Frequently Asked Questions for Reporting Parties Skip Navigation

Equity Grievance Policy - Frequently Asked Questions

For reporting students
1. What is the EGP?
EGP stands for the Equity Grievance Panel, which plays an important role in implementation of the Equity Grievance Policy. The Equity Grievance Policy provides an opportunity to seek justice for harassment, discrimination and sexual violence. The EGP process is used to determine whether an incident constitutes a violation of the policy. Colgate offers many types of support, before, during and after a report or complaint is filed for all involved. The decision to come forward can be difficult, but we encourage all members of our community to reach out.

a. What's the difference between the student conduct board and the EGP?

The Student Conduct Board hears cases involving potential violations of the Code of Student Conduct, the Academic Honor Code, the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs, the Policy on Hazing, and various other policies. An EGP hearing is only used in cases involving possible violations of the University's Equity Grievance Policy. Students serve on the Student Conduct Board along with faculty and staff, but there are no students on the Equity Grievance Panel. The Equity Grievance Panel is made up of faculty and staff from across the campus who can serve in many capacities, including as a listener, a supportive partner in understanding the process, a formal adviser to the process, or a member of a hearing or appeal panel in a case.

b. What's the difference between a report and a complaint?

A report lets Colgate know that an incident occurred. A complaint allows you to move forward with a case that will be investigated and addressed through the equity grievance process. In some cases, the information provided in a report will require Colgate to act even absent a complaint, where the information provided indicates a risk to the community.
2. My friend has come to me about something that happened. How can I support them?
Listen and be there for them. Let them know that they are not alone and that you believe them. Let them know that they have different avenues for support. If an incident of sexual violence has just occurred, focus on immediate safety and health issues. Ask if they want to go to the Student Health Center, or see a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) at a hospital for a medical forensic exam. 

Supportive friends are oftentimes very helpful at any stage following an incident, even months later. You can offer to go with your friend to a confidential resource, or ask questions of an EGP panel member, the Title IX Coordinator, or an Administrative Dean. You can read through the EGP process with them, and help make sure that they can stay connected to friends and activities.

For more on how to help a friend, click here.
3. Is there any time limit to filing a complaint?
There is no time limit, but the passage of time can make details and investigations more challenging, and if the responding individual is no longer a member of the university community, the university's ability to respond may be limited.

See the last paragraph of Section III. Filing a Complaint here.
4. How can I find out more about the EGP process, without getting into specifics of an incident?
Any member of the community can ask an EGP panel member or the Title IX Coordinator to explain the policy or process and talk through "what if's" without disclosing an actual incident (if they are not prepared to do so). Panel members can be an important resource for students who want information on the EGP process or what an EGP hearing is like, and can serve as advisers to students who are party to an EGP investigation and/or hearing. They receive annual in-depth training on issues of sexual violence, sexual harassment and discriminatory harassment. Oftentimes, students will make an appointment (without sharing the reason) to get more information that they can share with a friend, or just ask questions to understand the process and understand options.

Appointments can be made by calling or e-mailing and you can always bring someone with you.

If you're more comfortable reading, the full policy is here, and the equity grievance process is described here.
5. What happens after I tell someone? Is this the same thing as going to the police?
If you speak to anyone in the counseling center, health services, or the chaplain's office, they are confidential resources and nothing will happen unless you decide you want it to. If you talk to a faculty or staff member other than a confidential resource, they have a duty to report what they know to the Title IX Coordinator (this includes Community Leaders). In most cases, we will do our best to respect your wishes regarding what further steps you wish to take, offer support, and answer questions.

In some cases, the information provided will require Colgate to act, for example where the community is at risk based on the information provided. If this were to happen, you would be kept fully informed of the steps we are taking even if you choose not to participate in the process.

Filing a report with Colgate is not the same as going to the police, and the criminal process is separate from the University process. We encourage any member of the community who believes that a crime has been committed to report it to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Campus safety will assist you in making such a report, if you decide to do so.
6. How long will it be before I know what happened with my case?
If you file a complaint, you will receive regular updates on where we are in the process, and you may also reach out at any time if you have questions as to the status of your case. We do our best to complete an investigation and initial hearing (if warranted) within 60 days, but sometimes that is not possible. For example, if a complaint is made near the end of a semester, the EGP process may have to carry over to the next semester. If there is an EGP hearing, you will learn the results of the hearing within a couple of business days at the most.
7. What help can I get from Colgate and how can I decide to report or file a complaint?
Know that if you report or file a complaint, you are not alone. Regardless of whether you decide to file a complaint, your administrative dean and EGP members can work with you on academic deadlines, housing accommodations, no contact orders and other arrangements during this difficult time. If you feel you need to take some time away, you can talk with your dean about your options as well, including a personal leave. 

