Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Resources and Reporting Information
Title IX Administrative Policy and Procedures: The Catholic tradition affirms the inherent dignity of each person and the need to respect it: “When we deal with each other, we should do so with the sense of awe that arises in the presence of something that is holy and sacred. For that is what human beings are: we are created in the image of God.” (US Bishops, Economic Justice or All). Thus, Loras College is committed to having a positive learning and working environment for its students and employees and will not tolerate sexual misconduct. This principle is consistent with the mission of the College that “recognizes the human dignity of each individual and challenges men and women to grow with purpose and direction.” Sex misconduct is demeaning and degrading, and can have a negative impact on a person’s performance at work or in class. Sexual misconduct of any kind will not be tolerated. Disciplinary sanctions will be taken up to and including discharge for College employees and expulsion of students.
This policy covers all members of, or visitors to, Loras College and those otherwise associated with the College to include but not limited to: administrators, faculty, staff (administrative, professional and hourly), students, vendors, contractors, volunteers and internship supervisors.
The College may impose discipline or sanctions if sexual misconduct occurs on or off College premises if there is any connection with a person’s participation in a College-sponsored organization, program or activity, or if the conduct poses a risk of harm to any member of the campus community.
The fact that someone did not intend to sexually harass an individual is not necessarily a defense to a complaint of sex discrimination. Regardless of intent, it is the duration, effect and characteristics of the behavior that determine whether the behavior constitutes sex discrimination. Harassing conduct may be disciplined even if the complaining person is not the intended target of the conduct.
Academic presentations of the Catholic Church’s moral teaching regarding sexuality are very appropriate and consistent with the College’s mission, and may not be claimed as violations of this policy.
The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer shall be responsible for promoting understanding and acceptance of, and assuming compliance with local, State and Federal laws and this policy. The EEO Officer will ascertain that notice of this policy is circulated to the employees and students of Loras College. The policy will be incorporated into the Student Handbook, as well as the handbooks for faculty, salaried and hourly employees. Resource materials and educational programs on this policy and on the prevention of harassment shall be provided to employees and students. Information on this policy will also be distributed to volunteers, internship supervisors, vendors and contractors.
Nothing contained within this policy shall be construed to change or modify the principles of Academic Freedom or Freedom of Expression expressed in sections VII and VIII of the Regent’s Position Paper contained with the Loras College Faculty Handbook.
STATEMENT OF CONSENT
The College believes that consent is essential in matters involving sexual activity. Consent is informed, through mutually understandable words that indicate a willingness to participate in a mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Talking with a partner about sexual activity may seem awkward, but such conversations serve as the basis for sexual experiences in the context of mutual willingness and respect. Furthermore, at any time during consensual sexual activity, a person may refuse to continue further with any sexual activity. Consensual sexual activity recognizes sober, verbal communication, free of threats or other coercion. College policy recognizes that someone who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is unable to give consent. From the point of refusal, any previous consent is rendered invalid.
CONSENSUAL AMOROUS RELATIONSHIP POLICY
Employees should be sensitive to the fact that they have a professional responsibility for students in such matters as counseling, evaluating, supervising, advising and providing services to students as a part of the school program.
Consensual relations are defined as amorous, romantic or sexual relationships into which both parties have voluntarily entered. They become of concern to the College when one person in a relationship is in a position of authority over another. Examples of these situations include but are not limited to relationships between instructors and students, supervisors and employees or administrators and students.
Consensual relationships of these types are prohibited. These relationships can violate the trust between instructors and students, administrators and students or supervisors and employees. Most critically, they contain inherent potential for abuse of power and authority. Anyone who engages in a sexual relationship with a person over whom he or she has any degree of authority must understand that the degree to which such a relationship is truly mutually consensual may be questioned at any time. Even when both parties have apparently consented at the outset, such consent does not invalidate a subsequent charge of sexual misconduct after one party withdraws his or her consent and communicates that decision to the other party.
