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Will My School Close the Investigation if I Withdraw? Does It Matter if The Complaining Student Withdraws?

Dec. 29, 2016

Your school or college will likely not close the investigation if the Complainant, Respondent, or both withdraw from the school.

Congress has passed several laws that mandate investigation and reporting of Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, Hate Crimes, and other illegal activities on college property and during college-sponsored events and activities. These laws apply even when the victim or perpetrator are not current students or university employees, or were never even enrolled or employed.

The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to require schools whose students are eligible for federal financial aid to disclose crime statistics and other information about safety on college and university campuses. In 1998, a further amendment, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act further defined this requirement. Finally in 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) expanded this requirement.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights requires colleges to make their own findings about the truth of accusations of sexual violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. If a student on either side of the matter withdraws or takes a leave of absence, the student may still participate in the investigation and any hearing provided by the college’s grievance procedures.

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