Title IX at BGSU

Overview of the University’s Response to Reports of Title IX Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct   

Initial Assessment and Intake - When a report is received, the Title IX Coordinator reviews the report and when appropriate, assigns the report to an intake officer. The intake officer meets with the reporting party to provide an overview of the process, options for support, and works with the reporting party to determine next steps.

In addition to deciding to report to the city police, the reporting party can decide to either proceed with a university investigation or not to proceed with a university investigation.

  • Decision to Not To File a Formal Complaint– If the complainant decides not to proceed with a university investigation, the intake officer will work with the student to discuss any remedies and assist with any supportive measures. 
  • File a Formal Complaint– If the complainant decides to proceed with a university investigation, the respondent receives a formal notice of allegations and meets with an intake officer and provided resources and an overview of rights, responsibilities, and the process.
 

Investigation – Once both parties have completed intake, they are assigned to investigators. The investigators will separately meet with both parties and any witnesses and conduct interviews. The investigations include:

  • The investigators interview both parties, any relevant witnesses and review all documents and evidence submitted
  • Parties will receive a draft report summarizing the information gathered and have the opportunity to review and submit additional comments and information. The parties can also identify witnesses, new evidence, and submit further questions.

The investigation will consist of interviews with all parties and the timeline is determined by scheduling availability. Both parties are allowed one advisor present during these meetings. The investigator’s job is to conduct a neutral, fact-gathering, investigation where the respondent is presumed not be responsible.

The parties and their advisors will be able to review a preliminary report which contains information about all of the evidence obtained. The investigators will create a final investigative report which will be used in the formal adjudication process.

Formal Adjudication - After the final report is submitted the responding party will have three options to choose from 

  • Accept Responsibility – Respondent will accept responsibility for violation of the code and the sanction will be determined by the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board.
  • Request a Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board Hearing –  A panel of two faculty/staff members and the Chair will ask questions and consider information presented by the investigators, witnesses, and both parties. Advisors for each party will have the opportunity to ask questions of the other party and their witnesses. All questions will be asked through the Chair. The board will make a determination of responsibility and sanction. Both parties would have the right to appeal the decision of the board.

Sanctions
If the respondent is found in violation of the policy, parties will receive simultaneous notification of assigned sanctions. The Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board have full authority to sanction students to outcomes that end the prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, remedy its effects, safeguard the university community, and promote the goals and objectives of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy in a manner that supports the university’s educational mission and its duty under Title IX.

If the respondent is a faculty or staff member, the outcomes will be determined in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources and/or the Office of the Provost.

Appeal
Both parties have appeal rights throughout the process.

  • Appeal of the Dismissal of a Formal Complaint
  • Appeal of the Hearing Decision
  • Appeal of the Sanction
 

The parties may appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

  • Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination of responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter
  • The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or a member or members of the hearing board had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter
  • The disciplinary sanction imposed in the respondent was clearly inappropriate or disproportionate to the conduct for which the respondent was found responsible.

RIGHTS OF THE REPORTING PARTY -  SEXUAL ASSAULT & RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE

  • BGSU prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking (as defined by the Clery Act) and reaffirms its commitment to maintaining a campus environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of all members of the college community.  If you have experienced sex discrimination, and/or sexual violence (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking) in particular, this brochure includes some things you should know about your rights. BGSU is committed to maintaining an environment conducive to learning for all students and a professional workplace for its employees; as such, we take active measures against and prohibit all discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and sexual harassment, including any type of violence or misconduct.

Inquiries Concerning the Application of these Policies

  • Inquiries may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or to the office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education. For further information, call 800-421-3481 For the address and phone number of the U.S. Department of Education office that serves your area, or call: 800-421-3481

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Misconduct

  • Victims of Sexual Misconduct are encouraged to report crimes to BGSU Police: 419-3722346; the local BG City Police: 911; the Title IX Coordinator: 419-372-8476; and/or the Office of the Dean of Students. To report online visit: bgsu.edu/reportit

BGSU Will Respond Promptly and Effectively to Sexual Violence

  • You have the right to report the incident to Bowling Green State University (BGSU), have BGSU investigate what happened, and have your report resolved promptly and equitably.
  • You have the right to choose to report an incident of sexual violence to University officials, BGSU Police and/or local law enforcement. A criminal investigation does not relieve the University of its duty under Title IX to respond promptly and effectively to a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Staff will assist victims in facilitating a report to the police, should they choose to do so.
  • BGSU has published policies and procedures prohibiting sexual misconduct and for reporting allegations of sex discrimination, including sexual violence