TYPES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Examples of sexual misconduct may include, but are not limited to the following examples of unwelcome acts:
Verbal: Insults, threats, jokes or derogatory comments based on gender; sexual innuendo or suggestive comments; sexual propositions or advances; pressure for sexual favors; corruption of a minor; importuning or public indecency
Nonverbal: Posting of sexually suggestive or derogatory pictures, cartoons or drawings; making suggestive or insulting noises, leering, or whistling; making obscene gestures; corruption of a minor; importuning; voyeurism or public indecency
Physical: Touching, pinching, squeezing, patting or brushing against the body; impeding or blocking normal work or movement; coercing sexual intercourse or assault, rape or sexual battery; sodomy or assault with an object; corruption of a minor; importuning; public indecency; felonious penetration including oral penetration, penetration with a body part, or penetration an object not matter how slight; or prostitution
Sexual Abuse/Sexual Assault/Rape: Any sexual act between any persons is sexual abuse by either party when the act is performed with the other participant in any of the following circumstances:
- The act is done by force or against the will of the other, including but not limited to rape or attempted rape.
- If the consent or acquaintance of the other is procured by threats of violence toward any person
- If the act is done while the other is under the influence of a drug-induced sleep or is otherwise in a state of unconsciousness
- When the victim is incapable of giving consent because he or she suffers from a mental defect or incapacity
- When the victim lacks the mental capacity to know the right and wrong of conduct in sexual matters
- When the other person is a child
Please note that this includes non-consensual sexual intercourse (rape), non-consensual sexual contact (sexual assault) and sexual exploration). The college defines rape as the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration of a sex organ of another person without their consent. This includes the touching of an unwilling person’s intimate parts (defined as genital, groin, breast, buttocks, or the clothing covering these areas or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts.
Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another person without consent for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited, or engaging in sexual intimidation.
Examples of sexual exploitation may include but are not limited to the following:
- Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person
- Causing the prostitution of another person
- Electronically recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable utterances, sounds, or images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate body parts (including genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks)
- Allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts of a participant without the participant’s consent
- Voyeurism (spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations)
- Threatening to sexually assault another person
- Stalking, including cyber-stalking
- Engaging in indecent exposure
Sexual Harassment: Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; sexually motivated physical contact or other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining employment or education; or
- Submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment or education; or
- That conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment or education, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment.
Dating Violence: Dating Violence is defined as the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse by a person to threaten, harm, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship. Violent behavior is unacceptable in our community, and all cases involving violence will be referred to the College Hearing Board for review. The College Hearing Board hears cases where the outcome may include suspension or expulsion.
Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor behavior with a current or former spouse, domestic or intimate partner, someone who shares custody of a child, someone who cohabitates, or someone who is situated as a spouse. (Please note: roommates are not considered a domestic relationship unless they are involved in a relationship defined as domestic above). Violent behavior is unacceptable in our community, and all cases involving violence will be referred to the College Hearing Board for review. The College Hearing Board hears cases where the outcome may include suspension or expulsion.
Stalking: Loras College is determined to provide a campus atmosphere free of violence for all members of the campus community. For this reason, Loras College does not tolerate stalking, and will hold students who engage in stalking behaviors accountable through the college’s judicial system and will report students who engage in stalking behaviors to the local authorities. Loras College is also committed to supporting victims of stalking through available campus counseling and health services, and can assist with referrals to community-support services. This policy applies to all members of our campus community. The College defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear/significant emotional distress. Stalking behaviors may include but are not limited to:
- Non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear
- Following, pursuing, waiting or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom or other locations frequented by a victim
- Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means
- Non-consensual touching
- Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones
- Gathering of information about a victim from family, friends, co-workers and/or classmates
- Manipulative and/or controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself or threats to harm someone close to the victim Defamation or slander against the victim. Victims of stalking have the right to learn the outcome of their case, including any recommended sanctions.
APPLICABLE STATE STATUTES
STATE OF IOWA STATUTES REGARDING CONSENT
The State of Iowa defines incapacitation as meaning a person is disabled or deprived of ability as follows:
- “Mentally incapacitated” means that a person is temporarily incapable of apprising or controlling the person’s own conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic or intoxicating substance.
- “Physically helpless” means that a person is unable to communicate an unwillingness to act because the person is unconscious, asleep or is otherwise physically or mentally limited.
- “Physically incapacitated” means that a person has a bodily impairment or handicap that substantially limits the person’s ability to resist or flee.
STATE OF IOWA DEFINITIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
The State of Iowa and Loras College use the following sexual abuse definition. Sexual abuse is considered a felony as defined in Section 709 of the Iowa State Code. Sexual assault is considered first-degree sexual abuse under Iowa law. Sexual assault is defined as forced penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with a finger, penis or any other object. Although the term “rape” is used in this policy and in other educational material, the Iowa legal system uses the umbrella term of sexual abuse and sexual assault, and not the specific term “rape,” when cases are taken to court.
