Interim and/or Supportive Measures
Upon receipt of a report of Prohibited Conduct under the Title IX/Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct (SIM) Policy, the University will consult initially with the complainant and provide reasonable and appropriate interim and/or supportive measures designed to preserve the parties' educational experiences; protect the parties during an investigation; address safety concerns for the broader University community; maintain the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process; and/or deter retaliation. At the appropriate time, the University will also consult with the respondent regarding interim and/or supportive measures.
Interim and/or supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University's educational program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or educational environment of East Texas Baptist University, or deter sexual harassment. Interim measures are services provided to a party while an investigation and resolution process is pending, while supportive measures may be provided at any time, regardless of whether an investigation and resolution process has been initiated or completed.
The University will provide reasonable interim or supportive measures to third parties as appropriate and available, taking into account the role of the third party and the nature of any contractual relationship with the University.
Requests for interim or supportive measures may be made by either party to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the implementation of interim or supportive measures and coordinating the University's response with the appropriate offices on campus. The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to impose and/or modify any interim or supportive measure based on all available information and is available to meet with a complainant or respondent to address concerns about the provision of interim or supportive measures.
All individuals are encouraged to report to the Title IX Coordinator any concerns about the failure of another to abide by any restrictions imposed through an interim or supportive measure. In the event of an immediate health or safety concern, individuals should contact 911 or University Security at 903-923-2323 (on campus) immediately. The University will take immediate action to enforce a previously implemented measure, which may include additional interim or supportive measures and/or disciplinary penalties under this SIM policy or other University policies.
East Texas Baptist University is committed to providing a prompt, thorough, equitable, and impartial resolution of all reported violations of this policy. The University uses two processes to resolve reports of Prohibited Conduct under this policy when a formal complaint has been filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, as described below:
- Disciplinary Resolution, which involves an investigation and adjudication; and
- Adaptable Resolution, which includes informal or restorative options for resolving reports.
Also, in cases that may potentially involve Non-Title IX Misconduct but that do not involve Title IX Sexual Harassment, and in which the Title IX Coordinator decides not to initiate an investigation and adjudication under this SIM policy, the Title IX Coordinator may itself or in collaboration with or referral to other University offices, undertake efforts such as educational conversations with individuals, educational programs for departments or groups, or other efforts designed to improve the campus environment and/or address concerns about behavior that may implicate this policy, but that is not appropriate for investigation and adjudication.
The processes under this policy is separate and distinct from Texas' criminal process. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. Neither a decision by law enforcement regarding prosecution nor the outcome of any criminal proceeding will be considered determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred.
Following are key points intended to provide a general overview of ETBU’s resolution process. Further details are outlined in the full Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy (SIM).
After receiving a report of Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact or attempt to contact the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures; inform the complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint; consider the complainant's wishes with respect to supportive measures; and explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint.
The Title IX Coordinator will also gather information about the reported conduct and any immediate health or safety concerns, assess the complainant's safety and well-being, offer the University's immediate support and assistance, and assess the nature and circumstances of the report to determine whether the reported conduct raises a potential policy violation, and whether the reported conduct is within the scope of this policy.
In cases in which the Title IX Coordinator initiates an investigation or takes any other action that impacts a respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will also ensure that the respondent is notified and receives written information on available resources and options.
At the conclusion of the initial assessment, the University will proceed with one of the following options:
- Proceed with an investigation under the Disciplinary Resolution process. This will occur when a complainant requests an investigation and the Title IX Coordinator determines it is appropriate; when the Title IX Coordinator determines that an investigation must be pursued even when a complainant requests that no investigation be pursued; or when Adaptable Resolution is not appropriate or available.
- Proceed with Adaptable Resolution. This will always require the consent of the complainant. The consent of the respondent is also required when the form of resolution involves the respondent.
- If outside the scope of this policy, refer the matter to another appropriate office or department for resolution under the relevant policy.
- If the complainant requests that the University not pursue a resolution process and the University determines that it can respect that request, the University will close the report. This option could include notifying the respondent of the alleged misconduct. The level of detail shared with the respondent will be at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. The University may re-open the matter if the complainant requests resolution or if the University subsequently determines there is a need to further investigate the alleged misconduct.
