Students of the Rowan University community have the right to access and benefit from the University’s educational and other programs, activities or services, free from any form of Sexual Misconduct. The University does not tolerate Sexual Misconduct of any kind. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated.
Under the direction of the President, the Associate Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, shall implement and ensure compliance with this policy.
This policy applies to all students of Rowan University from the time of their acceptance and admission into the University until the date of their graduation or formal withdrawal. This policy shall not apply to allegations of conduct that do not constitute Sexual Misconduct as defined herein. Notwithstanding, such behavior may be addressed by the University under other policies such as the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy, Student Code of Conduct, or Procedure for Resolving Student v. Student Discrimination Complaints. In addition, this policy shall not apply to allegations of Sexual Misconduct against Rowan employees and vendors – such complaints may be handled under the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace and Educational Environment, Disruptive Behavior and Workplace Violence Policy, or other applicable policy.
This Student Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy applies to forms of Sexual Misconduct as defined herein, when alleged against a student Respondent. Specifically, this policy applies to forms of Sexual Misconduct that do not fall under the scope of the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy, including Sexual Exploitation. This policy also applies to complaints against student Respondents alleging certain conduct that would otherwise be prohibited under the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy (e.g., Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking), but which must be dismissed under the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy because they do not meet the jurisdictional requirements.
The University will respond to Reports or Formal Complaints (as defined below) of conduct prohibited under this policy with measures designed to stop the prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remediate any adverse effects of such conduct on campus or in University-related programs or activities.
The University will not deprive an individual of rights guaranteed under federal and state law (or federal and state anti-discrimination provisions; or federal and state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex) when responding to any claim of Sexual Misconduct.
Conduct that is prohibited under this policy may also constitute a violation of federal, state or local law and a student may be charged in the criminal justice system, as well as under this policy. Alternatively, charges can occur for violations of this policy which may not be violations of the law. The criminal justice system is different from this Sexual Misconduct process. The University reserves the right to reach its own determination on violations of this policy, independently of the outcome of any civil or criminal proceeding. The University retains the right to hear a Sexual Misconduct matter before, after, or during the pendency of a civil or criminal matter related to the same incident/conduct. If a matter is going through the criminal justice system, and a Report or Formal Complaint has also been made to the University, the Sexual Misconduct process at the University may proceed normally during the pendency of the criminal proceedings. As the Sexual Misconduct process is an educational disciplinary process, the legal rules related to evidence, criminal procedure, civil procedure and administrative procedure do not apply to this process.
A finding under this policy will be based on the preponderance of the evidence standard. In other words, a finding will be made if the evidence as a whole shows that it is more likely than not that a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy occurred. Under this policy, there is a presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the Grievance Process, or the Respondent admits responsibility.
RESPONDENT – An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Sexual Misconduct.
RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES – Certain employees, who under this policy, are required, after receiving information regarding Sexual Misconduct, to report it to the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance. These employees include, but are not limited to, Public Safety Police and Security Officers, managers and supervisors, coaches, club and organization advisors, faculty, Deans, and Residential Learning staff (Resident Assistants, Community Safety Assistants, Resident Directors, and Residential Learning Coordinators). Notwithstanding, knowledge of an incident of Sexual Misconduct by a Responsible Employee (other than those who also have authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University) does not constitute Actual Knowledge by the University.
SANCTIONS – See Disciplinary Sanctions.
SUPPORTIVE/INTERIM MEASURES – See Section X below.
VII. PROHIBITED CONDUCT
This policy addresses allegations of Sexual Misconduct, against student Respondents, that occur on the basis of sex that do not fall within the definitional or jurisdictional requirements of the federal regulations underlying the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy. To the extent allegations of inappropriate behavior/misconduct against a student may not be covered by this policy or the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy, they may still be addressed under the Student Code of Conduct, Procedure for Resolving Student v. Student Discrimination Complaints or other applicable policy/procedure. Allegations against employees that do not fall under the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy, may be addressed under the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace and Educational Environment, Disruptive Behavior and Workplace Violence Policy, or other applicable policy.
Examples of prohibited conduct under this policy, when alleged against a student, may include conduct: (i) that occurs in the local vicinity (i.e., local restaurant) but outside a University program or activity; (ii) occurs outside the United States when the conduct is associated with a University-sponsored program or activity; or (iii) conduct that involves the University’s computing and network resources from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts.
