General Rules of Investigations
An investigator designated by the Title IX Coordinator will perform an investigation under a reasonably prompt timeframe of the conduct alleged to constitute covered sexual harassment after issuing the Notice of Allegations.
Hampshire College and not the parties, has the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence, i.e. the responsibility of showing a violation of this Policy has occurred. This burden does not rest with either party, and either party may decide not to share their account of what occurred or may decide not to participate in an investigation or hearing. This does not shift the burden of proof away from Hampshire College and does not indicate responsibility.
Hampshire College cannot access, consider, or disclose medical records without a waiver from the party (or parent, if applicable) to whom the records belong or of whom the records include information. Hampshire College will provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, (i.e. evidence that tends to prove and disprove the allegations) as described below.
Inspection and Review of Evidence
Prior to the completion of the investigation, the parties will have an equal opportunity to inspect and review the evidence obtained through the investigation. The purpose of the inspection and review process is to allow each party the equal opportunity to meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation.
Evidence that will be available for inspection and review by the parties will be any evidence that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint. It will include any:
- Evidence that is relevant, even if that evidence does not end up being relied upon by the institution in making a determination regarding responsibility;
- inculpatory or exculpatory evidence (i.e. evidence that tends to prove or disprove the allegations) that is directly related to the allegations, whether obtained from a party or other source.
All parties must submit any evidence they would like the investigator to consider prior to when the parties’ time to inspect and review evidence begins.
The institution will send the evidence made available for each party and each party’s advisor, if any, to inspect and review through an electronic format or a hard copy. The Institution is not under an obligation to use any specific process or technology to provide the evidence and shall have the sole discretion in terms of determining format and any restrictions or limitations on access.
The parties will have ten (10) business days to inspect and review the evidence and submit a written response by email to the investigator. The investigator will consider the parties’ written responses before completing the Investigative Report.
- The institution will provide copies of the parties’ written responses to the investigator to all parties and their advisors, if any.
- The institution will provide the parties five (5) business days after the initial inspection and review of evidence, and before the investigator completes their Investigative Report, to provide additional evidence in response to their inspection and review of the evidence, and then provide the parties five (5) business days to inspect, review, and respond to the party’s additional evidence through a written response to the investigator. Those written responses will be disclosed to the parties.
Any evidence subject to inspection and review will be available at any hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination.
The parties and their advisors agree not to photograph or otherwise copy the evidence.
Inclusion of Evidence Not Directly Related to the Allegations
Evidence obtained in the investigation that is determined in the reasoned judgment of the investigator not to be directly related to the allegations in the Formal Complaint will be included in the appendices to the investigative report.