There are several options for confidential support:
Counseling and Psychological Services: 315-228-7385. After hours, call Campus Safety at 315-228-7333 and ask to talk with the counselor-on-call. No further explanation is needed.
Student Health Services: 315-228-7750. After hours and for emergencies, contact Campus Safety at 315-228-7911.
University Chaplains: 315-228-7682 during business hours, garden level of the Chapel.
Victims of Violence: 24-hour sexual violence hotline: 315-366-5000.

Oftentimes students have reached out to their friends, organization leaders, Links, trusted faculty, administrative advisers, counseling, health services, and the chaplaincy. This is a personal decision but we encourage anyone who has experienced any form or harassment, discrimination or sexual violence to come forward. You can ask equity grievance panel members questions about the policy and process, and talk to friends and get the support you need to decide what you want to do next.
8. Who will ask me questions about the incident and what information will I need to share?
If a student decides to report an incident, the first step is usually talking with the investigators. All EGP investigators have experience and training in trauma-informed investigation so they know how to listen carefully and compassionately. Students may also be asked to write out their statements, speaking in detail about what they recall from the incident. Usually, the investigator will need to ask some questions at that time and ask clarifying questions at other times during the investigation. You have the right to be accompanied by an adviser of choice throughout the EGP process, including at any interview. During the investigation, which is an impartial fact-finding process, the parties will have an equal opportunity to share information and request that witnesses be interviewed.

If an EGP hearing is scheduled and you choose to be present at the hearing, you may be asked questions by the panel members directly. Panel members, like the investigators, have also been trained in trauma-informed approaches. Both the responding student and you may ask questions, but only through the panel chair, who makes sure the questions do not violate our policies regarding what can be asked in an EGP hearing. Advisers are not permitted to question parties during hearings.

See Section VIII.C. paragraph 8 here.
9. Are there any students on the EGP panel?
No. Students do not serve on the panel that hears and decides cases. Since a reporting or responding party may have anyone accompany them as their adviser, a fellow student could potentially serve as an adviser to a student, although this is not common.
10. If I file a report or complaint, do I need a lawyer?
This is a decision that we can't make for you. Some people who have filed complaints have engaged a lawyer, but others have not.

See Section VIII.C. fifth paragraph here.
11. If I file a report or a complaint, will you share that information with my family?
No, except in rare circumstances where notification is necessary to address an immediate safety concern. It is up to you to decide whether you want to tell your family. Families of the responding party are usually only informed if there is an interim suspension, and/or if a sanction of suspension or expulsion is imposed as a result of a hearing.
12. If I was drinking underage or using drugs at the time of an incident, will I get points if I report the incident?
No. A survivor will not get points or have disciplinary consequences for alcohol or other drug violations. We also provide amnesty to reporting bystanders as well.

See Section IV. Amnesty here.
13. If I report an incident, will anything happen to the respondent immediately?
Interim measures can be implemented immediately, such as a no contact order, changes in housing, or academic accommodations. In cases where there are ongoing safety concerns, a respondent may be placed on interim suspension or campus restriction, meaning that the student is off campus or has restricted access to campus until a determination is made in their case. Anyone placed on interim suspension or subject to other interim measures has the opportunity to request reconsideration and modification of the decision by the Title IX Coordinator.

See Section VI. Interim Remedies here.
14. What is a no contact order?
A no contact order is issued when a student brings forward a concern regarding interactions with another student and requests that the student have no further avoidable contact with them.

The no contact order is not a disciplinary action and does not appear on a student's academic record, but it is designed to provide a measure of relief for a student who wishes to maintain distance from another student both inside and outside of class. A no contact order cannot guarantee that the individuals will not encounter one another on Colgate's campus, but it does establish parameters for those encounters in terms of distance and communication. The parties are each afforded the opportunity for a prompt review of the need for interim or accommodative measures, including the potential modification of these measures. The parties are each allowed to submit evidence in support of, or in opposition to, the request. If a no contact order is in place, any alleged violations of the no contact order are investigated. In the event a violation is substantiated, further restrictions may be imposed and/or disciplinary action may be warranted.
15. What is the standard of proof employed in an EGP hearing?
Federal law requires that the standard of proof used in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault be the "preponderance of the evidence", or more likely than not. This standard of proof is lower than "beyond a reasonable doubt" or "clear and convincing evidence". The initial presumption is that the responding individual is not responsible. Then, the evidence presented is assessed and a determination is made as to whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation has occurred. If the EGP hearing panel members determine that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred, then an appropriate sanction is imposed.