INTERIM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY

XIII. THE COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESS

Complaints made under this Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy will be addressed by an administrative hearing, a Sexual Misconduct hearing panel, or an external adjudicator.

Administrative Hearing

A complaint under this Policy will typically be addressed through a hearing conducted by a Sexual Misconduct hearing panel. A Complainant or Respondent, however, may request an administrative hearing, in which the Vice President for Human Resources (or designee) will meet with the Complainant and Respondent to determine responsibility and render a decision as to what sanctions, if applicable, will be implemented. Both parties must agree to an administrative hearing. The investigative report will serve as the primary evidence in making a determination of responsibility. Both parties must have notice, the opportunity to review the investigative report in advance, and the opportunity to present relevant information to the Vice President for Human Resources (or designee).

An administrative hearing is particularly appropriate when the Respondent has admitted to the misconduct and there is no discernible dispute in the relevant facts of the investigative report; however, at the discretion of the Vice President for Human Resources (or designee), it may also be used when the facts are in dispute. In reaching a determination as to whether this Policy has been violated, the Vice President for Human Resources (or designee) will reach a determination by a preponderance of the evidence—that is, whether the alleged conduct is more likely than not to have occurred. Depending upon the nature and severity of the allegations, the Vice President for Human Resources (or designee) may decline to handle the matter administratively and refer the case to a hearing panel at any time.

Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel

A Sexual Misconduct hearing panel (which will be referred to here as hearing panel) is a fact-finding board comprised of external panelists (not employed by the Colleges), trained about non-discrimination; the dynamics of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence; the factors relevant to a determination of credibility; the appropriate manner in which to receive and evaluate sensitive information; the manner of deliberation; evaluation of consent and incapacitation; the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard (as required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights); sanctioning; and the Colleges’ policies and procedures. During the interim phase of this Policy, the Colleges have determined that using an external panel will best serve the fair and equitable resolution of each complaint. Each hearing panel will typically be comprised of three panelists. The panel size may be altered based upon the nature of the allegations, the complexity of the case, whether there is any issue of conflict of interest, the availability of three panel members for the hearing, the parties’ requests, or any other factors necessitating a different panel size.

Process Support for the Hearing Panel

The hearing panel is supported by a Process Adviser, who serves as the convener and the observer. The Vice President for Student Affairs designates who will fill the Process Adviser role; it may be filled by a member of the HWS staff or an individual external to the Colleges. The Process Adviser will be knowledgeable in the Colleges’ policies and procedures, definitions, the preponderance of evidence standard, and the decision-making process. The Process Adviser has no decision-making role and is not present for deliberations but is available to answer process-related questions during deliberations.

Process Support for the Parties

The Title IX Coordinator will also be present during the hearing to serve as a resource for the parties on issues of policy and procedure, and to see that policy and procedure are appropriately followed throughout the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with all involved parties, witnesses, and advisers prior to the hearing to ensure that their questions are answered before the hearing.

External Decision-Maker

In certain circumstances, the Colleges will proceed with one external decision-maker. If this alternative is selected, the external decision-maker will be a neutral party who is trained about non-discrimination; the dynamics of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence; the factors relevant to a determination of credibility; the appropriate manner in which to receive and evaluate sensitive information; the manner of deliberation; evaluation of consent and incapacitation; the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard (as required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights); sanctioning; and the Colleges’ policies and procedures. The external decision-maker is supported by the Process Adviser. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with all involved parties, witnesses, and advisers prior to the hearing, be present during the hearing to serve as a resource for the external decision-maker on issues of policy and procedure, and to see that policy and procedure are appropriately followed throughout the hearing.

If the external decision-maker determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent has violated the Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Team and the external decision-maker will determine the appropriate sanction.

Pre-Hearing Resolution Procedures

Initiation of Charges

The Colleges are responsible for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct, determining whether the allegations, if proven, would result in a decision-maker finding a violation of this Policy, and initiating charges. If the Title IX Team makes the threshold determination that the complaint should be addressed through a hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will issue a letter to both parties requesting a pre-hearing meeting.

The Complainant is not required to write a complaint in preparation for the hearing. Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be given notice of the specific charges and the opportunity to be heard before a final determination is reached.

