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Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures

VI. How the University Will Respond to Reports

Complaints to the University will be looked into immediately upon receipt. This review will take the form of an initial inquiry or formal investigation. Both the initial inquiry and the formal investigation will be thorough, reliable, and impartial. During a formal investigation, both parties will have an equal opportunity to provide the names of relevant witnesses and other information to the investigator. The investigator will weigh the reliability and credibility of information obtained. The complainant has the right to withdraw their complaint or their involvement in the process at any time. In the interest of the community, the University reserves the right to conduct its own investigation and proceedings notwithstanding the status or resolution of any civil or criminal proceedings (see Section VI(C)(3), “Not Honoring a Request to Not Investigate”).

A. Privacy and Confidentiality

The University strongly supports a person’s interest in confidentiality in matters involving sexual and related misconduct. In instances in which confidentiality is not sought or available, the University will maintain the person’s privacy to the greatest extent possible.

Confidential Resources. The University offers a number of confidential resources for all members of the community, including complainants who are unsure whether to report prohibited conduct and complainants and respondents who seek counseling or other emotional support (see Section V(D), “Communications that are Not Treated As Reports to the University - Speaking with a Confidential Resource”). Only those officials in Campus Ministry, Counseling and Psychological Services, and University Health Services who are providing pastoral counseling, clinical counseling, or medical services can accommodate requests for confidentiality. The University requires all other employees, including all faculty, staff, and administrators, to report learned instances of sexual and related misconduct to appropriate University officials (see Section V(E) for more details).

Privacy: University offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Deans of Students, Department of Public Safety, Human Resources, or their designee to investigate and/or seek a resolution in a Title IX matter. Even if a person does not ask for confidentiality, these matters are considered private and are shared with a limited number of employees who have a “need to know” and are responsible for the University’s response. To the extent practicable and appropriate to the circumstances, investigatory and resolution procedures, as well as appeal procedures, shall be held in strict confidence to reasonably ensure the privacy of the parties concerned.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows the University to share information with an individual’s parents if there is a health or safety emergency or if the individual is listed as a dependent on either parent’s prior year federal income tax form. However, the University will generally not share information about a report of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault with parents without the reporting individual’s permission.

B. Remedial Actions and Remedies

The University will consider remedial actions and remedies that are appropriate to the nature and severity of the reported misconduct.

Interim Measures. Interim measures may be imposed if requested or if the University deems them necessary to ensure safety, prevent retaliation, or avoid an ongoing hostile environment. Individuals may also request and obtain reasonable and available interim measures and accommodations that effect a change in academic, extracurricular, housing, dining, employment, transportation, or other applicable arrangements. Both the complainant and respondent shall, upon request and consistent with the Policy and Procedures, be afforded a prompt review, reasonable under the circumstances, of the need for and terms of any such interim measure or accommodation that directly affects them, and shall be allowed to submit evidence in support of their request. A formal complaint need not be pursued for interim measures to be provided.

Factors determining which interim measures the University will take may include:

  1. The specific needs expressed by the complainant;
  2. The age of the students involved;
  3. The severity or pervasiveness of the allegations;
  4. Whether the complainant and respondent share the same residence hall, class, or job locations; and
  5. Whether other court ordered judicial measures have been taken to protect the complainant.

In the event the respondent is determined to present a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, the respondent may be subject to an interim suspension pending the outcome of the conduct process.

No Contact Restrictions. A No Contact Restriction is a directive prohibiting contact between or among designated individuals through any means, direct or indirect, including personal contact, email, telephone, text message, social media, or third party. After a complainant reports sexual or related misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Deans of Students, the Department of Public Safety, or Human Resources, a written or oral No Contact Restriction may be put in place restricting the respondent from having contact with the complainant. The complainant may also be encouraged not to have contact with the respondent.

  • An individual who wishes to report a violation of a No Contact Restriction can contact the issuing office during business hours, the Department of Public Safety, or their administrative support person if applicable. If the complainant and respondent observe each other in a public place, it shall be the responsibility of the respondent to leave the area immediately without contacting the complainant. Individuals who violate a No Contact Restriction are subject to a separate disciplinary charge of “Intimidation and Retaliation for Reporting” and may be subject to adjudication and discipline (see Section IV(C)).
  • Both the complainant and respondent will, upon request and consistent with the Policy and Procedures, be afforded a prompt review, reasonable under the circumstances, of the need for and terms of any such interim measure, including potential modification, and will be allowed to submit evidence in support of their request. The Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Deans of Students, or their designee will determine within a reasonable timeframe whether there will be any modification.

