Title IX FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions 

While every situation is unique, please see below for frequently asked questions related to the Title IX process here at RWU and our resources.  

Title IX Policy and Procedures

Campus and Community Resources

Title IX Hearings

Sexual Misconduct vs. Title IX

Rights of the Respondent


Title IX Policy and Procedures 

If I report, does the other party automatically know I reported?  

No, reporting the incident to the college and meeting with the Title IX Coordinator or their deputy does NOT automatically mean the other party will be notified. If you File a Formal Complaint through the Title IX office, that is when the other party involved will be notified.  

Do I have to file a formal complaint to receive accommodation? 

No! You will be able to work with the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy to determine what accommodations would be appropriate for your particular case.  

What if I don’t fully remember what happened? 

That is completely okay! You only have to share what you are comfortable with others. It is completely your choice what you share and with whom. 

If I report what happened, who knows about it? 

This depends on who you report it to. The Counseling Center and Health Services are confidential resources. This means what you share with them, stays with them. Other members of the Roger Williams community are designated as Officials with Authority and are mandated to report the incident to the Title IX coordinator. In the instance of a student reporting to a Resident Assistant (RA), the RA will call their supervisor, or the Community Director on call if after business hours, to aid in providing support resources to the student reporting the incident.  

Why does this have to be reported? 

Title IX incidents are required to be reported to the University according to Federal Law. The main reason a report is required is to ensure the student reporting is supported and is provided resources in moving forward after a Title IX incident.  

What if I don't want this to be reported anymore? 

If you have already filed a formal complaint through the Title IX Office, you can withdraw your complaint at any time. 

What are my options as a complainant? 

You have many options! Please refer to this helpful flow chart for options. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Title IX Office. You do not have to file a formal complaint to talk about your options! 

What will happen to the alleged perpetrator? 

What will happen to the alleged perpetrator (from this point forward referred to as the respondent) depends on if a formal complaint is filed. If the respondent is found responsible, they could receive a disciplinary sanction ranging from “warnings to University dismissal or termination, depending on the magnitude and specifics of the violation”.  

Will my parents find out? 

No. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university is not authorized to share private information concerning the student with other people, including parents unless they have a FERPA Waiver on file for the student. This private information includes, but is not limited to, conduct history, educational status, housing location, etc.  


Campus and Community Resources 

Who should I go to if I want help, but don’t want to submit a formal complaint?  

Regardless of if you submit a formal complaint, the Title IX Office can be a great resource for connecting you with on and off campus support and accommodations.  

What are other Campus Resources I can use if I do not want to talk with the Title IX Office?  

You can go to either the Counseling Center or Health Services if you would like to keep your report confidential. Otherwise, you can speak with any faculty or staff member! Just remember some staff members are required to submit a report if a Title IX incident is reported to them. Some key offices that are trained in Title IX incidents are Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, Public Safety, and Residence Life and Housing.  

What is the difference between Confidential and Non-Confidential Resources? 

A confidential resource is a person or office that will not create a report if a student tells them that a Title IX incident occurred to them or someone they know. What a student tells them stays with them. A non-confidential resource is required to report all incidents of Title IX they are aware of to the university. 

What are some off-campus resources that I would be able to use? 

Please check out our Get Help/Offer Support page for a full list of off-campus resources. Some resources that our students typically use are hospitals, local crisis centers, national hot lines, and law offices.  


Title IX Hearings  

How will a hearing work? 

The Decision-Maker(s) and advisors will ask relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. The Decision-Maker(s) will determine if a question posed by an advisor is relevant prior to the witness/complainant/respondent needing to answer. Once all questions have been asked, both the complainant and respondent will be provided the time to state their closing remarks. The decision from the hearing as well as appeal guidelines will be sent to both the complainant and the respondent once a decision on responsibility has been reached.  

Will I have to be in the same room as the respondent?  

You will not be in the same physical space as the respondent, but the respondent will be able to hear and see you through a zoom call.  

What is the level of proof that is used? 

Preponderance of the evidence is the standard of evidence to be used to determine whether a respondent is responsible for the prohibited conduct alleged in the formal complaint. This is the standard of evidence that will be applied to all formal complaints of prohibited conduct described in the Title IX Policy, regardless of whether the respondent is a student or employee of the institution. This standard is met if the greater weight of the evidence demonstrates that it is “more likely than not” that a violation occurred.  

Do I choose an advisor or is one chosen for me? 

You are entitled to have an advisor of your choice to accompany you to any related meetings or hearings. Additionally, this advisor may, but is not required to be, an attorney. The Title IX Coordinator will provide you with options for staff or faculty members that have completed training to be an advisor, but it is your decision who you choose. If you experience difficulty in finding an advisor, one may be provided to you by the Title IX Office. The University will not pay for any legal fees associated with hiring a lawyer as an advisor.  


Sexual Misconduct vs. Title IX  

What is the difference between it being a sexual misconduct case and a Title IX case? 

Title IX is a federal law that has specific guidelines to be classified as such and is standard across the nation. If it is classified as a Title IX case, then how the case is handled must follow all Title IX guidelines. A sexual misconduct case means it does not fit all the criteria of Title IX legislation, but still violates the University’s standards related to the Student Code of Conduct. To review the Student Code of Conduct, please click this link. 

What happens if my case is dismissed from Title IX? 

Your case could be dismissed by the Title IX Office due to one of the following reasons: “The alleged harassment would not constitute a Title IX violation because it does not meet or could not meet the definition of Title IX sexual harassment as described [in the Title IX legislation] or the alleged harassment did not occur within the jurisdiction and scope required by Title IX.” If this occurs, your case would be forwarded to the *Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution to determine if it violates the University’s Student Code of Conduct. If it does, it will proceed through the Student Conduct Process.  

*For employee matters, case will be referred to Human Resources. 

Who do I talk with if it is a Sexual Misconduct Case? 

You would be able to contact the *Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution to determine the next steps in your case. The best phone number to contact them is: (401)-254-3042. 

*For employee matters, case will be referred to Human Resources, (401) 254-3028. 


Rights of the Respondent 

Am I automatically considered responsible when I am reported as the respondent? 

No! Once a formal complaint has been filed, either a formal hearing process or alternate/informal resolution process will occur. The formal hearing process is described above, and we use the preponderance of the evidence as the level of evidence when determining the responsibility of the respondent. An alternate/informal resolution would be a mediated conversation, or another restorative justice approach, instead of a formal hearing. An alternate/informal resolution can only occur if both the respondent and complainant agree to it.  

What accommodations am I provided during an investigation and hearing? 

You are offered the same supportive measures as the complainant. For example, outreach to professors, a separate room from the complainant, etc.  

If found responsible, what are possible sanctions? 

The sanction will depend on the level of severity of the incident and its effect on the community. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to: 

  • fines and restitution 
  • community service 
  • suspension of privileges 
  • educational intervention 
  • educational / restorative sanctions 
  • conduct warning 
  • conduct probation 
  • suspension from housing 
  • dismissal from housing 
  • university suspension 
  • interim suspension 
  • university dismissal 
  • transcript notation for sanctions of suspension (during the suspension period) 
  • dismissal 

*Any reasonable sanction may be assigned that appropriately promotes the education and development of a student or employee, ensures safety, or otherwise furthers the mission of the University. 

Can I have a lawyer as my advisor? 

Yes you can! The University will not pay for any legal fees associated with hiring a lawyer as an advisor.