Effective Aug. 14, 2020
Lafayette College will act on any formal or informal allegation or notice of violation of the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination that is received by the Director of Educational Equity/Title IX Coordinator or a member of the administration, faculty, or other employee, with the exception of confidential resources, as articulated in the Policy.
The procedures described below apply to all allegations of harassment or discrimination brought against students, staff, or faculty on the basis of the protected class status. For allegations made by or against a third-party, the College will respond properly and equitably, although these procedures may not apply.
The procedures apply to conduct occurring: on Lafayette College property; in the context of any College-related or sanctioned education program or activity, regardless of the location (including travel, research, or internship programs); through the use of College-owned or provided technology resources; or that otherwise creates a Hostile Environment on campus or in the context of any College-related or sanctioned education program or activity.
The procedures also apply to all other off campus conduct by a Lafayette student, consistent with the Student Code of Conduct.
These procedures may also be used to address collateral misconduct arising from the investigation of or occurring in conjunction with harassing or discriminatory conduct (e.g., vandalism, physical abuse of another). All other allegations of misconduct unrelated to incidents covered by this policy will be addressed through the procedures elaborated in the respective student, faculty, and staff handbooks.
1. Initial Assessment
Following intake, receipt of notice, or a complaint of an alleged violation of the College’s Policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Non-Discrimination, the Director of Educational Equity/Title IX Coordinator (or designee herein) engages in an initial assessment, which typically occurs within five (5) business days. The steps in an initial assessment can include:
2. Next Steps After Initial Assessment
As noted, based on the initial assessment, the Director of Educational Equity will initiate one of two responses:
The Director of Educational Equity will consider the preference of the parties as to whether Informal Resolution or Administrative Resolution will be followed, but the decision is within the discretion of the Director of Educational Equity. At any point during the initial assessment or investigation, if the Director of Educational Equity determines that reasonable cause does not support the conclusion that the Policy has been violated, the process will end, and the parties will be notified.
The Complainant may request that the Director of Educational Equity review the reasonable cause determination and/or re-open the investigation. This decision lies in the sole discretion of the Director of Educational Equity, but the request is usually only granted in extraordinary circumstances.
3. Resolution Process Pool
The resolution processes rely on a pool of officials (the “Pool”) to carry out the process. The Pool is described in Process A (#7).
The College permits the filing of counterclaims, but uses an initial assessment, described above, to assess whether the allegations in the counterclaim are made in good faith. Counterclaims by a Respondent may be made in good faith, but are, on occasion, made for purposes of retaliation, instead. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted.
Counterclaims determined to have been reported in good faith will be processed using the resolution procedures below. Investigation of such claims may take place after resolution of the underlying initial allegation, in which case a delay may occur. A delay in the processing of counterclaims is permitted, accordingly.
Counterclaims may also be resolved through the same investigation as the underlying allegation, at the discretion of the Director of Educational Equity. When counterclaims are not made in good faith, they will be considered retaliatory and may constitute a violation of the policy.
a. Expectations of an Adviser
The College generally expects an Adviser to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend College meetings when planned, but the College may change scheduled meetings to accommodate an Adviser’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay.
The College may also make reasonable provisions to allow an Adviser who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.
Parties whose Advisers are disruptive or who do not abide by College policies and procedures may face the loss of that Adviser and/or possible Policy violations.
Advisers are expected to consult with their advisees without disrupting College meetings or interviews. Advisers do not represent parties in the process; their role is only to advise.
b. Expectations of the Parties with Respect to Advisers
Each party may choose an Adviser who is eligible and available to accompany them throughout the process. The Adviser can be anyone, including an attorney, but should not be someone who is also a witness in the process. A party may elect to change Advisers during the process and is not obligated to use the same Adviser throughout.
The parties are expected to inform the Investigators of the identity of their Adviser at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting with the Investigator(s) (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired).
The parties are expected to provide timely notice to the Investigator(s) and/or the Director of Educational Equity if they change Advisers at any time.
