Jul 19, 2018  
2017-2018 University Catalogue 
    
2017-2018 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Discrimination, Exploitation, Stalking and Harassment Policy


Policies  


Statement of Non-Discrimination

The University of the Arts does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, religion, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, or any other protected class.

Purpose of Policy

The University of the Arts is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for its students, faculty, staff and guests.  It is the responsibility of each member of the university community to respect the privacy and dignity of one another.  The University recognizes that discrimination based on sex or gender, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct, is harmful to the well-being of our community and serves as a barrier to academic and professional success. To foster and maintain a safe learning, living and working environment, the University sets forth the below policy prohibiting any form of sexual or gender-based violence, exploitation, stalking and harassment.  This policy outlines the University’s coordinated response to reports of sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation, stalking and harassment in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Act (the “Clery Act”), and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), and other applicable federal and Pennsylvania state laws.

Application of Policy

This policy applies to all members of the University community, including students, faculty, visiting faculty, affiliates, staff, contractors, vendors, visitors and guests without restriction.  The University will consider the application of this policy on a case-by-case basis.      

This policy applies to conduct that occurs:

  1. On University premises or property; and/or
  2. In the context of University employment, education, research, recreational, social or artistic activity, irrespective of the location of the occurrence, if the conduct has or can be reasonably predicted to have a continuing negative effect on the University and its students, faculty, visiting faculty, affiliates, staff, contractors, vendors, visitors or guests.

Title IX Coordinator

The University’s Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring compliance with Title IX; tracking and reporting annually on all incidents in violation of this policy; and coordinating the University’s investigation, response and resolution of reports made under this policy. To contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator, please e-mail titleix@uarts.edu or visit www.uarts.edu/titleix.

The University has three Deputy Title IX Coordinators who are responsible for providing information and resources to the campus community and assist the Title IX Coordinator in ensuring compliance with Title IX.   For more information on the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinators, please visit www.uarts.edu/titleix.

Reporting Responsibilities of Faculty and Staff

With the exception of the confidential resources listed above, all University employees, full and part-time, regardless of tenure or contractual status, are considered “responsible employees” and are mandated to report any incidents of misconduct under this Policy to the University’s Title IX Coordinator.  Responsible employees are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator all known information, including the names of the alleged Respondent (if known), the name of the Complainant, the names of other witnesses involved in the alleged misconduct, as well as all relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the incident and any statements made by parties or witnesses.

Conduct Prohibited by Policy

The following conduct is strictly prohibited under the terms of this policy.  The below-defined conduct is not to be construed as an exhaustive or all-inclusive list of prohibited conduct. Conduct not specifically described below but which nonetheless implicates the purposes and application of this policy described above should be considered prohibited conduct. 

The University will consider the conduct prohibited by this policy on a case-by-case basis.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct refers to a range of behaviors that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, relationship and interpersonal violence, stalking, and retaliation. These various forms of sexual misconduct are defined in more detail below.

The University considers a variety of factors in determining whether the behaviors meet the criteria of prohibited conduct, including the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct, the identity and relationship of the persons involved, the number of individuals involved, the location of the conduct and the context within which it occurred, and the degree to which the conduct affected the Complainant(s).

The University considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective.  Additional factors to consider include whether the conduct was unwelcome to the individual who was harassed and whether a reasonable person in that individual’s position would have perceived the conduct as intimidating, hostile, offensive, or otherwise prohibited by this policy.          

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome verbal or non-verbal contact, sexual advance, request for sexual contact or sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature where:

  1. Submission to or rejection of such behavior is made implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, advancement, evaluation or participation in any University activity, program or benefit; (commonly referred to as quid pro quo harassment);
  2. Such behaviors are sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to have the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or educational experience, working environment, or living conditions by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment (commonly referred to as hostile environment harassment).

Examples of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to the following: unwelcome jokes or comments; the use of sexually explicit or offensive language; unwelcome and repeated flirtations, propositions, or advances; displaying sexually suggestive or offensive objects, posters or other depictions about sex, gender, or gender expression; unwelcome comments about appearance; offensive, insulting, derogatory or degrading remarks; threatening to take or taking actions if sexual favors are not granted or complied with, or said advances are otherwise rebuffed; demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable or preferential treatment.

Gender-Based Harassment

Gender-based harassment is defined as any unwelcome verbal or non-verbal contact or conduct based upon sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.  Gender-based harassment need not be sexual in nature to be specifically prohibited by this policy.

