Filing a Complaint
Simmons encourages students, faculty and staff to promptly report all incidents of gender-based misconduct 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 gender-based misconduct if it comes to their attention.
The options for reporting gender-based misconduct and receiving support are listed below. For a chart outlining the process for reviewing a complaint, once reported, please see here.
Simmons Title IX Team
Members of the Simmons community can make a report of gender-based misconduct in any of the following ways:
- Students may meet with a member of the Title IX team or a member of the Office of Student Affairs. This individual will put the Complainant's oral report into writing and then share the information with the Title IX Coordinators for further review and action.
- Faculty or staff may meet with a member of the Title IX team, who will document an oral report and share the information with the Title IX Coordinators for further review and action.
- Faculty, staff, or students may submit a written statement to a Title IX Coordinator. The statement should include the name of the person you allege engaged in gender-based misconduct, the location and time of the incident, and as many additional details as possible. If you choose to report in this way, a member of the Title IX team will contact you and may request further information, in addition to connecting you with additional resources or providing the support you need.
Any member of the Simmons community can file a complaint of gender-based misconduct 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 gender-based misconduct 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 misconduct 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 misconduct and the burden of proof under the Simmons Gender-Based Misconduct Policy may differ from Massachusetts criminal law. You can seek resolution through the University's gender-based misconduct policy and through a criminal report. A report to law enforcement will not change the University's obligation to respond to an incident of gender-based misconduct, 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 gender-based misconduct 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 gender-based misconduct that come to its attention, even when no formal complaint or report is filed. This legal obligation could require the University to investigate an allegation of gender-based misconduct, even without a Complainant's participation in such investigation.
Simmons will take reasonable steps to respond to a report of misconduct 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 Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
For a list of confidential resources, see here.