The OUEC investigates all allegations of discrimination per the following established University policies:
- Policy on Equal Opportunity (EO)
- Policy on Non-Fraternization
- Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment
- Policy on Rights and Responsibilities Under Title IX
As soon as is practicable, an Investigator from the OUEC will contact the Complainant identified in the report to schedule an initial meeting to:
- Refer them to the appropriate university policy which prohibits discrimination (see above).
- Review the Complainant’s Notice of Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities Form to explain avenues for resolution, including:
- The steps involved in an both the Informal and Formal Resolution Procedures under the Policy;
- Discuss confidentiality of university investigations;
- Determine whether the Complainant wants to pursue a resolution through the university;
- Refer to law enforcement, counseling, medical, academic, or other resources, as appropriate;
- Discuss, as appropriate, possible supportive, remedial and protective measures that can be provided during the pendency of the investigative and adjudication processes.
- If the Complainant agrees to disclose information regarding the allegation, including the identity of the Respondent, the date, location, if known, and the general nature of the alleged violation of policy and agrees to file a Formal Complaint, the Complainant will complete their Rights Form accordingly and sign the document.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that provides:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in all university programs and activities, including, but not limited to; student services, academic programs, class assignment, grading, athletics, admissions, recreation, recruiting, financial aid, counseling and guidance, discipline, housing, and employment.
Prohibited Offenses is the conduct prohibited by Northeastern’s Title IX policy and includes Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and Retaliation.
Northeastern’s Title IX Coordinator, Mark Jannoni, is responsible for enforcing the Title IX Policy. Please direct all questions and concerns to:
Assistant Vice President and Title IX Coordinator
The Office for University Equity and Compliance
Richards Hall #125
Gender-Based Harassment includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression that has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile
living, learning, or working environment. As of August 14, 2020, Gender-Based Harassment is covered under the Policy Prohibiting Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment.
Effective August 14, 2020, the Title IX Policy only applies to allegations of Prohibited Offenses against students, faculty, or staff members in the United States:
- that occur in the context of a university education program or activity, including but not limited to research, co-op, and the admission and employment processes, university extracurricular, athletic, or other university programs; this includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the university exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the Prohibited Conduct occurs;
- that occur in any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the university.
This Policy does not apply to conduct alleged by Third Party complainants against university community members.
Seek Medical Attention. If you are the survivor of a sexual assault consider getting medical attention. The University Health and Counseling Services (617-373-2772) offers urgent medical and counseling appointments to all students. You also have the right to go to the Emergency Room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital or Boston Medical Center to meet a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to both collect forensic evidence and provide medical care and support to you. NUPD can provide students with an escort to the hospital.
Preserve Evidence. Try to save a record of unwanted contact or communications. Avoid showering or cleaning before seeking medical treatment or contacting authorities in order to preserve physical evidence.
Resources. Contact any of the listed on- or off-campus resources to get information, support, counseling, medical treatment or legal advocacy.
Report. Contact the Title IX Coordinator in the Office for University Equity and Compliance through this on-line reporting form to learn about safety measures, reporting options, investigation procedures, and potential pathways towards a resolution.
Following a Title IX report, the University will provide information about appropriate Supportive, Remedial and Protective Measures designed to protect students who are Complainants, Respondents, and witnesses, as appropriate, and to facilitate their continued access to university education programs and activities while maintaining the integrity of any investigation into an allegation of a Prohibited Offense.
- options for on- and/or off-campus medical, counseling, and other related services, including access to a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner;
- options for temporary alternate housing arrangements, including immediate relocation to different university housing;
- options for requesting a residential hall ban;
- options for altering academic class schedules/obligations;
- options for a leave of absence, if qualifications are met;
- options for altering student organization schedules/obligations;
- options for altering work schedule or job assignment;
- options for alternative transportation as well as a campus escort service;
- options for seeking assistance from local law enforcement, including increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus when possible and as deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator;
- options for seeking disciplinary action against a Respondent who is a Northeastern community member;
- options for receiving a university No Contact Order;
- options for seeking a Judicial Harassment Protection Order or a Restraining Order
The supportive measures described above are available to student Complainants, Respondents, and witnesses.
Consent may never be given: by minors (in Massachusetts, those not yet 16 years of age), mentally disabled persons, or those who are incapacitated as a result of intoxication by alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary) or those who are unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless. A person who is incapacitated as a result of intoxication cannot give consent to sexual activity. Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of their sexual activities.
