Five Tips for Working With Closed Communities

Campus staff members who serve as investigators on issues of violence, sexual assault, and civil rights discrimination may feel challenged when called to investigate incidents involving a member or members of a closed community. The accused individual(s)’ membership in a closed community brings a level of complexity to investigations that can prove difficult to navigate.

A closed community is any group with a self-identity that others want to be a part of or have to somehow earn their way into. Closed communities include athletic teams and sports clubs, fraternities and sororities, student government, marching bands, academic departments, and academic cohorts that progress along a program in a lockstep manner. This training includesfive tips for conducting investigations into allegations involving members of closed communities on your campus.

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