Prohibited conduct (referred to collectively as “Sexual Misconduct” throughout the policy) is the following behaviors if they fall outside the jurisdictional requirements of the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy.
Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property;
Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant;
Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
DATING VIOLENCE – Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with another person. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (a) the length of the relationship; (b) the type of relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by: (a) a current or former spouse or intimate partner; (b) a person with whom an individual shares a child in common; (c) a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the other person as a spouse or intimate partner; (d) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the other person under the domestic or family violence laws in which the crime of violence occurred; or (e) any other person against an adult or youth who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
In addition, prohibited conduct (Sexual Misconduct), shall include the following conduct which would not otherwise fall under the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Policy:
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION – Any act whereby one individual violates the sexual privacy of another or takes unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another who has not provided consent, and that does not constitute non-consensual sexual penetration or non-consensual sexual contact. Examples may include: prostituting another person; recording, photographing, transmitting, viewing, or distributing intimate or sexual images or sexual information without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved; voyeurism (i.e., spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations); allowing third parties to observe private sexual activity from a hidden location (e.g., closet) or through electronic means (e.g., Skype or live-streaming of images); or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection to another person without the other’s knowledge.
VIII. REPORTING OPTIONS – HOW TO FILE A REPORT/COMPLAINT
Students who have experienced Sexual Misconduct and those who have knowledge of Sexual Misconduct are strongly encouraged to report this information as soon as possible. Prompt reporting of incidents greatly improves the ability of the University and law enforcement to provide support resources to students and to address the violations effectively. Although there is no time limit for reporting Sexual Misconduct, delays in reporting may reduce the ability of the University and law enforcement to investigate and respond to incidents. After an incident of Sexual Misconduct, the student should consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible. In New Jersey, evidence may be collected even if you chose not to make a report to law enforcement.
It is a violation of this policy for anyone to make a False Report of Sexual Misconduct, or for anyone to make a False Statement. Disciplinary Sanctions may be imposed for intentionally making a False Report or False Statement.
Reporting to the University
A student may choose to report an incident of Sexual Misconduct to the University before they have made a decision about whether or not to report to law enforcement. A student has the right to file a criminal complaint and a Formal Complaint simultaneously.
Once a Report of Sexual Misconduct has been received, whether or not a Formal Complaint has been filed, the University will provide written notification to the Complainant about existing counseling, health, mental health, student advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services that are available at Rowan and in the surrounding communities. For more information on these services please visit OSEC’s website.
Reports of incidents alleging to involve Sexual Misconduct or sex discrimination in a University program or activity should be made to the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance in person, by mail, by electronic mail, or by filling out the report found HERE.
AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Office of Student Equity and Compliance
Monise Princilus, Ed.S.
Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance
203 Savitz Hall
In addition, prior to filing a Report or Formal Complaint, a person may reach out to the following individuals to discuss their reporting options. The below individuals are Responsible Employees under this policy and, therefore, should report the incident to the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance. However, their knowledge of any incident does not constitute Actual Knowledge by the University. Thus, if a student wishes to ensure a Report/Formal Complaint has been made, the individual should also reach out to the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance.
Athletics / LGBTQIA+
Penny Kempf, Associate Athletic Director
Athletics Office, Esby Gym
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Dr. Marion Lombardi, Chief Student Affairs Officer
Room 366, CMSRU Medical Education Building, Camden, NJ
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Paula Watkins, Director of Enrollment Services
Suite 210 Academic Center, One Medical Center Drive, Stratford, NJ
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Diane Worrad, Director
42 East Laurel Road, UDP, Suite 2200, Stratford, NJ
Graduate Medical Education
Sheila Seddon, Assistant Director
Academic Center Stratford, NJ
3. Policy of Immunity
The University will grant immunity for using alcohol and drugs to both a Complainant and/or Respondent, unless the alcohol or drug was used knowingly to perpetrate violence. No one should be fearful of obtaining resources or remedies from a violent crime because they were intoxicated. In addition, the University will not pursue disciplinary action for drug or alcohol violations, or most other violations of the Student Code of Conduct, against a party or witness who comes forward in good faith to Report Sexual Misconduct. See Rowan University Good Samaritan Policy
4. Other Reporting Options – Student may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
When the University is made aware of a report or allegation of Sexual Misconduct, the University will endeavor to maintain the confidentiality of the matter and of all individuals involved to the extent permitted by law. The University will balance the needs of the individuals involved (Complainant and Respondent) with its obligation to fully investigate allegations and to protect the safety and wellbeing of the community at large. In all cases, the University and its employees will respect the dignity and rights of all individuals involved.