The University will act in accordance with the Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at all times during the course of investigations. All publicly available records required to be maintained by law will omit the names and other personally identifiable information about complainants and other victims who choose not to file a grievance, to the extent permissible by law.
At Northeastern, all faculty and staff are considered “Title IX Reporters” and are required to report information to University personnel necessary to carry out University policies and procedures. Only those individuals who are statutorily prohibited from reporting, such as health professionals and spiritual advisors or clergy, shall not have a duty to report all incidents.
The Confidential Resource Advisor serves as a resource for members of the Northeastern University community who have had a complaint of discrimination filed against them. You may contact the CRA as a first step or at any point in a University investigative process. The CRA will not tell you what you should or should not do; instead, will provide confidential information, support, and resources for you to explore what next steps would best support you.
The OUEC will move forward with either an Informal or Formal Resolution if a Formal Complaint is filed. Someone who is alleged to have engaged in discrimination or harassment is referred to as the Respondent in our university’s polices. An Investigator from the OUEC will contact you to make you aware of your options through our resolution process and to make you aware of support resources available to you including Confidential Resource Advisors, who serve as a resource for members of the Northeastern University community who have had a complaint of discrimination filed against them. As the Respondent, you are not required to participate in an Informal Resolution of the investigation process in a Formal Resolution, but the OUEC reserves the right to proceed with an investigation in your absence, when appropriate.
For cases heard under the University’s Title IX policy, the Respondent is presumed to be not responsible, and this presumption may be overcome only where the Title IX Board (cases where a student is the Respondent) or
Administrative Hearing (cases where an employee is the Respondent) concludes that there is sufficient evidence, by a Preponderance of the Evidence, to support a finding that the Respondent violated the Policy.
An individual has the right to pursue a university investigation by filing a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, Mark Jannoni, and to pursue criminal charges through the police. A Complainant may elect to file a complaint with the University, the police, or both at the same time. While Northeastern may provide information and support, university and criminal investigations are independent and distinct.
The processes are not mutually exclusive. A student may be arrested and charged in the criminal justice system as well as under the Code of Student Conduct. Alternatively, charges can occur for alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct, which may not be violations of the law.
The decision of whether to report an incident to the the University or the police is up to you. If you do decide to report an incident to the police, University staff are available to assist you with that process.
You may make a report without disclosing your name by using the this on-line reporting form. You can also report to a confidential support resource such as UHCS or the Sexual Violence Resource Center. Furthermore, any individual may report an incident to the Title IX Coordinator anonymously, without disclosing their name, identifying the Respondent, or requesting any action by the University.
However, if a Complainant self-identifies to the OUEC, and the Complainant requests to remain anonymous after filing a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will not be able to honor the request for anonymity while pursuing a Resolution option under this Policy. The university has to balance the request in the context of the university’s responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for university community members, as well as the fair and equitable treatment of the individuals involved. This includes the Respondent’s right to receive notice of allegations, including the identity of the Complainant, if known to the OUEC, if the university were to initiate a Resolution Process or take any action that affects the respondent,.
When the university is not be able to honor requests for anonymity, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant that the university intends to proceed with an investigation, and the possibility that during the investigation, the Complainant’s identity may have to be disclosed to individuals who may have relevant information regarding the allegation.
Listen. Be there and communicate without judgment.
Validate. Acknowledge the survivor’s feelings of sadness, fear, anger or confusion. Let them know that these feelings are normal.
Be Patient. Avoid putting pressure on them to engage in activities until they are ready to do so.
Support. The healing process takes time. Assure the survivor that this experience can be overcome and that in time they can heal. Affirm that they are an important part of your life.
Please note that the use of alcohol or drugs does not excuse sexual misconduct and a person who has been incapacitated through the use of alcohol, drugs, or by any other means cannot give effective consent to sexual activity. The University may initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.
Northeastern uses the “preponderance of the evidence” standard to determine whether there has been a violation of university policy related to all allegations of discrimination. A preponderance of the evidence means that the alleged conduct is more likely than not to have occurred.
A No Contact Order is an University directive that is used to deescalate a situation by stating that a Complainant and Respondent can have no contact with the other either in person, electronically via phone, e-mail, text messages, social media or through a third party. A No Contact Order does not restrict space between two community members.