All reports are handled by the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, even though they may originate in a variety of places, such as the online reporting form, direct contact with a GC employee, an email or a phone call. Reports must include names, location, time and date, and nature of the offense. You will not be asked to provide details. You have the right to share as much as you are comfortable sharing or what you believe would be helpful to achieve the outcome you desire.
At any point in the process, survivors may contact a variety of people for support, to get advice on options, or to be directed to additional resources. This includes the faculty advocate, campus counselors, residence life staff and student services. Off-campus contacts are available as well. Survivors may also contact law enforcement at any time. A criminal process is separate from campus investigations, which are aimed at resolving violations of community standards.
If you would like to explore your options for formal action such as a criminal or campus investigation, you can consider a variety of options.
Off-campus, you may report to:
- Goshen Health Emergency Room 574.364.1000. This option gives you immediate access to medical treatment and does not require reporting to the police or to Goshen College, unless you ask to collect physical evidence or what is commonly referred to as a “rape kit.” In those situations, the police are contacted to assign a case number to your evidence and collect basic information about you, not about the incident. If you want to file charges, a police detective will be contacted to begin a criminal investigation. If you would like Goshen College support, you can ask an On-Call Residence Life Coordinator, Campus Safety, the Faculty Advocate, a Student Life Staff member, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or a trusted friend to go with you.
- You may also call the Goshen City Police Department directly (911 for emergency situations and 574.533.8661 for non-emergency). The Goshen City Police Department will respond by sending an officer to the location you tell them. The officer will ask you questions and collect information about the assault. They can help you go to a safe place or to the emergency room.
- In a non-emergency situation you may also get health care from Goshen Family Physicians. Make an appointment as a Goshen College student. Your information will not be shared with Goshen College. If you report an assault to them, the medical staff can also advise you of your options.
- A trained advocate from Victim Assistance Services for the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney’s office (574.523.2237) can help you access resources and options for a protective order or criminal complaint.
Off-campus reports will not be shared with Goshen College unless you ask them to or if the situation poses a threat to you or the campus community.
On-campus, your report is a way of accessing resources, accommodations or an investigation to determine that community standards have been violated. In that case, you may report to:
- A Residence Life staff member. You may contact your Resident Assistant or Residence life Coordinator directly to ask for help with reporting an incident of sexual harassment, misconduct, or assault. The On-Call Residence Life Coordinator (574.535.6273) is available 24-hours a day to help you connect to immediate resources. The Residence Life staff are mandatory reporters but can provide swift and direct help and then help you report to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator.
- The Faculty Advocate (574.535.6232 email@example.com) or the PIN Coordinator can help you consider options and complete a report. These employees, along with campus pastors and counselors, are confidential and not required to share your information with the Title IX Office. They can help you access resources and accommodations, as well as make a formal report.
- The Title IX Deputy Coordinator (574.535.7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org) receives all reports submitted through the reporting form and is available to receive reports by phone, email or in person. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator also receives reports from other GC employees who are mandatory reporters.
- Any Goshen College employee can connect you to resources. If you choose to report to a trusted employee, know that they are mandatory reporters able to help you give your report to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator.
- You may also report the incident to any Student Life staff member or contact Student Services during the day (574.535.7543 or email@example.com).
Rights of Complainant & Respondent
The linked documents describe the basic rights of any student who reports sexual assault and misconduct, as well as the rights of anyone against whom a report has been made. You will always be treated with respect and professionalism and your information will only be shared with your permission and to those who need to know information related to the services they are providing.
- Rights of a student reporting sexual misconduct/violence
- Rights of a person against whom a report of sexual misconduct/violence has been made
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
As the representative designated to receive reports, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator as the following responsibilities:
- To receive all reports of sexual misconduct;
- To assure that each complainant and respondent is provided information regarding appropriate health, counseling, spiritual, and other resources and to assist the complainant and respondent in accessing those resources, if requested;
- To assure that each complainant receives information on how to contact campus and local law enforcement authorities, if appropriate, and to assist the complainant in contacting law enforcement authorities, if requested;
- To assure that arrangements are made for appropriate changes to the academic, employment, or living circumstances of complainants and respondents during investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct;
- To undertake steps needed to stop the reported behavior, remedy its impact on the individuals involved, and prevent further occurrence of the behavior. This will be done with respect for confidentiality and privacy of those involved.