Gender-based harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:  physical assault or physical interference intended to harass on the basis of gender; inappropriate graphics or other displays of gender-degrading materials; sexist jokes, anecdotes, or slurs; and insulting, demeaning or derogatory conduct direct toward a person on the basis of their gender. 

Discrimination

Gender or sex-based discrimination is defined as the prejudicial treatment of another person because of that person’s sex, gender or gender-identity.   Discrimination may include, but is not limited to, unfavorable treatment, hiring, firing, and distribution of assignments, grades, accolades, benefits or other terms associated with an individual’s status, employment, relationship or placement within the University on the basis of their sex, gender or gender identity.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation is defined as an act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage or other non-legitimate purpose.

Examples of conduct that could constitute sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, the following: use of another person’s nudity or sexuality for personal gain; receipt of financial or other personal benefit from the sexuality or sexual acts of another;  recording images, video, audio or any other depiction of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent; distributing images, video, audio or any other depiction of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the material did not consent to such disclosure and the objects of such disclosure; voyeurism, including but not limited to viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, nakedness or otherwise viewing an individual in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy without that person’s consent.

Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence is defined as having or attempting to have sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent.   Sexual violence may occur by force, threat of force, or fraud in the inducement. 

Sexual contact includes anal, oral, or vaginal penetration with a body part (i.e. penis, finger or tongue), penetration with an object, or forced self-penetration of one’s own or another’s body part with a body part or object, however slight that penetration may be; or knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without the other’s knowledge and consent.   Sexual violence also includes any touching of a sexual nature, including but not limited to intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or other intimate part of another’s body.

Relationship and Interpersonal Violence

Relationship and interpersonal violence is defined as any act or acts of violence, threats or intimidation that harm, injure, or frighten a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with the offender, or against a person with whom the offender has sought such a relationship. Prohibited conduct may be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological in nature, and may be a single act or repeated acts constituting a pattern of behavior.

Stalking

Stalking is defined as a course of conduct involving more than one instance of unwelcome conduct that causes a person to fear for their personal safety or experience substantial emotional distress.  Acts that together constitute stalking may be direct actions or actions communicated to or by a third party, or other means of communication including cyber-stalking through use of electronic media.  Substantial emotional distress is defined as severe or pervasive mental or emotional suffering, worry or anguish.

Retaliation

Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken or threat made against an individual or group of individuals for filing a complaint or report under this policy, filing an external complaint or report, including but not limited to reports to law enforcement, or participating in the investigative or disciplinary process.  Anyone who engages in retaliation or who otherwise attempts to interfere with a fair and orderly complaint process arising under this policy will be held accountable under this policy.

Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to: threatening reprisals or retribution against an individual who complained or cooperated with an investigation arising under the terms of this policy; unfairly changing the evaluations, assignments or working, studying, or living conditions of such an individual; acts of abuse or violence; and any other conduct that may have a materially adverse effect on the working, academic, social or living environment of an individual.

Related Definitions

Consent

Consent is an affirmative, voluntary, and unambiguous communication indicating a willingness to engage in a mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance or lack of active response. Consent cannot be obtained through the use of coercion or force or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another person.

Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity and the existence of a current or former relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent to sexual activity.  Consent must be sought and freely given for each instance of sexual activity.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in activity because the person lacks conscious knowledge of the nature of the act or is physically helpless. Engaging in sexual activity with an individual who one knows, or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known, to be mentally or physically incapacitated constitutes a violation of this Policy. 

A note on the use of alcohol and drugs:

Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol or drugs, whether voluntary or involuntary, if an individual’s level of impairment is such that they are unable to make conscious decisions or are physically helpless.  Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments.  It is especially important that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication. Being intoxicated or impaired due to consumption of drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual misconduct, and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.

Coercion

Coercion is verbal and/or physical conduct used to compel another individual to engage in sexual activity against their will.  Coercion includes a wide range of behaviors including manipulation, abuse of trust or power, intimidation and express or implied threats of physical or emotional harm.

Force

Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s free will to choose whether or not to consent to engage in sexual activity.

Resources and Reporting

Immediate/Emergency Assistance Resources:

Law Enforcement

In the event of an emergency, please call 911, then notify Public Safety on the emergency line: 215-717-6666.

You may also make a report directly to a University Public Safety Officer (PSO).  Public Safety officers are stationed in University buildings. When a PSO receives a report of sexual misconduct, he or she will notify the Student Life On Call (SLOC) staff member, who is trained to inform reporting parties of the options and resources available.

