What to do if you believe you have experienced gender-based violence:
- Get to a Safe Place Quickly - If the perpetrator is still in the area, or his or her presence on campus is threatening, call the Hendrix Public Safety Department (501-450-7711) or use a blue light emergency phone, or call the Conway Police Department (911).
- Contact Someone to Help - Contacting a supportive friend or family member, or a professional resource can be helpful when recovering from gender-based misconduct.
- Preserve Physical Evidence - If you have been assaulted, you may have evidence of the assault and the perpetrator's identity left on your body. It is important not to bathe or shower to preserve evidence. If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to not douche or even use the bathroom if possible. If you are being stalked, preserve any information that provides proof of the behavior. Preserving evidence may help prove an offense occurred and aid in obtaining a protection order.
- Seek Timely Medical Attention - If you have been injured, you are encouraged to go for a medical exam as soon as possible because injuries should be treated promptly and evidence deteriorates quickly.
- Develop a safety plan - If you are experiencing relationship violence, then developing a safety plan is important. This includes things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker or abuser shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Memorize important phone numbers, such as the people to contact or places to go in an emergency. Keep spare change, calling cards, or a cell phone handy for immediate access to communication. Have money available for transportation if you need to take a taxi to escape.
How to report gender-based misconduct or discrimination:
Students are encouraged to take reports of gender-based misconduct or discrimination directly to the Title IX Investigator and Education Coordinator (Allison Vetter, SLTC 150) or Title IX Coordinator (Shawn Goicoechea, 1545 Washington Ave) to reduce the number of times they must recount their allegations.
A report may be made by an individual who is the subject of alleged misconduct, or any member of the campus community that is aware of misconduct.
Discussing potential misconduct, asking questions, seeking support or interim measures does not automatically initiate an investigation into the alleged misconduct. It is at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator as to whether conduct charges are pursued.
Except as specified below, all faculty, adjunct instructor or administrative staff (including coaches) at Hendrix College are mandatory reporters and required to immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator or Deputies of actual or suspected gender/sex discrimination or sexual misconduct including any report they receive. As such these individuals should be prepared to explain their reporting obligations prior to receiving any information that is required to be disclosed.
Some resources/individuals on campus are not required to provide information to Title IX officials and are therefore considered anonymous resources. Anonymous resources for support are:
- On-campus licensed professional, counselors and staff (Student Counseling services)
- On-campus health service providers and staff (Student Health Services)
- Campus Chaplain
Initial report and notification of allegations
Any member of the community who believes they have experienced discrimination or misconduct that violates Hendrix College policy should report that conduct to the Title IX Investigator, Coordinator, or Title IX Deputies listed in this policy. All reports of discrimination or misconduct will be investigated in a manner that is prompt, thorough, equitable to all parties involved, impartial and fair.
The Title IX Investigator or assigned Deputy who receives the initial report will review the information collected with the Title IX Coordinator and determine if a policy violation is alleged to have occurred. The wishes of the party who has been the subject of misconduct or discrimination ("complainant") will be considered before proceeding with a formal investigation and conduct process, however it is ultimately the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator as to whether or not the College will proceed with the process outlined here. The College may determine, when considering the safety of the community, that it is necessary to proceed against the wishes or without the participation of the complainant.
The next step will be for each party to have an individual initial meeting. The complainant and respondent have the right to an advisor at the initial meeting and thereafter. The purpose of an initial meeting with the complainant and the respondent is to provide individuals will have the opportunity to discuss the investigative process, request interim measures to ensure access to educational programs during the process, learn about support resources, and otherwise ask questions of the Title IX representative without providing a statement for the investigation.
If a party elects to provide a statement about the alleged incident during the initial meeting that statement will be recorded. In general, any information provided about the alleged incident to a College employee not listed as an anonymous resource may be included in the investigative packet.
In cases in which a report provided to the College where a definition of prohibited conduct is alleged to have occurred, the responding party will be contacted to meet with the investigator assigned to the case and receive a notice of allegations. A no-contact order will generally be put into place at this time as well. This is considered the initial meeting between the investigator and the responding party and the respondent is not required to make a statement of any kind during this meeting, though they have the option to do so should the desire.
After initial interviews with complainants and respondents the Investigator will work with appropriate College officials to enact any interim measures deemed reasonable and necessary, assist students in accessing support resources as needed, and determine if a formal investigation will proceed.
If so desired, and the College determines that it is appropriate, a complainant and respondent may both agree to enter into a process of informal resolution mediated by the Title IX Investigator or other deputy. If parties elect the informal process no conduct process may be pursued. The ability to enter into an informal resolution is at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator and may not be appropriate for more severe charges such as non-consensual sexual intercourse. Informal resolutions may result in sanctions, excluding suspension or expulsion, which are recommended by the coordinator to the Dean of Students and enacted with approval by the Dean of Students Office.
