Definitions & Terminology

Full definitions of terms used throughout the Semi-annual Reports may be found at the Sexual Misconduct Response website.

Terminology Commonly Used in the Semi-annual Reports

“UWC formal complaint”:  Formal resolution of a complaint through the UWC involves an investigation by an external fact-finder, a hearing, adjudication, and possible disciplinary sanctions.  See the UWC Procedures for more information.

 “A Title IX Coordinator brought a formal complaint…”:  Under certain circumstances, the Title IX coordinator of the university or any Yale school may bring a complaint to the UWC.  Generally, a Title IX coordinator may file a complaint in situations on behalf of someone who experienced sexual misconduct but who cannot or will not themselves take the formal role of a complainant; this may be an issue of jurisdiction, safety, or preference.   In certain circumstances involving a serious threat to the university community, a Title IX coordinator may bring a complaint to the UWC when there is evidence that the university’s policy on sexual misconduct has been violated and the Title IX coordinator’s intervention is needed to ensure that the matter reaches the UWC.  See the UWC procedures for more information.

“The Title IX Coordinator investigated”:  An investigation by a Title IX coordinator generally includes, but is not limited to: interviewing the complaint and respondent, interviewing any witnesses or other parties with knowledge of the alleged conduct, and collecting documentation (including email or other communications) relevant to the complaint.  Upon reviewing the evidence gathered, the Title IX coordinator determines whether a violation of university policy occurred, whether any actions should be taken, and recommends disciplinary action, if warranted.

Sufficient evidence to support the allegations”: The UWC and the Title IX coordinators apply the “preponderance of the evidence” standard (i.e., it is more likely than not) to determine, based on the evidence gathered during the investigation, whether the alleged conduct occurred and, if so, whether it violates any university policies.

“The respondent was counseled on appropriate conduct”: In some cases, the Chair of the UWC, the Title IX coordinator, or an administrator working in consultation with the Title IX coordinator, will meet with the respondent to review the allegations and the university’s definitions and policies, discuss and affirm expected behaviors, and warn the respondent about possible consequences for violations of the university sexual misconduct policies. 

“Imposed no-contact restrictions”:  In most cases, the respondent is issued a warning to cease all forms of contact (including physical, verbal, and electronic) with the complainant.  In some cases, contact restrictions may limit access to any or certain parts of campus.

“Provided the complainant with information on safety and victim services”:  The YPD has a Sensitive Crimes & Support Coordinator who assists those affected by sexual misconduct and can help complainants make contact with SHARE or other university offices, coordinate interim safety measures, provide safety planning, and serve as a liaison with victims’ assistance services.  See the YPD website for more information.

“The case is pending”:  In the case of a formal complaint under review by the UWC, “pending” means that the review of the complaint is still in process and the result will not be reported until a final decision on the complaint has been issued.  In the case of a complaint brought to a Title IX coordinator, “pending” means that the resolution of the complaint is still in process, e.g., the Title IX coordinator and the complainant are still evaluating options.