Orders of Protection Issued by Criminal Courts and Civil Courts (Including Family Court). In addition to University No Contact Restrictions, which are exclusively issued to community members, victims of stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, or any other crime under federal, state, or local law can seek orders of protection against any individual through both the criminal and civil courts.

The Department of Public Safety or another designated University staff member is available to assist in obtaining a court-issued order of protection (or, if outside New York State, an equivalent protective force or restraining order) and explain the consequences of an individual violating such an order (e.g., arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension). The parties are entitled to receive a copy of the order of protection or its equivalent when one has been shared with the University. Respondents may speak with a Department of Public Safety representative, or other appropriate individual, who can explain the order and answer questions about it, including information regarding the accused’s responsibility to stay away from the protected person or persons. An individual may receive assistance from the Department of Public Safety in effecting an arrest when an individual violates such an order.

C. Investigations Involving Students in the Student Conduct Process

The following is a description of the resources, rights, and options available to students during the student conduct process.

  1. Administrative Support Person

    Administrative Support Persons (ASPs) are trained professionals assigned to assist and support student-complainants and student-respondents when a report of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, or sexual exploitation is received. At the discretion of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, an ASP may be assigned to student-complainants and student respondents for reports of other types of sexual and related misconduct. An ASP will be assigned to a student-respondent once a formal complaint has been initiated or when interim measures are being issued. An ASP will be available to a student-complainant even if the student-complainant decides not to proceed with an investigation and/or the student conduct process.

    ASPs are not a confidential resource, and information shared by a student with an ASP may be provided to University administrators involved in the investigation and conduct processes. Fordham administrators who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information provided to a non-confidential resource will be shared only as necessary for the University to investigate and/or seek a resolution. The ASP will, using the information contained in the Campus Assault and Relationship Education (CARE) brochure, explain the various options and support resources available, including but not limited to:  The right to have emergency access to a supervisor or investigator in the Department of Public Safety;  Medical, counseling, and pastoral resources;
    • The University’s prohibition against intimidation and retaliation;
    • The standard of proof during the internal conduct process;
    • How to report incidents to the local police or a prosecutor or to seek other types of relief through the legal system;
    • Interim measures for possible accommodations and options for changing academic, living, transportation, and work commitments if such changes are warranted under the circumstances and reasonably available.
    Non-students will not be provided an ASP during the student conduct process. However, the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, will assist non-student respondents with assistance obtaining medical and counseling support, interim measures when warranted, or other services as appropriate.

  2. Advisor of Choice

    The complainant and respondent may each be accompanied by an Advisor of Choice. The Advisor of Choice may assist, advise, and support the party throughout the conduct process and be present for related meetings or proceedings. Advisors of Choice are not permitted to communicate with University officials participating in the Title IX process. The decision to select an Advisor of Choice is solely that of the complainant or respondent. An Advisor of Choice may not serve in that capacity if they are involved in the underlying matter, including, serving as a witness, co-complainant, or co-respondent.

    The complainant and respondent are encouraged to provide the contact information of the Hearing Officer (in student conduct proceedings) to their Advisor of Choice in advance of the meeting or proceeding. The Hearing Officer (student conduct proceedings) or Title IX Coordinator must be advised in writing that an advisor will be present at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting or proceeding. This notification must include:
    • Full name and title of the advisor of choice
    • Contact information for the advisor of choice (phone, email and address)
    If any advisor’s conduct is not consistent with these guidelines, they may be excluded from the conduct process. The availability of an advisor to attend a conduct meeting, interview, or hearing shall not unreasonably interfere with or delay the proceedings.

  3. Requesting that the University Not Investigate

    If a person reports an incident of sexual or related misconduct to a non-confidential resource at the University but then wishes not to participate as a party or witness, or does not want the University to proceed with an investigation, the University will attempt to honor that person’s wishes. Please note that:
    • The University may provide an ASP for the Complainant even if a formal investigation is not conducted.
    • The University will take all reasonable steps to respond to the complaint consistent with the complainant’s request and will determine whether interim measures are appropriate or necessary.
    • The University will still consider broader remedial action, such as increased monitoring, supervision of security at locations where the reported sexual and related misconduct occurred, increased training, education, and prevention efforts, and conducting climate surveys.
    • By honoring the request, the University will not be able to meaningfully investigate and pursue misconduct or disciplinary proceedings to find anyone responsible for the violation.
    In limited circumstances, the University may be unable to honor a request that it not investigate a report of sexual or related misconduct. The University may conduct its own investigation when it determines in good faith that it is in the best interest of the complainant or University community to do so. When deciding whether the request can be honored, the University will weigh the request not to proceed against its obligation to provide a safe, non- discriminatory environment for the entire community. The factors that are considered when determining whether the University has an overriding responsibility to proceed despite a reporting party’s wishes include:
    • Whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
    • Whether the incident represents escalation in unlawful conduct on behalf of the accused from previously noted behavior;
    • The increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence;
    • Whether the accused used a weapon or force;
    • Whether the reporting individual is a minor;
    • Whether the institution possesses other means to obtain evidence such as security footage; and
    • Whether available information reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.
    If possible, the University will make attempts to inform the complainant prior to proceeding with an investigation after that person requests that the University not investigate. The University may proceed with an investigation and the adjudication process where someone could be found responsible for a policy violation even when a complainant does not participate and does not want to proceed. Under certain circumstances, the University may be required by law to report and/or file a complaint with external authorities. However, any complainant or witness can decide whether or not to cooperate with the police (e.g., speaking with the police, which is not required).

