If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct, you should promptly report incident(s) to the University's Title IX Coordinators and to the University Police Department. Instances of sexual misconduct may violate both the University's sexual misconduct policy and the law. As a result, the University encourages victims to pursue their complaints through both the University's process for sexual misconduct and through the criminal justice system. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department (UABPD) which can be reached at (205) 934-4434, can explain the procedures for pursuing a criminal investigation of sexual misconduct. The UABPD will investigate every incident reported to police to determine if a crime has been committed. The criminal investigation is independent from any investigation undertaken by the Title IX Coordinators under this policy.
Regardless of whether a victim decides to pursue a criminal investigation, the University's Title IX Coordinators will take immediate steps to investigate the complaint, to protect the victim, and to ensure the safety of the campus community. If a criminal complaint is filed in addition to the University complaint, the University will continue implementing its own procedures regardless of the timeline of the criminal proceedings or their outcome.
If a case involves underage drinking, the University shall not charge the following individuals with a violation of the University's alcohol policy: the victim, the witnesses, and other individuals reporting, in good faith, incidents and/or assisting victims of sexual misconduct.
How Do I Report Sexual Misconduct?
Seeking Immediate Assistance: If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct, please contact the University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department, reachable 24 hours a day at (205) 934-3535.
As soon as faculty and staff become aware of possible sexual misconduct, they must report and students are strongly encouraged to report the incident(s) to one of the University's Title IX Coordinators.
For cases involving students, either as the victim or the accused, contact:
Emily Feinstein, Title IX Deputy Coordinator and Director of Student Engagement at (205) 975-9509 firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Marsch, Title IX Coordinator and Assistant Vice President for Student Life (205) 934-4175 or email@example.com.
For cases involving faculty or staff as the victim, contact:
Andy Marsch, Title IX Coordinator and Assistant Vice President for Student Life (205) 934-4175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Is The Role of The Title IX Coordinators?
The Title IX Coordinators seek first and foremost to ensure that the victim is safe and that the campus community is protected. They will meet with the victim of the reported sexual misconduct, known as the "complainant." The Title IX Coordinators are trained in college sexual misconduct and will provide expert and empathetic counsel to the complainant.
The Title IX Coordinators' responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Ensuring the prompt and thorough investigation of any Title IX complaint or question from a student at the University;
- Establishing processes to identify and address patterns or systemic problems that may arise during the investigation of a Title IX complaint from a student;
- Ensuring that the University has in place policies and procedures reasonably necessary to foster compliance with Title IX, including, but not limited to grievance procedures for Title IX complaints from students;
- Ensuring that appropriate school officials receive training regarding Title IX, including reporting and responding to possible incidents of discrimination or sexual harassment;
- Implementing educational programs and communication plans designed to inform students of their rights under Title IX and how to file a Title IX complaint; and
- Meeting with students who wish to file a Title IX complaint or raise a question relating to Title IX.
How Do The Title IX Coordinators Handle a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct?
The Title IX Coordinator will provide the following to the complainant:
- Resources on campus and within the Birmingham community, including counseling services. A complete list of resources is available at the University's Guide for Victims of Sexual Assault
- The investigation process and University procedures for pursuing a formal complaint against a student, faculty member, staff member, or third party, including the University's protections from retaliation;
- The University's obligation to treat both the complainant and the accused individual fairly;
- The University's obligation to promptly investigate the reported sexual misconduct;
- The complainant's right to pursue criminal action in addition to the University of Alabama at Birmingham's conduct process; and
- Possible academic and housing accommodations or other measures designed to assure the complainant's well-being, including "no contact" orders.
When a report of possible sexual misconduct is made, the Title IX Coordinator will commence an investigation. As part of that investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will interview the accused individual, and other possible witnesses. The Title IX Coordinator will also gather other relevant information or documents. In general, the Title IX Coordinators will investigate promptly and the investigation will take no longer than sixty (60) days, unless extenuating circumstances necessitate a longer time frame.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will share his or her findings with the complainant and the accused individual. The Title IX Coordinator will also determine whether a formal complaint is warranted.1
If a formal complaint is warranted and the accused individual is a student, the Title IX Coordinator shall refer the matter to the appropriate hearing officer in the Office of Student Engagement. The matter will then be handled in accordance with the University's Non-Academic Conduct Code.