Responsible Employees: When consulting campus resources, students should be aware that certain employees are Responsible Employees who under this policy are required, after receiving information regarding Sexual Misconduct, to report it to the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance. These include, but are not limited to, Public Safety Police and Security Officers, managers and supervisors, coaches, club and organization advisors, faculty, Deans, and Residential Learning staff (Resident Assistants, Community Safety Assistants, Resident Directors, and Residential Learning Coordinators). Knowledge of an incident of Sexual Misconduct by a Responsible Employee (other than those who also have authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University) does not constitute Actual Knowledge by the University.|
If an individual has reported information to a Responsible Employee, but the individual would like for the report to remain confidential, the student should contact the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, who will evaluate the individual’s request for confidentiality. The Grievance Process will only be initiated when a Formal Complaint has been filed with or by the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance.
Confidential Resources: Students who desire that details of an incident be kept confidential can receive confidential services through the Counseling & Psychological Services Center (856-256-4333), which is located in the Wellness Center at Winans Hall. Counselors with specialized training are available to support students who report Sexual Misconduct. Counselors are available to help you free of charge, and can be seen on an emergency basis. The Student Health Center (856-256-4222) can also provide confidential consultation with students and may offer treatment to prevent sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy. In circumstances where the Health Center is unable to offer these services, they will provide a referral to an appropriate medical resource. In addition, you may speak with members of the clergy, who will also keep reports made to them confidential. LGBTQIA+ students who would like to speak with a confidential resource should know that every counselor at the Wellness Center is committed to supporting students of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations. When speaking with these resources, a student’s right to confidentiality is legally protected. However, there are limits to this protection in specific situations. For example, if a student discloses that the incident involved the use of a weapon or other contraband as defined by New Jersey law, or there is an ongoing threat or danger to the safety of another person (particularly children or the elderly), these resources may be required to report the incident to police.
Federal Statistical Reporting and Federal Timely Warning Obligations: Certain campus officials have a duty to report Sexual Misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes. All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, etc. – with addresses withheld), for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime to ensure greater community safety.
Individuals who report Sexual Misconduct should also be aware that University administrators may be required to issue timely warnings for certain incidents reported to them that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the community, to aid in the prevention of similar occurrences. The University will withhold the names and other personally identifiable information of individuals as confidential, while still providing enough information for community members to make decisions related to their safety in light of the danger.
X. SUPPORTIVE/INTERIM MEASURES
Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services will be offered to the Complainant and/or Respondent, as appropriate and as reasonably available, without fee or charge, where no Formal Complaint has been filed, or before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties, the University’s educational environment, and/or to deter Sexual Misconduct.
Supportive/Interim Measures may include, but are not limited to, the provision of information related to counseling, academic support, mental health services; extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments; modifications of work or class schedules; campus escort services; mutual restrictions on contact between the parties (no contact directives); changes in work or housing locations; leaves of absence; increased security; and other similar measures.
In addition, the University may place a student on an Interim Suspension, pending the outcome of the Grievance Process. This decision will be made in accordance with the University’s Student Code of Conduct.
The University will maintain as confidential any Supportive/Interim Measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the University’s ability to provide the Supportive/Interim Measure(s).
A Complainant and Respondent each have the right to an Advisor of their choice during the Grievance Process (discussed below). An Advisor may be a family member, a friend, an attorney, or any third party (i.e., a trusted employee). Advisors are present to support the parties and to provide advice on procedural matters; but may not speak on behalf of the party.
Advisors must adhere to all conditions and obligations under this policy and as required by the University’s process.
The Advisor has the right to accompany the Complainant or Respondent to any meetings with the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, DEI Investigator (or their Designee), or University administrators, and the party has the right to communicate with their Advisor during any meeting. The Advisor may also assist the Complainant or Respondent during the investigation, preparing/submitting a response to the investigation report, attend the live hearing, or assist with the filing of an appeal.
