To Home Page To Home Page
General Description
Process Overview
Process Steps or Stages
Performance Metrics
Subject Experts
Regulations
University Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process
Process

Document Number: EOP--001pr Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 02/25/2014
Primary Author: Executive VP Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 11/01/2011

General Description
Description / Scope:

This universal grievance policy, process and investigation protocol can and should be applied to all civil rights grievances and discrimination complaints, especially those governed by Title VI and Title IX, including discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin, discrimination on the basis of gender and including sexual orientation, sexual violence, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or gender-based bullying or hazing.

 


When Performed:

As needed


Responsibilities: Administration
Dean of Students
Director of Director of Human Resources
Executive VP
Senior Woman's Administrator

The Executive VP is the Designated University Coordinator for discrimination complaints, grievances, and conduct issues and coordinates all grievance and investigation processes.


Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general

Suspension

Termination

Staff members and/or Faculty who knowingly and blatantly violate this policy may be terminated.  Independent contractors who violate this policy may be terminated from providing services.

 

Sexual Harassment:  Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting or denying someone the ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program.  The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.  Examples include:  an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwanted sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; gender-based bullying.

 

Discrimination:  Any distinction, preference, advantage for or detriment to an individual compared to others that is based upon an individual’s actual or perceived gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion or sexual orientation that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program or activities.

 

Discriminatory Harassment:  Detrimental action based on an individual’s actual or perceived gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program or activities.

 

Retaliatory Harassment:  Intentional action or non-action taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate non-discriminatory purposes, that harms an individual as reprisal for filing or participating in a civil rights grievance proceeding.

 


Back to Top

Process Overview
1.

Sexual Harassment of a Student by another Student

2.

Sexual Harassment of a Faculty/Staff Member by a Student; Employee-on-Employee

3.

Sexual Harassment of a Student by a Faculty/Staff Member

4.

Complaints Concerning Discrimination and/or Harassment

5.

Informal Dispute Resolution Efforts: A Useful First Step before Filing Formal Complaints

6.

Special Grievance Process Provisions

7.

Statement of the Rights of the Alleged Victim

8.

Statement of the Accused Student's Rights

Back to Top

Process Steps or Stages
1.

Sexual Harassment of a Student by another Student

 


What happens:

Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a student toward another student that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program or activities.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.


Special Warnings:

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media tools or other forms of communication.

· Check all case documents.

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.


2.

Sexual Harassment of a Faculty/Staff Member by a Student; Employee-on-Employee

 


What happens:

Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward a faculty/staff member [by a student] that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with employment [or living] conditions or deprives the individual of employment access or benefits.  

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media tools or other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.


3.

Sexual Harassment of a Student by a Faculty/Staff Member

 


What happens:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a faculty or staff member toward a student are held to constitute sexual harassment when:

 

· Submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating an individual’s educational development or performance; or

· Such conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program or activities.

While a particular interaction must be offensive to both a reasonable person and to the victim to be defined as harassment, faculty and staff members and other persons of authority should be sensitive to questions about mutuality of consent that may be raised and to the conflict of interests that are inherent in personal relationships that result from professional and educational interactions. Harassment is particularly damaging when it exploits the educational dependence and trust between students and faculty/staff. When the authority and power inherent in faculty/staff relationships with students, whether overtly, implicitly, or through misinterpretation, is abused in any way, there is potentially great damage to the individual student, to the accused individual, and to the climate of the institution.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media tools or other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses


4.

Complaints Concerning Discrimination and/or Harassment

 


What happens:

The University does not permit discrimination or harassment in our programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, pregnancy status, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law. Students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy should follow the procedure outlined in this Code to report these concerns.

 

This process involves an immediate initial investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the nondiscrimination policy has been violated.  If so, the University will initiate a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation.  The University reserves the right to designate an independent investigator to investigate the complaint and prepare pertinent documentation.  This investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable determination about whether the University's nondiscrimination policy has been violated.  If so, the University will implement a prompt and effective remedy designed to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.  

 

Students who wish to report a concern or complaint relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the Designated University Coordinator.  If it is an Athletic discrimination matter, the initial report can be made through the Senior Woman's Administrator (SWA) who will report the incident to the Designated University Coordinator.

 

Individuals with complaints of this nature also always have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department Education:

 

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481

Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 

TDD#: (877) 521-2172

Email: OCR@ed.gov

Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media tools or other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses


4.1

Formal and Informal Grievance Procedure for Student Complaints, Employee Civil Rights Grievances Against Students and Student-on-Student Civil Rights Grievances

 


What happens:

This procedure is intended to apply to student grievances against employees, employee civil rights grievances against students, and student-on-student civil rights grievances.  All other grievances by students against students or employees against students will be addressed through the student conduct procedures located elsewhere in this Code.  

