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Chapter 200: Student Conduct

200.025 Equity Resolution Process for Resolving Complaints of Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and other Forms of Discrimination against a Student or Student Organization

Executive Order 41, 9-22-14.

  1. General
    The University will act on any formal or informal complaint or notice of violation of the University’s anti-discrimination policies. The procedures described below apply to all such complaints or notice when the Accused is a student, students or a student organization.

    Jurisdiction of the University of Missouri generally shall be limited to conduct which occurs on the University of Missouri premises or at University-sponsored or University-supervised functions. However, the University may take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, the imposition of sanctions under Section 200.025 of the Collected Rules and Regulations against students for conduct occurring in other settings, including off-campus, in order to protect the physical safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors or if there are effects of the conduct that interfere with or limit students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs and activities.
  2. Definitions:
    1. University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies. The University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies include the Equal Employment/Education Opportunity Policy located at Section 320.010 of the Collected Rules and Regulations and the Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct in Education/Employment Policy located at Section 600.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations.
    2. Complainant. The term “Complainant” refers to the alleged victim of discrimination under the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies. The University may also serve as Complainant when the alleged victim does not wish to participate in the Resolution Process.
    3. Accused. The person, persons or student organization alleged to have violated the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies.
    4. Complaint. Formal or informal complaint or notice of violation of the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies.
    5. Advisors. The individuals selected by Complainant and Accused to provide support and guidance throughout the Equity Resolution Process. Each party is allowed one advisor.
    6. Appropriate Administrative Officers. The Appropriate Administrative Officers are trained administrators designated by the Chancellor or designee and typically are the Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Student Conduct or the Chief Equity Officer/Affirmative Action Officer.
    7. Student. A person having once been admitted to the University who has not completed a course of study and who intends to or does continue a course of study in or through one of the campuses of the University. For the purpose of these rules, student status continues whether or not the University's academic programs are in session.
    8. Student Organization. A recognized student organization which has received Official Approval in accordance with Section 250.010 of the Collected Rules and Regulations. Three members of the organization may represent the student organization in all proceedings.
    9. Equity Resolution Hearing Panelists. A group of at least ten (10) administrators or staff appointed by the Chancellor or designee to serve as hearing panelists in the Formal Resolution Process.
    10. Equity Resolution Hearing Panel. A group of three (3) trained administrators or staff from the larger group of Equity Resolution Hearing Panelists who serve as the Formal Hearing Panel for a specific Complaint.
    11. Equity Resolution Appellate Officer. A trained, senior-level administrator appointed by the Chancellor or designee to hear all appeals stemming from the Equity Resolution Process.
    12. Formal Resolution. Resolution of a Complaint by an Equity Resolution Hearing Panel.
    13. Informal Resolution. Resolution of a Complaint by the Appropriate Administrative Officer.
    14. Conflict Resolution. Resolution using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation, facilitated dialogue or restorative justice.
  3. Filing a Complaint. Any student, employee, volunteer or visitor who believes that a student or student organization has violated the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies should contact the Chief Student Affairs Officer (or designee) and in the case of sexual misconduct or allegations of other forms of sex discrimination as defined in Section 600.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations, the Title IX Coordinator. Such individuals can also contact campus police if the alleged offense may also constitute a crime. In order to foster reporting and participation, the University may provide amnesty to Complainants and witnesses accused of minor student conduct violations ancillary to the incident.