Sexual assaults occur on a broad continuum and include—criminal behaviors endangering another/other persons. They range from verbal assaults to rape. Loras College takes a very strong stance against acts of violence by a member of our community. Students found responsible of sexual assault can expect strong disciplinary actions by the College. Any community member with knowledge of any incidents of sexual assault should report the incident to Campus Safety, the Dubuque Police Department and the College’s Title IX Coordinator. It is recommended and encouraged that survivors seek confidential counseling.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
A student who reports a violation of the sexual misconduct policy is entitled to:
- To be treated with respect by college officials
- To be made aware of available options.
- To choose whether or not to report your complaint to the police.
- To be free from any pressure.
- To not be prejudged or blamed for what occurred.
- To take advantage of campus support resources.
- To speak to a male or female staff member about the incident.
- To experience living in a safe and educational environment.
- To be made aware of options regarding support resources, remedial actions, timeframe to file a complaint and resolution options.
- To have an advocate present during disciplinary hearings.
- To have College officials answer questions and explain the systems and processes involved.
- To be informed on the progress of the investigation of the case, including the right to prompt, fair, and impartial discipline proceedings, the right to learn the outcome of the case, and the right to appeal that outcome.
- To have irrelevant prior sexual history disallowed during campus disciplinary proceedings.
- To be free from retaliation.
- To receive information on the College’s responsibilities regarding judicial no-contact, restraining and protective orders
The use of alcohol or other drugs by either party is not an extenuating circumstance and does not mitigate the responsibility of a person found to have committed sex discrimination.
False accusations of sex discrimination can injure innocent people. Initiating a false harassment complaint or initiating a harassment complaint in bad faith may result in disciplinary action. A finding for the accused does not constitute a finding that the complaint was in bad faith.
In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, the most important thing is for the victim to get to a safe place. Whether it be the victim’s home, a friend’s home or with a family member, immediate safety is what matters most. When a feeling of safety has been achieved, it is vital for the victim to receive medical attention, and strongly recommended for the victim to receive a forensic examination.
Preserving DNA evidence can be key to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual assault case, especially those in which the offender is a stranger. DNA evidence is an integral part of a law enforcement investigation that can build a strong case to show that a sexual assault occurred and to show that the defendant is the source of biological material left on the victim’s body.
VICTIMS SHOULD MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO SAVE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT CONTAIN THE PERPETRATOR’S DNA, THEREFORE A VICTIM SHOULD NOT:
- Bathe or shower
- Use the restroom
- Change clothes
- Comb hair
- Clean up the crime scene
- Move anything the offender may have touched
Even if the victim has not yet decided to report the crime, receiving a forensic medical exam and keeping the evidence safe from damage will improve the chances that the police can access and test the stored evidence at a later date. (adapted from https://rainn.org).
REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER TITLE IX LAW
Any victim of sexual misconduct may choose to request academic, housing, or other reasonable accommodations to eliminate a hostile environment. An individual may choose to request accommodations whether or not he/she chooses to pursue the sexual misconduct case through the college conduct system or in a court of law. The following areas can assist with accommodations requests: · Loras College Counseling Center, 563.588.7085 or 563.588.7024, 473 Alumni Campus Center · Loras College Health Center, 563.588.7042, 474 Alumni Campus Center · Dean of Students Office, 563.588.7959, 540 Alumni Campus Center · Title IX Coordinator 563.588.4990, 152 Keane Hall
While Loras does not condone underage drinking or violation of other College policies, it considers reporting Title IX Offenses to be of paramount importance. To encourage reporting and adjudication of Title IX Offenses, Loras College extends limited amnesty to students who have been victims/survivors of a Title IX Offense. The College will generally not seek to hold the student responsible for a violation of the alcohol and drug policy during the period immediately surrounding the offense.
Retaliation against anyone reporting or thought to have reported sexual misconduct or who is a witness or otherwise is involved in a sexual misconduct proceeding is prohibited. Such retaliation is a serious violation of the policy and will be investigated as an independent act of sex discrimination. Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy.