If a formal complaint is warranted and the accused individual is a faculty or staff member, a contractor or vendor to the University, or another third party, the complaint shall be referred to the University's Assistant Vice President for Student Life. The matter will then be handled in accordance with the University's Sexual Harassment Policy and Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy.
Based on the complainant's report, the Title IX Coordinators or UABPD may determine that a serious or continuing threat possibly exists and may release either an "emergency notification" or a "timely warning." Emergency notifications must be issued immediately upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation and timely warnings must be issued if the crime is considered by the institution to represent a serious or continuing threat. The complainant's name will never be included in emergency notifications or timely warnings.
What if I Want to Keep Things Confidential or Do Not Want to Pursue a Formal Complaint?
In cases in which the complainant chooses to keep his/her name, the name of the accused person, and other information confidential or decides not to file a formal complaint of sexual misconduct against a student, faculty member, staff member, or other third party, the Title IX Coordinator will gather as much information as possible about the sexual misconduct complaint(s). The University will respond to this information in pursuit of protecting the campus community while seeking to respect the complainant's request for confidentiality. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the complainant that keeping the complainant's name confidential or declining to identify the accused individual may limit the University's ability to thoroughly investigate the sexual misconduct complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will also inform the complainant that in some cases it may not be possible to ensure confidentiality.
After gathering information from the complainant and incorporating the complainant's request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will work with University officials to determine whether any of the following actions are appropriate to protect the campus community from any possible ongoing threat:
- Take steps to protect the complainant, including interim measures such as issuing a "no contact order" or a "no trespass order" as the investigation is ongoing;
- Take steps to prevent or address retaliation, which is prohibited under Title IX and the Non-Academic Code of Conduct; and
- Determine if enough evidence exists to warrant an investigation without the complainant's cooperation.
At the complainant's request and upon review by and approval of the Title IX Coordinator, certain complaints of sexual harassment or stalking may be resolved informally through the procedures set forth in the University's policy prohibiting discrimination against students. Informal resolution is not available for misconduct involving non-consensual sexual contact or non-consensual sexual intercourse, or serious incidents of sexual exploitation, sexual harassment or stalking. The Title IX Coordinator will advise a complainant if the informal resolution procedures are available in a particular matter.
How Do I Pursue a Formal Complaint of Sexual Misconduct?
Any employee with knowledge of sexual misconduct by a student (hereafter "accused student"), faculty member, staff member, or third party ("accused person") must file a formal complaint in writing (email suffices) or in person with a Title IX Coordinator. Any student with knowledge of sexual misconduct by a student, faculty member, staff member, or third party is strongly encouraged to file a formal complaint in writing (email suffices) or in person with a Title IX Coordinator.
In cases involving an accused student, the procedures set forth in this policy and the Non-Academic Code of Conduct shall apply. In cases in which the accused person is a faculty member, staff member, or third party, the procedures set forth in the University's Sexual Harassment Policy and Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy involving faculty or staff shall apply.
The formal complaint procedures for sexual misconduct charges involving students are handled by the Non-Academic Code of Conduct hearing process.
How Does the University Handle Retaliation Against Someone Who Brings a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct or Participates in the Investigation or Hearing Process?
All members of the University community, including faculty, staff, and students, who have a good faith concern regarding possible sexual misconduct are expected to report such concerns to the Title IX Coordinators and/or the University Police Department.
The University prohibits retaliation or retribution, in any form, against an individual who reports, in good faith, an actual, potential, or suspected violation of this sexual misconduct policy. As used in this policy, reporting "in good faith" means the individual making the report has a reasonable basis to believe that there has been or may have been a violation of this sexual misconduct policy. Individuals who make frivolous or false reports shall not be deemed to be acting in good faith.
Anyone who engages in or attempts to engage in retaliation or retribution against an individual who reports, in good faith, an actual, potential or suspected violation of this sexual misconduct policy shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University.
1If the Title IX Coordinator determines that a formal complaint is not warranted, the complainant may still file a complaint directly with the applicable hearing officer under the University's Non-Academic Conduct Code or the University's Policy on Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Involving faculty or staff.