    In matters of a student Complainant involving sexual misconduct, sex-based stalking, dating/intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment, as defined in Section 600.020C, the Title IX Coordinator should inform and obtain the consent from the Complainant before proceeding with an investigation. If the Complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the Complaint not be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator should take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the Complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or the request not to pursue an investigation. If a Complainant insists that identifiable information, such as the Complainant’s name, not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the Title IX Coordinator should inform the Complainant that the institution’s ability to respond may be limited. The Title IX Coordinator should evaluate the Complainant’s request in the context of providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. The University reserves the right to pursue a resolution when a Complainant chooses not to initiate an investigation or participate in the Equity Resolution Process, when necessary to protect the University community or others and provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. If, after due deliberation, the Title IX Coordinator decides the University will not pursue the Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator should consider other steps to limit and remedy the effects of the alleged misconduct and prevent its recurrence.
  4. Interim Remedies. During the Equity Resolution Process and prior to making a determination whether the alleged violation has occurred, the Appropriate Administrative Officer (or designee) may provide interim remedies including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:
    1. Referral and facilitating access for Complainant to counseling, medical services and/or mental health services.
    2. At Complainant’s request, assignment of a trained Advisor to provide support to the Complainant throughout the Equity Resolution Process.
    3. Implementing contact limitations on the Accused or on all parties.
    4. Referral of Complainant to victim advocacy and support services either on and/or off-campus.
    5. Referral of Complainant to academic support services and any other services that may be beneficial to the Complainant.
    6. Adjusting the courses, assignments, exam schedules, etc. of the Complainant and/or the Accused.
    7. Altering the on-campus housing assignments, dining arrangements, or other campus services for either the Complainant and/or the Accused.
    8. Altering the extracurricular activities of either the Complainant and/or the Accused.
    9. Providing transportation accommodations for the Complainant.
    10. Informing the Complainant of her/his right to notify law enforcement authorities of the alleged incident and offering to help facilitate such a report.
    11. Suspending, on an interim basis, the Accused from University housing, classes, the University campus/facilities/events and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, when the Appropriate Administrative Officer or designee finds and believes from the available information that the presence of the Accused on campus would seriously disrupt the University or constitute a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of members of the University community. The appropriate procedure to determine the future status of the student will be initiated within seven business days.
      1. In all cases in which an interim suspension is imposed, the Accused will be given the opportunity to meet with the Appropriate Administrative Officer prior to such suspension being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the suspension should not be implemented.
      2. At the discretion of Appropriate Administrative Officer, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the Accused.
      3. The Appropriate Administrative Officer has sole discretion to implement or stay an interim suspension and to determine its conditions and duration.
      4. Violation of an interim suspension under this policy will be grounds for expulsion.
    12. Suspending, on an interim basis, the Accused Student Organization’s operations, University recognition, access to and use of the University campus/facilities/events and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the Accused Student Organization might otherwise be eligible, pending the completion of the Equity Resolution Process.
  5. Investigation
    Upon receipt of a Complaint, the Appropriate Administrative Officer and, in the case of sexual misconduct or allegations of other forms of sex discrimination as defined in Sections 600.020 and/or 200.010C of the Collected Rules and Regulations, the Title IX Coordinator or designee conducts a preliminary investigation to gather enough information to refer the matter to the appropriate resolution process and to provide appropriate interim remedies. If a Complainant wishes to pursue an investigation or if the University, based on the alleged policy violation, wishes to pursue an investigation, then the Appropriate Administrative Officer promptly investigates or appoints a trained investigator or a team of trained investigators. Investigation of reported misconduct brought directly by Complainant should be completed expeditiously, normally within 30 business days of notice to the Appropriate Administrative Officer. Investigation may take longer when initial reports fail to provide direct first-hand information or in complex cases.

    The University may undertake a short delay (several days to weeks, to allow evidence collection by the law enforcement agency) when criminal charges on the basis of the same behaviors that invoke this process are being investigated. University action will not typically be altered or precluded on the grounds that civil cases or criminal charges involving the same incident have been filed or that charges have been dismissed or reduced.

    All investigations will be thorough, reliable and impartial, and will include interviews with relevant parties and witnesses, obtaining available evidence and identifying sources of expert information, if necessary. The parties are allowed to have an Advisor of their choice present with them for all Equity Resolution Process interviews, meetings and proceedings.
  6. Advisors
    Each Complainant and Accused is allowed to have one Advisor of their choice present with them for all Equity Resolution Process interviews, meetings and proceedings. The parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their Advisor, including an attorney or parent. If requested by either the Complainant or the Accused, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will assign a trained Advisor to provide support throughout the Equity Resolution Process. University trained Advisors are administrators or staff at the University trained on the Equity Resolution Process. The parties may not require that the assigned Advisor have specific qualifications such as being an attorney. An Advisor is not required and any party may elect to proceed without an Advisor.

