The Luther College Student Handbook is a collection of student conduct standards, policies, and procedures that define community expectations for students at Luther. It also serves as an important resource for students, highlighting a wide variety of topics related to life on the Luther campus.
It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with the Student Handbook. Students must also become familiar with other official publications including, but not limited to, the College Catalog, Emergency Procedure Guide, Housing and Dining Contract, and other important documents pertaining to student rights and responsibilities.
The Campus Life Committee, a campus-wide body comprised of students, faculty, and staff. Faculty delegate this group to plan and define college policies about student life and welfare on campus. The Campus Life Committee works in conjunction with members of the Student Life Office to ensure an effective implementation of college policies and procedures.
The policies and statements included in the Student Handbook are not a contract and the college reserves the right to deviate from the policies and statements as deemed necessary from time to time.
Questions regarding the Luther College Student Handbook and related policies and procedures should be directed to: Student Life Office, Dahl Centennial Union 2nd floor, 563-387-1020, [email protected].
I. Policy Statement on Student Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offenses
Luther College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment where all members of the community—students, faculty, staff, and visitors—are treated with respect and dignity. Therefore, the college will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Sexual misconduct is not only an act against an individual; it is also an act that affects the entire college community. Acts of sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence are inconsistent with our educational mission.
Maintaining a safe environment requires that any sexual behavior be consensual. Special emphasis is placed on violence prevention, providing support to those who may have been victimized, and ensuring enforcement of institutional policy and law. The College seeks to balance the rights, needs, and privacy of those students who may have been victimized, as well as those students who have been accused, while maintaining the health and safety of the campus community.
This policy describes prohibited conduct in which a Luther student is involved, including sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence; identifies resources and support provided to survivors; establishes procedures for reporting alleged incidents; and articulates the College’s commitment to preventing violations and responding appropriately when incidents do occur. This policy is an elaboration of the Luther Code of Conduct. Violations of this policy are violations of the Luther Code of Conduct and are subject to the same jurisdiction, regulations, conduct procedures and sanctions as described in the Code of Conduct and/or highlighted below.
The College does not tolerate sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence, regardless of whether the individual engaged in the offensive behavior is a student, faculty member, staff member or visitor to the campus. These behavioral expectations and core values are consistent across the College. However, the College has distinct policies and procedures for the investigation, resolution and remedying of complaints, depending on whether the accused is a student (this policy applies), a staff member (Professional Conduct Policy, Staff Handbook), or a faculty member (Professional Conduct Policy, Faculty Handbook). These policies are also available in the Faculty and Staff Handbooks or by contacting a Harassing Conduct Officer. Complaints against non-community members (e.g., visitors to the campus, returning alumni, etc.) should be reported to the Safety and Security Office, who will investigate the incident. Appropriate action, including banning the individual from College property where appropriate, will be implemented.
Luther College encourages students who believe they have experienced sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence to report incidents to appropriate College authorities as described in part IV of this policy. Perpetrators will be subject to strict disciplinary action by the College, up to and including suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate sanctions. Retaliation against an individual who in good-faith brings a complaint, participates in an investigation or hearing related to allegations, or pursues legal action is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
This policy applies to conduct that occurs on Luther’s campus or property and in all College programs and sponsored activities. Non-community members (guests, alumni, vendors, parents, etc.) visiting our campus or participating in College programs or events are also expected to abide by the behavioral expectations set forth here. Conduct that occurs off-campus and not in connection with College programs may violate this policy if the conduct creates a threatening or hostile environment on campus or within a College program, or if the incident causes concern for safety or security of the College’s campus.
This policy applies to the individual behavior of students and the collective behavior of student organizations.
This policy applies to sexual and gender-based harassment (including harassment based on sexual orientation), sex offenses (including sexual exploitation), stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. Please see the College’s Discriminatory and Harassing Conduct Policies and Procedures for the College’s policy on other forms of discriminatory or harassing conduct.
Luther College’s policy provides the following definitions for purposes of clarity and navigation of the policy. This policy uses the term “sexual misconduct” to refer to all forms of inappropriate sexual communication or behavior, including that which takes the form of sexual harassment, stalking, non-consensual sexual activity, sexual exploitation, dating violence, and intimate partner violence (defined below). This policy also uses the term “complainant” to refer to a person who is the victim/survivor of a violation of this policy and the term “respondent” to refer to a person accused of committing a violation of this policy.
