Guidance on Filing a Complaint

Pursuing a Complaint

Complaints may be pursued with the Yale Police, the Title IX Coordinators, and the University-Wide Committee–all of whom receive comprehensive annual training on relevant laws, regulations, and disciplinary codes; the dynamics and patterns of sexual misconduct; the importance of confidentiality, fair process, and impartiality; safety considerations when determining interim measures; and appropriate criminal and disciplinary sanctions. These officials coordinate closely to streamline complaint processes. In the absence of an acute threat to individual or community safety, you may decide which among the available options you wish to pursue. These options are not mutually exclusive. Whichever path(s) you choose, you have the right to have an advisor present at every stage. SHARE staff members are commonly chosen as advisors, but you may select whomever you wish to fill this role. Respondents also have the right to an advisor of their choice. All proceedings are designed to be fair, prompt, and impartial.

Title IX Coordinators

Any Title IX Coordinator can resolve complaints and assist with informal remedies. The Title IX Coordinators do not conduct formal hearings but may investigate complaints and work with the complainant and the respondent to achieve resolution of the complaint. In cases involving faculty and staff respondents, a Title IX resolution may result in reassignment, employment limitations, warning, reprimand, probation, suspension, and termination as possible sanctions. The standard used for determinations is the “preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., if it is more likely than not that misconduct occurred).

University-Wide Committee: Formal Complaint

As the primary disciplinary board for addressing complaints of sexual misconduct, the University-Wide Committee utilizes an independent fact-finder to gather evidence and then holds a hearing to determine whether a violation of University policy has occurred, based on the “preponderance of the evidence” standard (i.e., if it is more likely than not that such a violation occurred). Advisers may accompany the complainant and respondent at every stage, but they may not speak during interviews with a fact-finder or during a formal hearing. All notifications from the UWC will be provided in writing to both parties at the same time.

Normally, the formal complaint process takes about 60 days. The chair may extend the process if necessary due to illness, holidays, the absence of witnesses from campus, the complexity of the case, or competing demands on UWC members or decision makers. UWC sanctions can include mandated training, reprimand, probation, suspension, and termination/expulsion.

The full UWC procedures are available online at http://provost.yale.edu/uwc/procedures. There is also a set of videos made by and for undergraduates that offer an accessible overview for anyone in the community; these are available at http://cce.yalecollege.yale.edu/.

Yale Police

The Yale Police Department has sworn police officers with full powers of law enforcement and arrest who receive advanced training in crimes of interpersonal violence. They can assist in determining whether the conduct experienced was criminal in nature, and launch an investigation accordingly. If an incident occurs outside the YPD’s jurisdiction, the YPD can assist in contacting the appropriate alternative law enforcement agency. Criminal proceedings use “beyond a reasonable doubt” as the standard of evidence.