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5.7. Title IX Conduct Process

5.7.1  The Responding Student and Complainant shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing at which information is received, excluding Panel deliberations.

5.7.2  In Title IX Conduct Panel hearings involving more than one Responding Student, hearings will be conducted separately for each Responding Student even when the reported misconduct arises from the same facts or circumstances or involves multiple Complainants.

5.7.3  During the formal Title IX Conduct Panel, the Responding Student and Complainant(s):

a.  May speak on their own behalf and answer questions posed by their own advisor, the other party’s advisor, or conduct panel members;
b.  May invite witnesses to attend the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing on their behalf;
c.  If the credibility of information presented to the panel is in question or dispute, will be given a meaningful opportunity to probe the credibility of the information (including documents, statements, or other information presented by a party or witness), as guided by the Title IX Conduct Panel chair;
d.  Will be notified of witnesses to be called no less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled hearing; and
e.  Will maintain and ensure the confidentiality of any information disclosed, determined, exposed, communicated or otherwise revealed in the course and scope of their involvement in the Title IX panel hearing process.

5.7.4  University notification of the date, time, and location of a Title IX Conduct Panel hearing will be provided simultaneously to the Complainant, Responding Student, and their respective advisors, if any, no less than ten (10) days prior to the hearing.

5.7.5  The Complainant, Responding Student, and their respective advisors, if any, will be given electronic access to the final Investigative Report, all related statements and documentation, and any written party responses to the investigation materials, including the preliminary Investigative Report, no less than (12) days prior to the scheduled Title IX Conduct Panel hearing by the Dean of Students. Any written party responses: 1) to the final Investigative Report or 2) to the other party’s responses to the investigative materials and the preliminary Investigative Report, previously submitted to the Office of Institutional Equity, must be submitted to the Dean of Students at least forty-eight hours (48) prior to a scheduled hearing. The Dean of Students will provide the Complainant, Responding Student, and their respective advisors, if any, electronic access to the other party’s final written response no less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled hearing. The timeline for the resolution of Title IX Complaints, as outlined in this section, may be shortened if both parties mutually and voluntarily agree to the modification.

5.76  To ensure the orderly administration of the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing process, any witness who will attend the hearing must notify the assigned Student Conduct Administrator at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled hearing in order to participate.

5.7.7  The Title IX Conduct Panel may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Responding Student, and/or other witnesses during the hearing by providing hearing participation while in separate facilities or locations through videophone, video conferencing, or other digital means, as determined to be appropriate in the judgment of a University Conduct Officer or their designee. However, if provided, these accommodations must ensure that both parties are able to hear and see one another to facilitate direct and cross-examination in real time.

5.7.8  Both the Complainant and the Responding Student must have an advisor. If a party does not have an advisor on any day of a scheduled hearing, the University will pause the hearing and provide a trained advisor at no expense to the party before resuming the hearing process.

5.7.9  All evidence gathered and obtained during a Title IX formal Complaint investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity must be made available at the hearing to give each party an equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination.

5.7.10  Only relevant and credible evidence will be admitted during a Title IX Conduct Panel hearing. Relevant evidence includes evidence that is more probative of a material fact than prejudicial. Evidence which confuses the issues in the case, misleads the conduct panel, or is presented to cause undue delay will be excluded as irrelevant. Relevancy determinations will be made on the basis of logic and common sense, and within the sole discretion of the panel chair. If the panel chair determines any information or question proposed or posed is irrelevant, the panel chair must provide an oral explanation of such determination.

a.  After hearing the panel chair’s explanation of their relevancy determination, either party will have the right to challenge the determination by orally noting the challenge in the audiotape and/or digital recording of the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing. Any challenge noted may be considered on appeal, if any. Any challenge not timely noted is waived.
b.  Evidence protected by a legally recognized privilege; medical records offered without voluntary, written consent; and party or witness statements that have not been or will not be subject to cross-examination during the hearing, or wherein the parties have not mutually agreed to the inherent credibility of the statement in question, will not be admissible.
c.  Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are generally irrelevant to a Title IX Conduct Panel. However, when offered 1) to prove that someone other than the Responding Student committed the alleged misconduct or 2) to prove the Complainant’s consent through questions or evidence concerning specific incidents of the Complainant’s sexual behavior with respect to or toward the Responding Student, questions or evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior may be admissible.
d.  No question can be submitted to the panel chair for a relevancy determination prior to the hearing; the relevancy of all questions must be determined by the panel chair in real time, during the hearing.
e.  Any evidentiary responses made to the Office of Institutional Equity during the investigation, as provided in Policy 1.009, or to the Dean of Students when reviewing the final Investigative Report and the other party’s responses to the investigative materials and the preliminary Investigative Report, will be considered by the panel chair at the beginning of the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing. The admissibility of this disputed evidence will be resolved just as relevancy determinations are made. After the panel chair provides an oral explanation of an admissibility determination, either party may orally note their challenge in the audiotape and/or digital recording for consideration on appeal. Any challenge not timely noted is waived. The panel chair shall instruct the panelists to disregard any information that is deemed inadmissible.
f.  Any new evidence, which a party would like admitted to the hearing, that was not included in the investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity, will be considered by the panel chair at the beginning of the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing. Only evidence that was not available at the time of the investigation will be eligible for admission. The admissibility of this new evidence will be resolved just as relevancy determinations are made.
g. Panelists may not consider inadmissible evidence when making a finding, however, such evidence may inform questions asked by the panel of both parties and witnesses during the hearing.