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual or gender-based conduct. When sexual harassment becomes so severe or pervasive as to interfere with an individual’s ability to work, learn or participate in the College’s programs, it is called a sexual or gender-based “hostile environment”. Harassing conduct can occur in various forms. The following list provides examples of the kind of behavior that may be harassing.
Verbal — such as vulgar or lewd statements, gender-based name-calling, sexually suggestive or graphic comments, or comments that demean a person because of his or her gender.
Physical — such as unwanted rubbing of a person’s back, neck, buttocks or thighs, pinching, sexual gestures, or sexual intimidation through physical means.
Visual — such as exposing another person to unwanted pornographic magazines or videos, or displaying suggestive or lewd pictures.
Communication-based — such as sexually graphic, threatening or vulgar phone calls, social media, email, text messages, chats or blogs.
Or any combination of these.
A determination as to whether a hostile environment has been created depends on the totality of the circumstances, such as the severity of a particular incident, the context in which it occurred, whether the conduct was repeated, whether the conduct was verbal or physical, and whether it was threatening or merely annoying. Luther College reserves the right to discipline offensive conduct that is inconsistent with community standards even if it does not rise to the level of a hostile environment as defined by applicable law. Further, the College encourages students and others to report incidents that concern them even if the incidents are not particularly egregious, as early reporting assists the College to address and correct situations before they become so severe or pervasive as to create a hostile environment.
Luther College also prohibits “quid pro quo” harassment. “Quid pro quo” (or “this for that”) harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority or control links the receipt of some benefit (such as a grade, or the ability to join a group or participate in a program) to another’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances or sexual conduct or requires the other to perform or submit to demeaning or degrading sex or sexually-charged acts. “Quid pro quo” harassment can be expressly stated, but it also can be implied by words, actions or the surrounding circumstances. Examples of “quid pro quo” harassment include:
The leader of a student organization permits a student to join the group only if the other student allows the leader to watch the student engaged in a sexual act.
The above definitions and explanations are provided for educational and illustrative purposes. A person reporting an incident of concern need not worry about which category of sexual misconduct applies to the situation or whether all elements of a particular definition of misconduct have been met. An individual reporting an incident of concern is expected only to relay the facts in good-faith; College representatives trained in responding to sexual misconduct will assist the complainant in determining whether the incident may constitute a violation of this policy. Students should never feel pressured to engage in sexual relationships or activity of any kind with any Luther College faculty or staff member. In fact, Luther College faculty and staff are prohibited from engaging in a dating, romantic, or sexual relationship with students who are currently enrolled in their courses or who are under their direct supervision in any way. While not strictly prohibited in other situations, any romantic relationship or interaction between faculty or staff and a student is strongly discouraged. If a student believes that a faculty or staff member is behaving in an inappropriate way, the student should report the situation immediately.
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes, but is not limited to, repeatedly engaging in contact, face-to-face communication, via social media, telephone calls or messages, text messages, emails, letters, the giving of unwanted gifts, threatening or obscene gestures, surveillance, following, trespassing or vandalism.
C. Identifying Harassment in the Community
Luther College is a vibrant academic environment that encourages discussion of competing ideas both inside and outside the classroom and in both formal and informal settings. Some topics may make a person uncomfortable or take a student outside his or her comfort zone. This policy is not intended to ban debate over socially controversial ideas or issues. Rather, it is intended to protect individuals from being subjected to offensive, humiliating or intimidating sexual or gender-based conduct that has no merit in or relevance to the academic setting.
As an example of this distinction, the policy would not prohibit debate concerning the advantages and disadvantages of various religious or social systems’ approach to the rights of men versus women, even if some students disagreed with others’ views and were offended by statements made. Similarly, this policy would not prohibit controversial figures from speaking on campus even if the individual’s viewpoint or speech were offensive to some, nor would this policy prohibit artistic freedom of expression. However, this policy would prohibit a student from yelling obscenities at women as they passed his dorm window. Likewise, this policy prohibits one student from using sexually demeaning language to refer to another student.
