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Title IX Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I was drinking alcohol, using drugs, or violating visitation hours before being assaulted and I am afraid to come forward because I am concerned about facing disciplinary charges.
A: If you have been sexually assaulted or you are assisting the investigation as a witness, there will be no disciplinary consequences for minor policy violations (including use or possession of alcohol or illicit drugs, visitation violations, or similar offenses).

Q: The perpetrator was drunk at the time of the assault. Will he/she still be held responsible for his/her actions?
A: Yes. Being intoxicated does not remove responsibility for his/her actions.

Q: I was asleep when the assault took place. Is this still considered sexual assault?
A: Yes. If you did not or could not give consent because you were asleep, unconscious or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, then sexual contact would be considered sexual misconduct/sexual assault.

Q: I had consented to some sexual activity but not to what occurred. Do I still have the right to file a complaint?
A: Yes. Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). 

Q: I've engaged in consensual sexual activity with this person in the past, but this time I did not consent. Is this a problem?
A. Consent must be willingly given for each act. A previous intimate relationship does not imply consent for a future interaction. If you did not consent to the current act, then misconduct has occurred.

Q: What should I do if I am worried about encountering my assailant on campus?
A: Alleged assailants can be required to refrain from contacting you or being near you. The Title IX Coordinator can assist (during business hours; ) with a No Contact Order as a supportive measure. If you are feeling unsafe or need assistance after hours, the Gordon Police (Emergencies: 978.867.3333; Non-emergency: 978.867.4444) can talk with you about this and other options.

Q: If I file a complaint, I’m afraid that the perpetrator and his/her friends will harass me on campus. Is there any way I can be protected from this before the investigation and after the investigation if he/she is allowed to stay on campus?
A: Yes. Your continued safety and well-being will be a priority. Harassment is illegal, and retaliation of any kind is a violation of school policy, and will not be tolerated. (See “Harassment Policyin the Student Handbook, and the section on "Retaliation" in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.)

Q: Can I bring someone with me to any of these meetings?
A: You can bring a friend or support person (referred to in our policy as an Advisor) to any meeting and/or interview related to a sexual misconduct report. 

Q: What are the possible outcomes of an investigation?
A: A broad range of outcomes (from behavioral contracts and educational requirements to suspension or expulsion) are possible, depending on the nature of the offense. For more details, see the "Sanctions" section in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Q: My sexual assault occurred off-campus. Do I follow the same procedure?
A: If you were the victim of sexual assault off campus, you can call 911 to report to the local police where the offense occurred. If the assailant is a current Gordon student or employee, you may choose to report to the college as well (or instead of reporting to local law enforcement), and the Title IX office will investigate. If the assailant is not a current Gordon student or employee, seeking support on campus is still an option, and the Title IX Coordinator may be able to offer supportive services and information about your options. If you would like assistance or to report to the college after hours, you may contact the Gordon Police (Emergencies: 978.867.3333; Non-emergency: 978.867.4444).

Q: What happens if I request a campus investigation?
A: The Title IX Coordinator (usually assisted by a Deputy Coordinator) will offer to meet with you to discuss options and ensure you are offered supportive services. If the reported conduct qualifies as sexual misconduct (as defined in our policy) and you request an investigation, a trained team of two investigators will be assigned. They will interview you, the person alleged to have committed the misconduct, and any witnesses. You will be asked to provide any evidence or documentation you may have (such as screenshots, emails, videos, etc). After a thorough investigation, trained Title IX decision-makers will use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard to determine whether or not College policy has been violated. For detailed information, please see the Title IX Website. Or, you may go directly to the Report Sexual Misconduct page for more information and online reporting forms.