The Respondent

In a Title IX case the respondent is the individual who has had a case filed against them. This individual is considered innocent until proven guilty, and is entitled to a specific set of rights and accommodations under the Title IX act. 

The Respondents Rights & Responsibilities

The Office of Student Conduct has a responsibility to:

  • Ensure a prompt, thorough, and equitable investigation and resolution of allegations of sexual misconduct, typically within 60 days of receipt of a formal complaint;

  • Take appropriate action to ensure that the educational environment is free of discrimination, to prevent the recurrence of a hostile environment, and to take appropriate measures to remedy the effects of the misconduct on the Complainant and/or the University community;

  • Issue a “No Contact Order” to the Respondent and Complainant at the start of an investigation;

  • Ensure that the student conduct procedures are conducted by officials who receive annual and ongoing training on the dynamics of and trauma associated with allegations of sexual misconduct;

  • Notify the Complainant and Respondent of any substantive developments regarding aspects of an investigation in a timely manner; 

  • Reasonably prevent, as much as possible, visual contact between the Complainant and Respondent during all student conduct proceedings and/or related meetings.

As a Respondent, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect throughout the entire student conduct process;

  • A presumption of innocence requiring a standard of proof of “more likely than not” for a finding of “Responsibility;”

  • Not be retaliated against by any University employees or students as a result of your involvement in an investigation;

  • Be accompanied by an advisor of your choosing throughout the conduct process;

  • Receive written notification of your charges and have the allegations explained to you by the Office of Student Conduct;

  • Be informed of the University’s student conduct process, anticipated timelines, and possible outcomes of a complaint;

  • Contact the Office of Student Conduct to request protective measures, remedies, support, and resources;

  • Not be charged with the consumption of alcohol and/or use of illegal or counterfeit drugs or controlled substances in cases of alleged sexual misconduct;

  • Be given an opportunity to submit a written statement regarding the incident for the “Case File;"

  • Be given an opportunity to submit a written statement regarding the impact (“Impact Statement”) of the complaint and/or requested remedies that would be reviewed by the Hearing Panel if you are found “Responsible;"

  • Review—within the parameters of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)—a copy of the “Case File;”

  • Not have information regarding your dress and/or prior sexual history with anyone other than the Complainant

  • considered during the investigation, unless you choose to discuss it;

  • Submit, in writing, a request for the Office of Student Conduct to substitute a faculty/staff member in place of the one (1)

  • student member of the Hearing Panel for Sexual Misconduct cases.This request will not be granted unless it is submitted by both you and the Complainant;

  • Receive written notification regarding the outcome of a case; and

  • Appeal a Hearing Panel decision, as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Procedures Manual

This rights and responsibilities page has been adapted from Georgetown University's page, and is not entirely representative of the rights and responsibilities afforded to students by Allegheny College's Title IX policies. 

Supporting a


It can be confusing and overwhelming when someone you know has been accused of a crime, especially a crime as serious and difficult to talk about as sexual assault. Many of the guidelines for Supporting a Complainant who has been sexually assaulted can also apply to supporting someone who has been accused of assault, but here are some additional guidelines for significant others of someone who has been accused:

  • Be available to listen if they decide that they want to discuss the accusations, and try to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to open and honest discussion.

  • Recognize that there is a difference between showing support for and showing support for their actions. You can accept and love them as a person even if you don’t agree with their behavior.

  • Avoid making any judgments or placing any blame on them or their accuser — if you weren’t there, you can’t say for sure what happened.

  • Whether they are the complainant or respondent you can contact the Title IX Coordinator for more information about resources for you and them, but first be sure that they are comfortable with that. It is important to respect their privacy. 

These tips have been adapted from Allegheny College's Title IX page.