This section provides the complaint, investigation, and resolution procedures for responding to allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, and sex-based violence.

*Note: Complaints against students and employees will be referred to the appropriate hearing authority.

In campus hearings, legal terms like “guilt, “innocence” and “burdens of proof” are not applicable, but the university never assumes one is in violation of university policy. Hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.

The university reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the local police.

Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the university reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.

 

Investigation and Resolution

  1. Upon receipt of a complaint, Lander University will conduct the investigation based on established guidelines in a prompt, thorough, impartial, and equitable manner.
  2. The person subject to the complaint with information shall be provided information as to the nature of the complaint.
  3. While not required, both the reporting party and the responding party shall have the equal opportunity to choose an independent advisor present for assistance, support, and advice. The independent advisor may be brought into the process at any time at the request of the reporting or responding party.
  4. In connection with any such disciplinary hearings/actions, the person filing the complaint and the person who is the subject of the complaint have equal rights to be interviewed, identify witnesses, and provide and receive documentation and witness lists pertaining to the complaint, and if any appeal is provided, to appeal the decision. Students may appeal grievances as stated and outlined in the guidelines of the handbook.
  5. In most cases, a prompt, thorough, impartial, and equitable investigation should be completed within 45 calendar days of receipt of the complaint.
  6. The standard for evaluating complaints shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
  7. At the completion of the investigation, appropriate determinations will be made regarding the resolution of the matter, and depending on the circumstances, both parties may be informed concurrently of the resolution. If warranted, disciplinary action up to and including involuntary termination or expulsion will be taken. Any such disciplinary action shall be taken, as applicable, in accordance with the Sex/Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and other applicable policies as defined , but not limited to the Faculty, Staff, Athletic or Student Handbook.
  8. In the event actions are taken against an individual, such matters generally remain confidential, except that final decisions following hearings or appeals of professional employees are subject to public records. Student matters generally remain confidential under FERPA, except under certain circumstances as defined by law.
  9. When discriminatory conduct or sexual harassment involves a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, FERPA permits the institution to disclose to the alleged victim the final results (limited to the name of the alleged perpetrator, any violation found to have been committed, and any sanction imposed) of a disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator, regardless of whether the institution concluded that a violation was committed. With respect to an institutional disciplinary proceeding alleging a sex offense, the Clery Act requires that the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome.
  10. In the event a student is found to have engaged in sexual harassment of another student, the institution shall disclose to the student who was harassed, information about the sanction imposed on the student who was found to have engaged in harassment when the sanction directly relates to the harassed student.

 Student Sanction Statement 

  • Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from disciplinary probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
  • Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.
  • Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from disciplinary probation warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

The conduct body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive 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.

NOTE: A matter may be determined not to be Title IX, yet still applies to other Student Code of Conduct policies.

Employee Sanction Statement

Any employee found responsible for violating this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including discharge based on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous violations. Action may include, but is not limited to, corrective action or warning, performance improvement plan, required counseling, required training, demotion, suspension, revocation of tenure and termination.

NOTE: A matter may be determined not to be Title IX, yet still applies to other levels of employee discipline.