Upon written request of a party, the College will copy the Adviser on all communications between the College and the party.
c. Assistance in Securing an Adviser
These resources are described in detail in Process A (#5, letter j).
6. Resolution Options
Proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during any resolution process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with College Policy.
While there is an expectation of privacy around what is discussed during interviews, the parties have discretion to share their own experiences with others if they so choose, but are encouraged to discuss this with their Advisers first before doing so.
a. Informal Resolution
Informal Resolution is applicable when the parties voluntarily agree to resolve the matter through (i.) Supportive Measures, a remedies-only approach initiated by the Director of Educational Equity, (ii.) Alternate Resolution [mediation, restorative practices, negotiated resolution, etc.], or (iii.) when the Respondent accepts responsibility for violating the Policy.
It is not necessary to pursue Informal Resolution first in order to pursue Administrative Resolution, and any party participating in Informal Resolution can stop the process at any time and request the Administrative Resolution process. Further, if an Informal Resolution fails, Administrative Resolution may then be pursued.
i. Supportive Measures, a remedies-only approach
With the Complainant’s agreement, the Director of Educational Equity may resolve the matter informally by providing supportive measures (only) to remedy the situation, pursuant to the Policy 8. Supportive Measures.
ii. Alternate Resolution
Alternate Resolution is a type of Informal Resolution that includes mediation, restorative practices, or negotiated resolution. At the end of Alternate Resolution, the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of an allegation. It may be used as an alternative to the Administrative Resolution process (described below) to resolve conflicts. All parties must consent to the use of Alternate Resolution. Alternate Resolutions are not appealable.
The Director of Educational Equity determines if Alternate Resolution is appropriate, based on the willingness of the parties, the nature of the conduct at issue, and the susceptibility of the conduct to Alternate Resolution.
In an Alternate Resolution meeting, a trained administrator facilitates a dialogue with the parties to an effective resolution, if possible. Institutionally-imposed sanctions are not possible as the result of an Alternate Resolution process, though the parties may agree to accept sanctions and/or appropriate remedies.
The Director of Educational Equity maintains records of any resolution that is reached, and failure to abide by the resolution can result in appropriate enforcement actions.
Alternate Resolution is not typically the primary resolution mechanism used to address reports of violent behavior of any kind or in other cases of serious violations of policy, though it may be made available after the Administrative Resolution process is completed, should the parties and the Director of Educational Equity believe it could be beneficial. The results of Alternate Resolution are not appealable.
iii. Respondent Accepts Responsibility for Alleged Violations
The Respondent may accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point during any resolution process. If the Respondent accepts responsibility, the Director of Educational Equity makes a determination that the individual is in violation of College Policy.
The Director of Educational Equity then determines appropriate sanction(s) or responsive actions, which are promptly implemented in order to effectively stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation; prevent its recurrence; and remedy the effects of the conduct, both on the Complainant and the community.
If the Respondent accepts responsibility for all of the alleged policy violations and the Director of Educational Equity or designee has determined appropriate sanction(s) or responsive actions, which are promptly implemented, the process is over. This result is not subject to appeal. The Complainant will be informed of this outcome.
If the Respondent accepts responsibility for some of the alleged policy violations and the Director of Educational Equity has determined appropriate sanction(s) or responsive actions, which are promptly implemented, for those violations, then the remaining allegations will continue to be investigated and resolved. The Complainant will be informed of this outcome. The parties are still able to seek Alternate Resolution on the remaining allegations, subject to the stipulations above.
b. Administrative Resolution
Administrative Resolution is the more “formal” mechanism under Process B. It can be pursued for any behavior for which the Respondent has not accepted responsibility that constitutes conduct covered by the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy. Administrative Resolution starts with a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation.
If Administrative Resolution is initiated, the Director of Educational Equity will provide written notification of the allegations and the investigation to the parties at an appropriate time during the investigation. Typically, notice is given at least two (2) business days in advance of an interview. Advanced notice facilitates the parties’ ability to identify and choose an Adviser, if any, to accompany them to the interview.
