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Reporting Discrimination & Sexual Misconduct

LOYOLA ENCOURAGES ANYONE who experiences misconduct under the Comprehensive Policy to come forward and report, so that the University may take appropriate steps to promptly stop, prevent, and remedy any substantiated violation. The University recognizes the privacy and sensitivity of such reports, and only shares information internally on a need-to-know basis when necessary to effectively respond to the report. The University also understands that for various reasons an affected party may prefer to report anonymously or to share only limited information.

REPORTS & FORMAL COMPLAINTS

While they may seem similar at first, there are many important differences between submitting a report and filing a formal complainant. It is important to understand the differences before taking any action.

Reports

A report is a disclosure or other communication to the Office for Equity & Compliance (or to another University official with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University) that directly notifies the University of an allegation of prohibited conduct under the Comprehensive Policy. A report is typically submitted when someone wants to bring one or more instances of alleged discrimination or sexual misconduct to the University's attention.

A report may be submitted by any individual (including third parties) and may be anonymous. Reports are distinct from (but usually precede) a formal complaint.

The University’s response to reports is oriented towards informing the affected party of available supportive measures and discussing the option to file a formal complaint. While ensuring the University takes appropriate action when necessary, the OEC strives to honor an affected party's wishes in response to any report.

Formal Complaints: Two Types

A formal complaint is a physical or electronic document filed in writing by a complainant or by the EDEC, alleging one or more violations of the Comprehensive Policy by a respondent, and officially requesting that the University intervene and investigate and/or adjudicate the matter under either the ERP or Grievance Process (or informal resolution options, if applicable).

While anyone can file a formal complaint at any time, you are strongly encouraged to connect with a member of the OEC staff before filing a formal complaint to ensure that you understand the full implications.

The two types of formal complaints are distinguished as follows:

ERP complaints are formal complaints of any alleged discrimination, sexual misconduct, retaliation, or other related offenses under the Comprehensive Policy, except for allegations that meet the definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment.

Grievance Process complaints are formal complaints of alleged misconduct that meet the definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment.

 

Submit a Report

A REPORT IS A DISCLOSURE or other communication to the Office for Equity & Compliance (or to another University official with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University) that directly notifies the University of an allegation of prohibited conduct under the Comprehensive Policy. A report may be made by any individual (including third parties) or may be anonymous, and is distinct from a formal complaint.

USE FOR reporting alleged or suspected discrimination or sexual misconduct by any student, staff, or faculty member; reporting any of the aforementioned misconduct anonymously. 

Next steps: The reporter (whether an affected party or third-party reporter) is automatically directed to information concerning the rights and resources available to affected parties. Unless a report is anonymous, upon receiving the report, a representative of the OEC (or DOS for students) will contact the affected party and/or third party reporter to communicate the availability of supportive measures (available regardless of whether or not they choose to file a formal complaint) and to explain the process of filing a formal complaint, as applicable to the circumstances of the reported incident.

The affected party will be invited to meet with a representative of the OEC (and/or DOS, for students) to consider the affected party’s wishes with respect to supportive measures and any formal complaint, and to answer any questions concerning the University’s applicable policies or procedures. 

Important notes

  • For the purposes of the Comprehensive Policy, reports are distinctly different than formal complaints. It's important to understand the differences before taking any action.
  • A report can be submitted anonymously.
  • report will NOT automatically generate a notification to the reported individual.
  • report will NOT automatically initiate an investigation or discipline.

Contact any staff member in the Office for Equity & Compliance for more information.

File an ERP Complaint

ERP COMPLAINTS are formal complaints of any alleged discrimination, sexual misconduct, retaliation, or other related offenses under the Comprehensive Policy.

USE FOR initiating the University’s intervention to investigate, adjudicate, or otherwise resolve an incident of alleged misconduct, regardless of where the incident occurred.

Next steps: A written Notice of Investigation ("NOI") letter will be provided to each party. NOIs include a summary of the allegations, including (if known) the identity of the parties involved, the nature of the alleged misconduct, the date and location of the alleged incident(s) (if known), the specific policies implicated, a description of the applicable University procedures, a reminder that retaliation is prohibited, and a statement of the potential sanctions that could result. NOIs also identify the assigned investigator and provide parties the opportunity to raise any concerns regarding a conflict of interest before the parties are contacted by the investigator.

ERP investigations include the thorough and impartial collection, review, and analysis of all available evidence by one or more impartial investigators, and concludes with the investigator making a finding of either “responsible” or “not responsible” for each alleged violation based on the application of the Comprehensive Policy to the evidenced facts.