  4. Sexual Assault Public Awareness Events

    The University is not obligated to begin an investigation based on information a person shares during public awareness events designed to be safe spaces for people to share their experiences. These events could include candlelight vigils, “Take Back the Night” events, protests, or other public events. The University may decide to use the information learned to inform its efforts for additional education and prevention efforts.

  5. Resolving Complaints

    If a person chooses to proceed with the University process under the Policy and Procedures, they have two options to resolve their complaint:
    1. The Informal Approach to Resolution, which cannot be used for matters involving allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or any other form of sexual violence. (OR)
    2. The Formal Approach to Resolution
      1. Informal Approach to Resolution

        The informal Approach to Resolution cannot be used for matters involving allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or any other form of sexual violence. Resolution reached through the informal process must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator for the University.

        A complainant who wishes to file a complaint but who does not wish to pursue Formal Resolution may request a less formal proceeding known as “Informal Resolution.” While the Informal Resolution process is not as structured as the Formal Resolution process, it can be an effective and appropriate means to address the complaint.

        If a complainant wishes to proceed with Informal Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, Human Resources, or their designee, will ascertain the name of the respondent, and the date, location, and nature of the alleged misconduct, and they will schedule an individual intake meeting with the respondent in order to provide them with a general understanding of the Policy and Procedures.

        The complainant and the respondent each may bring an Advisor of Choice to the Informal Resolution. Advisors of Choice are subject to the same restrictions set forth in Section VI (C)(ii) above. A trained counselor, trained mediator, or, if appropriate, a University faculty member or administrator, will preside over the Informal Resolution and may be assisted by another staff member, administrator, or outside expert.

        If, in the course of the Informal Resolution, the respondent admits to violating the Policy, that admission will serve as a finding of responsibility after an independent investigation into the matter by the University. The University will not impose sanctions on the basis of an admission (by the respondent) without an independent investigation into the alleged misconduct. The Dean of Students, Human Resources, appropriate Vice President, or their designee, will recommend one or more sanctions, which the respondent can accept or reject. The sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the Informal Resolution process are the same as those outlined in the Formal Resolution process below. If the recommended sanction is accepted, the process is concluded. If it is rejected, the complaint will proceed to the Formal Resolution process.

        Participation in the Informal Resolution process is voluntary. The University will not compel a complainant or a respondent to engage in Informal Resolution or directly confront the other party. The University will allow a complainant or respondent to withdraw from the Informal Resolution process at any time. The University may, at any time, elect to end such proceedings and initiate Formal Resolution instead. Pursuing Informal Resolution does not preclude later use of Formal Resolution if the Informal Resolution fails to achieve a resolution acceptable to the parties and the University. Statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution may be considered in the Formal Resolution. In the event a complainant or a respondent wishes to proceed to the Formal Resolution process, they must provide written notification to the Title IX Coordinator. Informal Resolution may result in the imposition of protective actions agreed upon by the parties, or (with or without such agreement) based on information derived from the Informal

        Resolution taken together with any other relevant information known to the University at the time of the Informal Resolution.

      2. Formal Approach to Resolution

        If a matter cannot be resolved through the informal approach or the complainant chooses to proceed with formal resolution, the complainant may seek the assistance of trained, qualified investigators to serve as fact finders for each campus. The results of the investigation will then be provided to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students, or their designee for cases involving student-respondents. The results of the investigation will then be passed to the appropriate official for all other respondents involved in an adjudication proceeding.

        The investigator will handle complaints impartially and objectively, perform fact-finding, and will follow relevant procedures. If there is a significant conflict of interest where the investigator cannot be impartial, another investigator will be assigned to the investigation. The investigator evaluates information based upon the nature and context of the conduct after assessing the credibility of witnesses and weighing the relevant information obtained.

