parties.
G. Reporting Options Outside of the College: State and Federal Enforcement Agencies and the Claremont Police Department
The College’s internal procedures are administrative in nature and are separate and distinct from the criminal and civil legal systems. Pursuing resolution through these procedures does not preclude someone from pursuing legal action now or in the future.
1. Reporting Potential Criminal Violations to Claremont Police Department (“CPD”)
In cases involving potential criminal misconduct, individuals are encouraged to file a report with the CPD by calling 911 or contacting CPD directly:
570 West Bonita Avenue
The College’s procedures and the legal system work independently from one another and the College will proceed with its process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities. Decisions made or sanctions imposed through these procedures are not subject to change because criminal or civil charges arising from the same conduct are dismissed, reduced, or rejected in favor of or against the Respondent.
2. Compliance with California Education Code Section 67383
In certain circumstances as defined under the California Education Code, the College shall be required to forward information concerning reports of violent crimes, including reports of sexual assaults, to the CPD. The report shall be forwarded to the CPD without identification of the Complainant and Respondent, unless explicit consent is provided by the Complainant allowing for the sharing of personally identifying information.
3. Prohibited Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in Employment-Reporting to State and Federal Enforcement Agencies
In addition to the College’s internal remedies, employees and students should also be aware that the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) investigate and prosecute complaints of prohibited harassment and discrimination in employment. These agencies may be contacted at the addresses listed below:
EEOC Los Angeles District Office
255 East Temple Street, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
DFEH Los Angeles Office
320 West 4th Street, Suite 1000, 10th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Students also have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 245-8392
All participants in an investigation and/or hearing are expected to cooperate fully and provide only truthful statements and responses in all meetings and/or hearings related to these procedures. Individuals may be hesitant to report conduct which they have experienced or witnessed or participate in an investigation and/or hearing because they fear that they themselves may be charged with a policy violation, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. To encourage truthfulness and reporting, the College pursues a policy of offering Complainants and witnesses limited amnesty from being charged for policy violations related to an alleged incident which is reported in good faith. See the Amnesty Policy for more information about the College’s consideration of related alcohol and drug policy violations. While violations other than those covered by the Amnesty Policy cannot be completely overlooked, the College will provide educational rather than punitive responses, in such cases.
I. Investigation Procedures
When a determination has been made by the Title IX Coordinator to proceed with an investigation, the following steps are initiated by the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Coordinator’s Team designee.
1. Complaints Involving Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, including Sexual Assault Against Student Respondents
A. Appointment of Investigators
The Title IX Coordinator will select one external investigator, and may select one internal investigator employed by Pomona College, both chosen from a pool of investigators trained in the College’s policies and procedures, trauma-informed response, Title IX investigations, and the dynamics of sexual harassment and sexual violence; however, where one of the involved parties is from a different Claremont College, a single external investigator may be selected. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the parties to review the complaint, related policies, and these procedures.
The Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the parties of the identity of the Investigator(s). If a party objects to the proposed Investigator’s involvement based upon an actual or perceived conflict of interest, the party must provide written notice to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days from the notification explaining the conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs where an individual’s personal interests or relationships conflict with their ability to be a neutral fact finder in a particular case. For example, if a member has also served as an advisor for a party to a complaint or has a close personal relationship with one of the parties, there may be a conflict of interest. The Title IX Coordinator will promptly rule on the objection and provide notice to the parties. If a conflict of interest is found, the Title IX Coordinator will expedite selection of another Investigator(s), and shall promptly notify the parties of the selection.
B. Appointment of External Adjudicator
In those matters moving forward to investigation and involving a Respondent from the College, the Title IX Coordinator will also select an External Adjudicator who will preside over any hearing of the matter to determine responsibility under this Policy, including (in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator) the determination of sanctions pursuant to Policy’s guidelines. The External Adjudicator will also review and evaluate any pre-hearing concerns raised by the parties with respect to improper investigative procedures. The External Adjudicator will be a neutral party from outside of the College, typically a retired civil jurist, experienced attorney or seasoned student conduct administrator experienced in these matters, who is trained and experienced in dispute resolution, Title IX and trauma-informed response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence, the dynamics of sexual misconduct, and the College’s policies and procedures, including applicable confidentiality requirements.
The Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the parties of the identity of the External Adjudicator. If a party objects to the proposed External Adjudicator’s involvement based upon a conflict of interest, the party must provide written notice to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days from the notification explaining the conflict of interest. The Title IX Coordinator will promptly rule on the objection and provide notice to the parties. If a conflict of interest is found, the Title IX Coordinator will expedite selection of another External Adjudicator, and shall promptly notify the parties of the selection.
C. Expert Consultation(s)
The Investigator and External Adjudicator may consult medical, psychological, forensic, technological or other experts when expertise on a topic is needed in order to achieve a fuller understanding of the issues under investigation and/or before the External Adjudicator during a hearing.
D. Investigation Overview
Every complaint alleging sexual misconduct, discrimination and/or harassment that the College submits to an Investigator will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. In conducting an investigation, the Investigators will be particularly sensitive to concerns regarding retaliation relating to an individual’s participation in the process as a party or witness. The Investigators will conduct interviews as needed with all appropriate individuals, including the Complainant and Respondent, and will gather any pertinent evidentiary materials.
The Investigator will prepare a written summary of each interview and send the same to the witness or party for a review of accuracy. Unless the individual requests additional time, the written summary will be deemed accurate if the individual does not provide feedback on the written summary within two (2) business days of the Investigator emailing it to the individual.