    The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent the Complainant or the Accused during any meeting or proceeding. The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf, without representation by their Advisor. The Advisor may consult with the advisee quietly or in writing, or outside the meeting or proceeding during breaks, but may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the investigators or hearing panelists. Advisors who do not follow these guidelines will be warned or dismissed from the meeting or proceeding at the discretion of the investigator(s) during the investigation, the Appropriate Administrative Officer during the Informal Resolution process, or the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel Chair during the Formal Resolution process. If warned, a second violation will result in dismissal of the Advisor from the meeting or proceeding.
  7. Resolution of a Complaint
    During or upon the completion of investigation, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will review the investigation, which may include meeting with the investigators. Based on that review, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will make a decision on whether a reasonable person could, based on the evidence gathered, find the Accused responsible for violating the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies. If, in the opinion of the Appropriate Administrative Officer, a reasonable person could find the Accused responsible based on the evidence presented, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will direct the process to continue and the Complaint will be resolved through one of three processes discussed briefly here and in greater detail below:
    • Conflict Resolution – Resolution using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation, facilitated dialogue or restorative justice
    • Informal Resolution – Resolution by the Appropriate Administrative Officer
    • Formal Resolution – Resolution by the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel
    The parties may select Conflict Resolution (subject to the approval of the Appropriate Administrative Officer), Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution for resolution of the Complaint.

    If either party or both parties select a Formal Resolution, the Complaint will be addressed using the Formal Resolution option. If there is no Complainant, the Accused may select either Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution for resolution of the Complaint.

    If, following the review described above, the Appropriate Administrative Officer decides that no reasonable person could find the Accused in violation, then the process will end. In the case of sexual misconduct or allegations of other forms of sex discrimination as defined in Section 600.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations, Complainant may request that the Title IX Coordinator reopen the investigation. If there is reasonable cause to reopen the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will direct the investigation to continue, or if there is a preponderance of evidence of a violation, then the Title IX Coordinator may recommend conflict resolution, Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution, based on the below criteria. This decision lies in the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. Such decisions are considered final.
    1. Notice of Charges
      At least seven business days prior to the applicable resolution process, or as far in advance as is reasonably possible if an accelerated resolution process is scheduled with the consent of the parties, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will send a letter to the parties with the following information:
      1. A description of the alleged violation(s) and applicable policies
      2. A description of the applicable procedures
      3. A statement of the potential sanctions/remedial actions that could result
      4. An indication that the parties may have the assistance of an Advisor of their choosing, throughout the resolution process, though the Advisor’s attendance at throughout the resolution process is the responsibility of the respective parties
      5. A statement that Retaliation is prohibited
      This Notice of Charges letter will be made in writing and will be delivered either:
      i. In person, or
      ii. Mailed to the local address of the respective party as indicated in official University records and emailed to the party’s University-issued email account. If there is no local address on file, mail will be sent to the party’s permanent address.
       
      Once received in person or mailed and emailed, notice will be presumptively delivered.
    2. Conflict Resolution
      The Appropriate Administrative Officer will determine if conflict resolution is appropriate, based on the willingness of the parties, the nature of the conduct at issue and the susceptibility of the conduct to conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is often used for less serious, yet inappropriate, behaviors and is encouraged as an alternative to the Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution processes to resolve conflicts. Mediation is never utilized in cases involving allegations of nonconsensual sexual intercourse or nonconsensual sexual contact. In a conflict resolution meeting, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will facilitate a dialogue with the parties to an effective resolution, if possible.

      Sanctions and appeals are not possible as the result of a conflict resolution process, though the parties may agree to appropriate remedies. The Appropriate Administrative Officer will keep records of any resolution that is reached, and failure to abide by the accord can result in appropriate responsive actions. The Appropriate Administrative Officer utilized for Conflict Resolution may not be the same as the Appropriate Administrative Officer used in either the Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution Processes.