        The Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students for the campus where the respondent is enrolled, or their designee, conducts the student conduct process in those cases in which a student is alleged to be in violation of the Policy and Procedures and, if necessary, imposes student conduct sanctions for students found in violation of the Policy and Procedures. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Deans of Students are responsible for record keeping in these matters. Should a student have any questions about the specific office or staff member with whom they should speak about sexual and related misconduct, please contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Deans of Students. They will refer the student to the proper office or staff member. The contact information for the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Deans of Students is as follows:

        If you are a student enrolled at the Rose Hill Campus or the Calder Center, contact:
        Christopher Rodgers, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Rose Hill
        McGinley Campus Center 242
        718-817-4755
        deanrodgers@fordham.edu

        If you are a student enrolled at the Lincoln Center or Westchester Campuses, contact:
        Keith Eldredge, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Lincoln Center
        140 W62 Building, G33
        212-636-6250
        eldredge@fordham.edu

        If you are a student enrolled at any campus, contact:
        Michele C. Burris, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
        Keating Hall 100
        718-817-4750
        mburris@fordham.edu

        Use of a Designee as the Investigator, Finder of Fact and / or Adjudicator in a Conduct Proceeding: The University may, at its discretion, designate another trained/experienced person(s) to act as the investigator, finder of fact, and/or adjudicator in a conduct process. If there is a designation, the parties involved will be informed. Administrators involved in the investigation and conduct process receive training, at least annually, on issues relating to sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. These administrators are also trained in conducting an investigation that protects the safety of the participants and promotes accountability.
        1. Notification of Proceedings and Meetings

          Once an initial inquiry has been conducted showing that a more formal investigation is warranted (meaning the behavior in question may constitute prohibited conduct under the Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures), the complainant and respondent are:
          • Informed that there is a formal investigation into the conduct in question;
          • Provided information as to the behavior that will be evaluated;
          • Informed of which provisions of the Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures the behavior being investigated may violate;
          • Informed of the possible sanctions;
          • Notified that they will be provided the time and place for all meetings in relation to the conduct process.
          The University will ensure that each student is afforded the right to a fair process in all student conduct cases involving sexual and related misconduct. This right to process includes: (1) notice to a respondent describing the date, time, and location of the reported misconduct as well as relevant facts addressing the elements of the allegation; (2) a reference to the specific provisions of this policy that are alleged to have been violated; and (3) notice of possible sanctions. In advance of any meeting they are requested to attend, students will receive written or electronic notice of that meeting.

        2. Time Frame for Investigation, Conduct Process, and Resolution

          While the time to resolve a reported incident will vary from case to case depending on the specific facts and circumstances, it is expected that in most cases complaints will be resolved

          within 60 days of the day the complainant requests that the University’s investigation and student conduct processes commence. If these processes will take longer than 60 days, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing as to the delay and the reason for the delay. Delay can sometimes, but not always, be imposed by complexity of the complaint, holiday closures of the University, breaks in class schedule, midterm and final examinations, as well as the need to coordinate multiple parties for interview meetings and hearings.

        3. Delay or Denial of Degree Award

          During the period disciplinary charges are pending against a student, the University may deny and/or delay issuance of a degree. Furthermore, the University may refuse to issue a degree to a student who is serving a suspension or has been permanently dismissed from the University.

        4. Individuals Conducting the Investigation and Conduct Process

          Members of the Department of Public Safety are responsible for investigation of the facts/fact- finding process in matters in which both parties are students and/or where a student is subject to possible student conduct sanctions by this Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy. The University may, at its discretion, designate another trained/experienced person to act as the investigator, finder of fact, and/or adjudicator in a conduct process. If there is a designation, the parties involved will be informed. The Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, conducts investigations of complaints in which a student is the complainant and a non-student is the respondent.
          • In cases in which a student is the respondent, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, or their designee serves as the Hearing Officer, completes the student conduct process, and, if necessary, imposes appropriate student conduct sanctions.
          • In cases involving faculty, staff, or administrators as respondents, the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, will make a finding of the facts, make a recommendation for resolution, and provide possible disciplinary sanctions to either the area Vice President, or their designee, or the appropriate decision-maker as per the applicable collective bargaining agreement, or the University Statutes. The applicable decision maker has the authority and responsibility to impose discipline or other resolution they deem appropriate based upon the circumstances and severity of the findings of fact.
        5. Information and Evidence Used During the Conduct Process

