Frequent Questions

Try to be as clear as you can, and, if possible, include the following information: names of anyone involved and any witnesses; whether the incident was reported to any law enforcement official; a timeline of events and relevant background information; specific time, dates, and statements made; and, if any injuries were incurred, describe those injuries and whether any medical treatment was sought.

The Title IX Office will handle investigations as confidentially as possible. If a victim chooses to make a report but does not want an investigation, the Title IX Office will typically honor a victim’s wishes not to proceed with an investigation and thereby keep their identity confidential.

Sometimes a victim makes a report or discloses to a “responsible employee” of the school but then requests that the school not take any action. It is important to understand that while the Title IX Office will do its best to honor the victim’s wishes, some rare situations may require the school to proceed with investigating the report. Some examples are when the report involves allegations of the use of a weapon, when there are multiple perpetrators or the perpetrator has been involved in other Title IX reports, when the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others, and circumstances suggesting there is an increased risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence. Remember that even when a school decides to proceed with an investigation, a victim is never obligated to participate.

If a victim wishes for the school to investigate an incident of sex or gender discrimination including Sexual Harassment, the victim will not be able to remain confidential. In most cases, the respondent (accused individual) will have a right to be informed as to who has made the report. For this reason, a victim may wish to consult with a confidential source in order to make an informed choice about reporting.

After receiving a report, the Title IX Office will work the complainant to determine the best way to proceed. In most cases, we will be able to honor your request not to pursue an investigation. However, in some cases we may be required to proceed with an investigation even if it is requested that we don’t. In each situation, the Title IX Office will consider the seriousness of the alleged Sexual Harassment, the age or maturity of the complainant, the existence of any previous accusations against the alleged violator, and the existence of independent evidence to substantiate the allegations. Again, our goal is to help victims, but as a university we are also responsible to ensure we appropriately address the behavior and stop it from happening to others.

Yes. Both the Complainant and the Respondent may have a support person with them during meetings with the Title IX Office. The support person may attend for purposes of observation, but will not be permitted to participate in the interview. If someone attends a meeting as a support person, this may affect whether or not they will be able to be a witness in the investigation.

No. Respondents and Complainants do not have to meet or speak to each other as part of a Title IX investigation or informal resolution if they do not wish to. Both parties will have the opportunity to read and respond to the statements and evidence of the other, but all communication will be facilitated through the investigator.

Should a student who is a Complainant or Respondent decide not to participate in the grievance process, the process proceeds to a reasonable resolution in their absence. The student will continue to receive updates regarding the progress of the investigation and hearing, if any, and may re-engage with the grievance process at any time prior to its conclusion.

Yes! Both parties will have the opportunity to present witnesses and the investigator will make every effort to speak with every witness. The investigator may also develop additional witnesses. Both parties may also provide any relevant evidence. Evidence is often comprised of text messages, emails, photos, videos, or other documents. Evidence can be any information that corroborates or contradicts the allegations, and both parties will have equal opportunity to present evidence and witnesses.

A formal investigation follows a prescribed process and will conclude with a formal finding and outcome.  In nearly all cases, discipline and sanctions can only occur after a formal investigation is complete.  However, if the preponderance of the evidence standard is not met, there will be no discipline and the case will be closed.  An informal resolution works to conclude the matter quickly and confidentially, at the end of which there is no formal finding or discipline.

If you are in violation of Title IX policy, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) or suspension and expulsion for more serious or repeat violations. Also, there are additional educational sanctions that could be assigned dependent on the case. The possibility of informal resolution is available in these matters. If you are found not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions.

Title IX records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, and medical schools and employers with sensitive information (like the United States government) often ask for a release of the applicant’s conduct record, including Title IX records. Files are retained for at least seven years after the date of the incident; expulsion files are retained indefinitely. The following formal sanctions are recorded on the academic transcript.

  • Probationary Suspension
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
. Grievance process proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the grievance process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with Marshall University policy and federal and state laws and regulations. Although there is an expectation of privacy around information and evidence shared with the parties during the investigation and hearing, the parties have the discretion to share their own knowledge and evidence with others if they so choose. Parties are encouraged to discuss any sharing of information with their advisors before doing so.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students’ academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. Parents and families may call our office to seek answers to general questions about university procedures, student rights and responsibilities, and other related questions. However, we will not discuss students’ individual educational record without an Authorization to Release Information.

Learn More about FERPA
The staff tries to resolve cases as soon as possible, but sometimes there are delays. It may take a while to get a completed investigation report or we may be backed up with other cases. If your case is going before the Review Panel, it may also take time to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Participants will always be informed in writing of any extensions in the process at all times. Our goal is to complete all investigations within sixty business days. Rest assured that we are moving as efficiently as we can.

If you or your family wishes to be advised by an attorney, this is a personal decision to be made and funded only by you.

Anonymous complaints will be reviewed; however, because the Respondent is entitled to certain due process rights, including, but not limited to, the right to confront their accuser, the University’s ability to address alleged misconduct reported by anonymous sources is significantly limited.

A criminal investigation is completely independent of any Title IX investigation and often runs concurrently. The Title IX investigation is looking into alleged violations of the university policy whereas the criminal investigation is looking into alleged violations of criminal law. The Title IX Office does not share the outcome of its investigative activity with the police and vice versa. A student may, however, provide a waiver allowing the sharing of specific information at their request. Because of the differing standards of evidence in each process, it is possible for the Title IX investigator to reach a finding of responsibility based on the “preponderance of evidence” standard even when a criminal case is unable to meet the higher “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.


Important Definitions

A full list of definitions can be found in the Title IX Procedures. Below is a list of most commonly asked about definitions.

