This page is a tip sheet and frequently asked questions page about support for you through reporting to the university and/or through the investigation process.

I need help. Can I have an advocate/support person?

Yes, you can. You may select an advocate of your choice.

Who can I select to be my advocate?

The reporting party or responding party is entitled to only one advocate of his/her/their choosing to guide and accompany him/her/them throughout the campus investigation, adjudication, and/or resolution process. The advocate may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney or any other supporter a party chooses to advise him/her/them. Parties must notify the Title IX Coordinator (for sexual misconduct cases) or the Dean of Students (for all other misconduct cases) of their advocate of record before the first meeting or hearing. If requested, a student may (not must) be granted advocate status for a party by the Title IX Coordinator (for sexual misconduct cases) or the Dean of Students (for all other misconduct cases).

Will the University provide an advocate for me?

Yes, the University maintains a pool of trained (non-attorney) advocates who are available to the parties if requested. The parties may choose advocates from outside the pool, or outside the campus community, but those advocates may not have the same level of insight and training on the campus process as do those trained by the University. Outside advocates are not eligible to be trained by the University.

The University expects an advocate to adjust his/her schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when scheduled. The University does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advocate’s inability to attend.

When can my advocate be with me?

The parties are entitled to be accompanied by their advocate in all meetings and interviews at which the party is present, including intake, interviews, hearings and appeals. Advocates should help their parties prepare for each meeting, and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity and in good faith. The University cannot guarantee equal advocacy rights, meaning that if one party selects an advocate who is an attorney, but the other party does not, or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide one.

If I want to have an attorney to be my advocate, where do I go?

The University will not pay for or recommend any attorney. However, the parties may wish to consult a local Bar Association as a resource to consider when looking for an attorney advocate.

This page can help you find a county or city Bar Association:  https://www.wisbar.org/directories/lawrelatedorgs/pages/wi-local-bars.aspx

What are the rules my advocate must follow?

All advocates are subject to the same campus rules, whether they are attorneys or not. Advocates may not address campus officials in a meeting, interview or hearing unless invited to do so. Advocates may confer quietly with their advisees as necessary, as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advocates should ask for breaks or step out of meetings to allow for private conversation.

If requested, advocates may be given an opportunity to meet in advance of any interview or hearing with the administrative officials conducting that interview or meeting. This pre-meeting will allow advocates to clarify any questions they may have and allows the University an opportunity to clarify the role the advocate is expected to take. The parties to the hearing are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf, without representation by their advocate.

Advocates are expected to refrain from interference with the University investigation and resolution. Any advocate who steps out of their role in any meeting under the campus resolution process will be warned once and only once. If the advocate continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the advocate role, the advocate will be asked to leave the meeting. When an advocate is removed from a meeting, that meeting will typically continue without the advocate present. Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) for sexual misconduct cases or the Dean of Students (or designee) for student conduct adjudication cases will determine whether the advocate may be reinstated, may be replaced by a different advocate, or whether the party will forfeit the right to an advocate for the remainder of the process.

Note: It is the party’s responsibility to inform his/her advocate of the above role and rules for assuming an advocate role.

Are there parameters that have to be followed when gaining documentation?

The University expects that the parties will wish to share documentation related to the allegations with their advocates. The University provides a consent form that authorizes such sharing. The parties must complete this form before the University is able to share records with an advocate. Advocates are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with 3rd parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University. The University may seek to restrict the role of any advocate who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the university’s privacy expectations.

What if my advocate cannot make a meeting?

The University expects an advocate to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when scheduled. The University does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advocate’s inability to attend. The University will, however make provisions to allow an advocate who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video and/or virtual meeting technologies as may be convenient and available.

What if I want to change my advocate?

A party may elect to change advocates during the process and is not locked into using the same advocate throughout. The party must inform the Title IX Coordinator (for cases of sexual misconduct) or the Dean of Students (for all other cases) in writing 2 business days before any meetings where the new advocate will be present.