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Equity and Compliance

Equity and Compliance

Information for Potential Complainants and Respondents

 
 

Neutrality in the Investigative Process

The OIEC is committed to providing prompt, equitable, and thorough investigations. The OIEC investigations will be conducted using the evidence that is obtainable at the time of the complaint. The evidentiary standard used by the OIEC is the preponderance of the evidence standard. All investigations conducted by the OIEC are independent of other University-related investigations. Students who believe they have been a victim of sexual violence (including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, etc.) can also file a police report with the University Police Department at (239) 590-1900 or on UPD's Website.

Understanding the Complaint

The first step the OIEC takes in an investigation is to gather information about the complaint. Complainants are strongly encouraged to share all information they have regarding the allegation. It is important to note that any Complainant’s request for confidentiality as to the identity, or the incident itself will be strongly considered and weighed against the potential harm of not fully investigating the complaint. However, all members of the University community must understand that the safety of the Complainant and all other University community members is the paramount concern in investigating allegations of sexual violence. Accordingly, the OIEC cannot guarantee complete confidentiality as safety concerns may outweigh the benefit of confidentiality. Please Note: A Complainant’s refusal to provide information or the identity of an individual will likely limit the OIEC’s ability to fully respond to the complaint.

Support Person

Both the Complainant and Respondent may bring a support person with them to any meetings or interviews with OIEC. The support person is not meant to serve as a representative; rather, the person is there to provide general support for the Complainant or Respondent. The support person can ask the OIEC questions about the general investigative process; however, he or she will not be able to answer questions for the Complainant or Respondent. The OIEC does request that Complainants or Respondents inform the OIEC in advance if they will be accompanied by a support person.

Investigations

An investigation can include but will not be limited to: an interview with the Complainant, an interview with the Respondent, interviews of witnesses provided by the Complainant and Respondent (or otherwise identified by OIEC), review of police records, review of phone records/text messages, and the review of other evidence independently obtained by the OIEC. Please Note: The OIEC will make every attempt to interview potential witnesses that are not associated with the University; however, the ability to compel such witnesses to participate in the OIEC investigation is limited.

Findings

The Complainant and Respondent will simultaneously be provided with a written summary of the investigative findings. The summary will explain what investigative steps were taken by the OIEC as well as an explanation of the ultimate investigative finding. The written summary will also provide the appropriate party with appeal rights. Please Note: The investigative finding will be used as part of the evidence in the event there is a Student Code of Conduct violation and/or hearing. A finding of a violation of this regulation does not automatically equate to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  

Retaliation

Any person who engages in an activity that is protected by the University’s Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Regulation is protected from retaliation because of their participation in a complaint, witness interview, etc. Protected activity also includes testifying or presenting evidence as part of an internal investigation conducted as a result of an allegation of discrimination or sexual harassment. The prohibitions against retaliation apply whether or not the original complaint is found to be valid. Any actions that could constitute retaliation should immediately be reported to the OIEC. An allegation of retaliation will be treated as a separate complaint of discrimination.

Other

Both the Complainant and Respondent involved in the OIEC complaint process should know that any conclusion rendered by the OIEC is intended for the specific purpose of determining whether sufficient evidence of a Title IX violation exists. Consequently, any OIEC findings are notwithstanding other charges, determinations, sanctions, etc. that may or may not be levied pursuant to the University’s Student Code of Conduct or similar University proceedings.

For More information

If you have any other questions about the OIEC’s investigation process, please contact the OIEC at (239) 745-4366 or OIEC@fgcu.edu