Notification will include a meaningful summary of the allegations, will be made in writing, and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official College records, or emailed to the parties’ College-issued or designated email account.
Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered. The notification should include the policies allegedly violated, if known at the time. Alternatively, the policies allegedly violated can be provided at a later date, in writing, as the investigation progresses, and details become clearer.
Lafayette College aims to complete the Administrative Resolution process within a sixty to ninety (60-90) business day time period, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Director of Educational Equity, with notice to the parties as appropriate. Some examples of appropriate cause might depend on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.
Once the decision is made to commence an investigation, the Director of Educational Equity appoints Pool members to conduct the investigation typically using a team of two Investigators, usually within two (2) days of determining that an investigation should proceed.
The Director of Educational Equity will vet the assigned Investigator(s) to ensure impartiality by determining that there are no conflicts of interest or disqualifying bias.
The parties may, at any time during the Administrative Resolution process, raise a concern regarding any investigator’s bias or conflict of interest, and the Director of Educational Equity will determine whether the concern is reasonable and supportable. If so, another Investigator will be assigned and the impact of the bias or conflict, if any, will be remedied. If the bias or conflict relates to the Director of Educational Equity, concerns should be raised with the Vice President for Campus Life.
The College may undertake a short delay in its investigation (several days to weeks, to allow evidence collection) when criminal charges based on the same behaviors that invoke the College’s resolution process are being investigated by law enforcement. The College will promptly resume its investigation and resolution process once notified by law enforcement that the initial evidence collection process is complete.
College action(s) are not typically altered or precluded on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the underlying incident(s) have been filed or that criminal charges have been dismissed or reduced.
Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses, and obtaining available, relevant evidence, as necessary.
All parties have a full and fair opportunity, through the investigation process, to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence, and to fully review and respond to all evidence, on the record.
The Investigators typically take the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in this order):
8. Additional Details of the Investigation Process
a. Witness responsibilities
Witnesses (as distinguished from the parties) are encouraged to cooperate with and participate in the College’s investigation and resolution process.
b. Remote processes
Parties and witnesses may be interviewed remotely by phone, video conferencing, or similar technologies if the Investigators or Decision-makers determine that timeliness or efficiency dictates a need for remote interviewing. Witnesses may also provide written statements in lieu of interviews, or respond to questions in writing, if deemed appropriate by the Investigators, though this approach is not ideal. Where remote technologies are used, the College makes reasonable efforts to ensure privacy, and that any technology does not work to the detriment of any party or subject them to unfairness.
No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during the resolution process. If Investigators elect to audio and/or video record interviews, all involved parties must be made aware of and consent to audio and/or video recording.
Any evidence that is relevant and credible may be considered, including an individual’s prior misconduct history as well as evidence indicating a pattern of misconduct.
e. Sexual history/patterns
Unless the Director of Educational Equity determines it is appropriate, the investigation and the finding do not consider: (1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; (2) the sexual history of the parties (though a limited exception may be made with regard to the sexual history between the parties); or (3) the character of the parties.
f. Previous allegations/violations
While previous conduct violations by the Respondent are not generally admissible as information supporting the current allegation, the Investigators may supply the Director of Educational Equity/Decision-makers with information about previous good faith allegations and/or findings, when that information suggests potential pattern and/or predatory conduct.
Previous disciplinary action of any kind involving the Respondent may be considered in determining the appropriate sanction(s)/corrective measure(s).
Within five (5) business days of receiving the Investigators’ recommendation, the Decision-makers from the Pool review the report and all responses. If the record is incomplete, the Decision-makers may direct a re-opening of the investigation, or may direct or conduct any additional inquiry necessary, including informally meeting with the parties or any witnesses to ask them questions directly, if needed. In addition, the parties and their advisers may be invited to meet with the Decision-makers for the purposes of cross examination, or “indirect questioning”. The parties may submit to questioning by the Decision-makers and then by the parties through their Advisers (“indirect questioning”). The Decision-makers will vet all questions for relevance, and will limit or disallow questions on the basis that they are irrelevant, unduly repetitious (and thus irrelevant), or abusive.
