Title IX Frequently Asked Questions
SMC Title IX Policy and Procedures
Frequently Asked Questions about Title IX Reporting Options
- ) What shoud I do after experiencing sexual harassment or sexual misconduct?
Seek supportive measures. Supportive measures are available, even if you decide that you don't want to pursue a formal complaint. Supportive measures may eliminate the behaviors you're experiencing, and they can include but are not limited to: a mutual no contact directive, reasonable safety accomodations, changes to on-campus work assignment/ location/ schedule or adjustments to dining hall/ recreation center schedules, etc.
Supportive measures are just one option; however, there are other campus resources and processes available too.
2.) Who should I speak to?
Disclosing experiences of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is taken seriously. All community members have an obligation and responsibility to report knowledge of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. When deciding whom to speak to, consider the private and confidential resources available.
Confidential resources have no obligation to report and include: the Director of the Campus Assault Response Education (CARE) Center, counselors at Counseling and Psychological Servies (CAPS), and a priest in a confessional role. Private resources may have an obligation to report and include: Public Safety, the Dean of Students, and the Director of Community Life.
- What happens after the College has knowledge of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct?
- Can I make an anonymous complaint?
- After a complaint has been made, what happens next?
- Can I bring a support person to meetings related to this process?
- How long can I expect this process to take?
- If I report my assailant, I am afraid that I will be subject to retaliation from him/her or his/her friends. What kinds of protection can Saint Mary’s College provide to me?
- What if I have a relationship with the person who assaulted me?
- Will my parents be told?
- What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
- My assailant lives in my residence hall and/or attends one of my classes. I am also having difficulty concentrating on my schoolwork. How can I change my residence hall and receive help with my courses?
- Will a student be punished when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used alcohol and/or other drugs?
- If I engage in a sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual assault?
- Can I file a complaint with the College and also with the police? Can I do one and not the other?
- How do I file a complaint?
- What is the discipline process for sexual misconduct cases?
- What is the role of the Advisor in a Discipline Hearing Board (DHB) case?
1) What should I do if I or a friend may have been sexually assaulted?
Contact the Campus Assault Response and Education (CARE) hotline at 925-878-9207, 24 hours a day/7 days a week during the regular academic year for support and guidance.
A staff member of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is on call 24/7. During the day you may call 925-631-4364 or after hours, contact Public Safety at 925-631-4282 (or 9-1-1 by landline only) and ask for the CAPS on-call.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The Director of the CARE Center (Augustine Hall, Ground Floor) at 925-631-4193 is available as a confidential resource to help you or your friend get the care you need.
Call Moraga Police at 925-284-5010 to report a possible assault, if comfortable doing so.
If you wish to pursue a complaint against the alleged perpetrator, or if you wish to discuss your options, you should consult with the College’s Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Coordinators here:
2) What should I do if I am uncertain that what I experienced constitutes sexual assault?
If you believe that you have experienced a non-consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the College’s sexual misconduct policy, you can contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on campus, at 925-631-4364 or the Director of the CARE Center (Augustine Hall, Ground Floor) at 925-631-4193 or another trusted administrator who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.
3) Does the complaint remain confidential?
Saint Mary’s College of California shall keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report of sexual harassment to the extent possible to protect the party’s privacy consistent with College Policy, but may disclose information to those who have a legitimate need to know and in order to process complaints under this policy.
When an individual contacts the Campus Assault Response and Education (CARE) Line, no college discipline action will take place unless the individual chooses to give her or his name and the details surrounding the incident. Any reports that include a victim’s name or alleged perpetrator’s name may initiate college action. In order to ensure that students have as many options as possible when utilizing the line, students who are unsure if they would like to move forward with an on-campus discipline hearing board case are encouraged not to reveal their names.
If a student is seeking more personal confidential support from the College rather than the anonymous support that the CARE line offers, they may contact the Director of the CARE Center Megan Gallagher at (925-631-4193). This will give the student time to seek out support, learn their options regarding reporting both on and off campus, without initiating a college disciplinary response. The confidentiality offered through this resource applies only to the student’s communications with the sexual assault counselor and does not preclude the College from fulfilling its obligations to investigate incidents of assault based on information obtained from other sources. It will be important for the student to understand that if the College obtains information through other sources (e.g., roommates, witnesses, parents, friends or others), the College is obligated to act on that information, which may lead to the initiation of an inquiry or other administrative action.