Adaptable Resolution is a voluntary and remedies-based resolution option, and may be pursued instead of disciplinary resolution at the request and agreement of both parties and as deemed appropriate by the University. Parties engaged in disciplinary resolution may also request to end disciplinary resolution and begin adaptable resolution at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility. Adaptable resolution may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following approaches: Restorative Justice Conference, Restorative Justice Circle, Shuttle Negotiation, and Mediation.
If the University initiates an investigation under the SIM policy, it will provide to the parties a written notice (by electronic or other means) that includes:
- Information about the University's resolution processes;
- A statement of the allegations of behavior potentially constituting Prohibited Conduct, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial post-intake interview. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting Prohibited Conduct, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known;
- A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
- Information regarding the University's presumption of good faith reporting and a summary of false complaint-related information outlined in this policy;
- Notification that parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
- Notification that the parties will have the opportunity to inspect and review evidence during the investigation and resolution process;
- The name of the investigator and how to challenge participation by the investigator on the basis of a conflict of interest or bias;
- The importance of preserving any potentially relevant evidence in any format;
- The prohibition against retaliation; and
- A link to a copy of this policy.
In cases that will be investigated, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint one or more investigators to conduct a prompt, thorough, fair, and impartial investigation. The investigator may be a University employee and/or an experienced external investigator. Any investigator used by the University will receive annual training on the issues related to sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, and on how to conduct an investigation that is fair and impartial, provides parties with notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard, and protects the safety of complainants while promoting accountability.
When deemed appropriate by the investigator, the investigator will prepare a final investigative report, which will fairly summarize relevant evidence and include as exhibits evidentiary materials as deemed appropriate by the investigator. The parties may provide a written response to the investigative report within ten calendar days of the issuance of the final investigative report. The investigative report and the parties' written responses, if any, will be provided to the hearing officer in advance of the hearing.
Hearings will be conducted pursuant to either Title IX Sexual Harassment Hearings Procedures or Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Hearing Procedures. For more extensive details regarding Hearings, see the full Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy (SIM).
Hearings will be presided over by a hearing officer, who will make the decision by a preponderance of the evidence as to whether or not the respondent violated the policy provisions at issue. The hearing officer has broad authority to determine the process, order of presentation, timing and overall duration of the hearing, what information and evidence will be heard, what information and questions are relevant to the determination of the matter, and what cross examination questions will or will not be permitted.
Within ten business days after the hearing process, the hearing officer will prepare and issue a written determination regarding responsibility and any sanctions. In determining responsibility, the hearing officer will apply the preponderance of the evidence standard.
Either party to a matter covered by the SIM policy may file an appeal from: 1) a determination regarding responsibility; and/or 2) the Title IX Coordinator's dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein from the Title IX Sexual Harassment process, on the following grounds:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or hearing officer(s)/decision-maker(s) 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; and/or
- The decision of the hearing officer/decision-maker was arbitrary or capricious.
An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator.
Through the entire proceeding, including any investigation or hearing, each party has the right to consult with an advisor of their choosing, and may be accompanied by their respective advisor at any stage, including interviews and the hearing. The advisor may be any person, including an attorney. The University will maintain a list of advisors who are available if the parties desire an advisor but are unable to identify one on their own.
During Title IX Sexual Harassment Hearings, each party may have advisor of their choice present for the limited purpose of conducting cross-examination. Advisors may be, but are not required to be, attorneys. If a party does not have an advisor of their choice at the hearing, the University will without fee or charge to the party provide an advisor of the University's choice for the limited purpose of conducting cross-examination on behalf of that party.
The University wishes to encourage good faith reports of conduct prohibited under this policy. Therefore, the University will not pursue disciplinary action against a student enrolled at the University who makes a good faith report to the University as a complainant or witness to an incident of Prohibited Conduct for a violation by the student of the University’s Student Conduct Code. This amnesty applies only to conduct occurring at or near the time of the incident, regardless of the location at which the incident occurred or the outcome of the University's resolution process. This includes amnesty for disclosure of personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs (underage or illegal) which would otherwise be a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
The University may investigate to determine whether a report of Prohibited Conduct was made in good faith. A student will not receive amnesty for reporting an incident involving their own commission or assistance in the commission of Prohibited Conduct.