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Cornell University Title IX

Promoting Gender Equity at Cornell

Statistics

Statistical Summary of Cornell Policy 6.4 Formal Complaints Against Students During the 2016-2017 Academic Year


Introduction

The Cornell Office of the Title IX Coordinator shares this statistical summary regarding Cornell Policy 6.4 Formal Complaints against students during the 2016-2017 academic year.  The statistics are anonymized consistent with the privacy provision in the policy.  A similar summary published last year regarding 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years (prior to the revision of the policy making procedural changes effective August 1, 2016) is available at http://titleix.cornell.edu/statistics14-16/.

The number of reports of prohibited sexual and related misconduct made to the university have steadily increased over the last three years and continue to do so, as have the number of Formal Complaints filed against students.  Reports increased from 134 in the 2015-2016 academic year to 300 in the 2016-2017 academic year.  Based on the 2017 Campus Survey on Sexual Assault and Related Misconduct (available online at http://share.cornell.edu/cornell-data/2017-campus-survey-on-sexual-assault-and-related-misconduct/), these reports still do not reflect the total number of incidents which occur at Cornell on an annual basis.  Nonetheless, the continued increase in reports is a positive development demonstrating the community’s increased knowledge of university resources and support services and an increased willingness to access those resources.

If you would like to make a report to the Office of the Title IX Coordinator, including an anonymous report, please visit biasconcerns.cornell.edu. To learn more about reporting options, please visit http://titleix.cornell.edu/reporting/.

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Cornell Policy 6.4 Formal Complaints against Students in the 2016-2017 Academic Year

Prohibited student conduct subject to a Formal Complaint under Policy 6.4 in the 2016-2017 academic year included:

  • Aiding Prohibited Conduct
  • Attempting to Commit Prohibited Conduct
  • Dating Violence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Retaliation
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Violating an Interim Measure

Definitions of prohibited conduct are available online at http://titleix.cornell.edu/prohibited-conduct/.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, 37 Formal Complaints of prohibited conduct under Policy 6.4 were made against students in Ithaca-based programs, including Cornell Tech.  The Formal Complaints were made against 18 respondents, 7 of whom were the subject of multiple complaints.  These Formal Complaints were resolved under the Procedures for Resolution of Reports Against Students Under Cornell University Policy 6.4 (“the Procedures”), effective August 1, 2016 (available online at http://titleix.cornell.edu/procedure/).

The table that follows includes anonymized information about each of those 37 Formal Complaints.  The Formal Complaints are presented alphabetically by prohibited conduct.


Numbers of Complainants and Respondents

A person who is the subject of a report or initiates a Formal Complaint of prohibited conduct under Policy 6.4 is designated as the “complainant.”  A student against whom such a report or Formal Complaint has been made is designated as the “respondent.” Both the complainant and respondent are referred to as “party” or “parties.”

The chart below shows the gender and number of parties involved in the 37 Formal Complaints made during the 2016-2017 academic year.


Number of Complaints per Respondent

More than one Formal Complaint can be brought against a single respondent, for example, where there are different complainants or the alleged prohibited conduct arises out of different courses of conduct, possibly on different dates, times, and locations. Furthermore, one Formal Complaint may includse allegations of multiple forms of prohibited conduct where the alleged prohibited conduct involves the same complainant and the same course of conduct.

The following chart shows the number of Formal Complaints against the 18 respondents.


 Processes by Which Complaints were Resolved

At any time after a Formal Complaint has been filed and before a hearing commences, the parties may seek to resolve a report of prohibited conduct through Alternate Resolution, an administrative process.  Participation in Alternate Resolution is entirely voluntary; the Title IX Coordinator will neither pressure nor compel either party to participate in the process or to agree to any specific terms.

If the parties do not elect to participate in the Alternate Resolution process, the Formal Complaints are heard by a hearing panel, in accordance with the Procedures.  However, some complaints do not reach a resolution under university processes, for example, where a complaint is withdrawn by a complainant, dismissed pursuant to the Procedures, or a respondent withdraws from Cornell.

The chart below shows the processes under which the 37 Formal Complaints made during the 2016-2017 academic year were resolved.


Outcome of Formal Complaints Resolved by Hearing or Alternate Resolution

The chart below reflects the outcome of the 27 Formal Complaints resolved by hearing or Alternate Resolutions during the 2016-2017 academic year.


Sanctions in Formal Complaints where Respondent was Found Responsible by Hearing or Alternate Resolution

Students found responsible for prohibited conduct under Policy 6.4 are subject to sanctions including, but not limited to, appropriate educational steps, disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal from the university.  After a hearing, the sanction or remedy is determined by the hearing panel in accordance with the Procedures.  Pursuant to an Alternate Resolution, the sanction or remedy is determined by the voluntary agreement of the parties and the university.

The chart below reflects the disciplinary action taken in response to the 14 Formal Complaints during the 2016-2017 academic year in which respondents were found responsible.


Reports of Prohibited Conduct v. Formal Complaints

A “Formal Complaint” of prohibited student conduct is a written document signed by a complainant alleging specific prohibited student conduct by a respondent and initiating the resolution process under the Procedures, or a similar written document signed by a university official on behalf of the university.

A “Formal Complaint” differs from a “Report” of prohibited conduct, which occurs anytime the Title IX Coordinator becomes aware of an alleged incident of prohibited conduct.  During the 2016-2017 academic year, the university received 300 reports of sexual or related misconduct and prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity against students, staff, faculty, unaffiliated individuals, unknown or unidentified individuals, and others.  37 reports of prohibited student conduct became Formal Complaints as discussed above.


Conclusion

Cornell strives to create an investigative and hearing process that is fair to students who experience sexual or related misconduct and to those who are accused of such conduct.  The information presented herein regarding the 2016-2017 academic year is intended for the Cornell community to better understand the resolution of Formal Complaints of sexual and related misconduct against students during the 2016-2017 academic year.


Click here for an accessible and printer-friendly pdf version of this information.

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