» Title IX Reporting & Investigation FAQs for Student Complainants

The following is a list of frequently asked questions that may be helpful for a student who is or may be a complainant in a student(s)-to-student(s) Title IX investigation or an investigation in which a student is the respondent at Chapman University. As defined by the Student Conduct Code, a complainant is a Chapman student, University official(s), group of students or student organization(s) alleged to have been the subject of, or harmed by, a student’s or group’s alleged violations of the Code.

Please also see the specific FAQs for respondents, witnesses, and general audiences, as well as the FAQs about the appeals process.

+ - What is considered sexual misconduct at Chapman?

As defined in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, sexual misconduct is any sex- or gender-based behavior, attempted or completed, that goes beyond the boundaries of consent. The policy states that the intoxication of or lack of intent by the respondent does not diminish responsibility for an act of sexual misconduct. The following behaviors are prohibited: intimate partner violence and abuse, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, discrimination, making a bad faith complaint of sexual misconduct, and retaliation.

Please see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for full definitions of the above listed prohibited conduct. Additional prohibited conduct definitions are in the Student Conduct Code.

+ - I believe I have been sexually discriminated against, harassed, or assaulted, but I do not know if I want to make a formal report to the University. How can I learn more about what my options are?

The University has identified individuals and departments on campus who have a professional requirement to maintain confidentiality* of a conversation with a complainant, respondent, or witness who wants someone to talk to, but does not want to report the incident to the University. If a complainant, respondent, or witness discloses sexual violence to a below mentioned individual when that individual is not acting in the role that provides them privilege (such as when a counselor is serving as a professor rather than in their counseling role), the individual is required to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator. The following are individuals and departments on campus who are privileged and confidential resources when working in the following roles:

  • Student Psychological Counseling Services
    • During business hours: (714) 997-6778
  • Dani Smith, Ed.D., Chapman University Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Counselor
  • Chapman Sexual Assault Information Line
    • (714) 744-7000
  • Reverend Gail Stearns, Ph.D., Dean of Chapel
    • (714) 628-7289
  • Reverend Nancy Brink, Director of Church Relations
    • (714) 997-6760
  • Frances Smith Center for Individual & Family Therapy
    • (714) 997-6746

*While the individuals listed above have professionally required confidentiality, there are certain, specific situations in which they are not able to maintain information confidentially. Those situations are: (1) if you may be a danger to yourself or others, (2) you have knowledge about any minor or elder currently being subjected to abuse or neglect – including intentional access to unlawful sexual images, or (3) if the information is subpoenaed for court records.

There are also off-campus resources that can assist you. Please see the full list of available resources.

+ - What resources are available to me?

There are both on-campus and off-campus resources available to you. Please see the full list of available resources.

+ - How do I make a formal report of sexual misconduct?

To report an incident(s) or file a report regarding a University employee or student, there are many places you can start, including the following: 

To report student(s)-to-student(s) matters*

DeAnn Yocum Gaffney, Ed.D., Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean of Students
Lead Title IX Coordinator
Argyros Forum 101
gaffney@chapman.edu
(714) 997-6721

Chris Toutain, Program Coordinator for Student Conduct
Argyros Forum 302B
toutain@chapman.edu
(714) 532-6039

Kristen Entringer, Program Coordinator for Student Conduct
Argyros Forum 302A
entringe@chapman.edu
(714) 532-6056


To report matters involving students and faculty/staff*

Misha Martinez, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officer
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
DeMille Hall room 103
mismarti@chapman.edu
(714) 997-6847

Other Reporting Options:

Public Safety Department - (714) 997-6763 
Available 24 hours 7 days a week

Dean of Students Office - (714) 997-672

Office of Human Resources - (714) 997-6686 
Available 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  M-F

Resident Director

Resident Advisor

Privileged and Confidential Resources:

Student Psychological Counseling Services - (714) 997-6778

Dani Smith, Ed.D., Rape Crisis Counselor - (714) 744-7080

Rev. Gail Stearns, Ph.D., Dean of Chapel - (714) 628-7289

Rev. Nancy Brink - (714) 997-6760

Frances Smith Center for Individual & Family Therapy - (714) 997-6746

Any one of these individuals can help get you to the appropriate person to handle your specific concern. It is important to note that all University employees are required to report any allegation of possible sexual misconduct. If you choose to check in with your RA, RD, Public Safety, or another individual on campus who you trust, that person will help you get in contact with the Title IX Coordinator and investigators.

