Procedures for Complaints Against Students Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Other than Sex

Individuals seeking information about the Interim University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Other Than Sex or who wish to bring a complaint under the policy may contact any of the Designated Student Affairs Resource identified in the 2015-2016 Resources Contact Guide for the Policy (, or another Student Affairs resource (e.g., Student Health and Counseling Services, Public Safety, or Residence Life Staff).

Designated Student Affairs Resources can work with students on matters concerning allegations of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation by or against students. They can inform individuals of the various criminal, civil, and University conduct options for formal complaints, including the availability of Honor and Advisory Advocates.

Designated Student Affairs Resources can also inform individuals of various strategies for informal resolution, where appropriate, and are trained to conduct, assist, or oversee such efforts. Informal resolution strategies may include, but are not limited to: hearing a complaint without taking further action; speaking to a respondent on behalf of a complainant; performing shuttle diplomacy between a complainant and respondent; guiding a mediated discussion; and handling direct resolution between a complainant and accused. Designated Student Affairs Resources are also available to meet with students accused of prohibited discrimination/harassment or retaliation to inform them of the various strategies for informal resolution, explain the University disciplinary procedures and the availability of Hearing Advisors and/or Advisor of Choice for such proceedings, and provide the names of the Head and Assistant Head Hearing Advisor, who assign Hearing Advisors to each case.

Conduct Proceeding to Student-Faculty Hearing Board

If a complaint cannot be resolved otherwise, a complainant may initiate a conduct proceeding to be addressed by the Student-Faculty Hearing Board (SFHB). Alternatively, a conduct proceeding may be initiated without pursuing other resolution options. Any member of the University community, any complainant outside the University community (such as a student from another institution), or the University itself (through the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, or designee), may also initiate a conduct proceeding to the SFHB. To bring a matter to the attention of the SFHB Chair for consideration of a conduct proceeding, an individual should contact the SFHB Chair, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, any other Designated Student Affairs Resource ( An individual may also report a complaint through the Silent Witness-Anonymous Online Crime Report website (

Because it is often difficult to determine the facts of an incident long after it has occurred, complaints should be brought as soon as possible after the incident giving rise to the complaint. Designated Student Affairs Resources can provide a complainant and other members of the University community or outside the University community with information concerning Washington and Lee's procedures for dealing with complaints of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. See SFHB Procedures, which are in section VI of the Student Handbook.

The SFHB is authorized to hear and adjudicate University judicial complaints of prohibited student discrimination, harassment, retaliation, as well as claims of hazing and sexual harassment and misconduct. The SFHB Chair and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and/or the Title IX Coordinator will decide whether the matter falls within the SFHB's jurisdiction and should be handled under this policy as a formal SFHB conduct proceeding.


If an SFHB conduct process is initiated, the SFHB Chair will charge one or more specially trained investigators to investigate the complaint. The investigation will include conversations with the complainant and respondent, other relevant individuals, and review of other relevant information. A detailed investigation report will be prepared, setting forth undisputed and disputed facts. A written summary of the investigator's report will be provided to the parties and explained to them by the investigator(s). Subsequent proceedings, including the decision of whether to formally charge the respondent and proceed with the SFHB process, will be conducted in accordance with SFHB and University Board of Appeals (UBA) procedures. See SFHB Procedures, which are in section VI of the Student Handbook.