Medical

On-Campus:

Student Health Services can provide confidential medical services to University students, such as evaluation and treatment of minor injuries, pregnancy tests, and HIV and STD testing.

Location: Gershman Hall, Room 306
Hours: M-F, 9am-5pm (during the school year)
Phone: 215-717-6230
Website: www.uarts.edu/students/health-services

Off-Campus:

The Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center (PSARC) is designated to provide forensic rape examinations to victims of sexual assault. It is recommended that individuals who wish to pursue legal action receive this examination, which includes a collection of evidence. It is recommended that an individual who receives a forensic examination not shower, bathe, douche, brush their teeth, tidy up, or otherwise discard or conceal any potential evidence. You do not need to file a police report to receive services at PSARC. PSARC is located within the same building as the Philadelphia Police Department Sexual Victims Unit. During this examination, you can receive treatment for injuries and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as emergency contraception. You are not responsible for payment of the medications or medical forensic examination.

Location: 300 E. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124
Phone: 215-800-1589
Transportation to PSARC can be provided by the Philadelphia Police Department.

Support Resources

The following resources are available to assist members of the University’s community to provide counseling and support, as well as information about and assistance with making a report and/or filing a Complaint pursuant to this Policy.

Confidential Resources

The following resources maintain confidentiality. Generally, any information disclosed to the resources listed below will be held in confidence unless the individual sharing the information gives their consent to the disclosure of that information.

Confidential resources are not obligated to share information with the University’s Title IX Coordinator and disclosure to a confidential resource does not constitute a report to the University. However, this commitment to confidentiality does not preclude the sharing of information among University administrators, as appropriate, to ensure the safety of the members of the University community.

On-Campus:

University Counseling Center - Services at the University Counseling Center are available to all University students, free of cost. Counseling provides a safe, confidential place to talk and discuss varying issues in a private and confidential setting. Therapists in the Counseling Center are trained to assist victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
Location: Gershman Hall, 307         
Walk in Hours: M-F 11am-1pm
Phone: 215-717-6630
Website: www.uarts.edu/counseling

Student Health Services
Location: Gershman Hall, Room 306
Hours: M-F, 9am-5pm (during the school year)
Phone: 215-717-6230
Website: www.uarts.edu/students/health-services

Employee Assistance Program (for employees only) - All University employees are entitled to use the confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Through EAP, employees can access counseling services via telephone and in-person. University employees can obtain more information about EAP through the Human Resources page on the University Portal.

Visit the Human Resources page on the University Portal for contact information

Off-Campus:

Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) - WOAR provides free and confidential individual and group counseling to children and adults who have experienced sexual violence: this includes sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape/date rape, and incest.
Website: www.woar.org
24-Hour Hotline: 215-985-3333

Women Against Abuse - Women Against Abuse provides a number of services to victims of abuse, including 24-hour emergency safe havens, legal advocacy and representation, long-term housing and supportive services, and more.
Location: 100 South Broad Street, Suite 1341, Philadelphia, PA 19110
Phone: 215-386-1280
Website: www.womenagainstabuse.org

The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline
24-Hour Hotline: 1-866-723-3014

National Sexual Assault Hotline
24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

National Domestic Violence Hotline
24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Law Enforcement Resources

Members of the University’s community are encouraged, but not required, to report incidents of prohibited conduct under this policy to local law enforcement. At the Complainant’s request, the University will assist the Complainant in contacting local law enforcement and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process.

To file a criminal complaint directly with the Philadelphia Police Department: call 911 for an emergency, and 311 for a non-emergency.

Note: The filing of a criminal complaint does not reduce or eliminate the University’s responsibility to address a report of misconduct under this Policy. Though the University may need to delay temporarily the fact-finding portion of an investigation while the police are gathering evidence, the University will not delay its investigation until the ultimate outcome of the criminal investigation or the filing of any charges, and may need to take interim measures to protect the Complainant and campus community.

Reporting

Individuals may report prohibited conduct to a Responsible Employee (as defined above), directly to the University and/or to outside law enforcement agencies. Disclosures to a confidential resource will not be considered a report to the University.  Please note that making a report of prohibited conduct is not the same as filing a formal Complaint.

To make a report to the University, contact the Title IX Coordinator at titleix@uarts.edu or 215-717-6362, or use the link on the Title IX Resource Page: www.uarts.edu/titleix.