Group Infractions

When members of a student group, organization, team, or individuals act collusively to operate in concert in violation of the Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy, they may be charged as a group or as individuals, and a hearing may proceed against the group as joint respondents or against one or more involved individuals, or both, as appropriate given available information and the circumstances.

Advisers

In any hearing, each party has the right to be assisted by an adviser of their choice. An adviser is any individual who provides the Complainant or Respondent with support, guidance, or advice. The adviser may accompany the student to the hearing and any related meeting with a Colleges’ employee. Requests to be accompanied by an adviser must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator at least five (5) days prior to the hearing date. Exceptions to this timeline will only be made when there are extenuating circumstances preventing the name of the adviser to be submitted in timely fashion.

Every individual proposed to serve as an adviser must meet with the Title IX Coordinator in advance of attending any interviews, meetings, and hearings. The adviser may not address the panel, except to ask for a short recess if one of the parties requires some time outside of the hearing room (e.g., to compose oneself, to collect one’s thoughts, or to confer). Advisers may speak privately to their advisee during the proceeding. The panel chair, the external decision-maker, the Process Adviser, and/or the Title IX Coordinator have the right to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior on the part of an adviser and whether the person may remain at the proceedings. While the adviser may be present to hear testimony, the Colleges will not share written material with an adviser.

When warranted by extenuating circumstances, witnesses and others involved in an investigation or hearing may have an adviser during the hearing process.

Pre-Hearing Meeting with Complainant and Respondent; Witnesses

When a hearing is deemed necessary based on the review of the investigative report, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant and Respondent to schedule separate meetings with each party. At this pre-hearing meeting, each party will receive an explanation of the hearing process and have the opportunity to ask any questions before the hearing occurs. If the Complainant and/or Respondent have elected to have advisers throughout the hearing process, the adviser is encouraged to be present at this initial meeting.

If requested, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with any witnesses prior to their meeting with the hearing panel to explain the hearing process and to answer any questions they may have.

When an advisor to any party is an attorney, the Colleges’ attorney may also attend the proceeding.

Notice of Hearing

Once each party has met with the Title IX Coordinator, a notice of hearing is sent to the Complainant and the Respondent. The notice of hearing provides each party with a statement of the Policy violation(s) that are alleged to have taken place and a summary of the facts underlying the allegations. In addition, the notice provides the parties with the designated manner of resolution (administrative hearing, panel hearing, or external adjudicator), the name of the individual(s) hearing the matter, and the date, time, and place of the hearing. The parties should share this notice with their advisers, if applicable.

In general, the hearing will be scheduled approximately fifteen (15) business days after the notice of hearing is sent. Under extenuating circumstances, this time frame may be extended.

Composition of the Hearing Panel; Challenges to the Composition

Each party has the right to request that the Title IX Coordinator remove a member of the hearing panel or to contest the external decision-maker on reasonable and articulable grounds of bias, conflict of interest, or an inability to be fair and impartial. This challenge must be raised in writing or in person within four (4) business days of receipt of the notice of hearing. If an objection is raised in person, the Title IX Coordinator will make a written record of the objection. All objections must be raised prior to the commencement of the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to remove the panelist or seek an alternative external decision-maker.

Pre-Hearing Review of Documents

The Complainant and the Respondent will each have the opportunity to review all investigative documents, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by federal law, at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. The investigative documents will include the investigative report, any witness statements, and any other documentary information that will be presented at the hearing.

Witnesses

The hearing panel or the external decision-maker will have discretion to determine who will be called as witnesses. The hearing panel or external decision-maker will make this decision based upon the following:

  • review of the investigative report
  • meetings with the parties
  • review of the list of desired witnesses submitted by each party

Following this review, the hearing panel or external decision-maker will determine which individuals have observed the acts in question or have information relevant to the incident. Witnesses who will speak solely about a party or witness’s character will not be asked to provide information to the hearing panel or external decision-maker.

The Complainant and Respondent will be provided with a list of witnesses and any relevant documents related to their appearance at the hearing no later than five (5) business days before the hearing. All parties have the opportunity to hear the information provided by witnesses and pose questions of witnesses (but only through the hearing panel or the external decision-maker). The hearing panel or external decision-maker determines what questions will be posed; this determination will be based on whether the questions are likely to reveal relevant information.

To the extent witnesses express a need for some type of support services related to or as a result of their participation in a hearing pursuant to this Interim Policy, the Colleges will provide needed support services and accommodations.