BGSU Will Conduct an Adequate, Reliable, and Impartial Investigation

  • Both parties have the right to be notified of the timeframes for all major stages of the investigation.
  • Both parties have the right to present witnesses and evidence. 
  • Both parties have the right to be accompanied at all hearings and meetings by an advisor of their choice. 
  • BGSU must resolve your allegation based on what University officials believe is more likely than not to have happened based upon an investigation (this is called a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard of proof). Bowling Green State University will not use a higher standard of proof.
  • You have the right to be notified in writing of the outcome of your report and any appeal or grievance, including any sanctions that directly relate to you. 
  • The appeal/grievance process is equally available for both parties. 
  • You have the right to review any proceedings documented, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, or audio recordings. 
  • BGSU Will Provide Remedies as Necessary 

Victims of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Domestic Violence, or Dating Violence should:

  • Consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible at the Wood County Hospital after an incident of sexual assault, dating violence, or domestic violence. If victims of sexual assault do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections. You can contact Wood County Hospital at 419-354-8900. 950 W Wooster Street, Bowling Green, OH 43402
  • Preserve evidence that may assist investigators during the course of a criminal investigation prove that the criminal offense occurred, or is occurring. It is important that a victim of sexual assault not bathe, douche, smoke, change clothing, or clean the bed/linen/area where they were assaulted if the offense occurred within the past 96 hours. This evidence may be helpful in obtaining a protection order.
  • Save text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications as evidence; and keep pictures, logs, or copies of documents if they have any that could be useful to University adjudicators/ investigators or local police. This is important even if you do not wish to go through the conduct process immediately.

BGSU Prohibits Retaliation

  • Retaliation against someone who files a report or who participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited by University policy and by law. 
  • You have the right to report any retaliation by University employees, the alleged perpetrator, and/or other students. BGSU will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

Accommodations and Protective Measures Available for Victims

  • During the investigation and prior to the final determination, the University may take appropriate interim measures to protect the parties involved. Interim measures can be requested by any involved party, or can be imposed by the University. Such measures may include changes to academic, living, working, or transportation situations/ conditions, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to law enforcement.

Rights of Victims and the Institution’s Responsibilities for Court Orders of Protection

  • In Ohio, a protective order, also referred to as a “restraining order,” is a court order requiring a named individual to stay a specified amount of distance away from the person seeking the order. Typically, they are used to protect victims of domestic violence from their attackers. Under Ohio protective order laws, orders may last for up to five years but may be extended by the court. For more information about obtaining a protection order, visit the BGSU Police or The Cocoon.
  • To our guests with disabilities, please indicate if you need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services, access@bgsu.edu, 419-372-8495. Please notify us prior to the event.

If you believe that you are a victim of sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, or rape at BGSU, know that you have the following rights:

To receive basic information about services designed to assist you:

  • To recover your losses—to the extent possible—through restitution and the return of property that was seized as evidence when it is no longer needed 
  • To seek, or have sought on your behalf, as soon as possible counseling and medical attention at the Falcon Health Center (for students), through the employee assistance program (for employees), or elsewhere as needed, including at the nearest hospital emergency room
  • To report the crime to the BGSU Police and/or another law enforcement agency
  • To be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding held
  • To have the option of changing your academic, and/or living situations and/or working location if so requested and if the changes are reasonably available 
  • To request that the University implement a “no-contact” mandate with the perpetrator

RIGHTS OF THE RESPONDING PARTY: SEXUAL ASSAULT & RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE

Learning that a peer or the University has accused you of a violation of policy can be devastating. It is important to us that you know what to expect and have it in writing to refer back to. We want to provide you with as many resources as possible as you work through this process.

 

A Review of Your Rights

  • Your rights in our administrative process are not the same as your rights in the criminal justice system. Our aim is to provide a fair and equitable process that is not criminal in nature. As you review this document, I will ask you to initial next to each section acknowledging that this information has been reviewed by an administrator with you, that your questions have been answered, and that you understand your rights. 
  • You have the right to have an advisor present with you at any meeting, including during the investigation, meeting with administrators, and the hearing. This may be the advisor of your choice as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy.
  • You have the right to decline providing a written or verbal statement. However, the University may continue with the investigation and hearing process (including determining responsibility, sanctions if applicable, and appeals process) without accepting that statement at a later time. If you do provide a statement, anything you say to University personnel, including anything documented in a report, can be used by the police or prosecutors should you and the reporting party have a criminal proceeding.
  • You have a right to hire an attorney. However, your attorney does not have the right to speak during any interviews, meetings or hearings.
  • You have due process rights. This means that you have the right to receive notice of the accusations against you and the basis for the accusations which you will receive only at the point that the University has determined that policy may have been violated. If the allegations rise to the level of a policy violation, you will receive the information in the form of a letter of notice and the full redacted report. This is referred to as the Hearing Packet. This packet contains all of the information (considered evidence by some) that will be used in the hearing. Notice does not mean that you have been found responsible.
  • You have the right to ask for members of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Board to be removed if you have information that they are unable to be impartial or that they have a bias that prevents them from serving as an adjudicator. If it is determined that a member should be removed and a replacement cannot be found in time for the hearing, the hearing will continue. 

