The University recognizes that it is important to take into account the needs of students, some of whom may prefer not to go through an investigative resolution. Adaptable resolution is a voluntary, remedies-based, structured interaction between or among affected parties that balances support and accountability without formal disciplinary action against a Respondent. Adaptable resolution is generally designed to allow a Respondent to acknowledge harm and accept responsibility for repairing harm (to the extent possible) experienced by the Complainant and/or the University community. Adaptable resolution is designed to eliminate the Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects in a manner that meets the needs of the Complainant while maintaining the safety of the campus community.

A. CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH ADAPTABLE RESOLUTION MAY BE USED

The Title IX Coordinator reviews the matter to the extent necessary to confirm that it is of the type that would be appropriate for an adaptable resolution process and that use of an adaptable resolution process was without pressure or compulsion from others. The adaptable resolution options available under this Policy recognize:

  • The goal of adaptable resolution is to address the Prohibited Conduct, identify ways that individuals and/or the community have been harmed, and develop a resolution agreement to address the harm and prevent future Prohibited Conduct;

  • Participation is voluntary and both a Complainant and a Respondent, as well as any other participating individuals, must consent in writing to participation in adaptable resolution;

  • The written consent will inform the Complainant and the Respondent that either can request to end adaptable resolution at any time and pursue an investigative resolution. The written consent will also inform parties that information gathered and utilized in adaptable resolution by and between the parties cannot be used in any other University process, including investigative resolution, if adaptable resolution ends and investigative resolution begins or resumes;

  • The University will not pressure or compel a Complainant to engage in mediation, to directly confront the Respondent, or to participate in any particular form of adaptable resolution;

  • Prohibited Conduct affects Complainants, Respondents, witnesses, friends, community members, family members, and others;

  • Complainants, Respondents, and other participants in adaptable resolution often benefit when resolution processes and outcomes are tailored to meet their unique needs and interests;

  • Complainants and other participants in adaptable resolution may find it useful to meet with a Respondent who acknowledges the substance of the underlying events and who acknowledges that Complainants or participants have reported experiencing harm as a result;

  • Structured interactions between participants can facilitate long-term healing and reduce recidivism; and

  • Participants in adaptable resolution processes must be protected from secondary victimization and other potential harms, including the pressure to proceed through adaptable resolution instead of investigative resolution.

B. ADAPTABLE RESOLUTION OPTIONS

The adaptable resolution options will be enabled by a trained coordinator within OSCR (the adaptable resolution coordinator). See page 20 for more information about OSCR. The adaptable resolution coordinator must be impartial and free from bias or conflict of interest. If the adaptable resolution coordinator has concerns that he or she cannot facilitate a fair or unbiased process, the adaptable resolution coordinator may report those concerns to the OSCR Director and a different adaptable resolution coordinator will be assigned to the appeal. Similarly, a Complainant, a Respondent, or any other participant who has concerns that the assigned adaptable resolution coordinator cannot enable a fair and unbiased process, may report those concerns to the OSCR Director who will assess the circumstances and determine whether a different adaptable resolution coordinator should be assigned to the adaptable resolution process.

With approval from the Title IX Coordinator, after consultation and intake with the adaptable resolution coordinator, the Complainant and the Respondent may voluntarily agree on the process that best meets the interests and needs of the parties. Adaptable resolution may include one or more of the following restorative approaches:

  • Facilitated Dialogue: A structured and facilitated conversation between two or more individuals, most often the Complainant, the Respondent, and/or other community members. The focus is often on providing a space for voices to be heard and perspectives to be shared. Depending on stated interests, the participants may sometimes work towards the development of a shared agreement, although working towards an agreement is not always the intended outcome.

  • Restorative Circle or Conference Process: A facilitated interaction where the individuals who have experienced harm can come together with an individual(s) who assumes responsibility for repairing the harm (to the extent possible). A circle or conference may include multiple members of the community to explore individual and community impact, harm, obligations, and opportunity for repairing them. Parties must agree on all those who will be present.

  • Shuttle Negotiation: An indirect, facilitated conversation individually with the Complainant, the Respondent, and/or other participants to discuss experience and perspective and explore interests while working towards meeting expressed needs. This negotiated process does not require direct interaction between the parties or the parties and other participants, but rather, independently, with a coordinator.

  • Circle of Accountability (COA): A facilitated interaction between the Respondent and University faculty and/or staff designed to provide accountability, structured support, and the development of a learning plan. The focus of a COA is to balance support and accountability for an individual who has acknowledged their obligation to repair harm and willingness to engage in an educational process. The COA model does not require participation from the Complainant, but as with other types of adaptable resolution, it must be voluntary for the Complainant and the Respondent.

Measures that may be agreed to as a result of the resolution process may include:

  • Alcohol education classes for the Respondent;

  • Regular meetings with an appropriate University individual, unit, or resource;

  • Permanent extension of a no contact directive;

  • Restriction from participation in specific clubs and/or organizations;

  • Respondent restriction from participation in particular events;

  • Respondent completion of an educational plan with regular meetings with the adaptable;

    resolution coordinator or other appropriate University staff or faculty member; and

  • Counseling sessions for the Respondent.

Individuals who wish to participate in an adaptable resolution process must have successfully completed preparatory meetings with an appropriate staff member(s) within OSCR, who will assist students with coordination of adaptable resolution.

Individuals may be accompanied by an adviser at any meetings related to the adaptable resolution process. Information shared or obtained during adaptable resolution will be treated as private to the extent permitted by law and will not result in subsequent disciplinary actions by the University.

C. ADAPTABLE RESOLUTION AGREEMENTS

Any agreements reached in adaptable resolution must be documented by the adaptable resolution coordinator and approved by the Title IX Coordinator to ensure consistency with the University’s Title IX obligations. An agreement will not be considered valid if the Title IX Coordinator does not approve it.

If the Title IX Coordinator or designee approves an agreement after the parties have voluntarily reached consensus as to its terms, the Respondent will be required to comply with the agreement. Failure to comply with the agreement may result in a violation of the Code of Conduct. If no agreement is reached, the matter may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for further action. Once the Title IX Coordinator approves an agreement, the parties are bound by its terms and cannot return to investigative resolution.

To fairly assess pattern or systemic behavior, the Title IX Coordinator will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for adaptable resolution. The time frame for completion of adaptable resolution may vary, but the University will seek to initiate action within thirty (30) calendar days of the initial assessment.

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