Filing a Complaint
Simmons encourages students, faculty and staff to promptly report all incidents of Sexual Harassment against them or other members of the Simmons community. Please note that, with a few limited exceptions, Simmons faculty and staff are considered Responsible Employees and therefore have a duty to report sexual harassment if it comes to their attention. The options for reporting sexual harassment and receiving support are listed below.
Simmons Title IX Team
Members of the Simmons community can make a report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report:
Gretchen Groggel Ralston
AVP, Associate General Counsel, Title IX Coordinator
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
Send Gretchen Groggel Ralston an email.
Any person (whether a member of the Simmons community or not) may submit a report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator through Maxient, an online reporting tool. Submit an Incident Report.
Any member of the Simmons community can file a complaint of sexual harassment on Ethicspoint, a third party web-based reporting tool. Ethicspoint offers individuals the option to make an anonymous report of a violation of this Policy.
Simmons Public Safety
Members of the Simmons community can choose to make a report directly to Public Safety. Public Safety will share
reports of sexual harassment with the Title IX Coordinators. Public Safety can also provide support in a number of different ways, such as:
- Providing assistance with filing a criminal complaint and working with the local law enforcement agency if requested to do so;
- Supporting students in filing a no trespass order at Simmons or seeking a protection order in court;
- Providing transportation to the hospital, if needed; and
- Connecting Complainants with other resources, as needed.
Boston Police Department (or other local law enforcement)
If the sexual harassment is potentially criminal in nature, a Complainant can choose to file a criminal complaint. Except where the Complainant is younger than eighteen (18) years old or there are concerns about an impending threat to the University community that justifies police involvement, the University will respect an individual's choice on whether or not to report an incident to local law enforcement. If requested, the University will assist individuals in making a criminal report and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies to the extent permitted by law.
Note that the definition of sexual harassment and the burden of proof under the Simmons Sexual Harassment Policy may differ from Massachusetts criminal law. You can seek resolution through the University's Sexual Harassment Policy and through a criminal report. A report to law enforcement will not change the University's obligation to respond to an incident of sexual harassment, but it may briefly delay the timing of an investigation if a law enforcement agency requests the University to delay its process for a reasonable amount of time to allow it to gather evidence. The University's determination of whether a policy violation has occurred is entirely independent of a law enforcement agency's decision to pursue criminal charges against a suspect or the outcome of any criminal prosecution.
The University values the privacy of individuals involved in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution of matters subject to this Policy, and is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals involved in a report of sexual harassment to the extent it may do so. However, except in limited circumstances involving a small group of “confidential resources,” the University cannot guarantee confidentiality. Simmons is legally obligated to address incidents of sexual harassment that come to its attention, even when no formal complaint is filed. This legal obligation could require the University to investigate an allegation of sexual harassment, even without a Complainant's participation in such investigation.
Simmons will take reasonable steps to respond to a report of sexual harassment in a manner consistent with a Complainant's request for confidentiality or request to forego an investigation. When determining how to respond, the University will weigh a Complainant's request for confidentiality against the obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for the broader Simmons community. When circumstances require the University to override a request for confidentiality, the University will proceed with the utmost sensitivity and respect for the individuals involved, making every effort to protect their privacy.
Questions about confidentiality can be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or any Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
For a list of confidential resources, see here.