          The conduct process is designed to obtain information that will be used to determine: (1) the conduct that occurred; and (2) whether that conduct violates the terms of the Policy and Procedures.
          1. Presumption of “Not Responsible” for Violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy: The respondent is presumed not to have violated the Policy and Procedures until an outcome is issued. However, depending upon the circumstances of the initial allegation, the respondent can be suspended on an interim basis pending the outcome of the conduct process. Depending upon the allegations and need for the University to keep the community and complainant safe, other interim measures may be imposed upon the respondent pending the outcome of the conduct process (see Section VI(B), “Remedial Actions and Remedies, Interim Measures” above).
          2. The “Preponderance of Evidence” Standard of Review: The evidentiary standard in determining the facts will be based upon a preponderance of evidence standard (i.e. that it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred).
          3. Opportunity to Review Evidence and Offer Information: The parties are provided an opportunity to review and present relevant evidence and information that will be used during the conduct meetings and proceedings, consistent with the University’s policies and procedures. The opportunity to review evidence is also subject to federal, state, and local laws, including FERPA. Evidence must be relevant to the allegation, and the parties will be provided a meaningful opportunity to respond to the evidence, including providing reasonable opportunity to provide responsive evidence and information.
          4. Past Findings: Past findings of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault are only admissible in the portion of the conduct process in which the sanction is determined.
          5. Prior Sexual History/Mental Health Diagnosis: Generally, a student’s prior sexual history or mental health diagnosis and/or treatment may not be introduced in the portion of the conduct process in which responsibility is determined. Determinations on exclusions and redactions are made by the investigator.
          6. Impact Statement: Student respondents and student complainants are entitled to provide an impact statement if and when the Hearing Officer is deliberating on any appropriate sanctions and, in any case, at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting to provide notification to complainants and respondents as to the outcome of the conduct process. Opportunities for similar impact statements will be provided for the complainants and respondents if the matter involves imposing sanctions upon faculty, staff or third party.
        6. Possible Sanctions

          Employees. Possible sanctions for employees include (but are not limited to) a letter of reprimand or warning letter, a reduction in pay, probation, suspension, termination of employment from the University, or other appropriate sanctions.

          Students. Students who have been found to have violated the University’s sexual misconduct policy may be subject to sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to: disciplinary reprimand, residence hall probation, student life probation, University disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the University and/or suspension or expulsion from University housing. Additional sanctions include meeting with an administrator, parent notification, reflective or research paper, apology letter, no-contact restriction, special project or program with a Resident Assistant, mandatory study hall, suspension of privileges, and weekend suspension from the residence halls.

          *When a person maintains multiple roles, a determination of the person’s status in a particular situation will be made in the context of the surrounding facts. Where an individual represents both roles in a matter, employee and student sanctions may be issued.
        7. Remedies

          In addition to possible disciplinary or conduct sanctions, the University may impose additional remedies where appropriate for the University community.
        8. Notification of Outcome

          Both the complainant and the respondent will be simultaneously advised in writing of the outcome, including:
          • Written notice of the findings of fact
          • Decision and any sanctions
          • Rationale for the decision and any sanctions
          • Information on how to file an appeal
          Disclosure of Outcomes: The University considers Title IX matters to be sensitive and private. Unless required by law, the University does not publicly release underlying information regarding investigations. Disclosures of facts to witnesses shall be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation. The University does not provide witnesses with the resolution of the proceeding. Participants in an investigation shall be advised that maintaining confidentiality is essential to protecting the integrity of the investigation and will be advised that it is usually best to refrain from discussing the matter during the pending investigation. After the parties are provided with the outcome, either party may choose to disclose or discuss the outcome of the conduct process.
        9. Appeal

          Appeals must be presented in writing to the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs within two (2) business days of notification of the sanction imposed. All appeals will be conducted in a fair, impartial, and equitable manner by decision makers who are free of any conflict of interest. A complainant or respondent may file a written appeal of a case eligible for formal investigation based upon: (1) a material procedural error that could significantly impact the outcome of a case; (2) a claim that the sanction is substantially disproportionate to the finding(s); or (3) discovery of material, relevant evidence that was previously unavailable and could significantly impact the outcome of a case. The complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of any appeal and the final outcome post-appeal.
          1. Appeal when a Student is the Respondent

            The appeal is heard by the Student Conduct Review Council (SCRC) which is comprised of five members: two faculty members appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate, one of whom is appointed as chairperson; one administrator appointed by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs; and two students appointed by the President of the United Student Government. In the event that the respondent or complainant are graduate students, the students on the SCRC will be appointed by the Dean of the particular graduate school. If the Chair of the SCRC determines that there is a conflict of interest with any panel member, that panel member will be excused and replaced by another panel member to ensure a fair and impartial proceeding.

            The SCRC shall have the power to: uphold the decision of the Hearing Officer; uphold the decision but change the sanction; or remand the case back to the Hearing Officer for further hearing. The decisions and sanctions of the SCRC are determined by majority vote, and are final and not appealable.