Counselors at the Counseling and Psychological Services (925-631-4364) can offer students, as clients, confidentiality and the information and options available to them.
Information can be shared by students and employees confidentially with a priest on campus, in the context, and under the protection, of the priest-penitent privilege.
4) Can I make a report anonymously?
Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct.
An individual may report the incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the Respondent or requesting any action by contacting the CARE Line at 925-878-9207, or the Director of the CARE Center (Augustine Hall, Ground Floor) at 925-631-4193. This service allows the person making the report and College administrators to confer about additional details, while the reporting party’s identity remains confidential.
Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. All reports will go to the Title IX Coordinator.
5) Do I have to name my assailant?
Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged assailant.
No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint.
Survivors should be aware that not identifying the assailant may limit the College’s ability to respond comprehensively.
6) Will the accused student know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint.
Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the College does provide options for questioning without confrontation. The answer is only no if no specific name or identity is provided. In this situation the issue is counted in the College’s reporting data, but no formal investigation or confrontation can be conducted.
7) If I report my assailant, I am afraid that I will be subject to retaliation from him/her or his/her friends. What kinds of protection can Saint Mary’s College provide to me?
Retaliation is a violation of College policy and may also be a violation the law.
No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, participated, or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this policy.
An allegation of retaliation constitutes an independent basis for investigation and imposition of sanctions on the retaliating student or employee if determined to have occurred. All incidents that are believed to constitute retaliation should be reported immediately to the Dean of Students (when the individual alleged to have engaged in retaliation is a student) or to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources (when the individual alleged to have engaged in retaliation is a non-student).
8) What if I have a relationship with the person who assaulted me?
It is never okay to force, threaten or coerce someone into having sex against his/her will, even if they are in a relationship. Just because you have been intimate with someone in the past does not automatically mean you give consent for any and all future sexual activity.
9) Will my parents be told?
In the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents.
If the student is under age 21, the College has a Parental Notification Policy to enhance campus safety, student health and wellness, and academic success. In accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, the College is permitted to disclose to the parents/guardians of a student who is under age 21 if a true health or safety emergency exists, in order to protect the student or others
10) What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
Do not contact the alleged victim. If you are a student, you must contact the Office of Community Life in Ferroggiaro Hall Room 200, 925-631-4238. The Office of Community Life staff will explain the College’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints and provide the option to select an Advisor from the list of trained Advisors, explain the rights and responsibilities of the Complainant and Respondent, explain the prohibition against retaliation, and explain the Hearing Board process.
If you are an employee, contact Human Resources or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator and seek guidance. You are entitle to utilize an Advisor as support at any stage of the process.
11) My assailant lives in my residence hall and/or attends one of my classes. I am also having difficulty concentrating on my schoolwork. How can I change my residence hall and receive help with my courses?
The Coordinator of Sexual Assault, Awareness, Outreach and Education serves as the primary advocate for students who have been assaulted. The Coordinator will work directly with the Dean of Students to arrange for any residence hall/room changes as well as provide initial assistance with courses (i.e. extensions, switching classes). The Special Assistant to Vice President for Student Academic Rights, Responsibilities, and Institutional Compliance will assist with any courses and communications with professors, but please note that recommendations about courses are at the sole discretion of the professors.
12) Will a student be punished when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used alcohol and/or other drugs?
Saint Mary’s College’s primary concern is the health and safety of its students. When conducting an investigation of an alleged sexual assault, the College’s focus will be on addressing the sexual assault and not the lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. The College may, however, provide referrals to counseling or require other educational options.
13) If I engage in a sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual assault?
Yes, it is against Saint Mary’s College’s Sexual Misconduct policy to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, and therefore incapable of giving consent. Alcohol may cause such a state of incapacitation. However, it varies on a case by case basis. For a variety of reasons it is not advisable to engage in sexual activity while intoxicated. When one or both parties are intoxicated, people tend to misinterpret another’s sexual intentions and often proceed before the issue of consent has been clarified.
