X. Disciplinary Process
The College’s disciplinary procedures should be viewed as a resource to the survivor of sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment. Sexual assault and rape are criminal violations and violations of College policy. A student charged with sexual misconduct can be prosecuted under the Oregon Criminal Code if the survivor chooses, and separately disciplined by the College. Even if the criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute, a student charged with any type of sexual misconduct will be subject to the College disciplinary process. If the College’s Sexual Misconduct Review Board finds that the alleged misconduct occurred, disciplinary action includes the strong possibility of suspension or dismissal from the College. Hearing procedures and disciplinary sanctions are outlined below.
As described in this policy’s section three, "Procedures for Survivors of Sexual Assault or Rape," it is possible for a survivor to make a first report to a number of different contact points throughout the college community (Sexual Assault Response Advocate, Health Center, Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Campus Safety). If, after meeting with any of these contact points, the survivor determines that he or she would like to pursue a college disciplinary hearing, the contact point will direct the student to meet with the Dean of Students.
Once a meeting is arranged, the Dean will outline the options available, including how a judicial hearing will work, along with its possible outcomes. If the survivor decides to make a charge, the Dean will take a written (or tape-recorded) statement of the survivor’s account of the incident (or, the survivor may give such a statement directly to Campus Safety). The accused student will also be given the opportunity to provide the Dean with a written statement after the charge has been made by the survivor. It should be noted that if Campus Safety has already taken a written statement from the survivor and/or the accused, the Dean may use these statements in lieu of the statements mentioned above.
The Dean will then present the accused student with a written statement of the survivor’s charges against him or her. The Dean will notify the accused student that the hearing board members are being chosen and provide him or her with the date of the hearing. The hearing will be held within 5 working days of the survivor’s initiation of charges. If this condition cannot be met, both the survivor and the accused will be notified regarding the status of the case. Both the survivor and the accused will be informed in writing of the hearing format and specific charges.
If the Dean determines that it is in the best interest of either student for safety or other reasons, the accused and/or the survivor will be provided different accommodations. Both students will be instructed to avoid all contact with the other. If these instructions are not heeded, disciplinary action will be taken, including the possibility of immediate suspension from the College and trespass from campus. Additionally, assistance is available for changing academic and living situations after a report of sexual misconduct is filed, if so requested by the survivor and if such changes are reasonably available.
Note: In the context of the College judicial process, the survivor is initiating formal allegations of misconduct. The charges of misconduct remain allegations until a decision is reached by the Sexual Misconduct Review Board.
Composition of the Sexual Misconduct Review Board
The Sexual Misconduct Review Board is composed solely of administrators and staff members, because these two groups are likely to have the least future interaction with the students involved. Board members are appointed by the Dean of Students.
When selected, all members of the board receive comprehensive training. Topics covered include: sensitivity to survivor reactions; characteristics of Rape Trauma Syndrome; myths and facts about sexual assault; sensitivity to both race and sexual orientation of individuals; and appropriate standards of proof.
The board will be composed of a pool of administrators and staff, three of whom will be selected to hear any given case. Both men and women will comprise the pool and each convened board. The Dean will chair the board during the hearing and provide administrative support and clarifications as needed.
The students involved may challenge the composition of the board. The accused and alleged survivor will be notified of the names of those who will serve on the board at the time the hearing is scheduled. If either objects to any member or members of the board, he or she must commit the reasons for the objection to writing. The Dean will review the objection and decide whether the hearing board member(s) should or should not be replaced. Removal from the hearing board will occur only if the Dean is convinced that absence of impartiality or other extenuating circumstances would result from allowing the hearing board member to adjudicate the incident. Any member who personally knows either the accused or the survivor will be excused from the case.
Elements of the Hearing
The hearing will be convened in a private room where there will be no disturbances from other members of the campus community. The hearing will not be open to the public. A formal record of the hearing (audio tape recording and/or written) will be maintained and made available to the accused and survivor if requested. There will be separate waiting rooms for the accused’s witnesses and for the alleged survivor’s witnesses. A list of witnesses for each side must be submitted to the Dean of Students at least 48 hours prior to the hearing.
The survivor and the accused do not need to be present in the hearing room at the same time. Both the survivor and the accused may be present throughout the hearing. Both may present evidence on their own behalf through the presentation of witnesses. Both may choose a person to accompany them during the judicial proceedings. Both may have advisory participation from counsel. However, such counsel may not serve in an advocacy role in the hearing.
The alleged survivor will present his or her case first, and be able to call witnesses. There are some situations in which the survivor cannot or will not present his or her own case. In these situations, the Dean may appoint an administrator to present the case for the College in the survivor’s stead. If the survivor elects to let the College present the case, the survivor still may be present throughout the entire proceeding.
Next, the accused student may present his or her case. Then, the accused can call witnesses. The hearing board may recall any witnesses at any point to clarify or challenge statements made during the hearing. The hearing board members are allowed to ask questions at any point throughout the hearing. Either party may request that portions of the audio tape be rewound and replayed for the hearing board members or witnesses. Neither the accused nor the survivor may directly question each other during the hearing. Questions and clarifications must be directed to the board.
Prior sexual behavior/sexual history of the survivor is not relevant and will not be allowed to be presented during the hearing. Hearing board members are obligated to prevent such information from being admitted.
The Decision Making Process
Once the hearing is concluded, the board members will, after meeting in closed session, render a decision within 48 hours. However, if they cannot reach a decision in that time, witnesses may be recalled for further questioning. The members of the hearing board have to decide if the accused student’s actions meet the College’s definition of sexual misconduct.
To establish responsibility, the hearing board must decide that the accused’s behavior satisfies the definition of the misconduct to the extent required by the standard of proof in sexual misconduct cases— "more likely than not." Once a decision is made, the Dean of Students will inform the accused student first, then the alleged survivor, in the form of a letter which will include an explanation of the Board’s deliberations. They will be informed separately and at different times so that they do not encounter each other.
If an individual is found to have violated the sexual misconduct policy, one or more of the following sanctions will be invoked.
Warning: A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
Conditional Disciplinary Probation: A written reprimand which places the student’s participation in College activities in a provisional status. Probation may exclude the student from participation in co-curricular activities in which the student represents the College (such as varsity athletics and club sports, elected student office, debate, musical and dramatic groups). Probation may include mandatory counseling and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student further violates College regulation(s) during the probationary period.
Unconditional Disciplinary Probation: Immediate invocation of a disciplinary suspension should additional violation(s) of College policies occur during a specified period of time.
College Suspension: Separation of the student from the College for a definite or indefinite period of time after which the student is eligible for return. Conditions for re-admission may be specified. At the discretion of the Dean of Students, a College suspension may be deferred to take effect at the end of the term.
College Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from the College.
Other: At the discretion of the Dean of Students and/or the hearing board, other sanctions outlined in the Student Code of Conduct may be invoked.
The decision of the hearing board may be appealed by both the survivor and the accused. The Associate Provost is the appellate for decisions reached by the Sexual Misconduct Review Board. Either party is entitled to an appeal if he or she can show to that the adjudication was in any way biased or unfair, or that the process and/or sanctions was violative of college policy. The alleged survivor and the accused student have access to a transcript or copy of the audiotape of the hearing for use in crafting their appeals, if a waiver of FERPA rights has been signed by both parties. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Associate Provost or designate within two weeks of the decision of the board.