REQUESTS FOR CONFIDENTIALITY
In order to evaluate a request for confidentiality, the Dean of Students, Student Life Office, Campus Safety Office and the Title IX Coordinator may conduct a preliminary review into the alleged violation and weigh the request against the following factors:
- Seriousness of the alleged violation
- Whether there have been other complaints made regarding the respondent
- Respondent’s right to access the complaint
- Applicability of any laws requiring disclosure
- Availability of other information to support the alleged violation
If the complainant (and victim/survivor if different from the reporter) insists that their privacy be protected and that their name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will advise the complainant/victim/survivor of the College’s limited ability to respond. The College may take other steps to limit the effects of the misconduct.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND SANCTIONS
The College Hearing Board will hear issues of student sexual misconduct. The composition of the board is described in the COLLEGE HEARING BOARD section of this document, and will receive training specific to hearing cases of alleged sexual misconduct.
Any student who is found responsible for sexual misconduct will be disciplined up to and/or including expulsion. All students have a right to campus access free of sexual or physical intimidation, including campus housing. A person accused of sexual misconduct while residing in College housing may be asked to leave College housing pending investigation of the complaint. Similarly, survivors of sexual misconduct may request changes in both their academic and housing situations.
The standard of evidence used by the College Hearing Board is preponderance of evidence standard of proof. This means that the College resolves complains based on what they believe is more likely than not have happened.
A complete description of the disciplinary procedures and policies of Loras College can be found in the Policies and Procedures section of the Loras College Student Handbook.
REPORTING ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Anyone who believes he or she has been the subject of, has been notified about or has observed sexual misconduct as defined by this policy, should report the alleged conduct. To report an incident of sexual misconduct, an individual may:
- Contact a resident advisor (RA), area coordinator (AC), security officer (563.588.7100 or 0 from a campus phone), or the Title IX Coordinator, who can assist you in reporting the incident, or file a report online at www.mysafecampus.com. Survivors have the right to choose to remain anonymous or keep a report confidential when reporting an incident.
- Contact the Loras College Counseling Center or Health Center to receive assistance and access to counseling resources from a trained advocate. Please note: Sexual misconduct reports made to the Counseling Center or Health Center will be kept strictly confidential unless the student releases information to other authorities.
- Contact law enforcement authorities by calling the Dubuque Police Department if the assault occurred within the City of Dubuque. If the assault occurred in another area of Dubuque County, call the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department. Both Departments can be reached by dialing 911. Loras College officials will assist the survivor with reporting an assault if you request assistance.
- Contact the Title IX Coordinator, who at Loras College is Nancy Zachar Fett. She can be reached at her office, Keane Hall 152, or via phone at 563.588.4990. In the role of Title IX coordinator, she will coordinate all matters related to sexual misconduct at the College and will coordinate the efforts of the college to comply with Title IX Law. As the Title IX Coordinator, she is responsible for:
- Ensuring both the complainant and respondent are aware of the seriousness of the complaint
- Explaining Loras College’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures
- Exploring various means of resolving the complaint
- Making referrals to the Counseling Center or other resources if appropriate
- Discuss with the complainant the option of notifying police if criminal activity was reported
- Conduct or arrange an investigation of the prohibited conduct
- Preparing or overseeing any reports, recommendations, or remedial actions that are needed or warranted to resolve any prohibited conduct
- Assess each complaint individually
- Submit an incident
A person may speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles at Loras College including the following:
- Counselors in the Loras Counseling Center (563-588-7024); after hours emergencies by calling the Information Desk and asking for the on-call counselor at (563-588-7100)
- Nursing staff at the Student Health Center (563-588-7142)
- Loras College Clergy (563-588-7104)
A confidential report will not result in a report to law enforcement or a College investigation. It will not be reported to the Office of Student Life. The reporter (and victim/survivor if different from the reporter) may request confidentiality. The College takes such requests seriously; however such requests may severely limit the College’s ability to investigate and take reasonable action in response to a report. In such cases, the Dean of Students, Student Life Office, Campus Safety Office and the Title IX Coordinator, Nancy Zachar Fett, will evaluate the request for confidentiality in the context of the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. If the reporter (and victim/survivor if different than the reporter) insists that their privacy be protected and that their name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused college officials will advise the reporter/complainant of the College’s limited ability to respond.
ADVOCACY AND COUNSELING RESOURCES
Any survivor of a sexual assault has a right to counseling referral from the Loras College Counseling Center and to receive assistance from a trained advocate. The following counseling resources are available to students, faculty and staff who have been assaulted:
Loras College Counseling Center
Alumni Campus Center Room 473
855 Loras Blvd.
Dubuque, IA 52004
Rape Victim Advocacy Program
(800) 284-7821 (State Wide Hot Line)
Title IX Coordinator
Riverview Center, Inc. Sexual Assault
Prevention and Intervention Services
2600 Dodge St.
Dubuque, IA 52003
1229 Mt. Loretta
Dubuque, IA 52003
YMCA Domestic Violence Program
35 N. Booth
Dubuque, IA 52001
Online resource that connects survivors with information about support and resources in their area.