Relevance

The Title IX Team will review the investigative report, any witness statements, and any other documentary evidence to determine whether the information contained therein is relevant and material to the determination of responsibility given the nature of the allegation. In general, the Title IX Team may redact information that is irrelevant, more prejudicial than probative, an unwarranted invasion of privacy, or immaterial. The Title IX Team may also redact statements of personal opinion rather than direct observations or reasonable inferences from the facts, and statements as to general reputation for any character trait, including honesty.

Prior Sexual History and/or Pattern Evidence

Prior sexual history of a Complainant and Respondent. In general, a Complainant’s and a Respondent’s prior sexual history is not relevant and will not be permitted to be discussed or considered at a hearing to determine responsibility. Where there is a current or ongoing relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent, and the Respondent alleges consent, the prior sexual history between the parties may be relevant to assess the manner and nature of communications between the parties. As noted in other sections of the Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy, however, the mere fact of a current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent.

Pattern evidence by a Respondent. Where there is evidence of a pattern or conduct similar in nature by the Respondent, either prior to or subsequent to the conduct in question, regardless of whether there has been a finding of responsibility (see (a) below), this information may be deemed relevant and probative to the hearing panel or external decision-maker’s determination of responsibility and/or assigning of a sanction. The determination of relevance will be based on an assessment of whether the previous incident (a) can be established (in the event there was no prior finding of responsibility), (b) was substantially similar to the present allegation or information, and (c) indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the Respondent. Where there is a prior finding of responsibility for a similar act of sexual misconduct, there is a presumption of relevance and the finding may be considered in making a determination as to responsibility and/or assigning of a sanction.

Notice that information will be brought forward. Any party seeking to introduce information about prior sexual history or pattern evidence should bring this information to the attention of the investigator at the earliest opportunity. The Colleges, through the hearing panel (or through the external decision-maker), may choose to introduce this information, with appropriate notice to the parties. A party who has provided this information to the investigator may submit a written request to the student conduct administrator seeking its admission at the hearing. If this information was not previously submitted, the Colleges will refer the new information to the investigator, which may cause the scheduling of the hearing to be delayed.

Where a sufficient informational foundation exists, the Title IX Coordinator and appropriate members of the Title IX Team will assess the relevance, form, and reliability of the information and determine if it is appropriate for inclusion at the hearing.

To aid in an advance determination of relevance, the following must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator via email or in hardcopy format no later than five (5) business days after the notice of the charge has been made:

  • a written statement and/or description of the proposed information, if not already provided during the investigation;
  • a summary of the relevance of this information to making a decision of responsibility at the hearing; and
  • if not provided during the investigation, a brief explanation why this information was not shared with the investigator.

If this information is approved as appropriate for presentation at the hearing, the Respondent and Complainant will be provided with a brief description of the approved information no later than five (5) business days before the hearing.

Mental Health History, Treatment and Records

Mental Health history, treatment and records are confidential documents and will not be requested or used by the Colleges in response to a report or resolution of a complaint under this Policy.

Request to Reschedule Hearing

Either party can request to have a hearing rescheduled. Absent extenuating circumstances, requests to reschedule must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing. A request to reschedule a hearing must be supported by a compelling reason for the delay. The Title IX Coordinator may also reschedule the hearing, without a request by the parties, when there is reasonable cause to do so.

Consolidation of Hearings

The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to consolidate multiple reports against a Respondent in one hearing if the evidence related to each incident would be relevant and probative in reaching a determination on the other incident.

Hearing Procedures (for Hearing Panel or External Decision-Maker)

Attendance at Hearing

A hearing is intended to provide a full and fair opportunity for the Complainant and Respondent to present their account of events and for the panelists to determine the facts of the case, make a determination regarding the alleged violations of Colleges’ policy, and to recommend appropriate sanctions, if necessary.

A Complainant or Respondent may request participation by other suitable means that would not require physical proximity to the other party. This can include, but is not limited to, partitioning a hearing room or using technology, such as Skype or open telephone lines in multiple meeting rooms, to facilitate participation. Any proposed alternative must be reviewed in advance to ensure that it is consistent with the goals of a fair and equitable process.

The parties will be provided with separate meeting rooms in which to meet with their advisers, as applicable, during breaks in the hearing.