A respondent has the right to be heard and defend themselves against allegations by participating in an investigation. Should a respondent choose they may also accept responsibility for charges at any time during the process at which time the available information, along with any final statements from either party, will be submitted to the GBM panel for determining sanctions.
An initial evidence packet will be compiled by the investigator in every case. This will include preliminary evidence including the statements of complainants and respondents, witness interviews, material evidence or information submitted by either party (eg. text messages, social media posts, images, etc). The initial evidence packet will be provided to the Dean of Students Office for determining which policy violations, if any, a responding student will be charged with.
In the event a charge letter is issued, it will be sent to both the respondent and the complainant by the Dean of Students office. The charge letter will provide both parties relevant information about the timeline for next steps. After the charge letter is sent, both parties will be contacted by the investigator to provide access to the initial evidence packet.
Upon reviewing the initial evidence packet both the respondent and complainant may submit additional evidence, including witnesses and documents or additional statements.
Complainants and respondents will have four business days to review the evidence packet to submit further information to the investigator. Once the period for submitting evidence, which will be stated in the charge letter, has ended the information will be compiled and provided to both parties as an investigative packet. At this time no additional evidence may be submitted to the packet unless it was unknown or unavailable and could not have been known or available at the time of the submission period.
Responding to the Charge
For each charge, a student will be asked to enter a statement of Responsible or Not Responsible, or no contest.
If the student in question accepts responsibility in a gender-based misconduct case, the student will provide a statement for the Gender-Based Misconduct Panel to determine an appropriate sanction. By accepting responsibility, the student in question is waiving his or her right to appeal any procedural matters or on the basis of newly discovered evidence. However, either party may appeal based on severity of sanctions.
Not Responsible Statements
If the responding student does not accept responsibility the Gender-Based Misconduct Panel may be convened and a thorough investigation will proceed to provide panelists with all available and relevant information possible. From this point on the student in question is assumed not- responsible concerning the charges which have been leveled against him or her. It is the responsibility of the College to collect evidence.
No Contest Statements
If a student is facing possible suspension or expulsion if found responsible for a conduct violation(s), then that student may be eligible to provide a statement of No Contest to the conduct violations. Allowing a No Contest Statement is at the discretion of the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of
Students. Students who enter a Statement of No Contest accept the sanctions issued to them without contesting the conduct charge(s). If a student enters a Statement of No Contest the student waives his or her right to appeal based on any procedural matters or on the basis of newly discovered evidence. However, the student may appeal based on severity of sanctions. Conduct violations for which a student enters a Statement of No Contest will appear on that student's conduct record.
After the student responds to the charge, the investigative packet will be redistributed and include the names of panelists who will be assigned for review. See the policy section specific to panel composition for more information on panels. At this time respondents and complainants may request the recusal of panelists for good cause such as bias or conflict of interest. Requests should be submitted in writing to the investigator or Title IX Coordinator and include reason for perceived bias or conflict of interest. Requests will be responded to prior to the investigative packet being submitted to a panel. Both parties will be notified of any panel changes and provided at least 1 business day from notification of change to contest new panel composition. Each party may only challenge the panel (any members) once, if the change is granted that party may not challenge the new selection.
At this time the respondent and complainant may submit questions to the investigator to be asked of the other party or witnesses.
The investigator will review questions for relevance and notify the submitting party if any question is deemed not relevant. See evidentiary standards, character witnesses and past sexual history information in subsequent policy sections for more information on relevant questions.
Questions will be administered by the investigator in a timely manner and responses will be transcribed. Investigators may ask follow-up questions of their own as they see fit to ensure thoroughness.
Responses will be added to an updated investigative packet which will be provided to all parties for review.
Completed Investigative Packet & Final Statements
A complete investigative packet will be provided to the complainant, respondent and panelists. The packet will include, but is not limited to:
- Initial statements (transcribed) by both parties
- Transcription of interviews of all witnesses deemed to have provided relevant information. Information not meeting evidentiary standards will be redacted.
- Any additional statements
- Evidence deemed relevant by investigator including, but not limited to: text messages, images, other communications, etc.
- Transcription from questioning conducted by investigator on behalf of complainant and respondent.
- Investigator synthesis of relevant evidence, timeline notes (where appropriate) and credibility assessments
Both complainant and respondent may submit a final statement within 2 business days of being provided the final investigative packet. Final statements will be promptly made available to the panel.
Closed Panel Deliberation
The panel will be given 5 working days from the deadline for submission of closing statements to deliberate and issue, in writing to both parties, an outcome letter including finding of responsibility for all charges and rationale for sanctions.
Panelists with deliberate as a group, and panel deliberations will be closed to all parties. Panelists may ask questions of the assigned investigator. In the event panelists request additional information from the investigator that is potentially outcome determinative both parties will receive an updated packet with any new information and may be given, at the panel's discretion, an opportunity to respond to the new information.