- To work with the Title IX committee and Campus Safety to assess all reports for an immediate or potential threat of harm to the reporter, parties named in the report, or the campus community. In those cases, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator will facilitate appropriate responses to each circumstance.
- To assign cases requesting investigation to members of the SMRT.
- To record the SMRT investigative team’s findings to the SMRT to make a final determination.
- To inform all parties involved about the prohibition against retaliation of any kind and to address any retaliatory behavior as a violation of community standards.
- To share the memo of understanding with both complainant and respondent and oversee implementation of any steps or disciplinary action.
When you submit an anonymous report (you do not share your name), your information will be forwarded to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator. The Title IX Committee will assess and document the information provided. If names of other parties are provided, Title IX will determine whether or not the information reported poses an immediate threat to those parties or the campus community. If so, they will proceed as the circumstances require to address the threat, which may require an investigation. In other cases, they will use the information to address a general problem, such as a hostile environment. Students should provide their name to receive support or accommodations and to learn more about their options. After submitting an anonymous report, you always have the option to contact any GC employee or the Title IX Deputy Coordinator to provide additional information or file a report.
Reporting for Accommodations
If your report includes your name, you will be contacted right away by the Title IX Deputy Coordinator with an offer of resources and a chance to meet to discuss your options. You can choose if, when, and how you will have further contact. In a meeting, you will learn more about your options for support, accommodations, or investigation.
Reporting for Investigation
When your report includes a request for an investigation, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator will forward your report to two members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team (SMRT), a Goshen College organization that collects evidence and provides a finding of situations of sexual misconduct. A report may also be forwarded to SMRT if the Title IX Committee determines that a situation poses a immediate or future threat to student safety.
- The Sexual Misconduct Response Team’s role is to receive reports of sexual misconduct, determine whether or not the report is substantiated, and issue consequences and/or disciplinary action.
- The Title IX Deputy Coordinator works with SMRT to determine consequences and/or disciplinary action. After the finding is summarized, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator meets with the complainant and respondent separately to share the determination and establish a plan for next steps.
- Confidentiality is maintained to the extent that it does not inhibit a thorough investigation. Your identity is known to members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team but otherwise remains protected throughout the investigative process.
- Students are provided with “interim measures” such as room or class changes, a no contact order, or academic and counseling support during the investigation.
- Students have the right to indicate when they would not like to have an investigator because of a potential conflict of interest.
The Sexual Misconduct Response Team
SMRT members have had training in Title IX guidelines and the investigative process, with the goal to be fair. The SMRT process is not a legal process and only determines if there has been a violation of community standards. A criminal investigation can be pursued separately from the campus investigation and is always an option for cases where state or federal laws have been violated.
Procedure and process when a complaint is submitted to the SMRT
- A student files a report requesting and investigation with the Title IX Deputy Coordinator.
- Immediate administrative action will be taken to end the harassment, provide support and prevent the recurrence of violations.
- The Title IX Deputy Coordinator contacts a member of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team with the report. The Title IX Coordinator is notified that a report has been submitted to the Sexual Misconduct Response Team.
- After the report is received by a member of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team, the investigator contacts the complainant to review the report and gather any additional information; the complainant signs the report to indicate confirmation of its accuracy. The Sexual Misconduct Response Team will give the complainant options of responses to the incident and ask the complainant for their preferred response. A copy of the misconduct policy as well as the complainant’s rights are given to the complainant; the student is encouraged to notify the Sexual Misconduct Response Team with any additional information related to the reporter if any retaliatory behaviors are observed. The person who reports experiencing sexual misconduct/violence is identified technically as “complainant.”
- Following the meeting with the complainant, an investigative team is selected from among members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team and decides on a course for the investigation: additional information from the respondent, any witnesses, or the report is received by a member and other relevant data points are outlined.
- The Sexual Misconduct Response Team maintains a position of impartiality. In some cases Goshen College may contract with an external investigative team to support the ability of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team to reach a timely determination.
- Confidentiality is requested of all members and involved parties.