If a party misses a hearing for any non-emergency or non-compelling reason, the hearing may be held in the individual’s absence at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator and the panel chair or the external decision-maker.

Participants in Hearing Procedures

The hearing is closed, meaning it is not open to the public. The Complainant, the Respondent, and any individuals who are witnesses may appear before the hearing panel. Witnesses may only be present for their individual meeting with the hearing panel or external adjudicator. Advisers and the parties may be present throughout the proceeding (in person or via technology).

Safeguarding of Privacy

All parties involved in a hearing are required to keep private all information learned in preparation for the hearing and at the hearing. Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, the parties, panel members, advisers, and external decision-makers may not share any copies of documents. All copies of documents provided must be returned to the Colleges at the conclusion of the hearing and any appeals, and parties must certify that they have not kept a hard copy or electronic copy. Any violation of this obligation is subject to disciplinary action by the Colleges pursuant to the Community Standards disciplinary process.

This section does not prohibit the Complainant or the Respondent from disclosing or discussing the outcome of the resolution process.

Hearing Procedures

The hearing panel/external decision-maker will review all information pertinent to the incident in question prior to the hearing. The investigative report will be made available for the external decision-maker/panel members to review at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. Other relevant information supporting the violation(s) alleged may be offered in the form of written statements, documents, items, or oral information from the Complainant, the Respondent, and witnesses.

A hearing will be called to order by the panel chair or the external decision-maker, who will explain the hearing process and will provide an opportunity for all parties to ask procedural questions prior to initial statements and the presentation of information. The panel chair will provide a brief opening statement summarizing the investigation. The opening statement should focus on the areas of agreement and disagreement in order to assist the panelists in prioritizing areas of inquiry.

Both the Complainant and the Respondent will have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony at a hearing. The Complainant may make a brief statement. The external decision-maker/hearing panel may pose questions to the Complainant. The Respondent is encouraged to compile a written list of questions to pose to the Complainant. The list will be provided to the external decision-maker/hearing panel, who will determine the relevance of the questions and will ask the Complainant those questions deemed relevant and appropriate.

After the Complainant is finished, the Respondent may make a brief statement. The external decision-maker/hearing panel may pose questions to the Respondent. The Complainant is encouraged to compile a written list of questions to pose to the Respondent. The list will be provided to the external decision-maker/hearing panel, who will determine the relevance of the questions and will ask the Respondent those questions deemed relevant and appropriate.

The external decision-maker/hearing panel will then meet with witnesses. Each witness will be permitted to give a brief statement but need not do so. The external decision-maker/hearing panel will question each witness. The Complainant or Respondent may present a list of written questions to be posed to the witness to the external decision-maker/hearing panel, who will determine the relevance of the questions and will pose any questions deemed relevant.

At the conclusion of the presentation of all witnesses, the Complainant and Respondent will each be given the opportunity to give a brief closing statement.

Questioning of Witnesses

It is the responsibility of the external decision-maker/hearing panel to ensure that the information necessary to make an informed decision is presented. The external decision-maker/panel members may play an active role in questioning both parties and witnesses involved in the case. At times, the external decision-maker/panel members may need to ask difficult or sensitive questions in order to understand areas of factual dispute or gain a full understanding of the context.

At no time will the Complainant or the Respondent be permitted to directly question one another. As outlined above, the parties may submit questions to the external decision-maker/hearing panel in writing, which may be posed at the discretion of the external decision-maker/hearing panel. Similarly, the external decision-maker/panel members are under no obligation to allow either party to directly question witnesses, and the external decision-maker/panel may require that questions to witnesses be submitted in writing.

Parties and other individuals who offer information at a hearing are expected to respond honestly and to the best of their knowledge. The external decision-maker/hearing panel reserves the right to recall any party or witness for further questions and to seek additional information necessary to make a decision. A Complainant, Respondent, or witness who intentionally provides false or misleading information may be subject to discipline under this Policy.

Deliberation

After all of the information has been presented, all parties will be dismissed from the hearing room so that the external decision-maker/hearing panel may deliberate in private. The Process Adviser and Title IX Coordinator do not remain for deliberations but are available for questions. In the case of an external decision-maker, the external decision-maker will make a decision. In the case of a panel, the hearing panel will first try to reach a determination by consensus, but a simple majority vote as to responsibility will suffice in the event consensus cannot be reached. Only the decision on responsibility will be shared with the Complainant and the Respondent. The vote itself shall not be shared with the parties.