D. Non-Consensual Sexual Activity
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to do the same)
Non-consensual sexual contact refers to any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part by a person upon another person without consent. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, genitals, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner. Non-consensual sexual contact also includes any disrobing of another or unwelcome exposure from one person to another without consent.
Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to do the same)
Non-consensual sexual intercourse refers to any sexual penetration or intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object or body part, by a person upon another person without consent. Sexual penetration includes vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
E. Sexual Exploitation
Sexual Exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and situations in which the conduct does not fall within the definitions of Non-consensual Sexual Contact or Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
F. Dating Violence
Dating violence refers to violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim/survivor and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of factors that include the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. This violence can occur in opposite-sex or same-sex relationships.
Dating violence may manifest as one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. It can encompass a broad range of coercive, abusive, threatening, and/or violent behaviors, including threats, assault, property damage, economic abuse, violence or threat of violence to one's self, one's sexual or romantic partner, and/or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner.
G. Domestic Violence
Domestic violence refers to violence between spouses or former spouses, cohabitating romantic partners or individuals who were formerly cohabitating romantic partners, individuals who share a child in common, or others in a family relationship.
Domestic violence may manifest as one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. It can encompass a broad range of coercive, abusive, threatening, and/or violent behaviors, including threats, assault, property damage, economic abuse, violence or threat of violence to one's self, one's sexual or romantic partner, and/or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner.
Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, by all participants to a sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct.
A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has violated this policy. It is not an excuse that the individual respondent of sexual misconduct was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other.
Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of the sexual interaction). This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability or physical restraint.
Consent can’t be given in situations where force was used to gain sexual access. Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation, and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.
Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). Past consent to engage in sexual activity cannot be presumed to be consent to engage in sexual activity in the future. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar previous patterns that may be evidenced. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. A person can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity by expressing in words or actions that he or she no longer wants the act to continue, and, if that happens, the other person must stop immediately.
Please recall that no person who is underage can ever consent to sexual activity of any kind. Therefore, sexual contact with or behavior toward a minor is prohibited. The age of consent in Iowa is 16. However, federal law criminalizes certain activity (even if consensual) with a person under the age of 18. A person engaging in sexual activity is responsible for ensuring that his/her sexual partner is of legally consenting age. Any sexual contact or activity with a person under the age of consent is necessarily non-consensual for the purpose of this policy and the law. Any person who believes that any minor may have been abused or subjected to sexual behavior or content of any kind on our campus or by one of our students or employees should report the situation immediately.
III. Non-Retaliation Assurance
To remove barriers to reporting, the College will not pursue potential policy violations of the complainant that may have occurred in the context of an alleged violation of this policy (for example, Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs). Conversely, the use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.
Students have the right to report violations of this policy and participate as a witness in an investigation or hearing without fear of retaliation. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, or reprisals. For example, it would be retaliatory to intimidate a witness or to shun a person from a student organization in retribution for the person having made complaints. It would also be retaliatory to use social media as a means to negatively influence the reporting student or witnesses.
Luther College strictly prohibits retaliation by any student against a person who makes a report, assists someone with a report, or participates in any aspect of the investigation or resolution of a report.
Acts of retaliation by students are subject to the standard disciplinary procedure set forth in the Code of Conduct and, in certain cases, may result in suspension. Acts of retaliation by other members of the community, such as faculty or staff, are subject to sanction as set forth in the respective Student, Faculty or Staff Handbooks.
IV. Making a Complaint and the College’s Response
Law Enforcement: Any person may call 911, the Decorah Police Department (563-382-3667) or College Safety and Security Office (563-387-2111) for immediate safety assistance. If you or someone else needs help, call for immediate assistance. An individual who has been the victim of the crime is encouraged to, but is not required to, make a criminal complaint with the Decorah Police Department. A complaint to the Decorah Police Department results in a criminal investigation to determine if criminal charges will be filed. Any student who wishes to have support or assistance in filing a criminal complaint should contact the Safety and Security Office, and a College security officer will provide assistance.