14) Can I file a complaint with the College and also with the police? Can I do one and not the other?
Yes, you may take action through both the campus disciplinary system and the criminal justice system. The College encourages Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct that may also be crimes under California law. In every case of sexual violence, the College, through the Chief of Public Safety, will notify the Moraga Police Department of the allegations. The College will also assist a Complainant in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law. However, a Complainant may also choose not to pursue criminal action, and under most circumstances, the Moraga Police Department will not force a Complainant to pursue charges if he/she is not willing to do so.
15) How do I file a complaint?
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail
using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. The College will accept anonymous complaints however the College will be limited in its ability to address the concerns without identifying reporting parties to obtain supporting information.
Complaints of discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, and/or retaliation involving students or student visitors should be reported promptly to:
Title IX Deputy Coordinator:
Travis Mason (For Students)
Associate Dean of Students
Director of Community Life, Student Rights and Responsibilities
Public Safety Department
Emergency: 9-1-1 OR 925-631-4282
General Information/Administration: 925-631-4052
Complaints of discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, and/or retaliation that involve employees (faculty and staff) or visitors to the College (e.g., contractors, vendors, volunteers or non-student guests) should be reported promptly to:
Title IX Deputy Coordinator:
Jenna Johnson (For Employees)
Director of Employee Benefits
Title IX Co-Coordinators
Denise Parish (she/her)
AVP/Chief Human Resources Officer
Angela A. Street
Human Resource Generalist
Public Safety Department
Emergency: 9-1-1 OR 925-631-4282
General Information/Administration: 925-631-4052
Vice Provosts, Deans, Managers, Supervisors
TheTitle IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing Saint Mary’s compliance with this Policy and will determine the appropriate next step for investigation and resolution. All members of the Saint Mary’s community must cooperate fully with the Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Deputy in the fulfillment of her/his responsibilities.
Reports should be brought as soon as possible after the alleged conduct occurs, but may be made at any time. Prompt reporting will enable the College to investigate the facts, determine the issues, and provide an appropriate remedy or disciplinary action. The College shall respond to reports of sexual harassment brought after one year to the greatest extent possible, taking into account the amount of time that has passed since the alleged conduct occurred. Once reported, the Title IX Coordinator and/or his/her designees will provide prompt and equitable resolution.
In addition, individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, based on the protected characteristics listed above and/or retaliation are also free to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to pursue external legal remedies.
16) What is the discipline process for sexual misconduct cases?
Upon receipt of a report or of conduct, whether oral or written, of an alleged violation, the Dean of Students, or designee, or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, or designee, will begin a preliminary investigation and determine if there is enough information to merit a formal investigation and subsequent disciplinary process regarding the allegation. They or a designee, will seperately meet with the complainant and the respondent, if necessary, to explain the investigative process and doan initial inquiry. They will then determmine in a fromal complaint will be filed, and whether the Title IX policy will be applied. Some investiations may not fall under the Title IX policy, but may still constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, or Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook.
17) What is the role of the Advisor in a Discipline Hearing Board (DHB) case?
An Advisor serves to guide the Complainant and Respondent through the investigation, agreed resolution, and/or hearing process and may accompany the student to any meetings associated with the investigation. The Advisor is not an advocate for the student in the proceedings and may not direct questions to or otherwise address the facilitator, Investigator or Disciplinary Hearing Board (DHB), but may consult with the student that they are assisting. The advisor is obligated to maintain the confidentiality of the nature of the allegation(s), the content of the student discipline process, and the privacy of the Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses known to the advisor. A list of individuals who have volunteered and have been trained to serve as advisors in sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment cases is available from the Dean of Students, or designee, to both the Complainant and Respondent. Students are strongly encouraged to choose an advisor to assist them in the student discipline process. It is the student’s decision if they want an advisor and who that advisor will be. Students may be accompanied by an advisor of their own choice and are not limited to the list provided by the Dean of Students or Designee.