Important notes

  • An ERP complaint must be filed by the affected party, who becomes a "complainant" upon filing.
  • An ERP complaint cannot be filed anonymously.
  • Any respondent reported through an ERP complaint will be informed of the allegations made in the complaint. The respondent must be a Loyola student, faculty, or staff member.
  • An ERP complaint may lead to a formal investigation or, in limited circumstances, an informal resolution.
  • An ERP complaint may be filed for any alleged misconduct under the Comprehensive Policy EXCEPT for allegations that meet the definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment - those are covered by Grievance Process Complaints.

Contact any staff member in the Office for Equity & Compliance for more information.

File a Grievance Process Complaint

GRIEVANCE PROCESS COMPLAINTS are formal complaints of alleged misconduct that meet the narrow definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment.

USE FOR initiating the University’s intervention to investigate, adjudicate, or otherwise resolve an incident of alleged Title IX sexual harassment.

Next steps: Upon receipt of a Grievance Process complaint, the OEC will provide written notice to the parties who are known, informing the parties of the Comprehensive Policy and the applicability of the Grievance Process to the allegations. This notice includes the allegations that may constitute Title IX sexual harassment as defined under the Comprehensive Policy, as well as sufficient details for the respondent to prepare a response before any initial interview.

Investigations pursuant to a Grievance Process complaint include the thorough and impartial collection of all available evidence by one or more impartial investigators and concludes with the investigator producing and presenting a Final Investigation Report to the parties for their review and preparation before a hearing. As required by Title IX, the Grievance Process provides for a mandatory live hearing. If a hearing results in one or more findings of responsibility for a respondent having violated the Comprehensive Policy, the matter will proceed to sanctioning determination.

Important notes

  • A Grievance Process complaint must be filed by the affected party, who becomes a "complainant" upon filing. At the time of filing a Grievance Process complaint, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the University’s education program or activity.
  • A Grievance Process complaint cannot be filed anonymously.
  • Any respondent identified in a Grievance Process complaint will be informed of the allegations made in the complaint. The respondent must be a Loyola student, faculty, or staff member.
  • Grievance Process complaint will lead to a formal investigation and live hearing or, in limited circumstances, an informal resolution.

Contact any staff member in the Office for Equity & Compliance for more information.

Anonymous Reporting

The University understands that for various reasons an affected party may prefer to report anonymously or to share only limited information. Any individual may report an incident anonymously using the online reporting form. Depending on the nature of the anonymous report and the information provided, anonymous reports may still prompt the EDEC to file a formal complaint and investigate according to the ERP or Grievance Process. However, it should be noted that the University’s ability to offer and/or provide supportive measures, investigate the alleged incident(s), impose sanctions, provide appropriate remedies, and otherwise respond to a report is limited in cases where no affected party or complainant is identified.

Reporting Obligations for Responsible Campus Partners

With very limited exceptions, all Loyola faculty and staff employees must report any known, disclosed, alleged, or otherwise reported (formally or informally) incidents of sexual misconduct that satisfy any of the following criteria:

  • Sexual misconduct against any individual who is currently a minor* by any individual
  • Sexual misconduct against an individual who is or was a student at the time of the incident
  • Sexual misconduct by an individual who is or was a student or employee (faculty or staff) at the time of the incident

Faculty and staff employees and others with such a duty are referred to as “responsible campus partners,” and are to report such incidents within 24 hours of becoming aware of the incident. In order not to betray the trust of any student or other affected party, responsible campus partners should be forthright and transparent about this obligation at all times.

More information about this reporting obligation, including exceptions, can be found here.

*For purposes of the Comprehensive Policy, “minor” means any student under 18 years of age and any non-student guests or visitors under 18 years of age at any University-sponsored or affiliated program – including camps, community programs, and special events. All employees of Loyola University Chicago are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect under Illinois’ Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5, Section 4).

Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty (Students only)

Loyola encourages students to report all incidents of discrimination, sexual misconduct, and retaliation. Sometimes, students in particular may be hesitant to report such matters to University officials or participate in resolution processes because they fear that they themselves may become subject to disciplinary action for their own misconduct, such as an underage student who was drinking alcohol when they were sexually assaulted. To encourage reporting and alleviate such barriers, Loyola maintains the Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty Protocol, which offers protections against some disciplinary action for certain students who come forward to report or otherwise assist with crises involving sexual misconduct and other specific circumstances.

More information about the Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty Protocol can be found in the Community Standards.