The University recognizes that some individuals may prefer not to go through an investigation. Informal resolution is a voluntary, remedies-based, structured interaction between or among affected Parties that balances support and accountability. Informal Resolution is offered in various forms, but 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. Informal 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. Informal Resolution processes aim to identify and repair harm in the community, restore wellness, and promote communication, engagement, and cooperation.
Informal Resolution options may include the Alternative Process (see Alternative Process Agreement), a Restorative Justice Conference, or a combination of the two.
A Formal Complaint must be filed in order to proceed with an Informal Resolution. A Complainant may request an Informal Resolution at the time of filing a Formal Complaint. Alternatively, either Party may request to halt the investigation and proceed with an Informal Resolution at any point in the investigation process, prior to the start of a hearing. When a party requests Informal Resolution, the Title IX Office will review the matter to confirm that Informal Resolution is appropriate. Participation in an Informal Resolution process is voluntary, and the Parties must consent in writing to participation. The written consent will inform the Parties that they can request to end the Informal Resolution process at any time and pursue or resume an investigation. Information gathered and utilized in Informal Resolution cannot be used in any other University process, including a formal investigation, if Informal Resolution ends unsuccessfully. If Informal Resolution efforts are unsuccessful and the Complaint is not dismissed pursuant to section VIII.F., the investigation and/or disciplinary process will resume.
All Informal Resolution processes must result in a written agreement, and all agreements must be documented and approved by the Title IX Office to ensure consistency with the University’s Title IX obligations. Upon approval of the Informal Resolution Agreement, the disciplinary process will be concluded, the matter will be closed and both Parties will be provided with written notice of the resolution. The Parties are bound by the terms of the Informal Resolution Agreement and they cannot request a formal investigation of the same matter. A party’s failure to comply with the Informal Resolution Agreement may result in a violation of the Code of Student Conduct or other applicable University policies, and details regarding the underlying matter may be considered in sanctioning.