For more information about the investigation process, please see Investigation Procedures for Student Matters.

+ - Who is involved in Chapman’s Title IX investigative process?

For student(s)-to-student(s) matters or matters with a student respondent, the Lead Title IX Coordinator and Title IX investigators are responsible for the initial assessment and formal investigation. Additionally, administrators experienced in hearing Title IX appeals may be involved if either the complainant or respondent requests an appeal of the investigation outcome. All staff and administrators who are involved in the investigation and appeals process participate in annual, specialized training specific to their roles in order to be involved in the Title IX process at Chapman University.

For information about investigations regarding faculty and staff members, please contact Human Resources.

+ - What happens after I make a formal report of sexual misconduct?

A Title IX Coordinator or Title IX investigators will request a meeting with you to follow up on your report and connect you with resources. When you meet with them, the Title IX Coordinator or investigators will explain Chapman’s policies, procedures, and support resources. They will ask you to briefly explain what happened, including who, what, where, and when, so that they may start the investigation. They will discuss the availability of interim and supportive measures with you. Interim and supportive measures can include academic flexibility requests, changes to your on-campus housing accommodations, or other steps to assist you during the process. You have the right to have an advisor of your choice present during this meeting. The Title IX Coordinator and/or investigators will ask if you have any information to share or witnesses with whom you would like them to meet.

For more information about the investigation process, please see Investigation Procedures for Student Matters. You may also read the full outline of procedures in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

+ - Do I need to bring anything with me to meet with the Title IX Coordinator or investigators?

You do not need to bring anything with you to meet with the Title IX Coordinator or investigators unless you have information that you would like to share with them, such as text messages, photos, or other digital or physical documentation. You may bring a list of witnesses with whom you would like the investigators to meet. You are welcome to bring an advisor or support person of your choice with you.

+ - What will my meeting(s) with the investigators be like?

For student(s)-to-student(s) matters and matters in which there is a student respondent, two investigators will likely participate in the meeting(s) that you have with them as part of the investigation. Both investigators will take notes and ask you questions, but you may decline to answer. The investigators will ask you about what happened and allow you the opportunity to share however much or as little as you like. The investigators will ask follow-up questions to better understand your account, and they will ask you if there are any potential witnesses with whom you would like the investigators to meet as part of their investigation. The investigators will also ask for any potential information or documentation that you might have (texts, screenshots, emails, photos, or other documentation) that could help them better understand the incident(s) in question. The investigators will end the meeting with you by asking you if there is anything you would like to share, including documentation or other information you would like them to consider. If there is information you want the investigators to have that they did not ask about specifically, you are encouraged to share that information.

You have the right to have an advisor of your choice with you during all meetings you participate in during the process.

+ - What happens after I meet with investigators?

Once you finish meeting with the investigators, they will meet with other potential witnesses to continue their investigation. For student(s)-to-student(s) matters and matters in which there is a student respondent, the investigators will compile their notes from meetings with you, the respondent, and witnesses and provide this information to you once they have met with everyone and finished their information-gathering. During this time, called information review, you will have an opportunity to see everything collected during the investigation before participating in a response hearing with the investigators and Title IX Coordinator, where you can share with them your response to all of the information. At the conclusion of the process, the investigators will prepare an investigation report and provide it to both you and the respondent.

Learn more about the investigation process or read the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

+ - Who will be informed about the report that I make to the University? Will my professors know about the investigation?

The Title IX Coordinator and investigators recognize the sensitivity and personal nature of these types of incidents and will ask anyone sharing information during an investigation to respect the privacy of those involved. In accordance with federal law and University policy, the Title IX Coordinator and investigators only share information on a need-to-know basis to those with a legitimate need to know. This means that the individuals usually informed about investigations are those involved in the investigation and possible adjudication processes. These individuals generally include the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX investigators, Title IX administrative assistant, and any potential hearing officers, hearing coordinator, and appeals body, if requested.

