Information for Student Complainants

In student conduct cases involving sexual and interpersonal misconduct, the complainant is the student, student organization, or other individual bringing the complaint of misconduct. Below you will find explanations on what will occur when the University undertakes an investigation and adjudication process and a summary of your rights as a complainant in that process.  For a full description of those rights, you can refer to the Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy and Notification of Complainant's Rights or the Code of Student Conduct.


Advisor/Support Person. You may bring an advisor or support person of your choice (e.g., parent, friend, lawyer, advocate) with you to any meetings or hearings during the investigation, adjudication, or appeal process - this person may provide advice or support but may not speak for you during the process unless permitted by the Code of Student Conduct.  When choosing an advisor or support person, please choose someone who will not also be involved in the matter as a witness.

Confidentiality and Privacy. In a University investigation, respondents (the person accused of misconduct) are provided information about the allegations to allow them a fair opportunity to respond. The level of detail necessary to do that, including revealing the complainant’s identity, may vary depending upon the circumstances of the misconduct and the action to be taken. The Title IX coordinator can discuss options surrounding confidentiality. The privacy of both parties will be respected and safeguarded at all times. Information shared during an investigation is limited to those University employees who need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities to review, investigate, and/or resolve these matters.

Retaliation. The University prohibits retaliation. All parties and witnesses are protected from any form of retaliation for participating in the investigation or filing a complaint. Additionally, if you feel that one of the parties, or friends, teammates, or family members of the parties is engaging in harassment or other misconduct against you because of your participation in an investigation or for filing a complaint, you should let the University know.

Resources for Support. The University offers a variety of support services to students, including counseling through the Student Counseling Center.  Resources can be located on the Title IX webpage or through the Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy.

Policy Resource. For the both the complainant and the respondent, a Policy Resource is available anytime throughout the process.  These Drake employees are knowledgeable on the policies and processes related to cases under the Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy and the Code of Student Conduct.  They can serve as a resource for questions over the policy, process, and steps throughout the investigation and disciplinary process.  While they are not advisors, they can answer questions that may come up through the process and help make contacts for additional support or information.  The Policy Resources are:

Leah Berte,, 515-271-2917

Kevin Saunders,, 515-271-1984 



 Neutral Investigation. Upon receipt of a complaint and during an investigation, the University does not take sides. We are committed to providing a prompt, thorough, fair and impartial review, and our investigations are focused on the available information.  Throughout the investigation and adjudication process, the standard of evidence to be used is a preponderance of evidence, or whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.

Interviewing the Parties. Typically, the dean of students or a designee (the “investigator”) will first meet with you as the complainant in order to fully understand the allegations. You are strongly encouraged to share all information, including documentation and names of witness, if any, with the investigator. After the investigator understands the nature and scope of the allegations, the respondent will be asked about the allegations and given a full and fair opportunity to respond. The respondent is also strongly encouraged to share all information, including documentation and names of witnesses, if any, with the Investigator. The parties are not present during each other’s interviews.

Gathering Other Information. The investigator interviews witnesses and reviews all documentation deemed relevant to the situation. The investigator may also contact the parties with additional questions or to request additional information.

Investigator’s Report. The investigator will consider all information gathered during an investigation and prepare a report that will be shared with both parties.

Adjudication or Resolution

Resolution by Agreement. At any time, the dean of students or designee may attempt to resolve complaints short of the adjudication process or formal hearing if the parties are interested, and will discuss the matter with each party—separately. There is no mediation in cases of sexual and interpersonal misconduct. In cases of alleged violence or sexual/ interpersonal conduct, the complainant shall nonetheless be given a right to be heard on sanctions or to end the resolution process at any time and proceed to a formal proceeding

Decision. When the investigation is complete, the dean of students or designee will determine whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred. The dean of students or designee may meet with the parties before issuing the determination, but both parties will be notified simultaneously of the decision. If the dean or designee finds a party responsible and recommends a sanction less than suspension or expulsion, they will impose sanctions which will conclude the adjudication of the complaint.   The University endeavors to complete the investigatory and adjudication process within 60 calendar days.

  • Appeal of the Dean’s or Designee’s Decision. When the dean or designee finds a party responsible and imposes sanctions less than suspension or expulsion, neither party may appeal the decision, except that either party may request for a formal hearing in lieu of the proposed determination and sanctions. 

Hearing. If the dean or designee recommends suspension or expulsion, or if either party elects a formal hearing be held, a hearing officer will hear the evidence, determine whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred, and impose sanctions if applicable. All parties may be present at the hearing but are not required to sit in the same room—accommodations can be made.

  • Appeal of the Hearing Officer’s Decision. Either the complainant, respondent, or dean of students or designee may appeal the decision of the hearing officer. An appeal panel will consider the appeal and, if requested by a party, hear from the parties in person—this is not another hearing of all of the evidence but rather an opportunity to make statements to the appeal panel directly regarding the appeal. Both parties will be notified simultaneously of the decision.


For additional information and more details, see the University’s Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy and Code of Student Conduct.

Report to Title IX
Contact Drake Public Safety
Confidential Resources

Quick contacts to reach a confidential advocate

  • VIP peer-student advocacy
    515-512-2972 (call or text)
  • Polk County Crisis and Advocacy
  • Cowles Library 109 during the academic year
        - Tuesdays 2:30-4:30
        - Thursdays 9:00-11:00