RESPONDENT RESOURCES REGARDING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Rights of Respondents
- You will be notified in advance of the hearing
- To have knowledge of the alleged acts of misconduct
- To have an advocate present at all reviews and conduct meetings. (This person may be legal counsel retained at the expense of the Respondent, but such counsel may not act for or speak for the Respondent in College proceedings)
- To have an opportunity to respond to the statements of complainant(s) and witness(es)
- To have an opportunity to respond to witness(es) and evidence
- To have the opportunity to present witness(es) and other evidence
- To have an outcome meeting with a Dean of Students Administrator and or their designee with a written notification of the outcome
- To appeal any decision within 3 business days of receiving notification of the outcome
Responsibilities of Respondents
- To thoroughly read the Discipline Procedures section of the most current Student Handbook, and ask the designated hearing officer any questions they may have about the process
- To respond to any and all reasonable requests from staff managing the process and hearing officer or board members in a timely fashion.
- To arrive at all meetings prepared and on-time.
- To actively participate in the process.
- To refrain from retaliating against anyone reporting or thought to have reported sexual misconduct or who is a witness or otherwise if involved in a conduct proceeding. For additional information, please see page 18 of the Student Handbook.
IF A REPORT WAS FILED AGAINST ME:
What if a report of sexual misconduct is filed alleging I committed a policy violation?
The Campus Safety Office and the Student Life Office receive a report of alleged misconduct. Please understand that Loras College takes all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and is committed to investigating and resolving these issues to the extent possible.
Shortly after the incident report is filed, Security and Dean of Students administrators will determine if they need to share information with the campus community. Typically this is done in general terms and keeps the names of involved parties anonymous. The sharing of information is required by several federal laws. The purpose of sharing is to make the community aware of any ongoing threat of sexual misconduct.
You will be notified of the report by campus personnel and interviewed by the Campus Safety Office. You may have an advocate with you to provide support. You will also be asked to submit a written statement. Since the report was filed listing you as the alleged perpetrator, you are considered the respondent in the process and will be referred to that way. The other party is the complainant.
The Dean of Students administrators will designate how the case will be resolved. If it is determined that the case will be heard either by the College Hearing Board or through an Administrative Hearing:
– You will be notified of the rights and the options you have in the campus conduct review process
– You will be offered awareness of support services and have questions answered
– You can anticipate a no contact directive being issued for the benefit of all
– Interim actions may be put in place that include, but are not limited to: being removed from campus temporarily, altering your class schedule, and not being in proximity of the complainant [person filing the report]
– You will be given updates on how the process is developing, as outlined in the student handbook
The investigation process occurs. This process can take up to 60 days. The investigation process will include:
– The complainant and the respondent and their witnesses will be interviewed
– An investigation summary will be attached to the incident report file
– For more information on the policy and process see the student handbook, pages 7-11
The College Hearing Board or Administrative Hearing will occur.
Cases of Sexual Misconduct will automatically be referred to the College Hearing Board with a possible sanction of suspension or expulsion. This board is chaired by the Associate Dean of Students or his/her designee and includes appointed representatives from the Loras College community: two students, two faculty members and two staff members. These appointed individuals, approved by the Dean of Students, are the voting members of the Hearing Board. The chairperson may vote in the event of a tie. A secretary will be appointed to take minutes of the proceedings; however, recording devices are not permitted during the hearing or any preparation meeting.
In some instances, at the discretion of the Dean of Students or his/her designee, a formal administrative hearing may be held due to the nature of the complaint or infraction of College policy.
Due to the extensive documentation required to prepare a case for the college hearing board, respondents who are referred to the college hearing board will be charged a $50.00 administrative fee. This fee will be refunded in the event the respondent is found not responsible for any allegations.
The respondent will be advised of the specific charges being brought against him/her in advance of the hearing. If the board proceedings involve a complainant other than the college, the complainant also has the right to a pre-hearing notification meeting. If the student does not appear at the established hearing time, the case shall be heard without the student being present.
