The following is a list of frequently asked questions that may be helpful for a student who is or may be a respondent in a student(s)-to-student(s) Title IX investigation at Chapman University.
You may also download a printable resource for respondents.
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. According to this policy, the intoxication of or lack of intent by a 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.
The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX investigator(s) will request a meeting with you to explain the investigative process as well as your rights within the process. In this meeting, the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX investigator(s) will review relevant University policies, procedures, and support resources. They will also discuss any adjustments that need to be made, such as the implementation of a no-contact order or changes to classes or housing accommodations. These are called interim and supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator or Title IX investigator(s) will share information with you about the nature of the allegation(s) so you have enough information to respond to the allegations if you choose to do so.
You have a right to have an advisor of your choice present during this meeting and any meeting thereafter that takes place as part of the investigation or appeal process. You will have the opportunity to discuss your perspective of the incident(s) in the first meeting, set up a second meeting to discuss, or decline to participate in an interview with the investigator(s).
For more information about the investigation process, please see Investigation Procedures for Student Matters.
You may also download a printable resource for respondents.
In order for you to have enough information to fully respond to the allegations, the University will provide you with the name of the complainant, the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged incident(s), the location(s) of the alleged incident(s), a brief summary of the allegations, and the specific policy or policies that are alleged to have been violated.
Privileged and confidential support resources on campus provide an opportunity for you to discuss your experiences without reporting any of the information you share. The University has identified the below 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
Reverend Gail Stearns, Ph.D., Dean of Chapel
Reverend Nancy Brink, Director of Church Relations
Rabbi Cori Yutkin
Father Rafael Luevano
Frances Smith Center for Individual & Family Therapy
*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. You may also download a printable resource for respondents.
For matters in which there is 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.
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.
For 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. 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.
Once you finish meeting with the investigators, they will meet with other potential witnesses to continue their investigation. For matters in which there is a student respondent, the investigators will compile all of their notes from meetings with you, the complainant, 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.
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 appeals body, if requested. Notification of other individuals or departments is determined on a case by case basis.
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, respondents 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 the respondent’s 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.
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.
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.
If you are a student respondent, you will receive all of the information gathered during the investigation once the investigators complete their information-gathering phase. Once you review the information, you and the other party each will have separate opportunities to individually meet with the investigators and Title IX Coordinator. This meeting is called a response hearing. During your response hearing with the investigators and Title IX Coordinator, you will have the opportunity to address the information gathered during the investigation and provide a response. Both the information review and response hearings are described in detail in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
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.