Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Complainants

  • What is Prohibited Conduct at UMW?
  • How do I make a report of Prohibited Conduct?
    • Online or anonymous reporting may be done through umw.edu/concerns.
    • You may report directly to the Office of Title IX by contacting the Interim Title IX Coordinator, Terri Arthur, at tix@umw.edu, tlockhar@umw.edu, or (540) 654-2051, or by contacting one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators listed above.
  • What happens after I make a report?
    • After you make a report, the Office of Title IX will contact you to discuss your report and UMW’s policies and procedures.
  • I don’t want to file a police report; can I still meet with someone in the Office of Title IX?
    • The Title IX process is separate from any criminal legal options.  You do not have to file a police report to meet with someone in the Office of Title IX or seek university accommodations.  Please note that under Virginia law, the University is required to notify the police if a felony is reported.
  • If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?
    • Complainants or witnesses of Prohibited Conduct may have been using alcohol or other drugs at the time of the incident and might fear that they will be held accountable or “get into trouble” for violating UMW’s policies related to alcohol or drugs, or other aspects of the Code of Conduct, if they report the Prohibited Conduct. Recognizing the potentially devastating impact of Prohibited Conduct on not just the individual but the UMW community, UMW may grant limited amnesty to the student(s) from drug, alcohol, and other student conduct policies if their behavior did not put other individuals at risk.
  • Where can I find the University policies and procedures on sexual harassment and sexual violence?
  • Will my report remain confidential?
    • UMW is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in any report of Prohibited Conduct and its resolution under the Policy including but not limited to supportive measures and resolutions under the Policy. With respect to any report of Prohibited Conduct, UMW will make reasonable efforts to protect the confidentiality of participants while balancing the need to gather information to assess the report and take steps to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent is recurrence, and remedy its effects.  For the purposes of the Policy, confidentiality has a distinct meaning.  Confidentiality means that information related to a report of Prohibited Conduct and its resolution under this Policy will be shared with a limited circle of UMW employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report.  This definition of confidentiality is distinct from the meaning of confidentiality for the purposes of laws that protect certain relationships, including with medical and clinical care providers, mental health providers, counselors, and ordained clergy, all of whom may engage in confidential communications under Virginia law.  These communications may also be referred to as privileged communications when a legally recognized privilege exists.
  • Will my parents or family be told?
    • The Office of Title IX will not contact the parents or family of anyone involved in a Prohibited Conduct investigation unless they are a witness with relevant information in cases of an investigation. Further, if a parent or family member contacts the Office of Title IX, we will not speak to them about a Prohibited Conduct matter without the permission of the student involved.  Information about Title IX for parents and families is available on UMW’s website.
  • What if I need academic support?
    • If either party requests academic support, the Office of Title IX may reach out to faculty on their behalf.
    • Academic support requests may include: arranging for the student to make up coursework or exams, identifying an alternative to a specific assignment or exam, allowing the student to withdraw, re-take, or have extra time to complete the course or its requirements without an academic or financial penalty.
  • Will my professors be notified that I filed a report?
    • The Office of Title IX will only share limited information needed to effectuate a requested accommodation as the privacy of the parties is paramount. The University will notify the Respondent of any supportive measures that directly impact the Respondent.  Information related to a report of Prohibited Conduct is only shared with a limited number of UMW employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report.
  • What if I’m not sure if I want to pursue an investigation?
    • UMW is committed to taking steps to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. Please contact the Interim Title IX Coordinator, Terri Arthur, at tlockhar@umw.edu or (540) 654-2051, to discuss the investigation process.  When a Complainant requests that an investigation not be initiated, not be continued, or that no disciplinary action be taken, the Title IX Coordinator or designee(s) will consider the totality of the circumstances and the risk factors in the Policy when determining whether an investigation will continue.
  • I am concerned that reporting might make matters worse. Should I still file a report?
    • UMW is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of all types of Prohibited Conduct and timely and fair resolution of complaints. The Office of Title IX can offer reasonable and appropriate supportive measures to protect students while an investigation is ongoing.  These supportive measures may include but are not limited to: mutual no-contact orders, changes to room assignments, academic support, work schedule modifications, other protective measures, and referrals for mental health counseling, health services, and legal assistance.
  • What if I am concerned about retaliation?
    • Retaliation is a violation of UMW’s policy. Retaliation may result in disciplinary or other action independent of the sanctions or supportive measures implemented in response to the underlying allegations of Prohibited Conduct.  If you or someone you know is experiencing or concerned about retaliation, please contact the Interim Title IX Coordinator, Terri Arthur, at tlockhar@umw.edu or (540) 654-2051.
  • Can I bring an advisor to my interview with the investigator?
    • Yes, you may bring an advisor to any meeting, interview, or hearing. Your advisor will not be able to speak on your behalf during the meeting with the investigator, but they can support you throughout the process.
  • Will there be a hearing?
    • In certain cases, there may be a hearing after the investigation. If there will be a hearing for the case, you may bring an advisor with you to assist you throughout the hearing.  If you do not have an advisor for the hearing, the University will provide one.  Please contact the Interim Title IX Coordinator, Terri Arthur, at tlockhar@umw.edu or (540) 654-2051, with questions about the hearing process.
  • Is there an informal resolution option that does not involve an investigation or hearing?
    • In many cases, informal resolution is available. Informal resolution is a flexible process.  Please contact the Interim Title IX Coordinator, Terri Arthur, at tlockhar@umw.edu or (540) 654-2051 to discuss informal resolution options.
  • My friend was the victim of Sexual Assault or other Prohibited Conduct, what should I do?
    • Listen to your friend and be honest with your friend about how much support you can provide. Refer your friend to resources.  A list of on campus and off campus resources and other information can be found in the Gender-Based Violence Resource Guide.  Additionally, realize that you may also be affected and seek counseling if necessary.  Counseling for students is available through UMW’s Talley Center.  For employees, information about the Employee Assistance Program is available online.