Investigation Process

Process for Investigating a Complaint of Harassment or Sexual Violence

Allegheny College wants all members of our community to feel safe in coming forward with a concern or complaint of sexual assault.  The information below is a basic outline of the complaint and investigation process.  Please contact Gilly Ford, Title IX Coordinator, for more information and details.  More information is also available in the Compass.

After receiving a report, The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will initiate the process by notifying the accused party (“respondent”) that a complaint has been filed against them and inform the respondent of the nature of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, explains to both parties the avenues for informal and formal action, including a description of the process and the relevant avenues of redress to the complainant and the respondent. Allegheny is committed to providing a prompt, thorough and equitable response for all parties involved.

What is the informal complaint process?

  • The College provides an informal resolution process when the parties desire to resolve the situation cooperatively.
  • The informal process is designed to resolve complaints quickly, efficiently, and to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved.
  • Informal resolution may include inquiries into the facts, but does not typically rise to the level of a formal investigation unless required by applicable law.
  • Informal resolution may include, but is not limited to, options such as meeting informally with the complainant and the respondent with the intent of bringing about resolution, meeting privately with the respondent and acting as intercessor, separation of the parties, referral of the parties to counseling programs, conducting educational and/or training programs, or other remedial measures.
  • Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to bypass or end the informal complaint process at any time in order to begin the formal complaint process.


the College does not use mediation as a form of informal resolution of alleged sexual assault/sexual violence.

What is the formal complaint process?

The Title IX Coordinator…

  • Assigns an investigator who will speak with all parties including any witnesses named by either the complainant or respondent
  • Informs both the complainant and the respondent that they are permitted to have an advisor/support person of choice present through the process
  • Addresses any interim measures or accommodations needed to protect the safety of all parties involved and the campus community
  • Upon conclusion of the investigation, will make an administrative determination with the investigator as to whether the College’s sexual harassment policy has been violated and what the sanction will be for any such violation. Possible sanctions for violations of the sexual harassment policy include: Warning, Probation, Suspension and Expulsion.
  • Notifies both parties of the outcome of the investigation and the right of either party to appeal the decision