There are three major steps in the process.

  1. The investigation which is conducted by the Office of the Dean of Students or a Title IX Deputy. During this step, the investigator is collecting statements from the reporting party, the responding party (this is the term for those accused), any witnesses, and gathering any information relevant to the accusation (i.e. screen shots of text messages, pictures, emails, etc.)
  2. The hearing takes place if the investigation produces enough information for the University to move forward. The hearing is where the adjudicator or board will determine if the responding party is responsible for the charges or not responsible using preponderance of evidence. This means that they are trying to determine what was more likely than not. The findings are generally provided to the reporting party and Responding Party simultaneously in writing.
  3. The appeal is for those who have been found responsible and are appealing on the grounds outlined in the Policy. If students appeal, the end of the appeal is the final step
  • I acknowledge that I understand that retaliation is a violation of policy
  • I acknowledge that I received a copy of the policy.

Interim Measures

  • The University may have to implement interim measures if appropriate as a precaution. Such measures may include: 
  • Written and/or Verbal No Contact Directives 
  • Interim separation from the University 
  • Escort or transportation assistance 
  • Housing or employment assignments
  • Class schedule modification 
  • Restrictions from specific activities or facilities
  • Your failure to adhere to the interim measures may constitute a separate violation of policy. Interim Measures are not documented on your transcript, however, faculty may be notified if you are placed on interim separation. If that is the case, you must communicate with faculty about keeping up with work during the separation. It is up to each individual faculty member if they will allow students to continue with coursework during this period. 
  • For student athletes—your Coach may take interim measures separate from the Office of the Dean of Students.

Involving Parents

The University does not normally notify parents during an investigation. Copies of an outcome letter may be sent to parents at the conclusion of the process. We encourage students to speak with their parents. BGSU Police is unable to speak with parents if they call, and information from Office of the Dean of Students staff may be limited. Under no

These terms are either based off the legal definitions and categories taken from the Ohio Revised Code 2907.01-2907.09 or our Student Code of Conduct if they are not properly identified as being from a different source.

If any of the terminology used here or others areas of the website that are not listed that are unfamiliar or need more clarification you may reach out to the Title IX Office at 419-372-8476. The Title IX Office would be more than happy to help you better understand the language used when talking about matters involving Title IX.

Advocate

An advocate is the person whose primary role is to support the survivor in whatever decisions they choose for their own well-being, empowering them by providing all needed information and options. A qualified advocate for providing rape crisis advocacy is a person who has completed at least 40 hours of training in advocacy for victims of sexual violence; and is an employee or volunteer of a qualified victim services program.

Coercion

The use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against an individual’s will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats, and blackmail. Source.  

Consent

Giving permission for something to happen must be given freely. Consent must be given in order for the sexual contact/conduct to be considered legal. Silence does not equal consent. Consent also means that the person is of legal age and has no mental limitations.

Consent must be:

  • Verbal and Clear
  • Sober and Unimpaired
  • Consistent
  • Prompt
  • Unforced and Non-threatened

Gender Identity

An individual’s internal sense of gender. A person’s gender identity may be different from or the same as the person’s sex assigned at birth. Source.

Gender Transition

The process in which transgender individuals begin asserting the sex that corresponds to their gender identity instead of the sex they were assigned at birth. During gender transition, individuals begin to live and identify as the sex consistent with their gender identity and may dress differently, adopt a new name, and use pronouns consistent with their gender identity. Transgender individuals may undergo gender transition at any stage of their lives, and gender transition can happen swiftly or over a long duration of time. Source.

Gross Sexual Imposition

Having sexual contact with another, by force or threat of force; or the offender substantially impairs the other person's judgment or control using drugs or intoxicants secretly or by force, threat of force or deception. Source.

Harassment

Any severe or pervasive verbal, written, or electronic communication or action that causes a reasonable person to feel emotionally or mentally distressed or frightened. Harassment also includes communication or action that interfere with an individual’s participation in an educational, work, or University activity or environment.

Hazing

Any mental or physical action, requirement, request of, or obligation placed upon any person (including but not limited to a pledge, associate member, affiliate, prospective member, guest, initiate or team member) which could be harmful to the health, welfare or academic progress of the person; or which is personally degrading to the individual involved, or which has an adverse effect on the academic progress of the person; or which destroys or removes public or private property; or which violates any federal, state, or local laws, or University policy, whether on or off-campus.

No member of the University community shall fail to report hazing. A person’s consent to hazing is not an excuse under this section.