 

The University community benefits from formal and informal procedures that encourage prompt resolution of complaints and concerns that students may have about the implementation of policies and procedures that govern the institution. 

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written documentation from social media or other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses


Back to overview Back to overview

5.

Informal Dispute Resolution Efforts: A Useful First Step before Filing Formal Complaints

 


What happens:

Before pursuing the formal complaint process, every reasonable effort should be made to constructively resolve issues with faculty, staff, or administrators, including following procedures for formal appeal. Whenever possible and safe, the problem or complaint should first be discussed with the individual involved in the complaint. If satisfactory resolution is not reached after discussion with the individual, the student should contact the individual’s direct supervisor to attempt to resolve the complaint. If it involves conduct by a student, the complaint should be directed to the Dean of Students.  If it involves and Athletic complaint, it should be directed to the Senior Woman's Administrator (SWA).  If these efforts are unsuccessful, the formal complaint process may be initiated.  The University does not require a student to contact the person involved or that person's supervisor if doing so is impracticable, or if the student believes that the conduct cannot be effectively addressed through informal means.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses


5.1

Formal Grievance Process

 


What happens:

The Designated University Coordinator will assign a trained investigator (case officer) to formally investigate student grievances, address inquiries and coordinate the University’s compliance efforts regarding student, faculty, or staff complaints and grievances.  Notice of a formal complaint can be made in person or orally to an appropriate official, but the University strongly encourages submission of grievances [in writing, by email attachment as a MS Word or pdf document, in other written form] to the Designated University Coordinator.

 

The grievance should clearly and concisely describe the alleged incident(s), when and where it occurred, the persons involved, witnesses, and the desired remedy sought.  The grievance should be signed by the initiator or, in the case of an email submission, sent as an email attachment, in letter format and should contain the name and all contact information for the grievant. Any supporting documentation and evidence should be described within the body of the formal grievance. Additionally, the initiator of a formal grievance should submit any supporting materials in writing as quickly as is practicable.  

 

Except in the case of violence or retaliation, wherein informal dispute resolution is not required, the grievant’s supporting documentation should clearly demonstrate all informal efforts, if any, to resolve the issue(s) with the person involved and the person's supervisor. This includes names, dates and times of attempted or actual contact along with a description of the discussion and the manner of communication made in the course of each effort.  If contacting the person involved and/or the supervisor is impracticable, the grievant should state the reasons why.

 

Upon receipt of a grievance the case officer will open a formal case file and assign a case officer who will direct the investigation and confer with the Designated University Coordinator on interim action, accommodations for the alleged victim, or other necessary remedial short-term actions.  

 

The case officer will then take the following steps:

 

· In coordination with the Designated University Coordinator, initiate any necessary remedial actions;

· Determine the identity and contact information of the complainant (whether that be the initiator, the alleged victim, or a University proxy or representative);

· Identify the correct policies allegedly violated;

· Conduct an immediate initial investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to charge the accused individual, and what policy violations should be alleged as part of the complaint;  

* If there is insufficient evidence to support reasonable cause, the grievance should be closed with no further action;

· Meet with the complainant to finalize the complaint;

· Prepare the notice of charges on the basis of the initial investigation;

· Commence a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation by developing  a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the accused individual, who may be given notice prior to or at the time of the interview;

· Complete the investigation promptly, and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline;

· Make a finding, based on a preponderance of the evidence (whether a policy violation is more likely than not);

· Present the findings to the accused individual, who may accept the findings, accept the findings in part and reject them in part, or may reject all findings;

· Share the findings and update the complainant on the status of the investigation and the outcome.

 

Where the accused individual is found not responsible for the alleged violation(s), the investigation should be closed and the complainant advised of this fact.  [OPTIONAL:  the complainant may request from the Designated University Coordinator an extraordinary decision to refer the complaint to a hearing, which should only be granted by the Designated University Coordinator in exceptional circumstances].  Where the accused individual accepts the finding that s/he violated university policy, the Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Board will impose appropriate sanctions for the violation, after consultation with the Designated University Coordinator.   The University will act to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the victim and the University community.  

 

In the event that the accused individual rejects the findings in part or entirely, the Designated University Coordinator, in collaboration with legal counsel, will convene a hearing under its respective procedures to determine whether the accused individual is in violation of the contested aspects of the complaint.  At the hearing, the findings of the investigation will be admitted, but are not binding on the decider(s) of fact.  The case officer(s) may give evidence.  The hearing will determine whether it is more likely than not that the accused individual violated the policies forming the basis of the charge.  The goal of the hearing is to provide an equitable resolution via an equitable process, respecting the civil and legal rights of all participants.