The findings of the external decision-maker/hearing panel will be reduced to writing by the external decision-maker or hearing panel. The findings will detail the findings of fact and determination of responsibility, making reference to the information that led to the finding.

Preponderance of the Evidence Standard

The external decision-maker/hearing panel will determine a Respondent’s responsibility by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the external decision-maker/hearing panel will decide whether it is “more likely than not” based upon the information provided at the hearing that the Respondent is responsible for the alleged violation(s). This standard is required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Sanctions

The Complainant and Respondent will each have the opportunity to present a written statement about the impact of the violation for the external decision-maker/hearing panel to consider when determining sanctions. The external decision-maker/hearing panel will review these statements only if the external decision-maker/hearing panel finds the Respondent responsible for one or more violations.

A hearing panel that finds a student, group, or organization responsible for a violation of this Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy will determine the appropriate sanction(s). The hearing panel will make this determination of sanctions in consultation with the Title IX Team.

In the event that an external decision-maker finds a student, group or organization responsible for a violation of the Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Team, in consultation with the external decision-maker, will determine the appropriate sanction(s).

Set forth below is a full list of the range of sanctions:

  • Probation
  • Conduct warning
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion/permanent separation
  • Organizational sanctions including probation and rescinding recognition

It is important to understand that a violation of this Policy may result in suspension or expulsion from the Colleges. In general:

  • Any student who is determined to have committed sexual assault (involving sexual intercourse) will be expelled.
  • Any student who is determined to have committed sexual assault (involving sexual contact) will receive a sanction ranging from conduct warning to expulsion.
  • Any student who is determined to have engaged in any other prohibited form of conduct will receive a sanction ranging from conduct warning to expulsion.
  • When any group (student group, student organization or team) is determined to have acted in violation of this Policy, the group will receive a sanction ranging from probation to loss of recognition or status.

The hearing panel (or the Title IX Team when an external decision-maker is used) may broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions based on circumstances warranting a less severe sanction (mitigating circumstances) or circumstances warranting a more severe sanction (aggravating circumstances). The hearing panel (or Title IX Team and external decision-maker) will not deviate from the range of recommended outcomes unless compelling justification exists to do so. A single sanction or a combination of sanctions may be issued.

In considering the appropriate sanction within the recommended outcomes, the hearing panel (or Title IX Team and external decision-maker) will consider the following factors:

  • the Respondent’s prior discipline history;
  • how the Colleges have sanctioned similar incidents in the past;
  • the nature and violence of the conduct at issue;
  • the impact of the conduct on the Complainant;
  • the impact of the conduct on the Colleges’ community, its members or Colleges’ property;
  • whether the Respondent has accepted responsibility;
  • whether the Respondent is reasonably likely to engage in the conduct in the future;
  • location of incident;
  • whether the conduct reflects collusion with members of a student group;
  • the need to deter similar conduct by others; and
  • any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances, including the Colleges’ values.

Absent compelling justifications, if the Respondent has engaged in the same or similar conduct in the past, the sanction will be expulsion.

The hearing panel (or Title IX Team and external decision-maker) will also consider other remedial actions that may be taken to address any incident of discrimination or harassment and to prevent the recurrence of any discrimination, including: strategies to protect the Complainant and any witnesses from retaliation; provide counseling for the Complainant; other steps to address any impact on the Complainant, any witnesses, and the broader student body; and any other necessary steps reasonably calculated to prevent future occurrences of harassment.

The Colleges will make a notation on the transcript of students found responsible after a
conduct process that they were "suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation" or "expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation."

Notations following a suspension are permanent. After one year, Respondents who have been suspended may appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs, requesting the removal of the notation. A Respondent may appeal the notation regarding suspension no more than once a year.

Notice of Outcome

The panel chair (or external decision-maker) will simultaneously and orally communicate the findings of the hearing panel (or external decision-maker) to the Respondent and the Complainant separately and consecutively.