            SCRC Appeal Review Process
            1. The Hearing Officer and the person filing the appeal will present their respective versions of the case to the SCRC. The appealing student represents themself in the hearing and can have one Advisor of Choice present. The Advisor of Choice may not actively participate during the hearing and must adhere to all rules set forth for Advisors of Choice in the Policy and Procedures.
            2. The SCRC may pose questions to the Hearing Officer and to the appealing student. Both the complainant and respondent will be given an opportunity to be heard, if they so choose.
            3. The SCRC may choose to ask the Hearing Officer to return to the meeting to answer specific questions about the case or ask the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs or the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at any time to answer questions on the process of the Council.
            4. The SCRC hearing is conducted in closed session.
            5. When and if the SCRC decides by majority vote that it needs more information in order to reach its decision, it may call relevant witnesses or request information to the extent required.
            6. As soon as possible, the Chairperson of the SCRC will inform all parties, including the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs, of the final decision.
            7. A timely final outcome letter will be simultaneously provided to both the complainant and respondent.
          2. Appeal When an Employee is the Respondent

            An intent to appeal must be presented in writing to the Vice President for Human Resources within 5 business days of notification of the sanction imposed, if any. Both complainants and respondents may file an appeal.

            Title IX Review Committee
            The appeal is heard by the Title IX Review Committee (TIXRC). The Committee’s makeup will differ based on the constituency of the respondent.

            If the respondent is an adjunct or full-time non-tenured track faculty member who is also a member of a collective bargaining unit, the TIXRC will consist of an administrator selected by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member selected by the Faculty Senate, and a bargaining unit member of the Respondent’s collective bargaining unit. The full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member will serve as Chair of the Committee.

            For all respondents other than those described above, the TIXRC will consist of a representative selected by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, a representative selected by the Vice President for Human Resources, and a representative of the respondent’s constituency. If the respondent is a faculty member who is not a member of a union, the constituency representative will be selected by the Faculty Senate. If the Respondent is an administrator, the constituency representative will be selected by the Vice President for Administration (or designee). If the Respondent is a member of Local 810 or Local 153, the constituency representative will be selected by the respective unions. The representative selected by the Vice President for Human Resources will serve as Chair. If the Chair of the TIXRC determines that there is a conflict of interest with any panel member, that panel member will be excused and replaced by another panel member to ensure a fair and impartial proceeding.

            Procedures
            1. The hearing is conducted in a closed session.
            2. The TIXRC will review the full case record, including the Title IX Coordinator’s investigative report, the sanctions (or lack thereof) imposed by the issuing Vice President, or designee, the related rationale, and any and all evidence in the case file.
            3. The Vice President, or designee, issuing the sanctions (or lack thereof) and the appealing party will present their respective versions of the case to the TIXRC. The TIXRC may ask questions to the Vice President (or designee), the appealing party or other relevant parties. Both the appealing party and the non-appealing party will be given an opportunity to be heard.
            4. Each party will be given an opportunity to submit questions to the other party and relevant witnesses. To do so, the party must submit questions to the TIXRC Chair, who will then ask the questions.
            5. The parties may choose to have one (1) Advisor of Choice present. However, the Advisor of Choice may not actively participate during the hearing and must adhere to all rules set forth in the Policy and Procedures.
            6. After hearing from all relevant parties, the TIXRC will present its findings in a report to a panel of three University Vice Presidents, or their designees. The TIXRC report will include a recommendation to uphold the sanctions imposed (if any) by the issuing Vice President, modify the sanctions imposed (if any), or to remand the case for further investigation to the Title IX Coordinator.
            7. The panel of three Vice Presidents (or their designees) may either accept the recommendations of the TIXRC or reject them. In the event this panel rejects the TIXRC’s recommendations to modify the sanctions, the sanctions of the issuing Vice President remain in effect. The panel’s decision is final and binding except as noted below.
            8. The Vice President for Human Resources will simultaneously provide the Complainant, Respondent, and the Vice President issuing the sanctions (if applicable) with a copy of the TIXRC’s findings and the panel of three Vice Presidents’ (or their designees’) decision.
            9. A record of the Hearing will be preserved for the case file with the Title IX Coordinator’s Office.
          3. Further Review

            Employees may have the right to a limited review of the final decision per the process above.

            Faculty:
            Bargaining Unit Faculty Members
            Bargaining unit faculty members should follow the grievance and arbitration procedures in the applicable collective bargaining agreements as limited for Title IX purposes.

            Non-Bargaining Unit Faculty Members
            Faculty not a member of a bargaining unit should follow the procedures as limited for Title IX purposes as outlined in Article IV of the University Statutes.

