Sexual Misconduct Policy - Formal Resolution
Formal resolution of a complaint under the Sexual Misconduct Policy will occur through the use of a Conduct Conference or a Judicial Board.
A complainant or respondent may request resolution through an administrative conduct conference, in which the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct will meet with the complainant and respondent to determine responsibility and render a decision as to what sanctions, if applicable, should be implemented. Both parties and the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct must agree that the matter is appropriate for resolution by a conduct conference. Depending upon the nature and severity of the allegations, the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct may decline to handle the matter administratively and refer the case to a Judicial Board.
A conduct conference is particularly appropriate when the respondent has admitted to the harassment or misconduct and there is no discernible dispute in the relevant facts of the investigation report; however, at the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct, it may also be used when the facts are in dispute. The investigative report will serve as the primary evidence in making a determination of responsibility.
Both parties must have notice, the opportunity to review the investigative report in advance, and the opportunity to present any additional relevant information to the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct. In reaching a determination as to whether this policy has been violated, the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct will reach a determination by a preponderance of the evidence, that is, whether the conduct was more likely than not to have occurred as alleged. Based on the outcome of the conduct conference, the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct will issue an appropriate sanction.
Both a complainant and respondent may appeal the determination of the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct as provided in Section VIII.I.8 below “Appeals”.
Judicial Hearing Board (Judicial Board)
The Judicial Hearing Board, is normally composed of two (2) to five (5) faculty members, two (2) to five (5) students, and the chair, a Senior Student Affairs Administrator who will have a vote. The two (2) to five (5) faculty members and the two (2) to five (5) student members of the Judicial Hearing Board will be appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs. The recording secretary of the Judicial Hearing Board will be elected annually by the members of the Judicial Hearing Board. A quorum of the Judicial Board for conducting a hearing shall consist of the chair, one (1) faculty, and one (1) student.
The Judicial Hearing Board has been given the responsibility by the College Administration to adjudicate Proscribed Conduct. The Judicial Hearing Board will adjudicate cases involving an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section VIII.I.5 below, “Hearing Panel Procedures.”
An advisor is any individual selected by the complainant or respondent, including retained legal counsel. If the complainant or respondent elect to have their advisor attend, the advisor is permitted, subject to restrictions, to attend the sessions with the investigators, meetings with the Dean of Students Office’s to discuss Informal Resolution, and/or appearances before the Judicial Hearing Board. The advisor is permitted to provide the complainant or respondent advice during these meetings. The advisor is not allowed to argue for, advocate for, or present the case for the respondent or complainant or directly address the investigators, Dean or Students or designee, or Board. The College reserves the right to remove or dismiss advisors from meetings who become disruptive, who do not abide by the restrictions set forth herein, or who intentionally delay the investigation or adjudication process.
Advisors who wish to communicate about the case may contact the College’s legal counsel directly at Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C., 518-374-3399 (ask for Charles Assini, Esq., or Michael Basile, Esq.)