      Conflict resolution will not be the primary resolution mechanism used to address complaints of sexual misconduct or violent behavior of any kind or in other cases of serious violations of policy, though it may be made available after the formal process is completed should the parties and the Appropriate Administrative Officer believe that it could be beneficial. It is not necessary to pursue conflict resolution prior to pursuing either Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution and either party can stop that process at any time and request either the Informal Resolution or Formal Resolution Process.
    3. Procedural Details for Informal Resolution and Formal Resolution.
      For both the Informal and Formal Resolution Processes, the following will apply:
      1. The standard of proof will be “preponderance of the evidence,” defined as determining whether evidence shows it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.
      2. Three members of the organization may represent the Accused Student Organization in all proceedings.
      3. Questioning or evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual conduct is not permitted, though the Appropriate Administrative Officer or Equity Resolution Hearing Panel Chair may grant a limited exception in regards to the sexual history between the parties.
      4. The resolution process will normally be completed within 60 business days. Deviations from this timeframe will be promptly communicated to both parties.
      5. The Accused may not directly question the Complainant and the Complainant may not directly question the Accused. However, if both Complainant and Accused request the opportunity, direct questioning between the parties will be permitted. Otherwise questions will be directed through the Chair, the Investigator or the Appropriate Administrative Officer and those questions deemed appropriate and relevant will be asked on behalf of the requesting party.
      6. Informal resolution procedures may be used when both parties elect to resolve the Complaint using the Informal Resolution or when there is no Complainant and the Accused elects Informal Resolution.
      7. At any time prior to the conclusion of the Informal Resolution process (i.e.: prior to a finding being made as to responsibility for the charges), the Complainant and/or the Accused may request that the Complaint shift to the Formal Resolution process. Upon receipt of such a request from either or both parties, the Complaint will shift to the Formal Resolution Process.
      8. The Appropriate Administrative Officer may, in their discretion, grant reasonable extensions to the timeframes and limits provided.
      9. The Resolution Processes will proceed regardless of whether the Accused chooses to participate in the investigation, the finding or the hearing.
    4. Rights of the parties in Informal Resolution and Formal Resolution.
      1. Statement of the Rights of the Complainant
        1) To be treated with respect by University officials.
        2) Access to campus support resources (such as counseling and mental health services and University health services).
        3) To have an Advisor of their choice accompany them to all interviews, meetings and proceedings throughout the Equity Resolution Process.
        4) To refuse to have an allegation resolved through the Informal Resolution Process.
        5) To receive amnesty for minor student misconduct that is ancillary to the incident, at the discretion of the Appropriate Administrative Officer.
        6) To receive advance notice of the investigation and notice of a Formal Resolution Hearing.
        7) An equal opportunity to present a list of potential witnesses and provide evidence.
        8) To be free from retaliation.
        9) To have Complaints heard in substantial accordance with these procedures.
        10) Where the Complainant is not the reporting party, the Complainant has full rights to participation in any Equity Resolution Process.
        11) To be informed of the finding, rationale and sanction (where applicable to the Complainant) of the Complaint in writing.
        12) To report the matter to law enforcement (if applicable) and to have assistance in making that report.
        13) To request reasonable housing, living and other accommodations and remedies consistent with Section 200.025D of the Collected Rules and Regulations.
        14) To request a no contact directive between the parties.
        15) Equal opportunity to appeal the findings and sanction.
        16) Additional Rights For Formal Resolution:
        • To have the names of witnesses that may participate in the hearing at least two days prior to the hearing.
        • To have copies of all pertinent documentary evidence and any investigative report at least two business days prior to the hearing.
        • To request alternative attendance or questioning mechanisms for the hearing (e.g.: screens, Skype, questions directed through the Chair, etc.)
      2. Statement of the Rights of the Accused
        1) To be treated with respect by University officials.
        2) Access to campus support resources (such as counseling and mental health services and University health services), unless suspended from campus pending the completion of the process
        3) To have an Advisor of their choice accompany them to all meetings and proceedings throughout the Equity Resolution Process.
        4) To refuse to have an allegation resolved through conflict resolution procedures or using the Informal Resolution process.
        5) An equal opportunity to present a list of potential witnesses and provide evidence.
        6) To receive notice of the policies alleged to have been violated and notice of a Formal Resolution Hearing.
        7) To have complaints heard in substantial accordance with these procedures.
        8) To be informed of the finding, rationale and sanction of the Complaint in writing.
        9) Equal opportunity to appeal the findings and sanction.
        10) Additional Rights For Formal Resolution:
        a) To have the names of witnesses that may participate in the hearing at least two days prior to the hearing.
        b) To have copies of all pertinent documentary evidence and any investigative report at least two business days prior to the hearing.
        c) To request alternative attendance or questioning mechanisms for the hearing (e.g.: screens, Skype, questions directed through the Chair, etc.)
    5. Informal Resolution: Resolution by the Appropriate Administrative Officer
      Informal Resolution, or Resolution by the Appropriate Administrative Officer, can be pursued for any behavior that falls within the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies. Informal Resolution may be used when both parties elect to resolve the Complaint using the Informal Resolution process or, if there is no Complainant, the Accused elects Informal Resolution.