Incident Report

The term “Incident Report” means any accusation of alleged misconduct submitted through the “Report an Incident” function here. The University treats law enforcement agency reports and citations as incident reports.

Jurisdiction of the University

University jurisdiction shall address conduct, which occurs on or off University premises, which includes in person or electronically, and adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives, including but not limited to creating a positive Bowling Green State University academic environment, promoting responsible citizenship, and fostering an inclusive community. All students and organizations shall be responsible for their individual conduct during the duration of their student or organization status.

Member of the University Community

The term “member of the University community” includes any person who is a student, University official, trustee, or any other person serving the University in an official capacity. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall determine a person’s status.

Preponderance of Evidence

The standard of proof that the BGSU uses in adjudicating cases.  It means “more likely than not.” Where a person is alleged to have committed a particular act of misconduct, the allegation is established by a preponderance of the evidence when the evidence is such that it is more likely true than not true that the person committed the act. Source.

Public Indecency

Recklessly exposing one's private parts, or masturbating; engaging in conduct appearing to an ordinary observer to be sexual conduct or masturbation.

Rape

Engaging in sexual conduct by force or threat of force; or for the purpose of preventing resistance, offender substantially impairs victim's judgment or control by giving any drug/intoxicant secretly or by force, threat of force, or deception. Victim need not prove physical resistance.

Residence Hall

Per Code of Student Conduct, the term “residence hall” means any hall, house or other living unit owned or leased by the University for the principle purpose of providing student housing.

Reporting Party

The individual who reportedly experienced sexual misconduct, regardless of whether such individual reports such sexual misconduct to the University or participates in the University’s conduct process for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct.

Responding Party

The individual or entity alleged to have committed acts constituting sexual misconduct, regardless of whether such individual has entered into the University’s conduct process for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct.

Retaliation

A student or organization shall not retaliate against any member of the BGSU community who files an Incident Report or who brings forward a complaint or concern.

Sexual Assault

This is not a legal definition or category. It is an umbrella term covering the classifications above and a wide range of actions taken against a person without the person's consent, against the person's will, or under force, threat of force, or coercion. Sexual activity occurring when someone is medicated, asleep, passed out, or drunk can also be illegal. In these situations a person cannot truly consent since she or he is not in a coherent state of mind.

Sexual Assault Information

This is not a legal definition or category. There are occasions when a third party will share information regarding an alleged incident which may have occurred on campus. Many times the person sharing the information provides little or no detail regarding the victim, suspect, time, place or what actually happened. If the BGSU Police Department is made aware of this third party information and it is determined that a sexual assault may have occurred on university property or public property within or immediately adjacent to campus, this information will be recorded as “sexual assault information” for the benefit of our students and the campus community.

Sex Assigned at Birth

The sex designation recorded on an infant’s birth certificate should such a record be provided at birth. Source.

Sexual Conduct

Vaginal intercourse between individuals, anal intercourse, or oral sexual activity between persons regardless of gender. Penetration with any body part or object, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.

Sexual Contact

Any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including the thigh, genitals, buttocks, anal zones, pubic region, areas particularly sensitive to sexual stimulation, or, if such person is female, breast(s), for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.

Sexual Misconduct

Physical contact or other non-physical conduct, however slight, of a sexual nature in the absence of consent or when it involves compelling a person to submit to such conduct by force, threat of force, use of intoxicants to impair a victim’s ability to give consent, or otherwise taking advantage of any impairment that might render a person incapable of making a decision about sexual activity. This includes sex-based violence and sexual harassment. For the purposes of the above policy, consent is defined as the act of knowingly and affirmatively agreeing to engage in a sexual activity.

Sexual Other

Minor incidents of a sexual nature which may or may not involve physical contact. (Example: offensive sexual words or comments, bumping, gestures, etc.)

Stalking

Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time. A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

Student

The term “student” means all persons who have been notified of their acceptance, expressed intent to and/or registered for classes, or otherwise entered into any other contractual relationship with the University to take instruction.

This includes, but is not limited to all individuals:

  • Taking classes in person or through distance learning whether on a part-time and full-time basis, pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees, or
  • Who reside in University-owned housing or who live off campus,
  • Who are not enrolled for the current term but who have a continuing relationship with the University. Student status ceases when an individual graduates, is not enrolled for two consecutive terms, or an individual who is suspended, dismissed, or expelled for any reason.

Transgender

Describes those individuals whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender male is someone who identifies as male but was assigned the sex of female at birth; a transgender female is someone who identifies as female but was assigned the sex of male at birth. Source.

University Official

The term “University official” includes any person employed by the University and any person serving the University in an official capacity

University Premises

The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University, whether in Bowling Green, Ohio, or elsewhere.

Voyeurism

Trespassing or secretly invading privacy of another; to spy or eavesdrop upon another with the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying one's self.