Amnesty

The University encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward.  The University recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident may be hesitant to make a report or provide information in connection with an investigation under this Policy because of potential disciplinary consequences for their own conduct.  When information is uncovered through the Title IX investigative process that involves alcohol or drug usage in violation of the Student Handbook, this information will not be used to pursue any disciplinary action for alcohol or drug use, provided that any such violations did not and/or do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The University may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.

Initial Review of a Report

Upon receipt of a report of prohibited conduct under this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator and appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator will make an initial review of the known information and respond to any immediate health or safety concerns raised by the report, including but not limited to possible interim measures described below.  An initial review may lead the Title IX Coordinator to determine that it is necessary for the University to proceed with a formal investigation regardless of whether there is a formal complaint, also described in further detail below.

Additionally, the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will:

  • Inform the Complainant of the right to seek medical treatment, and explain the importance of obtaining and preserving forensic and other evidence;
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to contact law enforcement or to decline to contact law enforcement;
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to seek a protective order;
  • Inform the Complainant about University and community resources;
  • Inform the Complainant about the right to request reasonable academic, housing, employment, and other accommodations;
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to seek alternative resolution or formal resolution under this Policy, and discuss with the Complainant any concerns or barriers to participating in any University investigation and resolution under this Policy;
  • Explain the University’s prohibition against retaliation;
  • Provide the Complainant with a written explanation of all of the available resources and options.

Interim Measures

Interim measures are individualized support systems used to help those who may have experienced a form of conduct prohibited by this policy participate in campus life at the University and continue with their work or studies.  Although individuals may find interim measures most useful during the time period in which the University investigates a complaint arising under this policy, interim measures may be implemented at any time and may include:

  • Academic accommodations;
  • Medical and mental health services, including counseling;
  • Change in campus housing and/or dining locations;
  • Assistance in finding alternative housing;
  • Assistance in arranging for alternative University employment arrangements and/or changing work schedules;
  • A No Contact Directive that serves as a notice to both parties that they must not have verbal, electronic, written, or third party communication with one another;
  • Providing an escort to ensure that the individual can move safely between school programs and activities;
  • Transportation accommodations;
  • Assistance in identifying additional resources including off-campus and community advocacy, support, and services.

The University may provide interim measures regardless of whether a Complainant seeks formal disciplinary action. Interim measures may be requested by both Complainants and Respondents. The University determines which measures are appropriate for a particular person on a case by case basis.

Formal and Alternative Resolution Options

Formal Resolution Process

In the Absence of a Formal Complaint

In order to protect the safety of the campus community, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that it is necessary to investigate allegations of violations of this Policy even absent the filing of a formal complaint or report or if a formal complaint has been withdrawn.

In some cases, the Title IX Coordinator may need to proceed with an investigation even if a Complainant specifically requests that the matter not be pursued.  In those circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator will take into account the Complainant’s articulated concerns, the best interests of the University community, fair treatment of all individuals involved, and the University’s obligations under Title IX.  A formal resolution that occurs as a result of this analysis will follow the procedures described below.

Formal Complaints

Investigation

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a complaint or report alleging that a student or member of the faculty or staff violated this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator or other designee (“the investigator”) will conduct an investigation of the allegations. The investigator is a qualified individual who receives annual training on issues related to sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as well as training on how to conduct an investigation that is fair, impartial, and thorough.

The investigator will interview the parties separately and gather any available relevant physical or medical evidence, including documents, communications between parties, and other electronic records as appropriate. Parties are permitted to submit written statements in addition to participating in an interview. The investigator may also consider prior relevant allegations of, or findings of responsibility for, sexual-or gender-based misconduct by the Respondent if they exist.

At the conclusion of the fact-gathering stage of the investigation, the investigator will prepare an investigative report which will be made available to both parties for review.  Each party will have an opportunity to provide additional written information to the investigator, to request the collection of additional information, and to identify individuals who may possess relevant information and request that such individuals be interviewed.  If any additional information is gathered, a summary of that information will be shared with both parties and each will have the opportunity for further response.  The investigator will designate reasonably prompt deadlines to ensure a timely completion of the process while also providing an adequate opportunity for both parties to provide thorough information in the investigation.

Typically, the period from commencement of an investigation through resolution (finding and sanction, if any) will not exceed sixty (60) calendar days.  This timeframe may be extended for good cause, which may exist if additional time is necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation, to comply with a request by external law enforcement for temporary delay to gather evidence for a criminal investigation, to accommodate the availability of witnesses, to account for University breaks or vacations, to account for the complexities of a particular case, including the number of witnesses and volume of information provided by the parties, or for other legitimate reasons. 