5.7.11  The Title IX Conduct Panel chair has the authority and discretion to maintain the decorum of the hearing to ensure it is respectful and not abusive or intimidating. This may include terminating or excluding a line of questioning that harasses a party or witness or that the panel chair deems to be repetitious or duplicative.

5.7.12  If the credibility of any evidence presented by any party or otherwise considered by the panel is at issue, the Title IX Panel chair will ensure the panel and the parties are afforded a meaningful opportunity to probe the credibility of such information.

5.7.13  The Title IX Conduct Panel must refrain from drawing an inference regarding a determination of in violation of this Code based solely on the absence of, or refusal to answer questions by, a party or witness, regardless of the reason for the absence or refusal. The faulty memory of a party or witness, or their inability to recount each specific detail of an incident in sequence, does not automatically imply that they are lying or making intentionally false statements. The Responding Student is presumed to be not in violation of this Code until a determination is made by the Title IX Conduct Panel through the hearing process.

5.7.14  Title IX Conduct Panel members may ask questions of both parties and witnesses during the hearing.

5.7.15  After a Title IX Conduct Panel hearing has been completed and all pertinent information has been received, the Title IX Conduct Panel, in closed session, will deliberate and determine, by majority vote, whether the Responding Student has violated section 3.2.16 and/or any other section of this Code in which an allegation is made against the student. The Title IX Conduct Panel chair serves as a non-voting member of the conduct panel and will not participate in the vote to determine whether the Responding Student is in violation of this Code. If the Title IX Conduct Panel determines that the Responding Student has violated this Code, the voting panelists will then deliberate and determine by majority vote, an appropriate educational, conduct outcome(s) to be imposed against the Responding Student and if remedies must be provided to restore or preserve the Complainant’s educational access. The assigned Student Conduct Administrator will be available as a resource during all deliberations of the Title IX Conduct Panel. The Student Conduct Administrator has no decision-making authority in a Title IX Conduct Panel.

5.7.16  For all Title IX Conduct Panel hearings, the Conduct Panel chair will prepare a written deliberation report and deliver it to the assigned Student Conduct Administrator, including:

a.  Identification of the allegations against the Responding Student;
b.  A description of the procedural steps taken from receipt of the reported misconduct through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
c.  Conclusions made by the panel regarding the applicability of this Code to the facts;
d.  A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding the Responding Student’s responsibility;
Any disciplinary outcome determination to be imposed on the Responding Student;
e.  A statement of whether remedies to restore or preserve the Complainant’s educational access must be provided. Specific remedies shall not be included in the written deliberation report, unless a remedy will directly affect the Responding Student. Any such remedies shall be determined through a post-hearing remedies determination by the University Title IX Coordinator in collaboration with the Complainant;
f.  Evidentiary findings of fact supporting the determination of responsibility and all conclusions made by the panel;
g.  Any information the panel excluded from its consideration and why; and
h.  The procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Responding Student to appeal.

The deliberation report shall be the property of the University and maintained as part of the University’s disciplinary records. It must be submitted to the assigned Student Conduct Administrator within three (3) days of the end of Title IX Conduct Panel deliberations.

5.7.17  The University shall audiotape and/or digitally record all Title IX Conduct Panel hearings; however, panel deliberations will not be recorded. No other recordings of the Title IX Conduct Panel hearing will be permitted. The tape and/or digital recording shall be the property of the University and maintained as part of the University’s disciplinary records. The Complainant or Responding Student may obtain access to review the audiotape and/or digital recording by submitting a written request to the assigned Student Conduct Administrator.

5.7.18  The assigned Student Conduct Administrator will simultaneously notify the Complainant and Responding Student and the Office of Institutional Equity in writing of the outcome of a formal Title IX Conduct Panel hearing, including a copy of the deliberation report, within five (5) days following the conclusion of the hearing. The assigned Student Conduct Administrator may meet individually with either party to discuss the deliberation report and/or the appeal process.

5.7.19  The Complainant, Responding Student, or their respective advisors, if any, are prohibited from directly contacting any Title IX Conduct Panel member, including the panel chair, for any reason either prior to or after the resolution of any Title IX Conduct Panel hearing.