The Advisor does not have speaking privileges during the investigation/investigatory interviews. The AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance or designee will exercise control over the investigation. Anyone who disrupts an investigatory interview or who fails to adhere to University policies may be asked to leave an investigatory interview.
With respect to the Hearing, an Advisor may attend the Hearing, but may not actively participate in the Hearing.
Regardless of whether a party has an Advisor, the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, DEI Investigator or Designee will correspond and communicate directly with the parties. If a party wishes for their Advisor to be copied on any correspondence or communications, the party should advise the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance or DEI Investigator.
Upon receipt of a Report of Sexual Misconduct, the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance or Designee, will contact the Complainant to: (i) discuss available Supportive/Interim Measures, while taking into consideration the Complainant’s wishes; (ii) inform the Complainant that the Supportive/Interim Measures are available with or without a Formal Complaint; and (iii) explain the process for filing of a Formal Complaint.
Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, the University will initiate the Grievance Process.
The University will treat Complainants and Respondents equitably by providing Remedies to a Complainant where a determination of responsibility for Sexual Misconduct has been made against the Respondent, and by following the Grievance Process before the imposition of any Disciplinary Sanctions or other actions, that are not Supportive/Interim Measures, are taken against a Respondent.
Throughout the Grievance Process, there will be an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory (evidence implying or imputing responsibility) and exculpatory (evidence exonerating responsibility) evidence. In addition, credibility determinations will not be based on an individual’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
Individuals involved in the Grievance Process (AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, investigator, decision-maker, or any person designated by the University to facilitate an informal resolution process) shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally, or an individual Complainant or Respondent. Such individuals shall also have the appropriate training as set forth in the Training Section of this policy.
It is presumed that a Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the Grievance Process, or if a Respondent admits to responsibility.
It is a violation of this policy for anyone to make a False Report of Sexual Misconduct, or for anyone to make a False Statement during the Grievance Process. Disciplinary Sanctions may be imposed for intentionally making a False Report or False Statement.
The AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance must dismiss the Formal Complaint, or allegations therein, at any time, if it is determined that the conduct alleged would not constitute Sexual Misconduct, even if proved. Such a dismissal does not preclude the University from taking action under another provision of the University’s policies.
The AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, in his/her discretion, may also dismiss the Formal Complaint, or allegations therein, if at any time during the Grievance Process, the following occurs: (1) the Complainant notifies the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the Formal Complaint, or any allegations therein; (ii) the Respondent is no longer enrolled by the University; or (iii) specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint or allegations therein.
Written notice of any required or permitted dismissal, including any reason(s) therefore, shall be promptly sent to the parties simultaneously. This notice will also advise the parties of their appeal rights in accordance with this policy.
Consolidation of Formal Complaints – Formal Complaints as to allegations of Sexual Misconduct against more than one Respondent, or by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents, or by one party against the other party, may be consolidated where the allegations of Sexual Misconduct arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
Notice of Allegations – Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, or Designee, will provide written notice to the known parties, which includes:
A link to the University’s Student Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy, so the parties can review the University’s Grievance Process, including the Informal Resolution Process;
Sufficient detail, of what is known at the time, related to the allegations of Sexual Misconduct, including details such as the identities of the parties involved, the conduct allegedly constituting Sexual Misconduct, and the date(s) and location(s) of the alleged incident(s);
A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct, and that a determination regarding responsibility will be made at the conclusion of the Grievance Process;
Information that the parties may have an Advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
A statement that the parties and their Advisors will have the right to inspect and review evidence during the investigation of a Formal Complaint; and
Reference to the provisions within the Student Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy that prohibits knowingly making False Reports or False Statements.
Such notice will be provided to the parties within a reasonable period of time prior to conducting any investigatory interview, so that the parties have time to prepare and meaningfully respond.
If, in the course of an investigation, the University decides to investigate allegations about the Complainant or Respondent that were not included in the initial notice, the University will provide notice of the additional allegations to be investigated, to the known parties.
Formal Resolution Process
Written Notice of Meetings, Interviews, Hearings – Written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews, hearings, or any other meetings, will be provided to any party whose participation is invited or expected, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.