A delay in reporting could hinder prosecution at a later time. Therefore, students are encouraged to make a report as soon as possible. In cases involving sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, the preservation of evidence is critical and must be done properly and promptly. Students can obtain a forensic medical examination by a specially-trained sexual assault nurse examiner at Winneshiek Medical Center, 901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101, 563-382-2911. Completing a forensic examination does not require that a police report be filed, and will help preserve evidence in case the student decides at a later date to file a police report. For example, in cases of rape or other forms of sexual assault, it is important not to shower, change clothes and even brush your hair, as physical evidence may be lost. In cases of violence or physical abuse, it is important to document injuries, including by taking photographs.
The College disciplinary process and the criminal process are not mutually exclusive. This means that an individual may pursue both complaint avenues at the same time, and students are encouraged to do so for any act of sexual misconduct that may constitute a crime. If appropriate, the College may postpone temporarily its proceedings so as not to interfere with law enforcement. Additionally, orders of protection and other forms of legal protection may be available to individuals who have experienced or are threatened with violence by another person. Students interested in seeking a court-issued Order of Protection should contact the Winneshiek County Clerk of Court (Winneshiek County Courthouse, 201 W. Main St., Decorah, IA, 563-382-0603). Luther will abide by all legally issued orders of protection, including denying the restricted person access to Luther’s property.
On-Campus “Mandatory Reporting” Resources: An individual may make a complaint to one of the Mandatory Reporting Sources listed below. If the complaint is made verbally, the Complainant may or the Mandatory Reporting Source will follow up with a written complaint document. The College will take responsive action, which may include discipline of the offending student (e.g., suspension, expulsion and so on) in accordance with the College’s internal disciplinary procedures according to the procedures listed below.
The following mandatory reporting individuals and offices are specially designated by the College to receive complaints of misconduct and are equipped to follow up on allegations. The College encourages reports to be made directly to the following individuals or offices. These individuals and offices will respond to allegations with respect for the privacy of those allegedly involved in the incident, to the extent possible while still responding appropriately to the allegations:
Harassing Conduct Officers: Andrew Bailey, Main 119, x1697; David Bishop, Valders Hall of Science 344D, x1262; Carol Johnston, Dahl Centennial Union 205B, x1025
Title IX Coordinator: Matt Bills, Main 28, x1189
Student Life Office (Deans and Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities), Dahl Centennial Union 266, x1020
Hall Directors/Area Coordinators/Resident Assistants, residence halls
Residence Life Office, Dahl Centennial Union 124A, x1330
Safety and Security Office, Dahl Centennial Union 129, x2111 (24 hours, seven days/week)
Because the College takes allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, we expect faculty and staff to report all allegations to the Title IX officer. However, if a complaint is made to another individual or office, the Complainant risks the possibility that the alleged Code of Conduct violation will not come to the attention of proper College officials and may, therefore, not be acted upon. Individuals with complaints are therefore encouraged to report directly to one of the Mandatory Reporting Sources above. An individual may make a report to a Mandatory Reporting Source and request that the College take no investigatory or disciplinary action. The College endeavors to comply with complainants’ wishes with respect to whether responsive action is taken. However, that is not always possible. If a complainant requests that no action be taken against the accused (i.e., no investigation or disciplinary action), the College decision as to whether the request can be granted will depend on the seriousness of the offense, whether there was a single accused or multiple in the incident, whether there is reason to believe that the accused has engaged in this or similar conduct previously, whether the circumstances suggest an ongoing or future risk to the campus community or the complainant, and similar considerations. A decision will be made and shared with the complainant.
Similarly, a complainant may desire to have investigatory and/or disciplinary action taken, but may wish to have his/her identity as the complainant kept confidential. Depending on the circumstances, this may or may not be possible. If any number of people could have reported the incident, it may be possible for the complainant’s identity to remain confidential and not shared with the respondent. However, in other cases, it may not be possible to proceed with investigatory or disciplinary action without revealing the identity of the complainant. If a complainant requests that his/her name be kept confidential (or if the complainant makes an anonymous complaint), the College’s ability to respond to the complaint may be limited. The appropriate Student Life administrators will discuss the situation and the complainant’s request for confidentiality, and a decision and rationale will be made and shared with the complainant prior to any further disclosure.
The College retains the right to act upon any information that comes to its attention.
