Info for the Respondent
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, this may be a confusing and overwhelming time. The investigation process can be stressful. Therefore, UConn provides a number of support resources that can help you understand the investigation process and provide support. If UConn conducts an investigation, you will have the opportunity to provide your full story to the investigators. Also, it is important for you to keep in mind that any act of retaliation against any person for making a report or participating in an investigation is strictly prohibited.
The rights of the person accused of sexual assault and the person reporting a sexual assault are set forth in detail in The Student Code.
In addition, the following offices can offer assistance and support during this time.
Student Health and Wellness – Mental Health
Therapist on call 24/7: 860-486-4705
Office hours 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday – Friday
Arjona Building, 337 Mansfield Road, Storrs
Department of Residential Life
RA’s and Hall Directors are on call 24/7 during the academic year / 860-486-2926
Whitney Hall, Garden Level
1346 Storrs Road, Storrs
Investigation Process Information for Respondents
|What to Expect in a Community Standards Student Investigation
The investigation process begins when Community Standards receives a report of sexual violence.
The first thing to expect are some terms and words used by the Investigator: you are the respondent/responding student (because you are responding to a report); the other student is the complainant/reporting student (since they made the report to the University). The second thing to expect is that you continue to have choices in this process: you can choose to stop participating at any time. Also, at no point in Community Standard’s investigation process will you be asked to appear for any meeting at which the reporting student is present. Although the investigation is not confidential, it is treated in a private and discreet manner.
How does the investigation start?
In an investigation, the Investigator’s focus is to gather as much information as possible: from you, from the reporting student, and from any other individual who might have relevant information. The Investigator will start with the reporting student. They will be asked to provide information through a written statement or an in-person interview.
When am I notified?
Next, Community Standards will notify you that a report was made and that an investigation has been initiated. You will be asked to schedule a meeting with an Investigator and learn about the investigation process, your options, and the nature of allegations.
Do I have to meet with Community Standards alone?
No. You can have a support person of your choosing during any meeting with Community Standards.
My guardians have questions that they want to ask you. Can they speak with you?
Yes, but you need to make sure that you give us permission to speak to them—you have privacy rights under FERPA, so you need to fill out a form that allows Community Standards to speak with your guardians. The Investigator will give you a form that you can sign in the initial meeting, or you can email the Investigator from your @uconn.edu address and give the Investigator permission. You can waive FERPA for anyone that you want Community Standards to speak with: your parents or other family members, an attorney, a faculty member who you are turning to for support.
If you don’t waive your FERPA rights, Community Standards will provide only general information related to our investigation process.
In the meeting, the Investigator told me that Community Standards was issuing an Interim Measure/Interim Action. What are those?
Interim Measures are enacted to remedy the impacts of an alleged incident of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking. This includes modifications to academic, living, or working situations. This also includes University No-Contact Letters .
Interim Actions are enacted when the information about an incident of sexual violence raises concerns about the safety of the community or its members as defined by The Student Code.
If an Interim Measure and/or Interim Action has been issued, it does not mean that an investigation decision has been made, only that the information that Community Standards has received so far supports these as an appropriate response. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Interim Measures/Interim Actions are revisited to determine if they are still necessary.
When will I have an opportunity to share my side of the story?
After you are notified of the allegation and investigation, you will have the opportunity to submit a written statement or participate in an in-person interview. If you participate in an in-person interview, the Investigator will send a written summary of that meeting to you to review for accuracy.
What other information is the Investigator gathering?
The Investigator will identify and speak with other people, either those people that you or the reporting student named as being important for the investigator to speak with, or people that we learn about during the course of our investigation. At all times, the Investigator is gathering as much information as possible about the incident(s). This includes relevant text messages, phone logs, social media exchanges, emails, Investigator visits to the location where the incident(s) occurred and more – whatever you or anyone else involved is able to share and whatever the Investigator independently is able to gather.
As the Investigator is collecting all of this information, he or she may need to return to you, the reporting student, or a witness to ask follow-up questions. The Investigator will try to minimize the number of times he or she needs you to speak about your experience, but in the course of the investigation, certain moments or details become very important and additional information may be needed.
Because the investigation process can be stressful, the Investigator will continue to refer you to support resources on campus and in the community.
How does the Investigator make a finding? And how will I find out about it?
The Investigator will review all of the information gathered during the investigation and determine if there are any behaviors that would violate The Student Code .
The Investigator will make findings on whether there is a preponderance of evidence—whether it is more likely than not—that you committed behaviors that could be considered an act of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking in violation of The Student Code. When the findings are complete, you will be contacted and given the outcome. Community Standards will separately contact the complainant and separately provide them with the outcome. Community Standards also will determine and issue sanctions.
If Community Standards does not find evidence of behaviors that violate The Student Code, the process ends.
What does the Community Standards process look like after a violation finding?
Community Standards will determine the appropriate method of resolution. If an administrative hearing is required, it is typically conducted within fifteen (15) business days of your being notified of the hearing and allegations. The hearing will be conducted in private, and neither party is required to attend. If both parties wish to attend, arrangements can be made so that the reporting student and responding student are not required to be in the same room during the hearing, if either of you makes that request.
If you have questions about the Community Standards process, you can learn more at their website or by calling their office at 860-486-8402.