Title IX is a federal law passed in 1972 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Prohibited discrimination occurs when an MUSC student or employee is treated differently based on their sex or gender.
MUSC is committed to maintaining a safe environment that is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from harassment and discrimination. To this end, MUSC prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking (a/k/a “Prohibited Conduct”). MUSC actively engages in prevention and education efforts, and will respond promptly and equitably to eliminate discrimination and harassment, prevent their recurrence and remedy any adverse effects of the conduct on individuals, members of the campus community, or MUSC-related programs or activities. Any report of Prohibited Conduct will be taken seriously and all the participants in the resolution process will be treated with respect and dignity.
Reporting to MUSC: MUSC strongly encourages individuals who have experienced, have knowledge of, or have witnessed sexual assault, sexual or gender-based harassment, relationship violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or other forms of sexual misconduct committed by or against students, staff, or faculty to report the incident immediately to the university.
All MUSC employees, with the exception of those designated as Confidential Resources (please see below) who learn of suspected instances of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct, have a responsibility to report the information immediately to the Title IX Coordinator. If you are unsure of whether you are a Responsible Employee, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.
Filing a report serves as official notice to the University and authorizes the Title IX key personnel to initiate a preliminary inquiry into the information and allegations contained within the report.
Faculty are also encouraged to contact the Office of Gender Equity.
You have the right to make a report or to decline to make a report to law enforcement. Police have a unique legal authority to seek and execute search warrants, collect forensic evidence that may have been left at relevant locations, and make arrests when there is probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed. Law enforcement can be reached at any time by calling “911” for emergencies or one of the numbers listed below:
Intake and Assessment: Upon receipt of a report of Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct an Initial Assessment, which will include reaching out to the complainant and/or third-party reporter, responding to any immediate health or safety concerns, determining whether the reported conduct is within the scope of the Policy, assessing the need for any interim measures, and determining the appropriate course of action. At the conclusion of the Initial Assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will determine, after consultation with the Complainant, whether the report will be resolved through an Alternate Resolution or Corrective Resolution.
Alternate Resolution: An Alternate Resolution is a voluntary process, which allows for informal or restorative options for resolving reports of Prohibited Conduct.
Corrective Resolution: A Corrective Resolution involves an investigation, adjudication, and, if appropriate, the imposition of corrective actions.
Investigation: The Title IX Coordinator will designate a trained investigator to conduct a prompt, thorough, fair, and impartial investigation. The investigator will interview the parties and other individuals who may have relevant information. The investigator will also gather evidentiary materials, including but not limited to physical evidence, documents, communications between the parties, and electronic records and media as appropriate. The investigator may also visit relevant sites or locations and consult subject-matter experts as appropriate. Both parties will be provided the opportunity to review and comment on all the information that the investigator determines is relevant to the investigation.
Preliminary Investigative Report: At the conclusion of the fact-gathering portion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a preliminary investigative report and compile a record of relevant documents. The parties will have five business days to review the report and provide a written response, including identifying additional witnesses and requesting follow-up interviews. The investigator will determine whether any additional investigatory steps are needed, and will provide both parties an opportunity to review and comment on any new information.
Final Investigative Report. Upon receipt of the parties’ written responses to the Preliminary Investigative Report, the Investigator will prepare a Final Investigative Report. The Final Investigative Report will include a determination of whether the Respondent is responsible for violating the Policy. If the Investigator determines that the Respondent is responsible for engaging in Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter to the proper Disciplinary Authority to determine sanctions.
Standard of Evidence. The standard of evidence under the Policy is a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., it is more likely than not that the conduct has occurred). In analyzing the facts, the Investigator will apply this standard to determine whether the Respondent is responsible for violating the Policy. Throughout the investigation, the respondent is presumed “not responsible” until a finding of “responsible” is made pursuant to the Policy.
Appeal: The complainant and the respondent have equal rights to appeal the Final Investigative Report by submitting a written statement to the Title IX Coordinator within five days of the receipt of the report. An appeal can be based on one or both of the following grounds:
Review Panel: All appeals will be heard by a three-member Review Panel selected by the Title IX Coordinator from a pool of trained members of the MUSC community (excluding students).
Hearing: he Hearing is an opportunity for the parties to address the Review Panel, in person about issues relevant to the Standard of Review. The parties may address any information in the Final Investigation Report, supplemental statements submitted in response to the Final Investigation Report, and any impact and mitigation statements. Each party has the opportunity to be heard, to identify witnesses for the Review Panel’s consideration, and to respond to any questions of the Review Panel. The Hearing will be recorded. Neither party is required to participate in the Hearing in order for the Hearing to proceed. The Review Panel has absolute discretion to determine which witnesses are relevant to its determination and may decline to hear from witnesses where it concludes that the information is not necessary for its review.
Sanctions for Student Respondents: The Disciplinary Authority may impose one or more of the following sanctions:
Advisor of Choice: Throughout the resolution process, both the Complainant and the Respondent may consult and be accompanied by an advisor to every proceeding. The parties may choose anyone (including an attorney) who is not otherwise a party or witness to the resolution process.
Time Limitations: There is no time limit for reporting Prohibited Conduct. However, to maximize MUSC’s ability to gather relevant and reliable information, contact witnesses, investigate thoroughly, and respond meaningfully, complainants and individuals with information are urged to make reports as soon as possible. If a report is filed against an individual who is no longer a student or employee at MUSC, the university will not have disciplinary authority over the respondent. In the event the respondent is not affiliated with MUSC at the time of the report, the Complainant will still be entitled to make use of any of the resources available to students and may seek assistance from the university in identifying and contacting law enforcement.
Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty: A complainant or bystander acting in good faith when disclosing an incident of Prohibited Conduct to MUSC’s officials or law enforcement will not be subject to Code of Conduct or the MUSC Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Policy for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the reported incident. MUSC may initiate an assessment or educational discussion or pursue other non-disciplinary options regarding alcohol and drug use.
MUSC is a caring community. We hope that you take advantage of the many resources available to you:
Emergency Medical Assistance: An individual who experiences sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or other forms of sexual or related misconduct is strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance. Students are not required to report an incident to law enforcement or MUSC in order to receive medical attention or a forensic exam.
Non-Confidential Campus Resources: Even those university officials who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain a person’s privacy to the greatest extent possible. When the information pertains to sexual or related misconduct, the information provided to a non-confidential resource will be relayed to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator only as necessary for the university to investigate and seek resolution.
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