Therefore, if your professors do not have a legitimate need to know about the investigation to perform in their roles as faculty, they will not be informed of it. At times, complainants may find that an investigation divides their attention away from their academics, and they therefore request interim and supportive measures such as a general notification to their faculty that they are experiencing personal difficulties. This notification does not specify anything about your involvement in an investigation, but it does request for faculty to offer reasonable flexibility with coursework, deadlines, or exams. Other interim and supportive measures can be discussed based on your specific needs, including any adjustments that may aid in your success at the University after the conclusion of the investigation and/or hearing.

+ - Will you tell my parents about the report I filed and/or investigation?

In accordance with federal law and University policy, the University does not contact students’ parents regarding the details of a Title IX report. If you want your parents to know what is going on, it is best that you share this information directly with them or speak to the Dean of Students Office about a FERPA release.

+ - I am concerned about other students possibly treating me differently because I made a formal report of sexual misconduct. What can I do?

Retaliation is strictly prohibited, and Chapman takes any allegations of retaliation against anyone involved in the investigation or conduct process very seriously. If you believe you have been mistreated or otherwise retaliated against because of your participation in this investigation, please inform the University immediately.

The Chapman University Student Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits “Adverse action or treatment taken against anyone for reporting, supporting, or assisting in the reporting and/or adjudication of any of the behaviors prohibited in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, or against anyone perceived to be involved in any of these actions. This includes intimidation, violation of a No Contact order, harassment, efforts to impede an investigation, or filing a false or bad faith cross-complaint. Retaliation is a violation of policy whether or not the underlying complaint of sexual misconduct is found for be a violation of policy.”

The University will impose sanctions on any faculty, student, or staff member found to be engaging in retaliation, or individuals who encourage third parties to retaliate on their behalf. It is important to note that these expectations are in effect for everyone. If you retaliate against anyone involved in this investigation or conduct process, in any way, you will be subject to further conduct review.

+ - I am worried about sharing my account of what happened because alcohol and/or other drugs were involved. What should I do?

Chapman University has an amnesty policy in place that can be found in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. It states, “To encourage and support the reporting of incidents of sexual misconduct, students who participate as witnesses or complainants in sexual misconduct investigations will not be held accountable for violations of the Code that may have occurred at the time of or as a result of the incident in question (for example, being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs), unless the University determines that the violation was egregious. Egregious violations include, but are not limited to, actions that place the health or safety of another other person at risk or that involve academic dishonesty.”

+ - Will there be a hearing?

If you are a complainant in a student(s)-to-student(s) matter or a matter in which there is a student respondent, you will receive all of the information gathered during the investigation. Following the review of information, you and the respondent each will have separate opportunities to meet individually with the investigators and the Title IX Coordinator. These meetings are called response hearings. Both the information review and response hearings are described in detail in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

+ - Do I have a right to appeal the decision of a Title IX investigation?

Yes, as a complainant, you do have a right to appeal a decision determined through a formal investigation related to a sexual misconduct matter. You can learn more about the appeals process in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy or in our FAQs regarding the appeals process.

+ - How can the Title IX Coordinator or investigators help me if I do not want to make a formal report?

The Title IX Coordinator and investigators can still help connect you with resources, such as those discussed above, or help with offering interim and supportive measures, even if you elect not to make a formal report. The Title IX Coordinator or investigators can make adjustments as necessary to your housing, classes, parking, etc. and set up a No Contact Order if requested between you and the respondent. Other interim and supportive measures can be discussed based on your specific needs, including any adjustments that may aid in your success at the University after the conclusion of the investigation and/or hearing.

+ - How long will this process take?

The University will complete investigations in a prompt, fair, and impartial manner, generally within 60 calendar days. University holidays and breaks will likely impact the time that it may take to conclude an investigation. During the course of the investigation, the investigator(s) will provide monthly timeline updates to both the complainant and respondent. Cases that are particularly complex or involve unusual circumstances may require more than 60 days for the investigation process. If the Title IX Coordinator and/or investigator(s) determine that an extension of the 60-day investigation timeline is warranted or necessary, they will notify the parties in writing, including the reason for the delay and the anticipated date of completion.