Reporting an Incident | Mercy College

Reporting an Incident

Confidentiality
Mercy College respects your request for confidentiality, however, the College may not be able to grant that request if:
  • The incident indicates that there is a threat to the community, at large, or to another individual.
  • The request for confidentiality limits the College’s ability to investigate and determine the risks associated with incident.
Example of when confidentiality can NOT be ensured:
  • A student reports that he was told by another student that she was sexually assaulted by her friend (another student).
  • The College must further investigate (speak to the individual who was assaulted) this issue in order to protect the rest of the community and make sure the individual who was assaulted is not enduring more harassment or violence.
  • If you are the only person who the student has told, then she would deduce that you provided the information.
Notice of an incident does not mean a formal investigation will ensue. The College strives to give the survivor of an assault the control over how an incident is reported and investigated. With the survivor, it is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator to gather information about an incident and determine the depth of the investigatory process.
 
Responsible Employees
Mercy College have a duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct or gender discrimination, in full disclosure, to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator.
 
Confidential Employees
Licensed counselors, licensed medical professionals, and clergy are “confidential employees.” Confidential employees are not required to disclose identifying information, unless there is a threat to the community.
 
Prohibition against Retaliation
You may not be harassed or penalized by any member of College community for participating or not participating in the complaint process. Retaliation exists when action is taken against a participant (complainant, respondent, witnesses, etc.)  in the complaint process that adversely affects the individual’s employment or academic status, and is motivated in whole or in part by the individual’s participation, or lack thereof, in the complaint process. Any acts of retaliation, as defined in this policy, shall be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal for students and termination for faculty and staff.
 
Criminal Reporting Procedures

Reporting to Public Safety and/or the local police is an option at any time following a sexual violence or assault incident. If the survivor chooses not to report to the police immediately, he/she can still make the report at a later time. However, with the passage of time, the ability to gather evidence to assist with criminal prosecution may be limited. Depending on the circumstances, the police may be able to obtain a criminal restraining order on the survivor’s behalf.


Interim Remedial Measures

Pending the outcome of the investigation, Mercy College of Ohio will take steps necessary to protect the parties and the College community. At any time during the investigation, the investigating officer, the Title IX/Deputy Title IX Coordinator may determine interim remedies or protections for the parties involved or witnesses as appropriate. Such interim measures can include, but are not limited to, placing an employee on paid or unpaid administrative leave, removing a student from campus housing and/or current classes, modifying course schedules, and issuing a “no-contact” order, among other remedies.
 
Investigation
An investigation will commence within 7 days of receiving a report. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator will speak to all parties involved (complainant, respondent and witnesses) and collect any non-testimonial evidence. The investigation will conclude no later than 60 days after the start of the investigation, unless a request from law enforcement to suspend the fact-finding process delays the investigation.
 
Preponderance of Evidence
The College will use a “Preponderance of Evidence” standard in determining responsibility of sexual misconduct. 
 
Rights of the Parties
During the course of the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights, including:
  • Equal opportunity to identify and have considered witnesses and other relevant evidence.
  • Similar and timely access to all information considered by the investigating officer.
  • Equal opportunity to review any statements or evidence provided by the other party.
  • Equal access to review and comment upon any other information independently developed by the investigating officer.
  • The respondent will be prohibited from questioning or seeking evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual conduct with anyone other than the alleged perpetrator. (This includes clarifying the evidence of a prior consensual dating or sexual relationship between the parties by itself does not imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual misconduct.)
  • Both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person/advisor to accompany him or her at all stages of the process. The support person/advisor does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process. Mercy College reserves the right to dismiss a support person/advisor who is disruptive or who does not abide by the limitations in the previous sentence.
If the investigation reveals that a violation has occurred, the matter will be adjudicated as outlined in the College’s Grievance/Adjudication Procedure.