Frequently Asked Questions for Parties Responding to EGP Reports Skip Navigation

Equity Grievance Policy - Frequently Asked Questions

For responding 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 any member 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 as 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 a student 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 told me that an EGP complaint has been filed against them. How can I support them?
Listen and be there for them. Let them know that they are not alone and that you support them. Supportive friends are oftentimes very helpful at any stage of the EGP process. 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.
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.

For more information, 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. Does an EGP complaint and investigation involve the police?
Filing a complaint 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, but that decision is up to the reporting individual.
6. How long will it be before I know what happened with my case?
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. Who can I talk to? What help can I get from Colgate?
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.

Oftentimes students have reached out to their friends, organization leaders, Links, trusted faculty, administrative advisers, counseling, health services, and the chaplaincy. You can ask equity grievance panel members questions about the policy and process. Your administrative dean and EGP members can work with you on academic deadlines, housing accommodations, appeals of interim remedies, and other arrangements you may need under the circumstances.
8. How will I know about a complaint filed against me, and how can I tell my side of the story?
You will be contacted by an EGP investigator and notified of the nature of the allegations (including details such as the facts alleged to have occurred, as well as the time and place of the alleged incident(s) if available) prior to your first interview. 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. You may be asked to write out your statement, speaking in detail about what you 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. 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 been trained in trauma-informed approaches. Both the reporting student and you may also 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. Do I need a lawyer?
This is a decision that we can’t make for you. Some people who have been the subject of a complaint have engaged a lawyer, but others have not.

See Section VIII.C. fifth paragraph here.

In some cases a criminal investigation may occur as the result of an incident, and in that context it is advisable to retain counsel. See #15, below.
11. 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 members determine that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred, then an appropriate sanction is imposed.
12. If a complaint is filed against me, will you share that information with my family?
Your family would usually be notified if you are placed on interim suspension prior to a hearing. Your family would also usually be notified if a sanction of suspension or expulsion is imposed as a result of a hearing. Otherwise, it is up to you to decide whether you want to tell your family.
13. 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. If a violation is substantiated, further restrictions may be imposed and/or disciplinary action may be warranted.
14. I've just had an interim measure imposed on me. What can I do?
Interim measures, such as no contact orders, changes in housing or academic schedule, campus restrictions or interim suspension can be implemented immediately as a result of a report of any form of sexual violence. 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.
15. Can an individual file an EGP complaint with the university and also report an incident to Hamilton Police or New York State Police? Can someone face Colgate discipline and police charges at the same time?
Yes. The criminal process is separate from the University's own grievance process, and both processes can occur simultaneously. The University may, but is not be obligated to, delay the institution of its processes when criminal charges are being investigated; however, by law the delay will not last more than ten calendar days except when law enforcement authorities specifically request and justify a longer delay. If you are the subject of a criminal complaint, it is in your best interest to consult legal counsel promptly (regardless of whether you engage a lawyer as your adviser in the EGP process (see #10, above)).