      The Informal Resolution process consists of a prompt thorough and impartial investigation, a finding on each of the alleged policy violations, and sanctions for findings of responsibility.

      The Appropriate Administrative Officer will meet with the Accused to review the charges and the investigation. The Accused may choose to admit responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point in the process. If the Accused admits responsibility, in whole or in part, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will render a finding that the individual is in violation of University policy for the admitted conduct. For any disputed violations, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will render a finding utilizing the preponderance of the evidence standard. The Appropriate Administrative Officer will also determine appropriate sanctions or remedial actions. The findings and sanctions are subject to appeal.

      At any point during the Investigation and Informal Resolution process prior to the finding (i.e.: the conclusion of the Informal Resolution process), either party may request that the matter be referred to the Formal Resolution for presentation before The Equity Resolution Hearing Panel.

      At least three business days prior to rendering a finding on disputed violations, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will provide the parties with written notice of intent to render a finding using Informal Resolution, either
      i. In person, or
      ii. Mailed to their local address of the respective party as indicated in official University records and emailed to the party’s University-issued email account. If there is no local address on file, mail will be sent to the party’s permanent address.
       
      Once emailed, notice will be presumptively delivered.

      If, after at least three business days neither of the parties request in writing that the matter be referred to the Formal Resolution process, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will render a finding on the disputed violations. Once findings have been made, the right to the Formal Resolution process is waived and the Informal Resolution process is complete. The finding of the Informal Resolution process remains subject to appeal.

      The Appropriate Administrative Officer will inform the Accused and the Complainant of the final determination in writing within 3 business days of the resolution, without significant time delay between notifications. The final determination letter will be made in writing and will be delivered either:
      i. In person, or
      ii. Mailed to the local address of the respective party as indicated in official University records and emailed to the party’s University-issued email account. If there is no local address on file, mail will be sent to the party’s permanent address.
      Once received in person or mailed and emailed, notice will be presumptively delivered.
    6. Formal Resolution: Resolution by the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel
      For Complaints that are not resolved through Informal Resolution, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will initiate the Formal Resolution Process.
      1. Equity Resolution Hearing Panelist Pool
        The University will create and annually train a pool of not less than ten (10) administrators or staff as hearing panelists. Panelists are appointed by the Chancellor (or designee) to serve a renewable term of three (3) years. Panelist appointments should be made with attention to representation of groups protected by the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies. The Chancellor (or designee) will select a Hearing Panelist Chair, who assigns and coordinates the pool and those Panelists assigned to specific hearings.
      2. Equity Resolution Hearing Panel
        When a Complaint is not resolved through the Informal Resolution Process, the Hearing Panelist Chair will assign three members from the Hearing Panelist pool to serve on the specific Hearing Panel and will also designate the Chair of the panel. An alternate may be designated to sit in throughout the process as needed. The Chair of the Hearing Panel helps ensure that the process adheres materially to the procedural elements of the Equity Resolution Hearing Process. The institution reserves the right to have its attorney or attorneys present during the hearing.
      3. Notice of Hearing
        At least seven business days prior to the hearing, or as far in advance as is reasonably possible if an accelerated resolution process is scheduled with the consent of the parties, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will send a letter to the parties with the following information:
        1) A description of the alleged violation(s) and applicable policies
        2) A description of the applicable procedures
        3) A statement of the potential sanctions/remedial actions that could result
        4) An indication that the parties may have the assistance of an Advisor of their choosing, at the hearing, though the Advisor’s attendance at the hearing is the responsibility of the respective parties. The Advisor may not address the Hearing Panel.
        5) The time, date and location of the hearing. If any party does not appear at the scheduled resolution process, the resolution process will be held in their absence. For compelling reasons, the resolution process may be rescheduled.
        This Notice of Hearing letter will be made in writing and will be delivered either:
        i. In person, or
        ii. Mailed to the local address of the respective party as indicated in official University records and emailed to the party’s University-issued email account. If there is no local address on file, mail will be sent to the party’s permanent address.