            Staff:
            Administrators
            Administrators who would like to appeal a determination may follow the Grievance Procedures set forth in the Administrator’s Handbook. It should be noted that Administrators who have not successfully completed the introductory period, are on grant funded positions or contracts that have expired, or have been terminated for cause (violating the University’s Code of Conduct) are not entitled to an appeal.

            Clerical / Maintenance Union Members
            Those employees who are members of either the Clerical or the Maintenance Union should follow the grievance procedures in their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements.
             
        10. Records of Investigations and Outcomes

          Records of Reports and Investigations: Personal information about any party or witness and records regarding these matters will remain confidential insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where appropriate and practicable. Written records will be retained with regard to the complaint, the investigation and fact finding, and the resolution. However, the University will comply with criminal legal subpoenas or other civil court ordered requests for information or paperwork in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other laws.

          Records of Outcomes and Resolutions: In student cases, all information and other appropriate records will be maintained for a minimum of six (6) years from the outcome of an investigation. Any faculty, staff, administrator or third party records are maintained for six years. When there is an outcome that involves discipline of an employee, Human Resources is notified of the discipline.

          Findings or Responsibility Listed on Transcripts for Violations of Violence - Fordham Transcript Notation Policy for Violent Crimes: Pursuant to Article 129-B §6444.6 of the New York State Education Law, if a student is found responsible through the University’s conduct process for a crime of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII) (“Clery crimes of violence”), and the student is suspended or expelled from the University, the Hearing Officer will direct that a notation be placed on the student’s transcript.
          • Where the sanction is a suspension, the following notation will be listed: “SUSPENDED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION.”
          • Where the sanction is expulsion, the following notation will be listed: “EXPELLED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION.”
          If a student respondent withdraws from the University, while such University conduct charges are pending for allegations related to Clery crimes of violence and the student declines to complete the student conduct process, the Hearing Officer will direct that the following notation be placed on the student’s transcript: “WITHDREW WITH CONDUCT CHARGES PENDING.”
          • Those students who withdraw from the University and decline to complete the student conduct process forfeit any right to resume the conduct proceedings at any point in the future.
          • Conduct charges are considered “pending” once a student is informed in writing that there are allegations that the student may have violated the University’s Code of Conduct.
          Vacating a Finding of Responsibility: If definitive proof of a student respondent’s non- responsibility can be determined, any such transcript notification shall be removed. Only definitive proof can vacate a finding a responsibility. A not-guilty verdict in criminal court is not, in itself, definitive proof of non-responsibility, nor is a failure to prosecute. If there is a student complainant in the conduct process, the University will notify the student complainant and the student complainant will have an opportunity to be heard if a respondent provides definitive proof resulting in vacating a responsibility determination.

          Further Appeals: A student whose transcript states, “SUSPENDED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION” may appeal, in writing, to the appropriate Hearing Officer to have the notation removed. Appeals may be granted provided that:
          1. One year has passed since the conclusion of the suspension;
          2. The term of suspension has been completed and any conditions thereof; and
          3. The Hearing Officer has determined that the student is once again “in good standing” with all applicable University and academic and non-academic standards.
          A student whose transcript states, “EXPELLED AFTER A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATION” or “WITHDREW WITH CONDUCT CHARGES PENDING” is ineligible to appeal to have the notation removed. Those students who were expelled or withdrew with such notifications on their transcripts will leave the University with the status “not in good standing” and will be ineligible for readmission to Fordham University, absent any vacating of a finding of responsibility.

D. Investigations Involving Employee as Complainant

Investigations involving an employee as the complainant will be performed in the same manner as described in Section V.C unless specifically modified below.

  1. Administrative Support Person

    Not applicable.

  2. Advisor of Choice

    The complainant and respondent may each be accompanied by an Advisor of Choice. The Advisor of Choice may assist, advise, and support the party throughout the conduct process and be present for related meetings or proceedings. Advisors of Choice are not permitted to communicate with University officials participating in the Title IX process. The decision to select an Advisor of Choice is solely that of the complainant or respondent. An Advisor of Choice may not serve in that capacity if they are involved in the underlying matter, including, serving as a witness, co-complainant, or co-respondent.

    If any advisor’s conduct is not consistent with these guidelines, they may be excluded from the conduct process. The availability of an advisor to attend a conduct meeting, interview, or hearing shall not unreasonably interfere with or delay the proceedings.