Investigation of a Formal Complaint – After notification of the allegations in the Formal Complaint has been sent, the DEI Investigator, or Designee, will promptly initiate an investigation within seven (7) calendar days. The investigation shall be completed in a reasonably prompt manner, and should be completed within ninety (90) calendar days from the time the Formal Complaint is filed.
The investigation will include interviews of the Complainant(s), Respondent(s) and any witnesses/individuals believed to have information relevant to the allegations, as well as the collection of any relevant evidence.
Each party is permitted to have their Advisor present during any investigatory interview, or other meeting. However, while the party has the right to communicate with their Advisor during any meeting, the Advisor does not have speaking privileges during the investigation/investigatory interviews.
The investigator will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional/paraprofessional acting in the professional/paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the investigator obtains that party’s voluntary, written consent to do so for a Grievance Process.
The parties and their Advisors are not restricted from discussing the allegations under investigation for the purpose of gathering and presenting evidence to the investigator.
During the investigation, the parties will be provided the opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory (evidence implying or imputing responsibility) and exculpatory (evidence exonerating responsibility) evidence.
Investigation Report – The DEI Investigator or Designee will prepare an Investigation Report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and preliminary findings of fact.
Prior to an Investigation Report being prepared, all of the evidence gathered by the investigator (any evidence obtained as part of the investigation, that is related to the allegations in the Formal Complaint, including information that will not be relied upon in reaching a determination and without regard to the source of the information), will be shared with the parties and their Advisors (if any) simultaneously. Names and other identifying information of individuals may be redacted if required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"). The parties and their Advisors must keep the evidence confidential and not share it with anyone, except for the purpose of gathering and presenting relevant evidence to provide to the investigator within the 10-day period. Failure to abide by this confidentiality obligation may subject a party or Advisor to disciplinary action by the University.
Each party may respond to the investigator in writing, within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the evidence.
After reviewing any timely submitted responses by the parties, the investigator will prepare an Investigation Report. The Investigation Report will fairly summarize the relevant evidence and findings of fact.
The parties and their Advisors (if any) will be simultaneously provided with an electronic or hard copy of the final Investigation Report. The parties may choose to provide a written response to the Investigation Report, which must be submitted to the investigator within ten (10) calendar days of receipt. The parties and their Advisors (if any) will be provided with an electronic or hard copy of the other party's written response, if any, to the Investigation Report.
A copy of the Investigation Report and any written response(es) will then be forwarded to the Office of Community Standards, for the scheduling of a Hearing.
Hearing – A Hearing should be scheduled by the Office of Community Standards no later than thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the final Investigation Report.
Each party may have one Advisor attend the Hearing. While a party may communicate with their Advisor, the Advisor may not actively participate in the Hearing. Prior to the scheduled Hearing, each party will be asked to identify their Advisor, if any, who will be present for the Hearing.
Prior to the scheduled Hearing, the parties will be provided an opportunity to make a request for witnesses to participate in the Hearing on their behalf. The parties must notify the AVP of Civic Involvement, or Designee, of any witnesses at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the Hearing. The parties will also be advised of potential Hearing panelists, and provided the opportunity to object to a panelist based on a conflict of interest.
If the matter to be heard had originally attempted, but was unsuccessful at, the Informal Resolution Process, any information related to the Informal Resolution Process will not be admissible during the Hearing. In addition, the individual who facilitated the Informal Resolution Process may not be called as a witness at the Hearing.
A matter will be heard by a Hearing Panel consisting of three (3) voting members, one of whom will be the Hearing Chair. The Hearing Chair will exercise control over the manner in which the Hearing is conducted, including being responsible for managing the questioning process. The decisions regarding responsibility and any Disciplinary Sanctions, if applicable, will be determined by a majority vote.
Each party will have the opportunity to cross examine the other party (and relevant witnesses, if any) by submitting cross-examination questions to the Hearing Chair for consideration. Only relevant cross-examination questions may be asked of a party or witness. The Hearing Chair has the sole discretion to determine what questions are relevant.
Questions and evidence about the Complainant's sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence: (1) are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or (2) concern specific incidents of the Complainant's prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent, and are offered to prove Consent.