 

The Designated University Coordinator, in collaboration with legal counsel, has final decision making authority with regard to formal complaints, subject to appeal.  Where an accused individual is found in violation, the Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Board (whichever has heard the case) will impose appropriate sanctions for the violation, after consultation with the Designated University Coordinator.  The University will act to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the victim and the university community.  Appeal proceedings as described in this Code will apply to all parties to the complaint.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP, Dean of Students, Director of Director of Human Resources, Legal Counsel


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses


5.2

Elaboration on Student Participation in the Grievance Process

 


What happens:

The case officer from the Designated University Coordinator’s office will contact or request a meeting with the initiator of the formal grievance, and the complainant (if different people).  The investigator also may contact or request a meeting with relevant University staff, students, or others as part of the investigation. The complainant may request to meet and discuss the allegations of the grievance with the case officers and may offer any documentation, witnesses, or other materials in support of the complaint. [Optional:  The complainant has the option to have an advocate during a meeting with the case officer to discuss the documentation submitted by the student in support of the grievance.  Such an advocate should be a member of the University community: student, faculty member, academic advisor, or staff member, unless leave is given by the Dean of Students upon request for an advocate from outside the University community].

 

The complainant must advise the case officer of the identity of an advocate or witness at least two (2) business days before the date of the meeting with the case officer. During a meeting with the case officer, no attorney may serve as the student’s advocate or formally represent the student. These procedures are entirely administrative in nature and are not considered legal proceedings. No audio or video recording of any kind other than as required by institutional procedure is permitted, nor is formal legal representation allowed. At the case officer’s discretion, the case officer may remove anyone disrupting the meeting from the discussion.  All these same opportunities and privileges extend to all parties to the complaint.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.


5.3

Time Frame and Grounds for Filing an Appeal Request

 


What happens:

In the event that an accused individual accepts the findings of the investigation, those findings cannot be appealed.  Sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Board post-investigation can be appealed by any party according to the grounds, below.  Post-hearing, any party may appeal the findings and/or sanctions only under the grounds described, below.  

 

All sanctions imposed by the original hearing body will be in effect during the appeal. A request may be made to the Dean of Students for special consideration in exigent circumstances, but the presumptive stance of the institution is that the sanctions will stand.  Graduation, persistence, study abroad, internships/externships, etc. do NOT in and of themselves constitute exigent circumstances, and students may not be able to participate in those activities during their appeal. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the student to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable in the short term.

 

The decision of the Dean of Students or the Student Conduct Board may be appealed by petitioning the Executive Vice President and CIEO. Accused students or complainants must petition within 3-5 business days of receiving the written decision for a review of the decision or the sanctions imposed.  Any party who files an appeal must do so in writing to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will share the appeal with the other party (e.g., if the accused student appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant, who may also wish to file a response), and then the Dean of Students will draft a response memorandum (also shared with all parties). All appeals and responses are then forwarded to the appeals officer/committee for initial review to determine if the appeal meets the limited grounds and is timely.  The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, and the decision is final.  If the appeal has standing, the documentation is forwarded for consideration.  The party requesting appeal must show error as the original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The ONLY grounds for appeal are as follows:

 

1. A procedural or substantive error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);

2. To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included;

3. The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.

If the appeals officer or committee determines that new evidence should be considered, it will return the complaint to the original hearing body to reconsider in light of the new evidence, only.  The reconsideration of the hearing body is not appealable.

 

If the appeals officer or committee determines that a material procedural or substantive error occurred, it may return the complaint to the original hearing body with instructions to reconvene to cure the error.  In rare cases, where the procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original hearing officers, as in cases of bias, the appeals officers or committee may order a new hearing on the complaint with a new body of hearing officers.  The results of a reconvened hearing cannot be appealed absent the occurrence of the same material error or a new material procedural or substantive error.  The results of a new hearing, as opposed to a reconvened hearing, can be appealed, once, on the four applicable grounds for appeals.  

 

If the appeals officer or committee determines that the sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the severity of the violation, the appeals officer or committee may then increase, decrease or otherwise modify the sanctions.  This decision is final.  

 

The procedures governing the hearing of appeals include the following:

· All parties should be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision;

· Generally, every opportunity to return the appeal to the original hearing body for reconsideration (remand) should be pursued;

· Appeals are not intended to be full rehearings of the complaint (de novo).  In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing for specific issues, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal;

· An appeal is not an appropriate avenue by which the officer or committee can substitute their judgment for that of the original hearing body merely because they disagree with its finding and/or sanctions. Appeals decisions are to be deferential to the original hearing body, making changes to the findings only where there is clear error and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so;

 

· Sanctions imposed by the original hearing body are implemented immediately and during any appeal unless the Dean of Students or legal counsel stays their implementation in extraordinary circumstances, pending the outcome of the appeal.

