Process for Investigating a Sexual Misconduct Complaint

Coe College wants all members of our community to feel safe in coming forward with a concern or complaint of sexual assault. The information below is a basic outline of the complaint and investigation process. Please contact Tom Hicks, Sexual Misconduct Coordinator, for more information and details. More information is also available in the Student Reference Book.

When we talk about Title IX cases, the language choice is very specific. Complainant means the person bringing forward the incident, other terms you might see in other materials would include victim, accuser and survivor. Respondent means the person named by the complainant for causing the incident. Other terms might include alleged assailant, accused and perpetrator.

  • A pair of investigators is assigned to take the complaint and speak with all parties, including any witnesses named by either the complainant or respondent.
  • The investigation is done through interviews with all parties by trained investigators who are also Coe employees.
  • Both the complainant and the respondent are allowed to have an advisor/support person of choice move through the process with them.
  • The complainant and/or College can decide whether or not a respondent should be charged with a violation.
  • Upon conclusion of the investigation and if the respondent has been charge, the investigators will submit all evidence and a summary to the Administrative Review Panel who will make an administrative determination as to whether the College’s sexual misconduct policy has been violated and what the sanction will be for any such violation.
  • The Sexual Misconduct Coordinator will notify both parties as to the outcome of the determination and review. At that point, the complainant and respondent may choose to appeal and have seven days to provide the Vice President of Student Development with notice of an appeal.

Possible sanctions for violations of the sexual harassment policy include:

If a policy violation is found, the sanctions will be based on the nature of the incident, any prior conduct violations, sanctions resulting from prior, similar cases, and any other relevant facts. Possible sanctions of student respondents include: no contact orders, disciplinary probation, suspension (removal from Coe College for a minimum, designated length of time), and dismissal (permanent removal from Coe College), educational activity and reflection, or counseling and/or any other sanction set forth in the Student Reference Book.  Additional information about the College’s harassment policy, the investigation process for reported violations, and sanctions can be found here.

Remedies and Enforcement

If Coe College determines that sexual misconduct has occurred, the college will take immediate action to  eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Depending on the severity of the case, typical sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • Oral or written reprimand.
  • Required compliance: carrying out  of a college regulation or administrative directive as a condition for avoiding further disciplinary action  and/or remaining in good standing.
  • Fines or restitution: reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. May also take the form of college service or other compensation and may be combined with other sanctions.
  • Community service: assignment to work on or off-campus.
  • Disciplinary warning: written notice that continuation of misconduct in general or repetition of specified conduct has been found unacceptable within the specified period of time stated in the warning. Failure to comply may be cause for further disciplinary action.
  • Disciplinary probation: the most severe and serious warning a student may receive and still remain enrolled in the college. During the period of probation the student may not hold office in recognized student organizations or may lose other designated privileges (i.e. on-campus job).
  • Removal from College housing.
  • Violation of the terms of disciplinary probation or the infraction of any college regulation during the  probation period may be grounds for suspension or dismissal.
  • Suspension: separation from the college for a specified period of time. Readmission must be applied for and may be contingent upon compliance with specific conditions. Appeal for suspension is to the Vice President for Student Development.
  • Dismissal: termination of enrollment for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the notice of dismissal. Appeal is to the President of the college.

More information about the sexual misconduct reporting and investigation process can be found here:

Please note that the Student Reference Book is the official document provided to students that includes these policies. Please refer to the Student Reference Book for any updates to these policies and practices.