Reporting Frequently Asked Questions
The following frequently asked questions and answers are intended to provide general information related to investigations of sexual misconduct. Please review the full Sexual Misconduct Policy Governing Students for complete information.
What happens after a complaint is filed?
The Ramapo College Title IX Coordinator will launch a fair, prompt, and impartial investigation. The investigation will determine whether a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy Governing Students did (or did not) take place.
(Note: If the complaint is against a non-student employee, this Policy would not apply and the case would be referred to the Office of Affirmative Action and Workplace Compliance for investigation under the New Jersey State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace.)
At least one Title IX Investigator will be assigned and will fully interview the parties and witnesses, and collect any and all available evidence. The preponderance of the evidence standard (more likely than not to have occurred) will be used to determine if the Respondent (the accused party) is responsible. If the Respondent is responsible, the respective Deputy Coordinator will issue sanctions and notify both parties in writing. If the Respondent is not responsible, both parties will be notified in writing accordingly. No matter the outcome, both parties will receive notice, in writing and simultaneously, of any result and as such results become final.
Additionally, reports will be assessed to determine whether the College should send a Timely Warning Notice (TWN) in order to protect the community. A TWN will not identify the parties involved, but may include information such as the location of the incident and a succinct description of the incident.
If I am a victim of sex discrimination under Title IX, can the College require my participation in an informal dispute resolution meeting (such as a mediation) with the accused party?
No. Federal guidance under Title IX prohibits the College from asking or requiring any victim of sexual assault to participate in any informal dispute resolution or mediation with the accused party. A student who complains of sexual harassment or sex discrimination (but not alleging sexual assault) may voluntarily agree to participate in mediation with the accused party, but only if the mediation meeting is conducted by a trained counselor, mediator or other representative of the College.
If I am the victim of sexual harassment or sexual violence, can my identity be kept confidential while my complaint is investigated?
When possible, the Title IX Coordinator will keep the identity of an unwilling victim or witness confidential. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed as the Title IX Coordinator must balance a request for confidentiality against the safety of other members in our community. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that there is the threat of imminent or ongoing harm to an individual or to the community, information may need to be shared and then only with appropriate individuals. If a student reports to the College and requests confidentiality or asks that the report not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a Complainant insists that his/her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the Respondent, the College’s ability to respond may be limited. If a student continues to ask that his or her name not be revealed, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the request as long as doing so does not prevent the College from responding effectively to the harassment and preventing harassment of other members of the College community. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the confidentiality request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all persons. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that circumstances do not allow a request for confidentiality to be granted the College will take action as appropriate. It is a violation of the College policy to retaliate against an individual who reports sexual misconduct, is a Complainant in an investigation, serves as a witness, or is a third party involved in the investigation of such a report.
Additionally, personally identifiable information will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons who have a specific need to know and who are investigating/adjudicating the report or delivering resources or support services. Further, the College will maintain as confidential, any accommodations or protective measures provided to the Complainant to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the College’s ability to provide such accommodations or protective measures.