 

· The appeals committee or officer will render a written decision on the appeal to all parties within seven (7) business days from hearing of the appeal.  The committee’s decision to deny any appeal request is final.


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP, Director of Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, Legal Counsel


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.

 


Back to overview Back to overview

6.

Special Grievance Process Provisions

 


What happens:

1. Attempted violations:  In most circumstances, the University will treat attempts to commit any of the violations listed in the Student Code of Conduct as if those attempts had been completed.

2. University as Complainant:  As necessary, the University reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct or despite any disagreement with the complaint by the victim of misconduct.

3. False Reports:  The University will not tolerate intentional, false reporting of incidents.  It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

4. Immunity for Victims and Witnesses:  The University community encourages the reporting of conduct code violations and crimes by victims and witnesses.  Sometimes, victims or witnesses are hesitant to report to university officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident.  It is in the best interests of this community that as many victims as possible choose to report to University officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know.  To encourage reporting, the University pursues a policy of offering victims of code infractions and/or crimes and any witnesses to such limited or full immunity from policy violations related to the incident.

5. Bystander Engagement:  The welfare of students in our community is of paramount importance.  At times, students on and off-campus may need assistance, University encourages students to offer help and assistance to others in need.  Sometimes, students are hesitant to offer assistance to others, for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for example, as student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a sexual misconduct victim to the Campus Police). The University pursues a policy of limited immunity for students who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the University will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

6. Parental Notification:  The University reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, change in student status or conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations.  The University may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations.  Where a student is not-dependent, the University will contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk.  The University also reserves the right to designate which University officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

7. Notification of Outcomes:  The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release under a federal law, FERPA.  However, the University observes the legal exceptions as follows:

· Complainants in non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence incidents have an absolute right to be informed of the outcome, essential findings, and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.

· The University may release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a University policy that is a “crime of violence,” including:  arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, destruction/damage/vandalism of property and kidnapping/abduction.  The University will release this information to the complainant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome.

8. Alternative Testimony Options:  For sexual misconduct complaints, and other complaints of a sensitive nature, whether the alleged victim is serving as the complainant or as a witness, alternative testimony options shall be made available upon request by the victim, such as placing a privacy screen in the hearing room, or allowing the alleged victim to testify outside the physical presence of the accused individual, such as by Skype.  While these options are intended to help make the alleged victim more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the accused student.

9. Past Sexual History/Character:  The past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other party in the investigation or hearing unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the Lead Investigator.  All such information sought to be admitted will be presumed irrelevant, and any request to overcome this presumption by the parties must be included in the complaint/response or a subsequent written request, and must be reviewed in advance of the hearing by the case officer.  While previous conduct violations by the accused student are not generally admissible as information about the present alleged violation, the Dean of Students Coordinator may supply previous complaint information to the investigators, the conduct board, or may consider it him/herself if s/he is hearing the complaint, only if:

· The accused was previously found to be responsible;

· The previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation;

· Information indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the accused student.  


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Legal Counsel, Executive VP, Director of Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.

 


7.

Statement of the Rights of the Alleged Victim


What happens:

A victim of sexual misconduct has:

· The right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to University administrators;

· The right to be treated with respect by University officials;

· The right of both accuser and accused to have the same opportunity to have others present (in support or advisory roles) during a campus disciplinary hearing;

· The right not to be discouraged by University officials from reporting an assault to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;

· The right to be informed of the outcome and sanction of any disciplinary hearing involving sexual assault, usually within 24 hours of the end of the conduct hearing;

· The right to be informed by University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities, if the student so chooses.  This also includes the right not to report, if this is the victim’s desire;

· The right to be notified of available counseling, mental health or student services for victims of sexual assault, both on campus and in the community;

· The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident, if so requested by the victim and if such changes are reasonably available (no formal complaint, or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before this option is available).  Accommodations may include:

--Change of an on-campus student’s housing to a different on-campus location;

--Assistance from University support staff in completing the relocation;

--Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;

--Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;

--Taking an incomplete in a class;

--Transferring class sections;

--Temporary withdrawal;

--Alternative course completion options.

· The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing;

· The right not to have any complaint of sexual assault mediated (as opposed to adjudicated);

· The right to make a victim-impact statement at the campus conduct proceeding and to have that statement considered by the Student Conduct Committee in determining its sanction;

· The right to a campus no contact order against another student who has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student or others;

· The right to have complaints of sexual misconduct responded to quickly and with sensitivity by campus law enforcement.