After concluding their investigation, the Investigators will draft an Investigation Report summarizing witnesses interviewed, evidentiary materials gathered, and conclusions concerning any violations of College policy. The Investigation Report shall identify the evidence considered material to the Investigators’ recommendation that the case should or should not move forward to a hearing and will provide explanation of the Investigators’ characterization of evidence for purposes of reaching their conclusion. Depending on the complexity of an investigation, the number of claims and witnesses, the timeframe for completion of an investigation may vary; however, the College anticipates that the Investigators will normally complete their investigation and deliver the Investigation Report to the Title IX Coordinator within 30-60 business days.
The Investigators will then provide their report to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will review the report to determine if there is sufficient information for the College to believe that it is more likely than not that a College policy violation occurred. The Title IX Coordinator may refer back to the Investigators any questions that the Title IX Coordinator has concerning the report’s contents or conclusions. After the Investigators successfully answer or resolve the Title IX Coordinator’s questions or concerns, if any, and the Title IX Coordinator has completed its review, the Title IX Coordinator will either: (1) prepare a Statement of Alleged Policy Violations which will summarize why the College believes it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct did occur and that the Respondent is responsible for violating College policy; or (2) will prepare a Results Notification Memorandum which will summarize why the College believes it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct did not occur and that the Respondent is not responsible for violating College policy.
E. Post-Investigation Meetings with Parties
The Title IX Coordinator will then meet with the Complainant and Respondent, separately, to discuss the content of the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations or the Results Notification Memorandum and to provide them with copies of the document along with copies of the Investigators’ report. To protect the integrity of the College’s various investigatory and/or hearing processes, these documents shall be kept confidential by the parties involved and not shared with witnesses or persons not involved in the matter. However, Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing these documents with family, counsel, or a support person/advisor. Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent are required to meet with the Title IX Coordinator, and may decline to do so.
F. Response by the Parties to the Statement of Alleged Policy Violation or Results Notification Memorandum and Review by External Adjudicator
After meeting with the Title IX Coordinator to review the conclusions of the investigation, and/or after receiving either the Statement of Alleged Policy Violation or Results Notification Memorandum, each party may submit a written response to the Title IX Coordinator for review by the External Adjudicator. Such written responses, if any, must be submitted within seven (7) business days after receipt of either the Statement of Alleged Policy Violation or Results Notification Memorandum. Exceptions to the seven-day period will be limited and rare.
Through this written response, either party may request the External Adjudicator to overturn the determination of the Title IX Coordinator’s assessment based on improper investigative procedures and/or the discovery of new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the investigation interviews. Any party asserting improper investigative procedures should outline additional steps that party believes are necessary for a proper investigation, including:
- Posing any follow-up issues or questions for any witness, the Complainant or Respondent;
- Requesting a follow-up interview with the Investigators to clarify or provide any additional information that such party believes is relevant to the investigation or to seek clarification from the Investigator on aspects of the Investigation Report;
Any party asserting new evidence should clearly identify that evidence, including:
- Identifying any new witnesses who should be interviewed (including a description of what topics/issues the witness should be asked to address and why this is necessary for the investigation); and
- Explaining any additional new evidentiary materials that should be collected and reviewed to the extent that such items are reasonably available (e.g., emails, text messages, social media postings, etc.), understanding that the Investigator lacks the power to subpoena evidence.
Any response to the Statement of Alleged Policy Violations or the Results Notification Memorandum and/or Investigation Report shall not exceed 5,000 words (approximately 20 pages, double-spaced). The Title IX Coordinator will also ensure that each of the parties will receive any response submitted by the other party. Late submissions will not be accepted.
The External Adjudicator has seven (7) business days to review these submitted responses and related documents and make a determination of whether there were improper investigative procedures and/or whether there is new evidence, as defined in this section of the Policy, that should be admitted for purposes of the hearing. In the event the External Adjudicator makes a determination of either improper investigative procedures or the existence of new, necessary evidence, the External Adjudicator shall direct that the appropriate additional steps be taken in response. The decision of the External Adjudicator under this provision may not be appealed, and any further appeals by either party may not be based on the ground of improper investigative procedures.
G. Respondent Takes Responsibility: Overview
If the Respondent takes responsibility, then the Title IX Coordinator will forward the documents to the External Adjudicator for a determination of sanctions. The External Adjudicator will determine sanctions in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and in conformity with this Policy. The Complainant will be informed of the Respondent’s decision to take responsibility, and has the opportunity to submit an Impact Statement for consideration by the External Adjudicator. Similarly, the Respondent has the opportunity to submit a Mitigation Statement following their decision to take responsibility for the violation(s). The Impact and Mitigation Statements, each no longer than 1,500 words, must be submitted within three (3) business days.
The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that each of the parties has an opportunity to review any statement submitted by the other party, and within three (3) business days, submit any further statement, no longer than 1,500 words.
All submissions should be sent to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will provide any statement(s) to the External Adjudicator. The External Adjudicator will then have ten (10) business days to reach a determination of sanctions.
H. Appeal of Results Notification Memorandum
In response to a Results Notification Memorandum, the Complainant may appeal the Title IX Investigators’ determination to the External Adjudicator. Any written response to the Results Notification Memorandum will be forwarded by the Title IX Coordinator to the External Adjudicator for review and analysis, along with the Investigation Report and supporting evidence. As above, the External Adjudicator has seven (7) business days to review these documents and make any of the following decisions: (i) determine that the complaint should proceed to hearing; (ii) send the case back to Title IX Coordinator for further investigation; or (iii) review and reject claims of improper investigative procedure/new evidence. The decision of the External Adjudicator may not be appealed, and any further appeals by either party may not be based on the ground of improper investigative procedures.