The presentation of evidence by a party (including opening statements), cross-examination questions proposed, and final statements may be constrained to specified time periods when cumulative or as otherwise deemed appropriate by the Hearing Chair.
The Hearing Panel may not draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party or witness's absence from the Hearing, or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
Formal rules of evidence that are applicable to civil and criminal trials are not applicable to the Hearing.
All Hearings will be closed to the public, and the only individuals who are permitted to attend are the Complainant(s), Respondent(s), their Advisors, the Hearing Panel, and any witnesses called to provide testimony. In addition, University administrators (i.e., legal counsel) may also attend the Hearing with prior approval from the Hearing Chair.
All Hearings will be audio and/or video recorded. Upon request, a digital file will be made available to the parties for inspection and review.
Written Determination Regarding Responsibility/Disciplinary Sanctions – Within fourteen (14) calendar days following the Hearing, the decision-maker(s) will issue a written determination regarding responsibility, and Disciplinary Sanctions and/or Remedies (if applicable).
If a Respondent has a record of prior disciplinary violations by the University, unless otherwise permissible, this information will not be considered by the Hearing Panel until after a determination of responsibility has been made, to assist the Hearing Panel in determining appropriate Disciplinary Sanctions.
The written determination will include:
A summary of the allegations of Sexual Misconduct;
A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the Formal Complaint through the determination, including any notices to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, evidence considered, and hearings held;
Findings of fact supporting the determination;
Conclusions regarding the application of the University’s Student Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy to the facts;
A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any Disciplinary Sanction(s) the University will impose on the Respondent, and whether Remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education programs or activities will be provided by the University to the Complainant; and
Information regarding the University’s process and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal.
The University will provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously.
The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the University provides the parties with the written determination of the result of an appeal, if any appeal is filed; or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.
Informal Resolution Process
At any point after a Formal Complaint has been filed, but before a determination of responsibility has been made, the University offers the opportunity for the parties to take part in an Informal Resolution Process, as an alternative to the Formal Resolution Process.
Informal Resolution is an opportunity for the parties to settle their matter, without going through the entire Formal Resolution Process, and without a finding by the University related to responsibility. The University will not pursue disciplinary action against a Respondent during the Informal Resolution Process. And, if the parties seek an Informal Resolution after an investigation has already begun, the investigation will be suspended, pending the outcome of the Informal Resolution.
Any party interested in pursuing an Informal Resolution should advise the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance. Engagement in the Informal Resolution Process is completely voluntary, and each party must provide their written consent prior to beginning the process. If both/all parties do not agree to the Informal Resolution Process, the Formal Complaint will be addressed through the Formal Resolution Process. Most matters will be eligible for the Informal Resolution Process; however, the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, in his/her discretion, may determine, based on the allegations in the Formal Complaint, that a matter is not appropriate for Informal Resolution.
The Informal Resolution Process will be facilitated by the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance or Designee. The Informal Resolution Process will be initiated within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the written consent of both/all parties. The AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, or Designee, will work with the parties to complete the Informal Resolution Process within thirty (30) days.
Prior to engaging in the Informal Resolution Process, the parties will receive written notice providing the following information: (i) disclosure of the allegations, (ii) the requirements of the informal resolution process, including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a Formal Complaint arising from the same allegations; (iii) notice that prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the Informal Resolution Process and resume the Formal Resolution Process; and (iv) the consequences resulting from participating in the Informal Resolution Process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared.
If the parties reach an Informal Resolution of a Formal Complaint, an agreement that outlines the terms agreed upon by the parties will be prepared and signed by all parties. Each/all parties will be provided with a copy of the signed agreement, and the University will retain a copy in accordance with applicable law and its recordkeeping requirements. Agreements reached via the Informal Resolution Process shall be final and cannot be appealed. Any agreement reached through the Informal Resolution Process will provide that a student’s failure to comply with the terms of the signed agreement may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
If the Informal Resolution Process is unsuccessful, or a party requests to end the process before a resolution is reached, or if at any time the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, or Designee, determines an Informal Resolution is no longer appropriate, the matter will be addressed through the Formal Resolution Process.
If a matter is unsuccessful in reaching an informal resolution, and is to be addressed through the Formal Resolution Process, any information related to the Informal Resolution Process will not be admissible during a Hearing. In addition, the individual who facilitated the Informal Resolution Process may not be called as a witness at a Hearing.
