Investigation Procedures

The following procedural features apply to cases that involve allegations of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, notwithstanding any other provisions in this policy, or otherwise-utilized practices to the contrary.

For both students and employees, sexual harassment/domestic violence/dating violence/sexual violence-specific features of the investigation and adjudication process will include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Proceedings will provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution (i.e., proceedings will be completed within reasonably prompt timeframes designated by College policy (and the College will provide written notice to the parties where extensions of timeframes are granted for good cause, and the reason for the extension), they will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with College policy and transparent to the parties, timely notice of meetings will be provided to the parties, the parties will have equal access to any information that will be used during the meetings and other proceedings, and College officials involved will not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against any party);
  • Proceedings will be conducted by officials who receive 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 complainants and promotes accountability;
  • The complainant and respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice;
  • Both the complainant and the respondent will be simultaneously informed, in writing: a) of the outcome of any College disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking; b) that the College's procedures for the complainant and respondent to appeal the results of the College disciplinary proceeding; c) of any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final; and d) when such results become final;
  • Throughout the College's investigation and any hearings, the complainant and the respondent will have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence, they will be afforded similar and timely access to any information that will be used at any hearing, they will be allowed a similar opportunity to present character witnesses (but only if either party is allowed to do so), and each party will have a similar opportunity to review statements provided by the other party;
  • If any hearings are held, direct cross-examination of the complainant by the respondent will not be allowed;
  • Both the complainant and the respondent will have an equal right to file an appeal, if the respondent is in fact provided with an opportunity to appeal under otherwise-applicable procedures;
  • The College's investigation and adjudication of a such a case will ordinarily be completed within 60 days of the College's first receiving notice of the complaint (exclusive of the time for any applicable appeal), absent extenuating circumstances (if a party has a need to extend one of these time lines, he or she should contact the designee who is administering the investigation and/or hearing process, and provide a written request for an extension that includes reference to the duration of the proposed extension and the basis for the request; the responsible person will decide whether or not to grant the request or provide a shorter extension, and will inform the other party of that decision).

Retaliation

The College does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who have made a good faith report of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.  Retaliation against an individual for reporting, in good faith, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, or for cooperating in the investigation of a complaint of such conduct, violates this policy and may be unlawful.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, adverse actions that have a substantial adverse effect on the working or educational environment of any individual involved in the complaint or an investigation, such as:

  • intimidation;
  • reprisal;
  • ostracism;
  • actions altering the person's assignments, assessment of his or her work, or his/her living and learning environment;
  • threats;
  • coercion; or
  • otherwise discriminating against any individual for exercising his or her rights or responsibilities under this policy.

Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to such retaliation should follow the complaint resolution procedures outlined in this policy. The College will take strong responsive action if it finds that retaliation in violation of this policy has occurred.

False Reports

If, at any point during the process, an investigator determines that a complainant, respondent or witness has knowingly lied or deliberately provided false information to the investigator, the People Center or Student Life may recommend that disciplinary action be taken against that person. Action may include dismissal and such persons may also be subject to independent legal action by persons wrongfully accused of misconduct. A complainant whose allegations are truthful to the best of his or her knowledge will not be found to have provided false information within the meaning of this policy and procedure, even if the College does not conclude that discrimination or harassment occurred.

Sanctions  

Remedies or sanctions for violations of the College's policy against sexual harassment, or its policy against sexual misconduct that does not constitute sexual assault, may include but are not limited to:

  • verbal or written warning;
  • training;
  • counseling;
  • probation;
  • suspension of a student's enrollment, or suspension of an employee without pay;
  • dismissal from employment;
  • expulsion from enrollment;
  • temporary or permanent transfer to a different position;
  • class or academic re-assignment;
  • reassignment of work or academic work; or
  • alteration of living or work environment.

Remedies or sanctions for violations of the College's policies against sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking may include:

  • probation;
  • suspension of a student's enrollment, or suspension of an employee without pay;
  • dismissal from employment;
  • expulsion from enrollment;
  • temporary or permanent transfer to a different employment position;
  • reassignment of work or academic work; or
  • alteration of living or work environment.

Prevention

As an educational institution, Champlain College is committed to promoting, through education and awareness-raising activities, a campus environment where sexual harassment, sexual misconduct (including sexual violence), domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are recognized as serious violations of the Standard of Conduct and where individuals who have or believe they have been subjected to such misconduct are provided support and avenues of redress as appropriate.  These forms of misconduct, as defined above, are prohibited by the College.  All first-year students are strongly encouraged to attend an orientation program during the first week of school that focuses on sexual violence, non-stranger sexual assault and the role of alcohol as a risk factor. Programs in personal safety with an emphasis on sexual violence prevention, bystander intervention, and risk reduction strategies are offered throughout the year.  The College will also offer initial awareness programming and an ongoing campaign of educational programming to students and employees regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual misconduct, and stalking, and regarding related bystander intervention and risk reduction strategies.  The College will launch a Bystander Intervention Training Program in the Fall 2015 in order to provide more prevention  education opportunities. Additional training for faculty and staff will be offered in person and online. All new employees will be trained upon hire.