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Hearing Outcomes

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  1. Standard for Responsibility Finding: All decisions by the Board will be made by majority vote. The Board first determines whether the Responding Party is responsible for the alleged violation of the Policy (the “Responsibility Finding”), and then, if appropriate, determine by majority vote the sanction to be imposed Responding Party (the “Sanction Finding”). A finding of responsibility must be supported by a “preponderance of the evidence.” “Preponderance of the evidence” means that the University establishes that it is more likely than not that the Responding Party is responsible for committing the act or acts complained of. If the Responding Party has been charged with “Sexual Assault,” the Board determines whether that charge has been established by a preponderance of the evidence. If the Board determines that there is not a preponderance of the evidence warranting a finding of sexual assault, the Board then considers whether sexual misconduct or sexual harassment or other discrimination has been established by a preponderance of the evidence, whether or not such conduct or charge is specifically set forth in the Notice of Charges.
  2. Sanction Findings: After the Board has made a Responsibility Finding, the Board may impose any sanction that it finds to be fair and proportionate to the violation and in the interests of the University community, including the Responding Party and Complainant, and that is authorized for violations of the Student Code of Conduct (the “Sanction Finding”), including disciplinary probation, suspension, and expulsion. In determining an appropriate sanction, the Board may consider any record on the part of the Responding Party of past violations of the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the nature and severity of the violation(s) and any mitigating circumstances. The Board will consider as part of its deliberations whether the Responding Party poses a continuing risk to the Complainant and/or University community. The University expects all cases involving a finding of sexual assault to involve consideration of the sanctions of suspension or expulsion. Any sanction imposed is based on a majority vote of the Board. All Sanction Findings require a finding that the sanction to be imposed is warranted by a preponderance of the evidence.
  3. Sanction Levels: In instances involving student violations of the Policy, the charge(s) will correspond with the following sanction ranges, based on the severity of the alleged violation(s):
    • Sexual Assault (Level 1 to Level 2)
    • Sexual Misconduct (Level 1 to Level 3)
    • Sexual Harassment (Level 1 to Level 3)
    • Sexual Discrimination (Level 1 to Level 3)
    • Intimate Partner Violence (Level 1 to Level 3)
    • Stalking (Level 1 to Level 3)
    • Sexual Exploitation (Level 1 to Level 3)
    • Harassment/Discrimination (Level 2 to Level 4)
    The above-referenced sanction ranges correspond with the sanction levels found in the University’s Student Code of Social Conduct. For purposes of any sanction finding under this Policy, a preponderance of the evidence standard will be utilized.
  4. Effective Date of Sanction: Sanctions imposed by a Board are not effective until any timely administrative appeal of the decision by the Responding Party is completed. However, if advisable to protect the welfare of the Complainant or the University community, the Board may include in its Determination Letter that any probation, suspension, or expulsion is effective immediately and will continue in effect until such time as the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) may otherwise determine in their sole discretion. The Title IX Coordinator (or designee) may suspend the Board’s determination pending exhaustion of an appeal or allow the Responding Party to attend classes or participate in other University activity(ies) on a supervised or monitored basis. The decision(s) of the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) in this regard is in their sole discretion and is not appealable.
  5. Determination Letter: Within ten (10) calendar days following the hearing, or such longer time as the Board Chair may for good cause determine, the Board will issue its decision in writing (the “Determination Letter”). The Determination Letter will be simultaneously mailed to the Complainant’s and the Responding Party’s official university email address with a copy provided to the Title IX Coordinator. (Should there be any change to the hearing result prior to the time it becomes final, the Complainant and Responding Party will also be notified simultaneously in writing.) The Determination Letter will contain the following information: (1) the name of the Responding Party; (2) whether the Responding Party has been found responsible or not responsible of the charges; (3) the sanction imposed, if any; (4) the rationale for the Board’s finding as to responsibility and, if appropriate, the rationale for the sanction imposed; and (5) procedures for filing an appeal. University policy neither encourages nor discourages further disclosure of the Determination Letter by either the Complainant or Responding Party. The University encourages a student who wishes to disclose the Determination Letter to any other person to consult with legal counsel before doing so.
  6. Early Resolution: The Board Chair may propose a resolution of a report and request for Formal Hearing, with the consent of the Complainant, at any time in cases where the Responding Party wishes to acknowledge responsibility for the acts of discrimination/ harassment (including, but not limited to, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, or sexual harassment) and the Responding Party agrees to be subjected to a sanction.