The Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for Students contains a concise description of how the University addresses issues of gender-based misconduct. For more information, click on the image or visit the Sexual Respect website.
The Gender-Based Misconduct Office will give the complainant and respondent, respectively, a written explanation of their rights and options, and any available accommodations, as soon as possible after an incident is reported. The Office will also ensure that both the complainant and respondent are updated throughout the investigative process, including with timely notice of meetings where either or both the complainant and the respondent may be present.
Right and Responsibilities
In order to provide accessible, prompt, and fair methods of investigation and resolution of incidents of student gender-based misconduct, the University has developed a process for investigation and adjudication of misconduct reports. New York State law requires that all institutions of higher education in New York publish the following Bill of Rights for all students attending higher education institutions in the State. Throughout this process, both the complainant and respondent have the following rights:
- Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police
- Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, harassment, stalking, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and retaliation treated seriously
- Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the University gender-based misconduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the University
- Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard
- Be treated with dignity and to receive from the University courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available
- Be free from any suggestion that the Complainant is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations
- Describe the incident to as few University representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident
- Be protected from retaliation by the University, any student, the accused and/or the Respondent, and/or their friends, family, and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the University
- Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination
- Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a Complainant, accused, or Respondent through the judicial or conduct process included during all meetings and hearings related to such process
- Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice or judicial or conduct process of the University
Title IX Investigators
The Gender-Based Misconduct Office has four full-time investigators (“the Investigative Team”) whose primary
responsibility is to investigate complaints made against Columbia students under the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, make credibility assessments, and recommend findings of responsibility to hearing panelists in a written Investigative Report. Investigators work in two-person teams. All investigators receive specialized training related directly to their responsibilities. The Office is responsible for designating a two-person team of investigators to conduct each inquiry and, when appropriate, conducting an investigation and recommending by a preponderance of the evidence standard whether a violation of Policy occurred.
In cases that do not involve a formal investigative process, the investigators are also responsible for working in conjunction with Case Management to facilitate alternate resolutions. Additionally, the Investigative Team provides ongoing training to students throughout the academic year to ensure that the student body is educated on the contents of the Policy and the expectations the University has of its students.
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