Right to a Support Person:

All parties to a complaint have the option to choose a support person to participate in any meeting regarding the investigation. An approved support person is required to meet with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator prior to participating to receive information about University Policy and procedure.  The support person may not speak on behalf of the party they are supporting, question any parties or witness or address the conduct review board if a hearing is gathered. 

Adjudication, Sanctioning, and Appeal for Faculty and Staff Respondents

Adjudication

Following the investigation, the investigator will determine whether the Respondent, based on the preponderance of evidence standard, violated University Policy.

For faculty Respondents: If a determination has been made that a Policy violation occurred, the dean of the college or division and/or other appropriate administrators, in consultation with Human Resources and the Title IX Coordinator, will determine the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against the faculty member to address the violation and to prevent its reoccurrence.

For staff Respondents: If a determination has been made that a Policy violation occurred, the Respondent’s immediate supervisor and/or other appropriate administrators, in consultation with Human Resources and the Title IX Coordinator, will determine the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against the staff member to address the violation and to prevent its reoccurrence.

The investigator will provide written notice of the outcome of any formal resolution proceedings, including the determination of a Policy violation and the imposition of any sanction(s).

Sanctioning

In determining an appropriate sanction for a violation of this Policy, the University will consider a range of factors, including but not limited to: the nature of the conduct; the degree of violence, if any, involved; the impact of the conduct on the Complainant or other parties; the impact or implications of the conduct on the community or the University; prior misconduct by the Respondent; maintenance of a safe and respectful educational and employment environment; and any other mitigating, aggravating, or compelling circumstances in order to reach a just and appropriate resolution in each case.

Sanctions that may be imposed under this Policy include:

  • Verbal Warning: An in-person meeting with the Title IX Coordinator, the Respondent’s supervisor or other appropriate administrator, to discuss behavioral expectations and standards for University community members.
  • Written Warning: Notice, in writing, that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action.
  • Educational Requirements: Completion of training, projects, programs, or requirements designed to help the employee manage behavior and understand why it was inappropriate.  Includes appropriate and relevant community service opportunities.
  • Suspension: Exclusion from University premises, attending classes, and other privileges or activities for a specified period of time, as set forth in the suspension notice. Notice of this action will remain in the employee’s file. Conditions for return to work may be specified in the suspension notice.
  • Termination: Permanent termination of employment status and exclusion from University premises, privileges, and activities. This action will be permanently recorded in the employee’s file.
  • Other discipline may be imposed instead of, or in addition to, those specified above. More than one of the disciplinary outcomes listed above may be imposed for any single violation.

Appeal

Either party may appeal the outcome or the sanction (including a finding that there was insufficient evidence to determine a policy violation occurred) within ten (10) calendar days of receiving written notice of the outcome and sanction. The appeal shall consist of a concise and complete written statement outlining the grounds for appeal and all relevant information to substantiate the basis for the appeal. Appeals are limited to the grounds of improper procedure, misinterpretation of the policies alleged to be violated, new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, and/or improper or excessive sanction(s). Faculty appeals should be submitted to the Provost, and staff appeals should be submitted to the Vice President of Finance and Administration.  Appeals are not intended to be a full rehearing of the allegations. This is not an opportunity for the Appellate Authority to substitute their judgment for that of the original adjudicator, but rather to make a determination regarding the specific grounds on which the appeal was made. The Appellate Authority shall make a determination of the appeal within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Appellate Authority is final.

Adjudication, Sanctioning and Appeal for Student Respondents

Adjudication

Upon completion of the investigation and review of the report with all parties, the investigator will submit their final investigative report to the Assistant Vice President for Student Services. The AVP for Student Services will notify the parties, in writing, of the formal charges under this Policy. The parties will have the opportunity to meet with the AVP for Student Services to review the charges and ask questions about the Campus Standards Board hearing process. The Respondent will have the opportunity to accept responsibility for or contest the charges. If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the charges, they will be sanctioned following the procedures in the below section. If the Respondent contests the charges, then a Campus Standards Board hearing will be scheduled no later than ten (10) business days after the AVP for Student Services meets with both parties.

The parties are entitled to review the investigative report and supporting evidence, by appointment with the AVP for Student Services, prior to the hearing.

The Campus Standards Board (CSB) is the adjudicative body for a case in which the Respondent is a student. The CSB consists of 3-5 University faculty and/or staff members who have received specific training regarding sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, intimate partner and dating violence, stalking, and retaliation. Students are not permitted to serve on the Campus Standards Board.