During the course of the hearing, the respondent will be allowed to respond to any alleged violations presented, ask questions of the complainant and/or witnesses and present a summary of the case. Please note that per the United States Office of Civil Rights in hearings related to any type of sex discrimination, the complainant and the respondent are not to personally question or directly cross-examine each other during the hearing, as allowing so may be traumatic or intimidating for the complainant, thereby possibly escalating or perpetuating a hostile environment.
After the hearing has been completed, the board (or administrator) will retire to closed session to determine if the respondent is responsible or not for the policy infraction. If the student is found responsible, the board (or administrator) will determine an appropriate sanction and the date of its implementation. The decision of the board will be presented in writing to the respondent as soon as possible. Under applicable Clery Law and Title IX Law, in instances involving violent crime or any type of sexual misconduct, the complainant will also be notified in writing, and simultaneously, of the outcome of the hearing in the manner described as appropriate under these laws. If the student is suspended or expelled, the date of implementation is the date of the board or administrator decision, and such date is non-negotiable. The decision of the College Hearing Board (or administrator) will be effective immediately unless a timely petition to review has been filed.
Please note, in the event of a hearing for any type of sexual misconduct, Title IX Law requires the incident related to the sex discrimination be heard independent from any other code of conduct violation allegations.
HEARING BOARD ADVOCATES
Both the respondent and complainants may have an advocate (faculty, staff or peer) present at the hearing or appear without the assistance of an advocate. In the event that the hearing board is held to address a Title IX violation that involves sexual misconduct, respondents and complainants may choose any individual, including legal counsel to serve in the advocate role; however, the advocate must act within the described role of the advocate as listed below. The identity of attending advocate must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Students or his/her designee prior to the hearing.
The advocate may:
- Advise the student on the preparation and presentation of the case and/or;
- Accompany the student to the hearing(s).
The advocate may not:
- Present the case or summary of the case for the student;
- Directly question any individuals involved in the hearing process;
- Directly address the college hearing board.
HEARING BOARD WITNESSES
Both the complainant and respondents may also have witnesses available to be brought in during the hearing. The Associate Dean of Students or his/her designee needs to be notified 48 hours in advance of the identity of any witnesses asked to attend the hearing.
Both complainant and respondent may bring up to 4 incident witnesses. An incident witnesses is someone who is present with the questioned behavior occurred.
Neither the complainant or respondent may bring character witnesses to the hearing; however, both the complainant and the respondent may provide two letters of character to be submitted to the college hearing board as a part of the hearing process. Letters of character should be submitted in advance to the Associate Dean of Students and/or her designee.
REVIEW OF COLLEGE HEARING BOARD DECISIONS
Review of a decision of the College Hearing Board may be petitioned by a respondent who has been suspended or expelled. Under Title IX law, in the instance of any type of sexual misconduct, a petition for review may also be filed by a complainant. The written petition for review must be written and prepared by the student, and filed in the Dean of Students’ Office within three business days of notification of suspension or expulsion, and must also include reasons for the request and the factual information to substantiate those reasons. The request for review must be based on one of the following:
- The student believes the College Hearing Board decision was flawed procedurally.
- Loras College Student Handbook policy was not applied correctly.
- New information not available at the time of the College Hearing Board meeting is now available, which could alter the outcome of the case.
The request for review will be considered by a Review Board, appointed by the Dean of Students and consist of one faculty member, one staff member and one student. If the Review Board determines there is valid basis for review, a review hearing will be scheduled.
Following the review hearing, the Dean of Students or his/her designee shall recommend a course of action to be taken. The recommendation may include
- Affirm the decision of the College Hearing Board.
- Remand the case to the College Hearing Board with instructions for a rehearing.
- Modify the sanction(s) imposed by the College Hearing Board.
- Reject the decision of the College Hearing Board and dismiss the complaint.
The decision of the Dean of Students or his/her designee is final.
EVIDENTIARY STANDARDS FOR NON-ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
In all cases of alleged non-academic misconduct, the appropriate hearing officer will be responsible for compiling sufficient evidence to substantiate the charges. The evidence must support a determination that it is “more likely than not” that a violation of the student code of conduct occurred in all cases involving a potential penalty lesser than expulsion. In cases where expulsion has been determined to be a possible sanction, “clear and convincing evidence” must provide the basis for such expulsion. Please note that in cases involving any type of sexual misconduct, the standard of evidence required by Title IX is preponderance of evidence, or a determination that it is “more likely than not” a violation has occurred. Hearsay evidence and personal testimony may be considered.