Should I contact the Title IX Coordinator?
Any member of the Keene State College community (including students, faculty, and staff) who has concerns about sexual assault, gender-based harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or sexual harassment is encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator.
Specifically, contact the Title IX coordinator if you:
- want to understand your options if you think you may have experienced sexual misconduct
- learn of a situation that you think may warrant a College investigation
- need help with how to handle a situation that indirectly affects you (for example, if it involves a friend, colleague, or teammate)
- want guidance on possible supportive or administrative measures to de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation
- have questions about Keene State College’s policies and procedures
Will anything happen immediately, before an investigation is started?
Upon receipt of a report of sexual or gender-based harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct, the College will impose reasonable and appropriate interim measures designed to protect the parties involved. These are temporary actions taken by the college to foster a more stable and safe environment during a period of exploration of options, investigation, and/or adjudication. Examples of interim measures include, but are not limited to: a no-contact order, a no-trespass order, academic accommodations, and residence modifications.
What if I want to report a sexual assault, but I was drinking when it happened and I’m underage?
Keene State College’s primary concern is the health and safety of its students. When conducting an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct, the College’s focus will be on addressing the incident and not on lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. If a report is made in good faith, a reporting party or a witness will not be subject to a disciplinary proceeding or sanction of the lesser violation. The College may, however, provide referrals to counseling or require other educational options. More information is available here.
What’s “confidential?” What’s “private?”
Private “Private” means that the information will only be shared with people with a need to know, and all necessary precautions will be taken to protect the identity of the complainant/reporting person.
Confidential “Confidential” means the communication is legally privileged and the person is not obligated to disclose the information to anyone else. This standard applies to licensed health-care professionals, mental health counselors, pastoral counselors, and attorneys.
If you want to disclose sexual misconduct or relationship violence to a confidential source, you should speak with a licensed counselor. Information shared with certified counselors is generally legally protected from further disclosure as confidential or privileged communications and cannot be disclosed absent extraordinary circumstances. At Keene State, confidential services are available through the Wellness Center- Counseling Services (3rd floor Elliot).
The Title IX coordinator will seek to protect the privacy of the individuals involved in any report of alleged sexual misconduct, harassment, or relationship violence to the extent possible and allowable by law. The Title IX Coordinator cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality.
Who else can I report a sexual assault to?
You can also elect to report the incident to:
- the Title IX Coordinator
- Campus Safety
- a Residential Life staff member
- any college official
What is the standard of proof that is used to determine responsibility?
The standard of proof in campus conduct hearings, including Title IX hearings, is based upon the “preponderance of the evidence” standard: Whether the violation is more likely to have occurred than not. This is a lower burden of proof than required in criminal cases. Since Title IX is a federal civil right, preponderance of the evidence is the appropriate standard. In criminal cases, the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Should I be worried about retaliation?
As a federal civil right, Title IX protects anyone who reports sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence against retaliation. Reporting parties are protected from any adverse consequence, harassment, intimidation, or discrimination that is causally related to Title IX matters. Keene State takes allegations of retaliation seriously and, if substantiated, such actions can result in severe consequences for the involved party.
I’m a faculty or staff member and a student has told me about what might be discrimination or harassment. Who should I report it to?
Faculty and staff can complete on online report form. They can also reach out to the Title IX Coordinator, Deirdre Loftus, directly with any questions. All faculty and staff, other then employees who hold a legally confidential role, are responsible employees. They are obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of sexual misconduct, discrimination, and/or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. While Responsible Employees have reporting obligations to the Title IX Coordinator, they are not considered Officials with Authority.
Do individuals involved in the sexual misconduct adjudication process receive any specialized training?
Yes. We believe that all students, faculty, and staff should receive quality education on the sexual misconduct process, especially those involved in the adjudication process. The Title IX Coordinator, investigators, decision-makers, and conduct board members are all mandated by policy and federal law to receive specialized training. If you’re interested in viewing the training materials used to train them, click here.