Sexual Misconduct FAQ

Commonly Asked Questions

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” – From the preamble to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on gender in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. In 2001 and again in 2011, the Office for Civil Rights stated that “the sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.” (DCL 2011) Title IX requires that institutions of higher education take immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence on campus. Our Sexual and Relationship Violence Resource Guide for Syracuse University Students is one way that Syracuse University hopes to educate students on their rights under Title IX, resources to assist students on how to get support after an incident has occurred, where students can go to file a report, what interim actions can be taken to support students, information about the investigation and conduct process, and information on how bystanders can get involved in preventing incidents before they occur.
The Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating the efforts of Syracuse University to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX. The EOIRS office:
  • Oversees the University’s response to reports and complaints
  • Ensures a fair, equitable and prompt process for all involved
  • Oversees investigations involving sex discrimination
When informed, the Title IX Coordinator works with others by doing an initial assessment which includes:
  • A pattern check
  • Who is point person with reporter/victim
  • What does the reporter/victim want
  • What is necessary, if anything for campus safety
  • Who else (if anyone) needs to be notified
The Title IX Coordinator works with other departments, deans, and administration, to ensure that:
  • Interim relief, if requested and available, is provided and that follow-up is done with the reporting individual
  • The necessary steps are taken to ensure a fair and appropriate resolution
  • Steps are taken to remedy the effects of any misconduct
  • Steps are taken to prevent recurrence
No, the University does not tolerate retaliation of any kind. There are also protective measures that can be taken.
It depends. Confidentiality may be offered by an individual who is not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to University officials. Explore the difference between confidentiality and privacy.
As a University community member, we all play a role in providing support and assistance to those in need. Not only does this enable us to create a welcoming and respectful environment, but it also ensures that all members of our community understand our goals and obligations as it relates to providing safety for all persons of all ages who participate in University programs. All employees of the campus community, including faculty and staff, are designated as “Responsible Employees” and therefore must disclose all information related to sexual misconduct reported to them with the Title IX Coordinator.
Check out our Resources page for practices to assist individuals reporting incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct.
Check out our Resources page for methods to support survivors of sexual misconduct.
Interim relief is a temporary measure granted to parties while an investigation of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct is ongoing.
Formal resolution occurs through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (several offices coordinate for Faculty and staff) or through non-university criminal processes. Informal resolution can be pursued through the the EOIRS office.
SU policy does not dictate one required sanction for violation of its Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Relationship Violence, and Stalking. Trained University officials will review the findings in each case to determine the appropriate discipline, considering factors such as the need to eliminate a hostile environment for the victim and others, the facts of the specific incident, any prior disciplinary matters involving the respondent, and any mitigating factors. Disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed include, but are not limited to written warnings, loss of privileges, mandatory training or counseling, probation, suspension, demotion, loss of annual pay increase, exclusion, expulsion, and termination of employment, including revocation of tenure.
A person accused of sexual misconduct has the opportunity to provide his or her evidence to the investigator. If the evidence indicates that a reporting individual made a knowingly false complaint, the investigator will document this in the findings. Any person who files a complaint knowing it to be false at the time it is made is subject to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion. A knowingly false claim is different than a claim that cannot be substantiated by the preponderance of the evidence. Studies have shown that knowingly false complaints of sexual assault are uncommon.
Don’t worry about being perfect, but do recognize the importance of your role. Again, if someone discloses to you, it means they trust you enough to share this information with you. It is possible you could have someone disclose to you that a sexual assault has occurred but then tell you that they do not want to report the assault. They may ask you to keep the conversation private. There are a lot of reasons why someone may choose not to report sexual violence. As mentioned before, only the victim can decide what is best for them. However, your support can help address some of the fears that might impact their decision as to whether or not they are comfortable reporting.