1. What does an Title IX Advisor do?
A Title IX Advisor accompanies a party to a Title IX case to meetings related to the resolution process, advises the party on that process, and conducts cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if one is held.
2. Do both the Complainant and the Respondent in a Title IX case get an Title IX Advisor?
Yes, both parties have the right to a Title IX Advisor of their choosing. Each party may select whomever they wish to serve as their Title IX Advisor, as long as the Title IX Advisor is eligible and has no institutionally conflicting roles (such as being a Title IX Coordinator, a supervisor who would implement sanctions in the event of a finding of responsibility, or a witness in the process).
3. Who can serve as an Title IX Advisor?
The Title IX Advisor may be a friend, family member, attorney, neighbor, or other individual. The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has a list of trained Advisors who stand ready to serve if selected by a party. Trained Title IX Advisors are familiar with the MCCCD resolution process as well as how to best serve in their Title IX Advisor role. If a party chooses a Title IX Advisor from outside the pool of trained MCCCD Title IX Advisors, they would not have been trained and may not be familiar with MCCCD’s policies and procedures. Parties also have the right to choose not to have a Title IX Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, but at the hearing stage, the party without a Title IX Advisor would be appointed Title IX Advisor to conduct the cross-examination during the hearing. The party can reject the appointed Title IX Advisor in favor of selecting their own Title IX Advisor, but the party cannot proceed in the hearing without a Title IX Advisor present. This is the case because the parties are not permitted to directly cross-examine each other or any witness.
4. What is an Title IX Advisor’s role in the investigative process?
The parties may be accompanied by their Title IX Advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present. Title IX Advisors should help the parties prepare for the meetings and interviews. Title IX Advisors are expected to advise ethically and with integrity (i.e., not permitting a party to lie or to present false evidence).
The MCCCD cannot guarantee equal Title IX advisory experiences, meaning that if one party hires an attorney to serve as their Title IX Advisor and the other party does not hire an attorney, the MCCCD is not obligated to provide an attorney Advisor for the other party. Also, if one party selects a Title IX Advisor from the MCCCDs list of Title IX Advisors and the other party selects a family member as an Advisor, the MCCCD Title IX Advisor would have received training in order to serve in this capacity while the family member Advisor would not have received such training. The MCCCD is not obligated to train the family member Advisor.
All Title IX Advisors are subject to the same MCCCD policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not. Title IX Advisors are expected to advise without disrupting proceedings. Title IX Advisors should not address the MCCCD officials in a meeting or interview unless they are permitted to do so by the investigators—for instance to ask procedural questions. Title IX Advisors are not permitted to make presentations or opening/closing statements during any meeting or proceeding (including during a hearing). Title IX Advisors are also prohibited from speaking on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or the Decision-maker (at a hearing), except during the cross-examination at the hearing.
Although the Title IX Advisor generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Title IX Advisor may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Title IX Advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.
5. What happens if a Title IX Advisor breaks the rules outlined in Question #4?
Any Title IX Advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the Title IX Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Title IX Advisor role, the meeting will be ended and the Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Title IX Advisor’s non-compliance moving forward. The Title IX Coordinator may prohibit the Title IX Advisor from continuing to act in that capacity in future meetings/proceedings. The party will be allowed to select a new Title IX Advisor.
6. Is my Title IX Advisor allowed access to information collected as evidence during the Title IX case?
The MCCCD expects that the parties may wish to have documentation and evidence related to the allegations of Title IX sexual harassment with their Title IX Advisors. Parties may share this information directly with their Title IX Advisor or other individuals, if they wish. If the party wants the MCCCD to share documentation and evidence with Title IX Advisors, the MCCCD will provide the party with a FERPA authorization to disclose consent form to sign. The authorization will remain in the Title IX file.
If a party requests that all communication be made through their Attorney Advisor, the MCCCD will not comply with that request.
7. Can a Title IX Advisor schedule a meeting with the Title IX Coordinator?
It is permitted for a Title IX Advisor to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator in advance of these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows Title IX Advisors to clarify and understand their role and MCCCDs policies and procedures.
8. Can a party change Title IX Advisors during the Title IX resolution process?
Yes. If a party changes Title IX Advisors, they party is expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX Coordinator if they change Title IX Advisors at any time during the proceedings. It is assumed that if a party changes Title IX Advisors, consent to share information with the previous Title IX Advisor is terminated, and a release for the new Title IX Advisor must be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the identity of the new Title IX Advisor at least two (2) days before a meeting where the party and their Title IX Advisor is to be present. If a party changes Title IX Advisors before the hearing, the party is expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of that change at least two (2) business days before the hearing.
9. Are there any other expectations of an Title IX Advisor?
The MCCCD expects Title IX Advisors to adjust their schedules to allow them to attend scheduled meetings and proceedings. The MCCCD may make reasonable provisions to allow a Title IX Advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient, but only if the advisee agrees to the provision.
For a complete list of MCCCD Trained Title IX Advisors, please visit: MCCCD List of Trained Advisors.