The recommendation of the Investigators should be strongly considered but is not binding on the Decision-Makers, who make the final determination based on a preponderance of the evidence. The Decision-makers may invite and consider impact statements from the parties if and when determining appropriate sanction(s), or corrective measure(s), if any.
The Decision-makers will inform the Director of Educational Equity of the final determination, who will then timely provide the parties and their advisers with a written Notice of Outcome to include findings, any sanction(s)/corrective measure(s), and a detailed rationale, delivered simultaneously and without undue delay to the parties.
10. Notification of Outcome
If the Respondent admits to the violation(s), or is found responsible, the Director of Educational Equity/Decision-makers, after consultation with other appropriate administrators, determine sanction(s) and/or responsive actions, which are promptly implemented in order to effectively stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation; prevent its recurrence; and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct, both on the Complainant and the community. For students, sanctions based on findings of responsibility will be determined by the Decision-makers in consultation with the Office of Student Conduct. For staff, sanctions based on findings of responsibility will be determined by the Decision-makers in consultation with the Office of Human Resources. For faculty, sanctions based on findings of responsibility will be determined by the Decision-makers in consultation with the Provost.
The Director of Educational Equity simultaneously, and without significant time delay, informs the parties of the determination within five (5) business days of the resolution. This Notification of Outcome is made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person; mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official College records; or emailed to the parties’ College-issued or designated email account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice is presumptively delivered.
The Notification of Outcome specifies the finding for each alleged policy violation, any sanction(s)/corrective measure(s) that may result which the College is permitted to share pursuant to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent the College is permitted to share under state or federal law.
The notice will detail when the determination is considered final.
Unless based on an acceptance of violation by the Respondent, the determination may be appealed by either party. The Notification of Outcome also includes the grounds on which the parties may appeal and the steps the parties may take to request an appeal of the findings. More information about the appeal procedures can be found below.
11. Sanctions/Corrective Measures
Factors considered when determining any sanction(s)/responsive action(s) may include, but are not limited to:
The sanction(s) will be implemented as soon as is feasible. The sanctions described in this policy are not exclusive of, and may be in addition to, other actions taken, or sanctions imposed by outside authorities.
a. Student Sanctions
Sanctions that may be imposed upon students or student organizations, singly or in combination, are outlined in Process A (#34, letter a.)
b. Employee Sanctions/Responsive Actions
Sanctions or responsive actions for an employee who has engaged in harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation are outlined in Process A (#34, letter b.)
12. Withdrawal or Resignation While Charges are Pending
a. Students: Should either party decide not to participate, or advise that they no longer wish to participate, in the Administrative Resolution process, the Director of Educational Equity may determine that the Process should proceed to resolution, absent their participation. Should a student Respondent permanently withdraw from the College, the resolution process may end, as the College no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the withdrawn student.
The College may place a hold, bar access to an official transcript, and/or prohibit graduation as necessary to permit the resolution process to be completed. It is possible that a student who withdraws or leaves while the process is pending may not be able to return to the College. They may also be barred from College property and/or events.
b. Employees: Should an employee Respondent resign with unresolved allegations pending, the resolution process may end, as the College no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the resigned employee. However, the College will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues or concerns that contributed to the alleged violation(s), and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment or discrimination.
All requests for appeal consideration must be submitted in writing to the Director of Educational Equity within five (5) business days of the delivery of the written finding of the Decision-makers. Any party may appeal the findings only under the grounds described below.
A three-member Appeal panel chosen from the Pool will be designated by the Director of Educational Equity from those who have not been involved in the process previously. One member of the Appeal Panel will be designated as the Chair. Any party may appeal, but appeals are limited to the following grounds:
When any party requests an appeal, the Director of Educational Equity will share the appeal request with the other party(ies) or other appropriate persons such as the Investigators, who may file a response within three (3) business days. The other party may also bring their own appeal on separate grounds.