- The Sexual Misconduct Response Team’s investigators contact the respondent, the term used to refer to the person against whom a report of sexual misconduct/violence is made. A summary of the complainant’s report is shared with the respondent. The investigative team asks the respondent a prepared list of questions. After all evidence is collected into a report, the report is reviewed with the respondent: the respondent signs the report to indicate confirmation of its accuracy. A copy of the misconduct policy and the respondent’s rights are given to the respondent; the respondent is encouraged to notify the Sexual Misconduct Response Team with any additional information or if any retaliatory behaviors are observed. Both the complainant and respondent are given a recommended time period in which they need to respond, review the report, and submit additional information and sign the report. Each party has the option to decline reading the report but then waives their right to provide additional information.
- After data collection, the investigative team meets with remaining members of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team to 1) review available data 2) to reach a conclusion:Substantiated, Unsubstantiated or Inconclusive using a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning that the misconduct/violence is “more likely than not” to have occurred. This standard is different than that used in criminal cases (“beyond a reasonable doubt”).
- The Sexual Misconduct Response Team presents a written statement of its findings and determinations to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator (the administrative designee for Sexual Misconduct Response Team processes) for inclusion in formal Memos of Understanding. These memos are the mechanism for communicating the outcome of the investigation and the determination of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team.
- The amount of time from the receipt of report to communication of determination will vary according to an incident’s complexity. Goshen College will complete the investigation, make a determination and implement responses within a 60-day timeline as outlined by Title IX, except in cases of unusual complexity. SMRT members will provide both complainant and respondent with updates of an investigation’s progress.
Appealing an SMRT Determination
The complainant and respondent have the right to appeal the final determination of responsibility and/or the resulting sanction based on 1) a substantial procedural error that materially affected the outcome and/or 2) material, new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the determination.
Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator, Ken Newbold, within 72 hours of the receipt of the Memo of Understanding. An appeal should include an explanation of the procedural error or new evidence. The Title IX Coordinator, who has no prior knowledge of the original case or proceedings, will review the information and investigation report, request additional information from SMRT and the complainant and/or respondent, and make a determination. This will be done in the timetable outlined in the appeal process.
Responsibilities of the SMRT:
The person who reports experiencing sexual misconduct/violence is identified technically as “complainant.” The person against whom a report of sexual misconduct/violence is made is identified technically as “respondent.”
- To investigate reports of sexual misconduct in a prompt and equitable manner and ensure that the proceedings provide a prompt and equitable solution. Goshen College will complete the investigation, make a determination and implement responses within a 60-day timeline as outlined by Title IX;
- To determine whether or not a report is substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the misconduct or violence is “more likely than not” to have occurred. This standard is different than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is used in criminal cases;
- To issue consequences, including disciplinary action, and to inform the complainant and respondent of those consequences;
- To treat all reports as confidential to the extent consistent with conducting a thorough investigation. The identities of the complainant and/or respondent are known to the person initially contacted and one or two other trained investigators but otherwise remains protected throughout the investigative process;
- To take or recommend disciplinary or other corrective action where appropriate; and
- To simultaneously advise both the complainant and the respondent of the following:
- the outcome of the investigation;
- when Goshen College accepts an appeal of the results from the complainant or respondent;
- any change to the result that occurs before it becomes final (if it is being appealed);
- when the result will become final; and,
- any disclosures of the results.
No other individual or entity may engage in an investigation of a report of sexual misconduct on behalf of Goshen College outside the jurisdiction of the Sexual Misconduct Response Team. The response team will keep confidential reports of sexual misconduct and information obtained in the investigations to the extent consistent with completing a thorough and impartial investigation.
The response team receives annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and survivors and promotes individual and institutional accountability.
Goshen College will promptly and equitably address any complaints of sexual misconduct by:
- advising the person reporting the sexual conduct (“the complainant”) about the importance of preserving evidence, as well as the standard for a substantiated report being a preponderance of evidence;
- advising the complainant about available college and community resources, including health care services, counseling and other mental health services, and law enforcement authorities;
- assisting the complainant in accessing college and community resources, including campus and local law enforcement authorities, when such assistance is requested;
- making changes in living, working, employment, or academic arrangements as appropriate; and
- carrying out a prompt and thorough investigation conducted by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team and supervised by Title IX coordinator. Goshen College will complete the investigation, make a determination and implement responses within a 60-day timeline as outlined by Title IX.