        Once received in person or mailed and emailed, notice will be presumptively delivered.
      4. Equity Resolution Hearing Panel - General Procedures
        Equity Resolution Hearing Panels will be convened, usually within one to two weeks of the completion of the investigation. The Hearing Panel has the authority to hear all collateral allegations of misconduct, meaning that it hears all allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, but also may hear any additional alleged policy violations that are alleged to have occurred in concert with the alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, even though those collateral allegations may not specifically fall within the jurisdiction of the Equity Resolution Procedure. Accordingly, investigations should be conducted with as wide a scope as necessary.

        Participants will include the Chair, the two other members of the Hearing Panel, and may include the investigator(s) of the Complaint, the Complainant, the Accused (or up to three organizational representatives in a case where an organization is charged), Advisors to the parties and any called witnesses.

        At least four business days prior to the hearing, the parties will give to the Appropriate Administrative Officer a list of the names of the proposed witnesses and copies of all proposed documentary evidence. At least two business days prior to the hearing, the Appropriate Administrative Officer will have available for the parties to pick-up the names of proposed witnesses, copies of all pertinent documentary evidence and a copy of any investigative report. In addition, the parties will be given a list of the names of each of the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel members at least two business days in advance of the hearing. Should any Complainant or Accused object to any panelist, they must raise all objections, in writing, to the Hearing Panelist Chair as soon thereafter as possible. Hearing Panel members will only be unseated if the Hearing Panelist Chair concludes that their bias precludes an impartial hearing of the Complaint. Additionally, any panelist or Chair of the Hearing Panel who feels they cannot make an objective determination must recuse himself or herself from the proceedings when notified of the identity of the parties and all witnesses in advance of the hearing.

        The Chair of the Hearing Panel, in consultation with the parties and investigators, may decide in advance of the hearing that certain witnesses do not need to be physically present if their testimony can be adequately summarized by the investigator(s) in the investigation report or during the hearing. All parties will have ample opportunity to present facts and arguments in full and question all present witnesses during the hearing, though formal cross-examination is not used between the parties. If alternative attendance or questioning mechanisms are desired such as the grievant not wanting to be in the same room as the accused for the hearing (screens, Skype, questions directed through the Chair, etc.), the parties should request them from the Chair at least two business days prior to the hearing. The University will make reasonable accommodations for both parties in keeping with the principles of equity and fairness.
      5. The Hearing
        Formal rules of evidence will not apply. Any evidence that the panel believes is relevant may be considered, including history of related misconduct by the Accused that shows a pattern. The Chair of the Hearing Panel will address any evidentiary concerns prior to and/or during the hearing and may exclude irrelevant or immaterial evidence. The Chair of the Hearing Panel will determine all questions of procedure and evidence. Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will respond to questions on their own behalf. There will be no observers permitted in the hearing other than as provided herein.

        Once the procedures are explained and the participants are introduced, the investigator(s) will present the report of the investigation first, and be subject to questioning by the parties and the Hearing Panel. The investigator(s) will be present during the entire hearing process. The Hearing Panel will then permit testimony by the parties and any present witnesses. The parties may question anyone giving testimony. Questions may be directed through the panel at the discretion of the Chair of the Hearing Panel.

        Unless the Chair of the Hearing Panel determines it is appropriate, no one will present information or raise questions concerning:
        1) Incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they show a pattern.
        2) The sexual history of the Complainant (though there may be a limited exception made in regards to the sexual history between the parties).
        3) The character of the Complainant.
        The Chair of the Hearing Panel may allow witnesses who have relevant information to appear at a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the Panel or the parties involved. The Panel does not hear from character witnesses.