The AVP for Student Services is responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed as outlined in this Policy and as such, may interject as needed during the proceedings.

Parties may request the presence of witnesses at the hearing. These requests must be made, in writing, to the AVP for Student Services at least five (5) calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. Witnesses are limited to those individuals who were formally interviewed by the investigator. Similarly, parties may not refer to evidence during the hearing that was not considered by the investigator during the investigation.

Failure to attend one’s own hearing does not preclude the case from being heard and a decision from being rendered.

Complainants may request to attend the hearing via video conference.  All requests are considered at the discretion of the AVP for Student Services.

Parties are not entitled to question or address one another or witnesses directly during the hearing. Parties may submit questions to the AVP for Student Services in writing at the designated time during the hearing. The AVP for Student Services will then make a determination as to the relevance and appropriateness of the question. If the question is deemed relevant and appropriate, then the AVP for Student Services will ask the question.

Both parties have the right to be accompanied throughout the hearing by an advisor of their choice selected from among members of the University community.  An advisor, including legal counsel, is strictly prohibited from speaking on behalf of the responding party, questioning any party or witness or addressing the CSB.  The name of the advisor must be provided to the AVP for Student Services at least five (5) calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. All advisors are required to meet with the AVP for Student Services prior to participating in the hearing to receive information about student conduct procedures.

The AVP will preside over the hearing.  Each party will have the opportunity to speak on their own behalf and submit questions for the parties and/or witnesses.

The CSB members will make a prompt determination whether the Respondent, based on the preponderance of evidence standard, violated University Policy. A majority vote of CSB members present is sufficient to declare a decision.

Sanctioning

The CSB members will recommend an appropriate sanction(s), using the sanctioning guidelines listed in the Student Handbook, for review by the AVP for Student Services and the Title IX Coordinator. The parties will receive written notice of the outcome of the hearing and sanction, in writing, within ten (10) days of the hearing.

Appeal

Either party may appeal the outcome or the sanction within ten (10) calendar days of receiving written notice of the outcome and sanction. The appeal shall consist of a concise and complete written statement outlining the grounds for appeal and all relevant information to substantiate the basis for the appeal. Appeals are limited to the grounds of violation of University conduct review procedures, misinterpretation of the policies alleged to be violated, new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, and/or improper or excessive sanction(s).  Appeals should be submitted to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.  This is not an opportunity for the Appellate Authority to substitute their judgment for that of the original adjudicator, but rather to make a determination regarding the specific grounds on which the appeal was made. The Appellate Authority shall make a determination of the appeal within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Appellate Authority is final. In case of an appeal, an audio file of the hearing is available to either the reporting party or responding party for review in a space approved by the AVP for Student Services and in the presence of the student’s hearing advisor.

Informal Resolution Process

Informal resolutions generally are pursued when the Complainant, having been fully informed of all available options, has explicitly made that choice. An informal resolution process must be voluntary for both parties, and either party can ask to end the informal resolution process at any time before its completion. Once a complaint has been resolved through an informal resolution process, the matter will be considered closed, and a future complaint cannot be filed based on the same allegations.

For some limited types of alleged violations of this Policy, an informal resolution may include mediation. Mediation is not appropriate for complaints of sexual violence and/or intimate partner or dating violence, and may not be appropriate for other types of misconduct depending on the particular circumstances surrounding each complaint.

Obligation to Provide Truthful Information

All University community members are expected to provide truthful information in any report or proceeding under this Policy. Knowingly submitting or providing false or misleading information in bad faith or with a view to personal gain or intentional harm to another in connection with an allegation of policy violation is prohibited and subject to disciplinary sanctions. This provision does not apply to reports made or information provided in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are not later substantiated.

Statement of Academic Freedom

The free expression and study of ideas are essential to the pursuit of a higher education. At times, it will be necessary to consider ideas that some community members may find unpleasant or offensive, for the simple reason that offensive ideas are part of our history and culture. All University community members must be empowered to discuss any topic or idea that is germane to the subject at hand, while at the same time acting as good citizens and participants in a shared endeavor with people of all political and social worldviews and with varied backgrounds. This calls for honest discussion, the asking of questions to clear up misconceptions, and a search for the universal growing from careful examination of the specific contexts of studied works. It calls for treating other community members as human beings with individual sets of experiences and opinions, treating them with dignity, but also extending to them the respect not only of their experiences and opinions, but also of their intellectual curiosity and resilience.

Additionally, this Policy adopts the Statement of Academic Freedom found in the University’s Faculty Handbook.