Any person intended to assist the Complainant or Respondent student during the disciplinary process, including, but not limited to, a University-appointed Advisor, faculty member, attorney, or other person. Unless otherwise indicated by the Complainant or Respondent in writing, the Advisor shall be provided a copy of all materials provided to the Complainant or Respondent. An Advisor may be called as a witness to provide testimony, but if the Advisor is an attorney, such an Advisor may invoke the attorney-client privilege. The advisor may assist the party by helping to prepare materials, draft questions, and confer with the party during meetings and hearings, as long as this does not unreasonably disrupt or delay the process. The advisor also represents the party by asking questions of the other party and witnesses at the hearing; however, the advisor may not make statements on behalf of the party. If a party does not have an advisor to ask the other party and/or witnesses questions at the hearing, one will be appointed for this purpose by the institution

Learn More about Advisors
An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. For example, a dean of students who oversees student housing, a student center, or student extra-curricular activities has significant responsibility for student and campus activities. Similarly, a director of athletics, team coach, and faculty advisor to a student group also have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. A single teaching faculty member is unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities except when serving as an advisor to a student group. A physician in a campus health center or a counselor in a counseling center whose only responsibility is to provide care to students are unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. Also, clerical staff are unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

This means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation under Marshall BOG GA-1 policy. There may be more than one Complainant for an incident.

An employee who is not a mandatory reporter or is not obligated by Marshall BOG GA-1 policy to share knowledge and reports of sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. On-campus confidential resources include licensed mental health professionals and health care providers acting within the scope of their confidential roles. These employees have an exception for extreme cases of immediate threat or danger, in cases of abuse of certain populations (e.g., minors), or when required to disclose by law or court order.

Marshall University confidential resources include:

  • Licensed professionals and staff at Counseling Center,
  • Healthcare providers and staff at Marshall Student Clinic,
  • Licensed professional counselors available through the Employee Assistance Program, and
  • Licensed professionals and students registered for practice under a licensed psychologist at the Psychology Clinic.

Off-campus confidential resources include:

  • Licensed professional counselors and other medical providers,
  • Rape crisis counselors,
  • Domestic violence resources,
  • Local or state assistance agencies,
  • Clergy/Chaplains, and
  • Attorneys.
A mutually acceptable romantic, dating, or sexual relationship between individuals.

A document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University with which the formal complaint is filed. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, through an online portal provided for this purpose by the University, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator, and by any additional method designated by the

A method of resolution utilized to address allegations of sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, and retaliation as defined by BOG GA-1 policy.

Occurs when one person uses power and control over another through physical, sexual, or emotional threats or actions, economic control, isolation, or other kinds of coercive behavior.
University position responsible for the University’s Title IX investigations and other investigations involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or other forms of interpersonal violence, who is trained on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the University’s education program or activity, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias. Investigations may be done by the University Title IX Investigator or other trained individual they designate or assign to a matter. Provided that, in the absence of a Title IX Investigator, the Title IX Coordinator may investigate or assign cases to other trained Investigators or external resources.
A notice sent by the Title IX Office which states that a student or student organization may have no direct or indirect contact with another person, student organization, or student organization member (including by another person on behalf of the person to whom the order was issued); prohibited contact includes but is not limited to making a contact by way of personal (verbal or non-verbal), physical, phone, and/or electronic means including social media.
The Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) in a matter, collectively.
Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation as defined in Board of Governors Policy GA-1.
A reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.

Information provided to the Title IX Coordinator indicating that sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation may have occurred.
Any individual that makes or files a complaint about prohibited conduct under the Board of Governors Policy GA-1 policy. The Reporter may be the Complainant, any other person, or the University.

Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation under Marshall BOG GA-1 policy.
Decision-makers from a standing pool of members of the University community or external professionals who are trained decision-makers appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to adjudicate allegations of Prohibited Conduct and to determine the appropriate sanction.

A consequence imposed by the University on a Respondent who is found to have violated BOG GA-1.

A Hold will be placed on the student’s account if a student is charged with or found responsible for Prohibited Conduct. A Social Obligation Hold will prevent the student from conducting University business without the approval of the Title IX Coordinator as well as prevents a student from registering for academic courses pending the outcome of the investigation, adjudication, and disposition of the complaint. A student who is under a Social Obligation Hold is not permitted to withdraw from the University without the approval of the Title IX Coordinator. In situations where a student is found responsible and given a Reportable Sanction, a notation will be placed on the Student’s

The University will use a Preponderance of the Evidence standard (i.e., the evidence demonstrates that it is more likely than not that the conduct occurred), often referred to as “50 percent plus a feather.”

A person chosen by a party (the Complainant or Respondent) to provide support to them at meetings and interviews with investigators and other Marshall staff. The parties may bring up to two support people at a time with them to meetings and interviews, in addition to the party’s advisor. These support people do not have to be the same people every time. Support people do not actively participate in the process but can be present at meetings and interviews to provide support to the party. Support people do not attend the hearing, if any, but the party must be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor. A support person cannot be a witness in the matter in question.

Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been The University will maintain the confidentiality of supportive measures provided to the parties to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair its ability to provide the supportive measures. Supportive measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment or to deter sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, and retaliation.

An individual who is not a University student, faculty, or staff member. Third parties may be a participant in any University related program or activity, for example, visitors, guests, independent contractors, and vendors.

The official designated by Marshall University to ensure compliance with Title IX and oversee the implementation of this policy. References to the Title IX Coordinator throughout may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.

The Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Case Manager, and the members of the grievance process pool.

Person who is requested to participate in the grievance process because they may have relevant information about the alleged violation. The Investigator(s) may identify potential witnesses, or their names may be supplied by the Complainant, Respondent, or others with knowledge of the matter.