Responsibility will be determined by a majority of panelists. Panelists will determine responsibility for each charge and will base each determination on the preponderance of the evidence, whether it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred and if so, whether it constituted a policy violation.
Complainant and respondent will both be notified of the finding and sanctions, where applicable, within two working days of the panel reaching a decision. Notification will be sent to both parties simultaneously and in writing. Responsibility will be stated for each charge, and any sanctions will be accompanied by rationale.
Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.*
*The GBM panel reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior.
Range of Potential Sanctions:
The panel may impose one or more of the following sanctions for each policy violation.
- Expulsion - Permanent dismissal from the College with no possible future readmission to the College. A student who has been expelled is barred from visiting the campus.
- Suspension - Mandatory separation from the College for a specified period of time. An application for readmission will be considered after the time period of the suspension has elapsed. Readmission is subject to stipulations by the Gender Based Misconduct panel and approval of College officials. A student who has been suspended is barred from visiting the campus unless written permission is granted by the Dean of Students.
- Conduct Probation- A sanction serving notice to a student that his or her behavior is in serious violation of College standards and policies. It is assigned for a specified time period. A breach of College standards or policies by a student during the probationary period may result in suspension or expulsion from the College.
- Termination or Change in Residency Privileges- A sanction that terminates or changes a student's residency. This sanction is usually accompanied by other conduct sanctions determined by the panel.
- Restriction or Revocation of Privileges- Temporary or permanent loss of privileges including but not limited to use of a particular facility or service, visitation privileges, and parking privileges.
- Educational Project - Project that encourages reflection and demonstration of knowledge.
- Conduct Hold - If a student fails to complete the conditions of a conduct sanction (e.g. College Service Hours, etc.), a Conduct Registration Hold will be placed on his or her Registrar's account. With this hold in place, the student is restricted from utilizing the major functions of the Registrar Office (e.g., prohibited from participating in registration and course adjustment, requesting transcripts, and from receiving a diploma). The GBM Panel or the Dean of Student's Office will remove the hold when it has been determined that the student is working towards or has returned to compliance.
- Other Appropriate Action- Sanctions not specifically described above that must be approved by the Dean of Students.
Gender-based misconduct panel composition
A panel comprised of three individuals will make findings of responsibility based on the preponderance of the evidence and determine sanctions when applicable.
Panel membership is open to faculty and staff nominated by any Title IX Deputy, or any member of the current CCC panel. Panels are limited to full-time faculty and staff of the College who have been adequately trained and completed new panelist or 'refresher' training within 12 months of the start of panel deliberation.
Right to Appeals
Grounds for Appeal. Both the complainant and the respondent have a right to appeal the finding(s). A written request for appeal must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator (Shawn Goicoechea, firstname.lastname@example.org) within three (3) business days after a conduct decision is rendered. A request for appeal must be based on one of the following reasons:
- New information exists, unavailable during the original panel deliberation, that could be outcome determinative;
- A material deviation from written procedures could have impacted the fairness of the panel review;
- The sanction(s) may be grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offense.
Process Review. The Title IX Coordinator will, within three (3) business days after receiving the request for appeal, determine whether the petition meets at least one of the three grounds for an appeal. The Title IX Coordinator may:
- deny the appeal if it does not meet one of the grounds;
- refer the complaint back to the GBM Panel for re-opening of the deliberation to allow reconsideration in light of whichever of the three ground(s) the appeal is granted upon.
In the event the Title IX Coordinator is unable to process the appeal, then another Title IX Deputy will process the appeal using the same guidelines. If the Title IX Coordinator or other assigned deputy is unable to provide a response to the appeal request within three days, then that official will contact both parties in writing within three days of receiving the request to provide an updated timeline for determining the status of the appeal.
Scope of Response of original GBM panel. An appeal may be referred to the original panel or, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, a new panel may be assigned the appeal. The assigned panel may take the following action:
- Uphold their original decision.
- Increase their original sanction.
- Decrease their original sanction.
- Change the finding of responsibility.
If an appeal is granted that results in the complaint being sent back to the GBM panel, then the panel will review the appeals document, any instructions or comments on the granting of appeal by the Title IX Coordinator, and any written or taped documentation regarding the original deliberation, as needed. The panel may confine their review to written or taped documentation only. However, as determined by the panel, they may speak with any student or employee involved with the investigative process for more information or clarification. The GBM panel will respond in writing to any request for appeal within ten business days of receiving the appeal from the Title IX Coordinator, unless extenuating circumstances exist, in which case the parties will be notified of the modified timeline.
Finality of Appeals. Decisions made by the Title IX Coordinator and/or the GBM panel that has reviewed an appeal are final. No appeals of appeals are permitted.