        In hearings involving more than one accused individual or in which two Complainants have accused the same individual of substantially similar conduct, the standard procedure will be to hear the Complaints jointly; however, the Appropriate Administrative Officer or the Chair of the Hearing Panel may permit the hearing pertinent to each Accused to be conducted separately. In joint hearings, separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each Accused.
      6. Decisions
        The three members of the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel will deliberate with no others present, except any legal advisor to the Hearing Panel, to determine whether the Accused is responsible or not responsible for the policy violation(s) in question. The panel will base its determination on a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the Accused committed each alleged violation). If an Accused is found responsible by a majority of the panel, the panel will determine appropriate sanctions.

        The Equity Resolution Hearing Panel Chair will prepare a written panel report and deliver it to the Appropriate Administrative Officer detailing the finding, how each member voted, the information cited by the panel in support of its determination and any information the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel excluded from its consideration and why. The report should conclude with sanctions. This report should not exceed two pages in length and is typically submitted to the Appropriate Administrative Officer within two (2) business days of the end of deliberations. Deviation from the 2-day period will be communicated to the parties, along with an expected time to completion.

        The Appropriate Administrative Officer will inform the Accused and the Complainant of the final determination within 3 business days of receipt of the panel report, without significant time delay between notifications. Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods:
        i. In person.
        ii. Mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official University records.
        iii. Emailed to the parties’ University-issued email account.
         
        Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
      7. Sanctions
        1) Factors considered in sanctioning
        When the Accused is found responsible, the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel assigned to the Complaint in the Formal Resolution Process or the Appropriate Administrative Officer in the Informal Resolution Process will determine sanctions and remedial actions. The Appropriate Administrative Officer will apply and enforce the sanctions and remedial actions and may also add other remedial actions as deemed appropriate. Factors considered when determining a sanction/remedial action may include:
        a) The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation.
        b) The disciplinary history of the Accused.
        c) Any other information deemed relevant by the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel in the Formal Resolution Process or the Appropriate Administrative Officer in the Informal Resolution Process.
        d) The need for sanctions/remedial actions to bring an end to the discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation.
        e) The need for sanctions/remedial actions to prevent the future recurrence of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation.
        f) The need to remedy the effects of the discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation on the Complainant and the University community.
        2) Types of Sanctions
        The following sanctions may be imposed upon any Accused or Accused Student Organization found to have violated the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policies or the Student Conduct Code; more than one of the sanctions may be imposed for any single violation. Sanctions include but are not limited to:
        a) Warning. A notice in writing to the Accused or Accused Student Organization that there is or has been a violation of institutional regulations.
        b) Probation. A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe sanctions if the Accused or Accused Student Organization is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
        c) Loss of Privileges. Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
        d) Restitution. Compensating the University for loss, damage, or injury to University property. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
        e) Discretionary Sanctions. Work assignments, service to the University, or other related discretionary assignments, or completion of educational programming or counseling.
        f) Residence Hall Suspension. Separation of the Accused from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the Accused is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
        g) Residence Hall Expulsion. Permanent separation of the Accused from the residence halls.
        h) Campus Suspension. Accused is suspended from being allowed on campus for a definite period of time. Logistical modifications consistent with the sanction imposed, may be granted at the discretion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee.
        i) University Dismissal. An involuntary separation of the Accused from the institution for misconduct. It is less than permanent in nature and does not imply or state a minimum separation time.
        j) University Suspension. Separation of the Accused from the University for a definite period of time, after which the Accused is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
        k) Withdrawal of Recognition. Accused Student Organization loses it Official Approval as a recognized student organization. May be either temporary or permanent.
        l) University Expulsion. Permanent separation of the Accused from the University.
    7. Withdrawal While Charges Pending
      Should an Accused decide to withdraw from the University and not participate in the investigation and/or hearing, the process will nonetheless proceed in the Accused’s absence to a reasonable resolution and, if the Accused is found responsible, the Accused will not be permitted to return to University unless all sanctions have been satisfied.
    8. Equity Resolution Panel Appellate Process
      1. Equity Resolution Appellate Officer
        An administrator is appointed by the Chancellor to serve as the University’s Equity Resolution Appellate Officer. The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will be the individual who reviews all appeals to determine if they meet the requirements for appeal and, if the appeal does meet the requirements to appeal, examines the appeal and the entire record of the case, including but not limited to hearing testimony, all forms of evidence, the investigative report and record, to render a determination on the appeal.
      2. Grounds for Appeal
        Both Complainant and Accused are allowed to appeal the decision of the Equity Resolution Panel or the Appropriate Administrative Officer, but appeals are limited to the following:
        1) A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the Informal or Formal Resolution (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.).
        2) To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing, Informal or Formal Resolution or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction.
        3) The sanctions fall outside the range typically imposed for this offense, or for the cumulative conduct record of the Accused.
        Both parties may submit a request for appeal to the Equity Resolution Appellate Officer. All requests for appeal must be submitted in writing to the Equity Resolution Panel Appellate Officer within three business days of the delivery of the written finding of the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel or the Appropriate Administrative Officer. The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer may, in their discretion, grant an extension of 5 business days to both parties to file a request for appeal.
      3. Requests for Appeal
        Appeals must meet the various requirements for appeal, or the Appeal is denied without being fully considered on its merits. This helps ensure the efficient and timely operation of the appellate process. Accordingly, when the parties submit an appeal, they are deemed to “request” that their appeal be heard and the Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will review the appeal to determine if it meets the requirements for an appeal.
      4. Review of the Request to Appeal
        The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will make an initial review of the appeal request(s). The original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. When any party requests an appeal, the other party (parties) will be notified. The party requesting appeal must show that the grounds for an appeal request have been met, and the other party or parties may show the grounds have not been met, or that additional grounds are met. The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will then review the request for appeal to determine whether:
        1) The request is timely, and
        2) The appeal is on the basis of any of the three articulated grounds listed above in Section 200.025G.8.b., and
        3) When viewed in the light most favorable to the appealing party, the appeal states grounds that could result in an adjusted finding or sanction.
        The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will reject the request for appeal if all three of the above are not met. Such a decision is final.
      5. Review of the Appeal
        If all three requirements for appeal listed above are met, The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will accept the request for appeal and proceed with rendering a decision on the appeal applying the following additional principles:
        1) Decisions by the Equity Resolution Appellate Officer are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error and to the sanction/remedial action only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
        2) Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the complaint. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the Formal Resolution or Informal Resolution, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. Appeals granted based on new evidence should normally be remanded to the original Equity Resolution Hearing Panel or Appropriate Administrative Officer for reconsideration.
        3) Sanctions imposed are implemented immediately unless the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel or Appellate Officer or designee stays their implementation pending the outcome of the appeal.
        4) The Equity Resolution Appellate Officer will normally render a written decision on the appeal to all parties within 7 business days from accepting the request for appeal.
        5) All parties should be informed of whether the grounds for an appeal are accepted and the results of the appeal decision.
        6) Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final: further appeals are not permitted.
    9. Failure to Complete Sanctions/Comply with Interim and Long-term Remedial Actions
      All Accused are expected to comply with all sanctions, remedial actions and corrective actions within the time frame specified by the Appropriate Administrative Officer (Informal Resolution), the Equity Resolution Hearing Panel (Formal Resolution) or the Equity Resolution Appellate Officer. Failure to follow through on these sanctions, remedial actions and corrective actions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions/remedial/corrective actions and/or suspension, expulsion or withdrawal of recognition from the University. Suspension will only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Appropriate Administrative Officer.
    10. Records
      In implementing this policy, records of all Complaints, resolutions, and hearings will be kept by the Appropriate Administrative Officer. An audio, video, digital, or stenographic record of the hearings will be maintained and will be filed in the office of the Appropriate Administrative Officer or designee and, for the purpose of review or appeal, be accessible at reasonable times and places to the Accused and the Complainant. Letters of notice, exhibits, hearing record, and the findings and determination of the Hearing Panel will become the “Record of the Case.” Files will be kept for seven (7) years following final resolution.

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