A complainant who desires emotional support only in a confidential setting is encouraged to contact one of the confidential resources listed below.
B. Confidential Resources. Students may wish to seek confidential counseling or support.
On Campus Confidential Resources: The following on-campus individuals are designated as confidential resources; they will seek to maintain information received as private and will not share confidential information with College officials or others, unless required to do so by law. This means that information shared with these individuals does not result in an investigation or remedial action. A student who wishes to have the College take responsive action should make a report to a Mandatory Reporting source (see above):
Campus Pastors/Catholic Chaplain, College Ministries, Center for Faith and Life, x1040
College Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Counseling Service, Larsen Hall, x1375
College Nurses/Physicians, Health Service, Larsen Hall, x1045
Decorah Area Confidential Resources: Students may also choose to seek out confidential counseling or support off campus. Information shared with these resources is not reported to the College. Resources include:
Winneshiek Medical Center, 901 Montgomery St., Decorah, 563-382-2911
Riverview Center Sexual Assault Hotline, 563-380-3332
Helping Services for Northeast Iowa, 563-382-2989
Decorah Police Department, 400 Claiborne Dr., Decorah, 563-382-3667
C. Timeframe for Making a Complaint
While there is no time limit for bringing forward a complaint, the passage of time may make an incident difficult or even impossible to investigate fairly or fully and to adjudicate. Therefore, students are encouraged to make a complaint as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. Although not an ideal situation given the passage of time, a former student may make a complaint against a current student. However, the reverse is not true: the complaint of a current student against a former student is not subject to adjudication pursuant to this policy. Nevertheless, officials will help the complaining student to report the allegations to the appropriate off-campus law enforcement authorities.
D. Interim Actions
As appropriate, Luther will implement initial remedial and responsive actions upon notice of alleged violation of this policy. Such actions are determined by the context of the situation and will be based upon ensuring the student who filed the complaint has full access to their educational resources. A survivor need not necessarily pursue disciplinary or other action against the perpetrator in order to have access to remedial measures.
Luther is obligated to comply with a student’s reasonable request for a living and/or academic situation change following an alleged sex offense.
Remedial actions may include, but are not limited to:
A member of the Student Life Office, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, shall determine any interim measures. The Title IX Coordinator may also determine and implement interim measures.
Factors that will be considered when determining appropriate interim measures include:
E. The College’s Response
1. Complaints of sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, domestic violence, and domestic violence may be made by students, faculty members, staff members, or non-community members to one of the Harassing Conduct Officers, a Vice President or Dean, the Human Resources Office, a Residence Life staff member, or the Campus Safety and Security Office. The process, from complaint through investigation and hearing will generally be completed within 60 days. Both parties will be notified simultaneously if any modifications are made to the timeline.
2. Sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, domestic violence, and domestic violence is a violation of the Luther Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct outlines the procedures for addressing complaints against students including a description of the rights of Complainants and Respondents, student code authority and policy jurisdiction, prohibited behaviors, conduct procedures, possible sanctions, interim suspension, and the appeals process. Allegations of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offenses cases are handled in a manner similar to the process outlined in the Code of Conduct.
3. Additional procedures related to addressing complaints of sexual harassment, sex offenses, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence follow:
a. The College will provide written notification of available resources, options for interim and protective measures, and the student’s rights and options. Each party will be permitted to have an advisor/support person (who may be an attorney at the parties' own expense) present during all meetings with college officials. The advisor may not attend meetings without the advisee being present, and the College will direct all communications to the advisee. Although the College will attempt to accommodate schedules of advisors, meetings may not be unduly delayed simply because an advisor could not be present. The College reserves the right to dismiss disruptive advisors.
b. Complaints will be promptly investigated. For most complaints, investigations will be done by trained Title IX investigators if the Respondent is a student, and by a representative of the Human Resources Office or a Harassing Conduct Officer if the Respondent is a faculty or staff member.
c. If the Respondent is a student, the person investigating the complaint will prepare a written fact-finding report in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator. The investigation will generally include, at a minimum, separate interviews of the Complainant and the Respondent. The investigator will also gather and review other evidence as deemed necessary. The College endeavors to complete investigations within 21 days of the date the complaint is filed. Occasionally, a particular situation may require additional investigation time.
d. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator shall, based on the available evidence including the fact-finding report and the information gathered by the investigator, make an initial determination that the allegations either do or do not appear to have merit. They may at their discretion conduct additional investigations and/or institute a formal hearing before the Luther College Hearing Board (hereafter, “Hearing Board”). Ordinarily, the initial decision regarding the allegations is reached within 7 class days of the date the investigation is complete.
e. If the allegations do appear to have merit, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities may resolve the charges administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Title IX Coordinator. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings.
f. If the charges do appear to have merit and cannot be resolved administratively, a formal hearing is held in a manner specified in the Code of Conduct for the Hearing Board. Before the hearing takes place, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will meet with each party, who may:
This review period is typically concluded within 14 days.
g. The complaint will be heard by the Hearing Board, as detailed in Article IV (Code of Conduct Procedures) in the Student Handbook. At least seven members of the Hearing Board must be present for each hearing with at least one faculty member, one student and the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Student Life Division representative; a simple majority vote is sufficient for reaching a decision. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities does not vote in the finding phase of the deliberation and only votes on a sanction in case of a tie. The Title IX Coordinator is an ex officio member of the hearing board and is present only to observe; that is, the Title IX Coordinator does not have a vote in either stage. Ordinarily, a hearing will be scheduled within 15 class days of the completion of the investigation.
All members of the Hearing Board and the Appeals Board receive mandatory annual training that includes information regarding:
h. The Complainant and the Respondent will be permitted to each have an advisor of their choice present during the hearing at their own expense. The advisor will not participate directly in the hearing.
i. The Complainant and the Respondent will have an equal opportunity to offer witnesses and evidence.
4. A complaint will be resolved as follows:
a. The charges may be resolved administratively (including the imposition of sanctions), by mutual consent of the parties involved, on a basis acceptable to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Title IX Coordinator. Administrative resolutions may not be appealed.
b. The Hearing Board may find that the Code of Conduct/Student Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offense Policy has been violated. The Hearing Board will determine and may impose disciplinary sanction(s) as outlined in the Code of Conduct and/ or take other appropriate action. The Title IX Coordinator shall provide sanction guidance to the Hearing Board.
c. The Hearing Board may find that the Code of Conduct/Student Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Offense Policy was not violated; the complaint will be dismissed.
d. The Hearing Board may conclude that information about the case was insufficient to establish a violation; the complaint will be dismissed. Please note that the standard of proof that applies to a Hearing Board proceeding is a “preponderance of the evidence” standard (which means a determination of “more likely than not”).
e. Ordinarily, the Hearing Board will issue its decision within 7 days of the hearing.
5. Complainants and Respondents will be notified in writing simultaneously about the Hearing Board decision, with an explanation of the rationale for the decision, including how the evidence was weighted, how information supports the result, and a description of how the standard of evidence was applied. To appeal a decision reached by the Hearing Board, please refer to the entire appeals process as described in the Code of Conduct. Please note that appeals shall be made in writing and shall be delivered to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or his/her designee within seven days of receiving the decision. A decision reached administratively by the Student Conduct Coordinator, a decision reached by the Hearing Board, and/or a sanction imposed by either the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Hearing Board may be appealed by the Respondent(s) or Complainant(s) to the Campus Appeals Board within 7 days of notification of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or his/her designee. The entire appeals process is described in the Code of Conduct.
F. Sanction Statement
*The conduct body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregious behavior. Neither the initial hearing officers nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.
G. Statement of Student Rights
A Student Who Reports a violation of this policy is entitled:
A Student Respondent of a violation of this policy is entitled:
H. Administration of this Policy
The College’s Title IX Coordinator is responsible to ensure the College’s compliance with this policy. Any questions or concerns about the administration of this policy or any person’s failure to adhere to this policy, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Main Building 28, x1189.
Inquiries and complaints may be made externally to:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: 800-421-3481
Facsimile: 202-453-6012 TDD#: 877-521-2172
Email: [email protected]
Update approved by Campus Life Committee, May 2013
Reviewed and updated by Legal Counsel, August 2014
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) required updates, September 2016
Some aspects of this policy were adapted from policies of Colgate University, NCHERM, ATIXA and the University System of Ohio.