If new grounds are raised, the original appealing party will be permitted to submit a written response to these new grounds within five (5) business days. These responses or appeal requests will be shared with each party. The Appeal Chair/Panel will review the appeal request(s) within five (5) business days of completing the pre-appeal exchange of materials. If grounds are not sufficient for an appeal, or the appeal is not timely, the appeal Chair/Panel dismisses the appeal.
When the Appeal Chair/Panel finds that at least one of the grounds for appeal is met by at least one party, additional principles governing the review of appeals include the following:
14. Long-Term Remedies/Actions
Following the conclusion of the resolution process, and in addition to any sanctions/corrective measures implemented, the Director of Educational Equity may implement long-term remedies or actions with respect to the parties and/or the campus community to stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation; remedy its effects; and prevent its reoccurrence.
These remedies/actions may include, but are not limited to:
At the discretion of the Director of Educational Equity, long-term remedies may also be provided to the Complainant even if no policy violation is found. When no policy violation is found, the Director of Educational Equity will address any remedial requirements owed by the College to the Respondent.
15. Failure to Complete Sanctions/Comply with Interim and Long-term Remedies/Responsive Actions
Failure to abide by the sanction(s)/action(s) imposed by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in additional sanction(s)/responsive/corrective action(s), including suspension, expulsion, and/or termination from the College and may be noted on a student’s official transcript. A suspension will only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Director of Educational Equity.
In implementing this policy, records of all allegations, investigations, resolutions, and hearings will be kept a minimum of seven (7) years, or indefinitely, or as required by state or federal law or institutional policy, by the Director of Educational Equity in the Title IX case database.
17. Statement of the Rights of the Parties (see Appendix A)
18. Disabilities Accommodation in the Resolution Process
Lafayette College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and support to qualified students, employees, or others with disabilities to ensure equal access to the resolution process at the College. Anyone needing such accommodations or support should contact the Academic Resource Hub for Accessibility Services (for students) or the Office of Human Resources (for employees), who will review the request and, in consultation with the person requesting the accommodation, and the Director of Educational Equity, determine which accommodations are appropriate and necessary for full participation in the process.
These policies and procedures will be reviewed and updated annually by the Presidential Oversight Committee on Sexual Misconduct. The College reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect.
The Director of Educational Equity may make modifications to these procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules. The Director of Educational Equity may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the SASH website, with the appropriate effective date identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this policy and procedure.
The Policy in effect at the time of the offense will apply even if the policy is changed subsequently but prior to resolution, unless the parties consent to be bound by the current policy.
Procedures in effect at the time the incident is reported will apply to resolution of incidents, regardless of when the incident occurred.
If government regulations change in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government regulations.
This document does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protection of the background state and federal laws which frame such policies and codes, generally.
This policy and Process B were implemented on August 14, 2020.
ATIXA 2020 ONE POLICY, TWO PROCEDURES MODEL USE AND ADAPTATION OF THIS MODEL WITH CITATION TO ATIXA IS PERMITTED THROUGH A LIMITED LICENSE TO LAFAYETTE COLLEGE. ALL OTHER RIGHTS RESERVED.
 All references herein to the Director of Educational Equity, refer to the Title IX Coordinator and also include a designee of the Title IX Coordinator.
 If circumstances require, the President or Director of Educational Equity will designate another person to oversee the process below should an allegation be made about the Director of Educational Equity or the Director be otherwise unavailable or unable to fulfill their duties.
 This could include an attorney, advocate, or support person. Witnesses are not entitled to Advisers within the process, though they can be advised externally. If the College allows more than one Adviser for one party, they should do so for all parties.
 “Available” means the party cannot insist on an Adviser who simply does not have inclination, time, or availability. Also, the Adviser cannot have institutionally conflicting roles, such as being a Title IX administrator who has an active role in the matter, or a supervisor who must monitor and implement sanctions.