Title IX Commonly Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the University’s gender-based and sexual misconduct policy and procedures.
In what situations does Title IX apply?
Generally, Title IX applies to instances of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation. Please note that the University’s Title IX jurisdiction may be limited in certain circumstances; however, the University will evaluate the report and determine if any other policies and procedures may be applicable.
Does information about a report remain private?
The privacy of all parties to a report of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the University’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the reporting and resolution procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the respondent may lead to conduct or disciplinary action by the University. Certain University administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President of the University, Dean of Students, Chief of Police).
If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to a responsible employee of the University and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator must notify police. Typically, the complainant is asked to talk with a detective to ensure they have the best access to information about the criminal justice process. However, charges will not be automatically filed. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
Will Muskingum tell parents about a Title IX report?
In most situations, no. Whether an individual is a complainant or a respondent, the University’s primary relationship is to the student, and not to the parent. In the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, or upon the parent's request if a student has signed a FERPA waiver form, which allows such communication.
Will the accused individual know the identity of the complainant?
Yes, if a formal complaint is filed. Gender-based and sexual misconduct is a serious offense, and the respondent has the right to know the identity of the complainant. Safety and privacy will be considered in configuring an appropriate hearing, should the matter proceed to a hearing.
In making a report, does the person accused of violating University policy have to be named? What happens if the person's identity is unknown?
If the Formal Grievance Process is utilized, yes. If an informal response is a better fit for the individual's needs, disclosure of the name is encouraged but not required. Please be aware that lack of identification may limit Muskingum’s ability to provide a thorough response.
Yes. Any misconduct should be reported so all options can be discussed. It is possible that the University may be able to determine the respondent's identity.
What happens when a respondent is reported for violating the Title IX Policy?
The respondent will be asked to meet with the Title IX Coordinator. During that meeting, the respondent may choose to bring an advisor, or not. The role of the advisor is discussed in the Title IX Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will discuss the report and the Title IX process.
The respondent may not contact the complainant or the reporter. Confidential counseling is available through on-campus Counseling Services or online via the Virtual Care Group.
Does a complainant have a right to an advisor?
Yes. Complainants and respondents may elect to have an advisor present. The role of the advisor is discussed more thoroughly in the Title IX Policy.
Does either party have to pay for counseling and/or medical care?
Typically, no. Any services provided on campus are free of cost. If community and non-institutional services are accessed, payment will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc. Crime victims in Ohio may be eligible for state-based assistance.
What supportive measures are available?
Supportive measures are available to complainants and respondents and are based on individualized need. Typically, Muskingum can offer counseling services, housing accommodations, academic accommodations, referrals to law enforcement, and no contact orders. Other supportive measures may be available upon request.
What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence must be collected from a complainant’s body within 72 hours of the incident. Evidence may be obtained from belongings for longer periods of time. The Emergency Department at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville has a SANE nurse on duty 24/7. SANE nurses are trained to collect evidence from a complainant, and the hospital will notify local law enforcement. Having the evidence collected in this manner will keep options available but does not create an obligation to take any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges at a later time.
At the hospital, the SANE nurse will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If the complainant has changed clothing since the assault, the clothing should be brought to the hospital in a clean container, such as a clean brown paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If the complainant has not changed clothes, it is advisable to take a change of clothes to the hospital, if possible, as the hospital will likely keep the clothes as evidence. The complainant may take a support person with them to the hospital, to provide comfort before, during, and after the exam. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.
Are there sanctions for reporting a violation of the Title IX Policy if the complainant was using alcohol illegally?
Typically, no. The severity of the situation will determine the nature of the University’s response, but whenever possible the University will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern, and the University does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.
What if the complainant is uncertain about what happened?
Any complainant who has any uncertainty about what happened or whether conduct might violate the Title IX Policy should consult with the Title IX Coordinator, who can advise you of your options.
Are respondents allowed to stay on campus and go to class?
A respondent's access to campus depends on the allegations made against them and the risk to the complainant and/or others. It is possible that an interim suspension may be issued against the respondent, or the respondent could be restricted from University property and/or activities, including classes.
Disclaimer: The content of this webpage is designed to provide general guidance, which does not create, modify, or rescind any provision of the University’s policies. Any questions may be clarified by reading the Title IX Policy or by contacting the Assistant Vice President for Human Relations & Risk Management, who has been designated as the University’s Title IX Coordinator.