Complainants or Respondents may appeal the University’s dismissal of a Formal Complaint (or any allegations therein); or a determination regarding responsibility, including any Disciplinary Sanction(s) imposed.
Bases for Appeal – Review of an appeal will be limited to the following bases:
Procedure for Appeal of Dismissal of Formal Complaint or Allegations – A party who wishes to appeal the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance’s decision to dismiss the Formal Complaint or an allegation therein, must submit the appeal in writing to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students (“VP for Student Life”), explaining in detail the basis of the request, and including any supporting documentation. The VP for Student Life, or Designee, will review the appeal, any submission from the other party, Formal Complaint and the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance’s decision to dismiss, and then issue a written decision resolving the appeal, that includes the rationale for the decision, within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The appeal decision will be issued simultaneously to both/all parties. An assigned Designee shall not be the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, DEI Investigator (or Designee), or anyone who would be involved in the determination regarding responsibility.
Procedure for Appeal of Determination Regarding Responsibility/Sanctions – A party who wishes to appeal a determination of responsibility, including any Disciplinary Sanction(s) imposed, if applicable, must submit the appeal in writing to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students (“VP for Student Life”), explaining in detail the basis of the request, and including any supporting documentation. The VP for Student Life, or Designee, will review the written appeal, any submission from the other party, and all documentation contained in the case file. The VP for Student Life, or Designee, will issue a written decision resolving the appeal, that includes the rationale for the decision, within twenty-one (21) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The written appeal decision will be issued simultaneously to both/all parties. An assigned Designee shall not be the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, DEI Investigator (or Designee), or anyone who would be involved in the determination regarding responsibility.
Notification of Appeal – If a party files an appeal, the other party(ies) will be notified and may make their own written submission in support of or challenging the decision of dismissal/determination of responsibility, to the VP for Student Life/Designee, no later than seven (7) calendar days after receipt of such notice.
Effect of Appeal – If there is an appeal of a determination regarding responsibility, including any Disciplinary Sanction(s) imposed, the imposition of the Disciplinary Sanction(s), if applicable, will be deferred pending the decision of the appeal. However, any Interim Suspension, no contact directive or other appropriate Supportive/Interim Measure will remain in effect during the appeal process.
Final Decision – An appeal may be resolved in the following manner:
A dismissal or determination regarding responsibility, including any Disciplinary Sanctions (if applicable), is affirmed;
A determination regarding responsibility is affirmed, but the Disciplinary Sanction(s)/Remedies is/are modified;
A dismissal is reversed, and the matter is returned to the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance to address in accordance with the policy; or
A determination of responsibility is reversed, and a new outcome is determined, which may include imposition of Disciplinary Sanctions/Remedies or dismissal of the charges.
The decision made on appeal shall be the final action of the University.
All time frames set forth in this policy may be extended by the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, DEI Investigator, Hearing Panel Chair, or their Designee for good cause, with written notice to the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) of the delay and the reason for the delay. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, considerations such as the absence of a party/Advisor, or a witness; the need for language assistance or an interpreter; or a person with disabilities requests a reasonable accommodation.
Any harassment, intimidation, coercion, discrimination or adverse action taken against an individual for the purpose of interfering with their rights under this policy, or because of that individual’s participation in a complaint or investigation of Sexual Misconduct, will be treated as a separate violation of this policy and will result in immediate action by the University to stop the retaliatory behavior, prevent further violations by the perpetrator, and remedy any adverse impact of the violation.
The University seeking appropriate disciplinary action against any individual who makes a False Report or False Statement does not constitute retaliation.
The University will retain for a period of at least seven (7) years, the records related to complaints, supportive/interim measures provided, investigations, transcripts or recordings of hearings, determinations of responsibility, informal resolutions, disciplinary sanctions, remedies provided, appeals and training.
The University will provide appropriate training to University officials with responsibilities under this policy, including the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance, investigator(s), decision-makers, and any person who will facilitate an informal resolution process.
Any student with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation to assist with reporting Sexual Misconduct, responding to claims made against them, participating in the investigation and/or adjudication process, and/or determining Supportive/Interim Measures, should advise the AVP of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of Student Equity and Compliance as soon as possible.