Complainant Resource Guide
Marshall University is committed to fostering an environment in which all members off our campus community are free from discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct of any form. If you believe that you have experienced these, you have options. When a report is made, the Title IX Office will reach out to the victim, to conduct a preliminary assessment.
Title IX personnel will offer supportive measures and the option to investigate or pursue an informal resolution. In nearly all cases, the victim will be able to decide what occurs. The victim may also determine what supportive measures and assistance may be helpful.
If the victim chooses to have a formal investigation or informal resolution conducted, the Title IX Office will begin looking into the report, and the victim is deemed the Complainant. Regardless of whether or not the victim wants an investigation, supportive measures can still be requested and will be provided based on individual needs.
There are many rights and resources available for Complainants.
Supportive measures are individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to either or both the reporting and responding parties involved in an incident of sexual misconduct, prior to an investigation, while an investigation is pending or where no investigation has been requested. Supportive measures may include:
- Extensions of time or other course-related adjustments
- Modifications of work or class schedules
- Campus escort services
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
- Changes in on-campus work or housing locations
- Leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus
- Other changes to academic, living, dining, transportation, and working situations
Supportive measures will be individualized and appropriate based on the information gathered by the Title IX Office, making every effort to avoid depriving any student of their education. The measures needed by each party may change over time, and the Title IX Office will communicate with parties to ensure that any supportive measures are necessary and effective based on the parties’ evolving needs. An individual may request to receive support – including the measures mentioned in this section – even if they do not choose to participate in the Title IX Grievance Process.
IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY: Contact MUPD at 304-696-4357 or 9-1-1.
Contact – Dr. Penny Koontz
(this resource may have costs associated with it)
Contact – Dr. Peggy Harmon
(this resource may have costs associated with it)
What to Expect
Pursuant to the Title IX Procedures, Complainants can expect:
- Reasonably prompt and equitable resolution of allegations of Prohibited Conduct;
- Privacy in accordance with the Policy and any legal requirements;
- Reasonably available supportive measures, as described in these Procedures;
- Freedom from Retaliation for making a good faith report of Prohibited Conduct or participating in any proceeding under the Policy or these Procedures;
- The responsibility to refrain from Retaliation directed against any person for making a good faith report of Prohibited Conduct or participating in any proceeding under the Policy or these Procedures;
- The opportunity to articulate concerns or issues about proceedings under the Policy or these Procedures;
- The responsibility to provide truthful information in connection with any report, investigation, or resolution of Prohibited Conduct under the Policy or these Procedures;
- The opportunity to articulate concerns or issues about proceedings under the Policy or the Title IX Procedures;
- Timely notice of any meeting or proceeding at which the party’s presence is outlined in the Title IX Procedures;
- The opportunity to choose an Advisor, including the right to have that Advisor attend any meeting or proceeding at which the party’s presence as contemplated by the Title IX Procedures;
- Written notice of an investigation, including notice of potential Policy violations and the nature of the alleged Prohibited Conduct;
- Trained Title IX Coordinator(s), Investigator(s), Decision-Maker(s), Review Panel Member(s), or Informal Resolution Facilitator(s) who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or an individual Complainant or Respondent and the opportunity to challenge any Decision-maker for bias or conflict of interest;
- The opportunity to offer information, present evidence, and identify witnesses during an investigation;
- An objective evaluation of all relevant evidence—including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence— and credibility determinations which may not be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness;
- The opportunity to be heard, orally and/or in writing, as to the determination of a Policy violation and the imposition of any sanction(s) as outlined in the Title IX Procedures;
- Timely and equal access to any information that will be used during Informal or Formal Resolution proceedings and related meetings;
- Reasonable time to prepare any response as contemplated by these Procedures;
- Written notice of any temporary delay or limited extension of timeframes for a good cause;
- Written notice of the outcome of any Formal Resolution proceedings, including the determination of a Policy violation, imposition of any sanction(s), and the rationale for each; and
- An opportunity to appeal the findings of the Review Panel/Decision-makers.
How can I help a friend who tells me they’ve experienced a Title IX incident?
Individuals who have experienced Title IX incidents often respond in a variety of ways, including anger, sadness, confusion, or withdrawal.
Listen: Give the Complainant your complete attention. Try not to interrupt or discuss your personal history.
Support: Complainants are often met with skepticism or disbelief. Offering nonjudgmental support and acknowledging the feelings of the Complainant can help create a safe space for them to process the next steps.
Refer: You do not have to have all of the answers, and it is not your responsibility to fix the problem or determine what occurred. An important part of being helpful to a Complainant is providing them with information about options and resources. Please refer Complainants to the confidential resources and other options above.
- Tell the Complainant: “This was not your fault. You have options.”
- Make sure the Complainant knows they’re not alone.
- Share resources available.
- Take care of yourself. Get support if you need it.
- Say that you know what the Complainant is going through.
- Ask questions that suggest blame.
- Question whether the Complainant is telling the truth.
- Panic. Take a deep breath and focus on the Complainant.
If you have any questions or would like additional clarification regarding the investigation process, please contact the Title IX Investigator.