· The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the conduct body, in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the institution;

· The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the complaint, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law, at least 48 hours prior to the hearing;

· The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses who will be called to give testimony, within 48 hours of the hearing, except in cases where a witness’ identity will not be revealed to the accused student for compelling safety reasons (this does not include the name of the alleged victim/complainant, which will always be revealed);

· The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and allowed by law;

· The right to a hearing closed to the public;

· The right to petition that any member of the conduct body be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias;

· The right to bring a victim advocate or advisor to all phases of the investigation and campus conduct proceeding;

· The right to give testimony in a campus hearing by means other than being in the same room with the accused student;

· The right to ask the investigators to identify and question relevant witnesses, including expert witnesses;

· The right to be fully informed of campus conduct rules and procedures as well as the nature and extent of all alleged violations contained within the complaint;

· The right to have the University compel the presence of student, faculty and staff witnesses, and the opportunity (if desired) to ask questions, directly or indirectly, of witnesses (including the accused student), and the right to challenge documentary evidence.

· The right to be present for all testimony given and evidence presented before the conduct body;

· The right to have complaints heard by conduct and appeals officers who have received annual sexual misconduct training;

· The right to a conduct panel comprised of representatives of both genders;

· The right to have University policies and procedures followed without material deviation;

· The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the complaint;

· The right not to have released to the public any personally identifiable information about the complainant, without his or her consent.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP, Director of Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, Legal Counsel


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.

 


8.

Statement of the Accused Student's Rights


What happens:

The rights of accused students should also be prominently indicated.  These should include, among others particular to your University:

· The right to an investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to University administrators against the accused student;

· The right to be treated with respect by University officials;

· The right to be informed of and have access to campus resources for medical, counseling, and advisory services;

· The right to be fully informed of the nature, rules and procedures of the campus conduct process and to timely written notice of all alleged violations within the complaint, including the nature of the violation and possible sanctions;  

· The right to a hearing on the complaint, including timely notice of the hearing date, and adequate time for preparation;  

· The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing;

· The right to make an impact statement at the campus conduct proceeding and to have that statement considered by the Student Conduct Committee in determining its sanction;

· The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the conduct body, in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the institution;

· The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the complaint, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law, at least 48 hours prior to the hearing;

· The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses who will be called to give testimony, within 48 hours of the hearing, except in cases where a witness’ identity will not be revealed to the accused student for compelling safety reasons (this does not include the name of the alleged victim/complainant, which will always be revealed);

· The right to a hearing closed to the public;

· The right to petition that any member of the conduct body be removed on the basis of bias;

· The right to have the University compel the presence of student, faculty and staff witnesses, and the opportunity to ask questions, directly or indirectly, of witnesses, and the right to challenge documentary evidence.

· The right to have complaints heard by conduct and appeals officers who have received annual sexual misconduct adjudication training;

· The right to have University policies and procedures followed without material deviation;

· The right to have an advisor or advocate to accompany and assist in the campus hearing process.  This advisor can be anyone, including an attorney (provided at the accused student’s own cost), but the advisor may not take part directly in the hearing itself, though they may communicate with the accused student as necessary;

· The right to a fundamentally fair hearing, as defined in these procedures;

· The right to a campus conduct outcome based solely on evidence presented during the conduct process.  Such evidence shall be credible, relevant, based in fact, and without prejudice;

· The right to written notice of the outcome and sanction of the hearing;

· The right to a conduct panel comprised of representatives of both genders;

· The right to be informed in advance, when possible, of any public release of information regarding the complaint.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP, Director of Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, Legal Counsel


Requirements:

Policy and Procedure Handbook, Procedures


Result:

1. Stop the behavior, remediate the behavior, prevent the behavior from occuring again.

2. Understand, comply with, and be able to communicate about the policy and procedure.

 


Special Warnings:

· Alert your supervisor and co-workers.

· Check all case documents.

· Check for photos or footage from cameras or written evidence from social media and other forms of communication.

· Check for previous conduct incidents.

· Check with and confirm stories with witnesses.

 


Back to Top

Performance Metrics
Desired Business Goal/Outcome:

Full compliance with federal mandates.


Metrics: Compliance with federal mandate
Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Back to Top

Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Dean of Students

Director of Human Resources

Executive VP

Legal Counsel

Back to Top

Regulations
This document pertains to the following regulations:
federal mandate
Standards of good practice
University governance

Back to Top

This page created 03/07/2014 using Zavanta® version 6.0