Tigers Respond

Towson University is prepared to respond if and when an incident is reported.

Reporting Sexual Violence

What happens when sexual violence is reported to the university?

When Towson University receives a report of sexual violence regarding any member of our community, we respond. Our response includes providing support for the reporting party, and can also include an investigation of the incident reported.

We make every effort to respect the wishes of the reporting party, but occasionally may decide to pursue a full investigation of the incident based upon initial information received and/or the concern for safety for the greater campus community. 

In some rare circumstances, we may decide we need to take immediate action to protect the safety of the campus community. This could include emergency suspension from the University/removal from student housing, administrative leave from work, or other interim action prior to an investigation.

What happens during an investigation?

Investigator(s) will ask for all individuals involved to provide information about the incident. The investigator(s) may ask to meet or speak with any involved parties multiple times over the course of the investigation process. Reporting and responding parties will have the opportunity to review the investigation summary at the close of the investigation.

When a student is a responding party to a complaint of sexual violence, the investigation may be used in the disciplinary process. Students can find more information about what to expect from the investigation and disciplinary process from the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education.

When a faculty, staff, or third party is a responding party to a complaint of sexual violence, the investigation, finding, and recommendation may be utilized by the appropriate employer to determine applicable sanctions. Faculty, staff, and third parties can find more information about to what to expect from the investigation process from the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Our investigation process is non-adversarial, unlike a court process.
  • There are no judges or juries.
  • Individuals may have a "support person" with them during any meeting pertaining to the investigation, but may not be represented through the investigation by an attorney, parent, victim advocate, or other party. 
  • Both the reporting and responding parties will be notified of the finding. This includes notification of any action that is taken as a result of the finding.
  • Both parties have access to all materials related to the investigation. For student related cases, the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education can provide documents upon request. For staff, faculty, and third party related cases, investigation documents can be requested through the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity.

Learn more about your rights under Title IX. 

frequently asked questions

Can I have a friend come with me?

Yes, both the reporting party (person who made the report) and the responding party (person the report is about) can have a person of their choosing with them throughout all the steps in the disciplinary process, including any meeting with the investigator. The support person cannot represent the student during a disciplinary hearing (see “support person” definition in the Code of Student Conduct).

Who will explain the university’s response?

The Title IX Coordinator/ Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will be able to meet with the reporting party to talk about options, requests for accommodations, available resources on and off campus, the University’s disciplinary process, and answer other questions. Responding parties are strongly encouraged to meet with the above listed individuals to have their questions answered. For more information, please refer to procedures for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating sexual misconduct.

What does the process look like?

For students, the process is outlined in detail on the Student Conduct & Civility Education website. It is a non-adversarial process in which the University attempts to determine the facts of the complaint and take the necessary follow up action. It is not a criminal process and does not include the participation of lawyers, judges, or juries.

For faculty, staff, or third parties, please refer to the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity for more information.

What are some interim actions that may be taken?

When students are accused of violating the sexual misconduct policy, they may be subject to interim action pending the outcome of the university’s disciplinary process. These include, but are not limited to, emergency suspension from the university and/or emergency removal from on-campus housing, removal from an academic class, restriction from being on campus, restriction from entering a specific building, or a specific area of campus, and no-contact with the reporting party or others involved in the complaint.

Faculty, staff, and third parties can be subject to similar interim action, including, but not limited to, administrative leave pending an investigation.

Why am I being punished before my case is heard?

At times, due to the nature of the allegation, it is essential for the university to take immediate action to protect the safety of the campus community. This could include emergency suspension from the university and/or removal from on campus housing, or other interim actions. This action is interim and pending the outcome of the university’s disciplinary process.

What prevents retaliation against complainants?

While we cannot guarantee that there will not be retaliation against a participant in an investigation, the university takes a strong stance against it. We will take disciplinary action against any individual or group of individuals who retaliate against a reporting party or any other party involved in a report of sexual violence. Often times, no-contact orders are issued to accused students that inform them that they are to have no contact with the reporting party. This includes, but is not limited to, in-person, via telephone, email, social media, or having others contact the complainant or other parties on their behalf.

What if I don’t want to see the person during a hearing?

Accommodations can be made during a university hearing to allow for participants to be part of the hearing through remote access locations. A partition separating parties is provided for all sexual misconduct hearings.

Will I find out what happens? 

The reporting and responding parties will be notified concurrently of the decision of the disciplinary process, any interim action that is being taken, and the final outcome of the process, including the status of any appeals.

What if I am not happy with the outcome? 

Both the reporting and responding parties may appeal the outcome of the disciplinary process as per the appeal process listed in the Code of Student Conduct & Procedures for Sexual Misconduct.

What if I've been accused?

Accused students should review the information provided by the Office of Student Conduct, which describes the procedures for sexual misconduct cases. You will be offered an opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator and/or Office of Student Conduct to discuss the process, have your questions answered, and be able to provide information regarding the allegations.

Why can’t my lawyer represent me in the disciplinary process?

The university’s disciplinary process is an educational process and students are not entitled to representation by an attorney or another party. Attorneys can serve as a “support person” (see definition in the Code of Student Conduct) who can advise their client but do not play and active role in the university’s disciplinary process. If attorneys have questions regarding this expectation, they should contact the university Counsel Office at 410.704.4408.

What if the court or police dismiss my case?

The university’s investigation and disciplinary process is separate from any concurrent or pending charges through the court system. The final results of a police investigation and/or a criminal proceeding do not impact the university’s process.

What if I have a pending court case?

Students with pending court cases should contact their attorney to discuss their individual situation. The university’s process will proceed independently of a criminal court case and is not dependent on the decision from the court with regards to cases of sexual misconduct.