A complainant may determine after filing a complaint that he or she does not wish to pursue resolution of the complaint through the University, or that he or she wants his or her identity to remain confidential. The University takes such requests seriously. However, such requests may limit the University’s ability to respond to a complaint.
Title IX requires the University to evaluate the request(s) that a complaint not be adjudicated or that the complainant’s identity be kept confidential in the context of the University’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and nondiscriminatory environment and the fairness of the respondent to be informed of the allegations and their source. In the case of confidentiality, some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the University will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible.
In order to evaluate a request not to pursue a complaint or for anonymity, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged sexual misconduct, the complainant’s age, circumstances that suggest there is an increased risk of the respondent committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence (e.g., whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same respondent, whether the respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence, whether the respondent threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the student or others, and whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators), whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon; whether the school possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence, and the respondent ’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the University as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA; see Sec. 3.8.).
The Title IX coordinator is responsible for making determinations concerning requests not to pursue a complaint or for confidentiality. If the Title IX coordinator determines that it must disclose a complainant’s identity to a respondent, it will inform the complainant prior to making this disclosure. Even when the University is in receipt of a request not to pursue an investigation, Title IX requires the University to take reasonable action in response to the information known to it; thus, the University may take such measures and impose such discipline as are deemed necessary by the Title IX coordinator.
It should once again be noted that Title IX includes protections against retaliation, and the University will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but also take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.