The panel chair (or external decision-maker) will simultaneously issue a written Notice of Outcome that will include: (1) any sanctions imposed by the Colleges (the Complainant will be informed of any sanctions that directly relate to the Complainant and, in sexual violence cases, of any sanction imposed whether or not the sanction is directly related to the Complainant); (2) the rationale for the result and the sanctions; and (3) notification of appeal options. Any change in the outcome that occurs prior to the time that the result becomes final will also be communicated simultaneously in writing. Generally, the result of the hearing will be final and communicated to the parties within five (5) business days from the date the hearing is concluded.

As applicable, the Respondent will also be informed of the date by which any conditions or requirements must be satisfied and the consequences of failure to satisfy the requirements.

The imposition of sanctions will take effect immediately and will not be stayed pending the resolution of the appeal.

Both parties will be advised of their right to appeal the determination of the external decision-maker/hearing panel.

Both the Complainant and the Respondent will have access to a full and fair record of the hearing.

Recording of Proceedings

The Colleges will not audio record the proceedings or deliberations, nor is any other individual permitted to record the proceedings.

Withdrawal Pending Outcome

If a Respondent chooses to withdraw from the Colleges for non-medical- or non-disability-related reasons prior to the conclusion of an investigation or the complaint resolution process described in this Policy, then the Colleges will make a notation on the transcript of such students that they "withdrew with conduct charges pending." The student must go through the re-entry process coordinated by the Dean’s Office. In such circumstances, the case must be heard prior to the student’s readmission to the Colleges except where the Title IX Team in its discretion finds exceptional circumstances.

Appeals

Either party may appeal the determination of responsibility or sanction(s) in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs. The appeal must be filed within five (5) business days of receiving the written notice of outcome.

The Complainant and/or Respondent may appeal only the parts of the determination of responsibility or sanctions directly relating to them. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the hearing is not grounds for appeal. The limited grounds for appeal are as follows:

1) previously unavailable relevant evidence that could significantly impact the finding of the hearing;
2) procedural error(s) that had a material impact on the fairness of the hearing; and
3) the sanctions imposed were substantially disproportionate to the violation committed.

The appeal shall consist of a plain, concise, and complete written statement outlining the grounds for the appeal. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Vice President for Student Affairs will notify both parties. Each party has an opportunity to respond in writing to the appeal. Any response to the appeal must be submitted within five (5) business days from receipt of the appeal.

The appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner by the Vice President for Student Affairs. In any request for an appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the appeal, as the original determination and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The appeal is not a new review of the underlying matter. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall consider the merits of an appeal only on the basis of the three (3) grounds for appeal stated above, supporting information provided in the written request for appeal, and the written record of the original hearing. The Vice President for Student Affairs can affirm the original findings, alter the findings, and/or alter the sanctions, depending on the basis of the requested appeal.

If the appeal is based on material deviation from the procedures established in the Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Vice President for Student Affairs can ask that a new hearing occur before a newly constituted hearing panel.

In the case of new and relevant information, the Vice President for Student Affairs can recommend that the case be returned to the original hearing panel/external decision-maker to assess the weight and effect of the new information and render a determination after considering the new facts.

Absent extenuating circumstances, the Vice President for Student Affairs will communicate the result of the appeal to the Complainant and Respondent within ten (10) business days from the date of the submission of all appeal documents by both parties. Appeal decisions are final.

Records

The Title IX Coordinator will retain records of all reports, allegations, and complaints, regardless of whether the matter is resolved by Title IX assessment, remedies-based response or the complaint resolution process to the extent required by law. Complaints resolved by Title IX assessment or remedies-based response are not part of a student’s conduct file or academic record.

Affirmative findings of responsibility are part of a student’s conduct record. Such records shall be used in reviewing any further conduct or in developing sanctions and shall remain a part of a student’s conduct record.

The conduct files of students who have been suspended or expelled from the Colleges are maintained in the Office of Student Affairs for no fewer than seven years after their departure from the Colleges. Further questions about record retention should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Medical schools, law schools, and some governmental agencies may require the Colleges to disclose disciplinary findings made against students. Students who transfer to other schools or participate in off-campus study programs may also be required to provide such information.

At the end of the academic year, the Title IX Coordinator, in collaboration with the Title IX Team, will produce and provide to the President a report of case dispositions. Because safety and a positive campus culture are a shared responsibility, every effort will be made to provide the report to the broader campus community. In so doing, the Colleges will be mindful of their privacy and confidentiality obligations under FERPA and any other applicable statutes.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.