Letter: UC Davis Title IX officer responds to “Progress in reshaping the hunting ground”

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

Chief Compliance Officer Wendi Delmendo

After reading “Progress in reshaping the hunting ground,” I would like to applaud ASUCD Sen. Anastasia Ruttkay for the work she has done to help educate her fellow students and contribute to sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention efforts in our community. Active participation by all members of the UC Davis community is key to prevention.

I thought Aggie readers would appreciate knowing more about what happens once the Title IX Office receives an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual violence. It’s important to note that the procedures the university follows are separate from the procedures followed by law enforcement.  Students can elect to file a report with UC Davis, law enforcement, both or neither.

When an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual violence is received by the Title IX Office:

 

  1. The person filing the complaint is promptly informed of the campus and community support resources available to them. If warranted, interim protections are put in place for their safety and that of the community.
  2. All reports are promptly reviewed, and a formal investigation is initiated whenever we have sufficient information and jurisdiction to do so. The investigations are conducted by full-time university investigators, and usually involve interviews with the complainant, respondent and any relevant witnesses, and can also include reviews of electronic communication, social media posts, security-camera footage and other relevant documentation.  
  3. At the completion of the investigation, the investigator prepares and submits a thorough report detailing the findings about the factual allegations and, based on those findings, addressing whether university policy was violated. If a policy violation is found, the matter is referred for disciplinary action.

 

By university policy, investigations into sexual violence or sexual harassment allegations against students are completed within 50 business days unless there is good cause for an extension. We recognize that waiting for the completion of an investigation can be stressful. However, we owe it to everyone involved to conduct a thorough review.

We all understand, too, that reporting sexual violence is a deeply personal decision. There are confidential support services available for sexual violence survivors that can provide information about campus resources and reporting processes. Confidential victim advocates are available on campus through CARE, and other confidential resources are available through Student Health and Counseling Services, the WRRC and the LGBTQIA Resources Center.

  More information about the university’s sexual violence prevention and response program can be found at sexualviolence.ucdavis.edu.

 

Written by: Wendi Delmendo — Chief Compliance Officer and Title IX Officer