  3. Requesting that the University Not Investigate

    If a person reports an incident of sexual or related misconduct to a non-confidential resource at the University but then wishes not to participate as a party or witness, or does not want the University to proceed with an investigation, the University will attempt to honor that person’s wishes. Please note that: In limited circumstances, the University may be unable to honor a request that it not investigate a report of sexual or related misconduct. The University may conduct its own investigation when it determines in good faith that it is in the best interest of the complainant or University community to do so. When deciding whether the request can be honored, the University will weigh the request not to proceed against its obligation to provide a safe, non- discriminatory environment for the entire community. The factors that are considered when determining whether the University has an overriding responsibility to proceed despite a reporting party’s wishes include:
    • Whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
    • Whether the incident represents escalation in unlawful conduct on behalf of the accused from previously noted behavior;
    • The increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence;
    • Whether the accused used a weapon or force;
    • Whether the institution possesses other means to obtain evidence such as security footage; and
    • Whether available information reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.
    If possible, the University will make attempts to inform the complainant prior to proceeding with an investigation after that person requests that the University not investigate. The University may proceed with an investigation and the adjudication process where someone could be found responsible for a policy violation even when a complainant does not participate and does not want to proceed.

    Under certain circumstances, the University may be required by law to report and/or file a complaint with external authorities. However, any complainant or witness can decide whether or not to cooperate with the police (e.g., speaking with the police, which is not required).

  4. Resolving Complaints

    If an Employee chooses to proceed with the University process under the Policy and Procedures, they have two options to resolve their complaint:
    1. The Informal Approach to Resolution, which cannot be used for matters involving allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or any other form of sexual violence. (OR)
    2. The Formal Approach to Resolution
    1. Informal Approach to Resolution

      The informal Approach to Resolution cannot be used for matters involving allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or any other form of sexual violence. Resolution reached through the informal process must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator for the University.

      A complainant who wishes to file a complaint but who does not wish to pursue Formal Resolution may request a less formal proceeding known as “Informal Resolution.” While the Informal Resolution process is not as structured as the Formal Resolution process, it can be an effective and appropriate means to address the complaint.

      If a complainant wishes to proceed with Informal Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, Human Resources, or their designee, will ascertain the name of the respondent, and the date, location, and nature of the alleged misconduct, and they will schedule an individual intake meeting with the respondent in order to provide them with a general understanding of the Policy and Procedures.

      The complainant and the respondent each may bring an Advisor of Choice to the Informal Resolution. Advisors of Choice are subject to the same restrictions set forth in Section VI (C)(ii) above. A trained counselor, trained mediator, or, if appropriate, a University faculty member or administrator, will preside over the Informal Resolution and may be assisted by another staff member, administrator, or outside expert.

      If, in the course of the Informal Resolution, the respondent admits to violating the Policy, that admission will serve as a finding of responsibility after an independent investigation into the matter by the University. The University will not impose sanctions on the basis of an admission (by the respondent) without an independent investigation into the alleged misconduct. The Dean of Students, Human Resources, appropriate Vice President, or their designee, will recommend one or more sanctions, which the respondent can accept or reject. The sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the Informal Resolution process are the same as those outlined in the Formal Resolution process below. If the recommended sanction is accepted, the process is concluded. If it is rejected, the complaint will proceed to the Formal Resolution process.

      Participation in the Informal Resolution process is voluntary. The University will not compel a complainant or a respondent to engage in Informal Resolution or directly confront the other party. The University will allow a complainant or respondent to withdraw from the Informal Resolution process at any time. The University may, at any time, elect to end such proceedings and initiate Formal Resolution instead. Pursuing Informal Resolution does not preclude later use of Formal Resolution if the Informal Resolution fails to achieve a resolution acceptable to the parties and the University. Statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution may be considered in the Formal Resolution. In the event a complainant or a respondent wishes to proceed to the Formal Resolution process, they must provide written notification to the Title IX Coordinator.

      Informal Resolution may result in the imposition of protective actions agreed upon by the parties, or (with or without such agreement) based on information derived from the Informal Resolution taken together with any other relevant information known to the University at the time of the Informal Resolution.

    2. Formal Approach to Resolution

      If a matter cannot be resolved through the informal approach or the complainant chooses to proceed with formal resolution, the complainant may seek the assistance of trained, qualified investigators to serve as fact finders for each campus. The results of the investigation will then be provided to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students, or their designee for cases involving student-respondents. The results of the investigation will then be passed to the appropriate official for all other respondents involved in an adjudication proceeding.

      The investigator will handle complaints impartially and objectively, perform fact-finding, and will follow relevant procedures. If there is a significant conflict of interest where the investigator cannot be impartial, another investigator will be assigned to the investigation. The investigator evaluates information based upon the nature and context of the conduct after assessing the credibility of witnesses and weighing the relevant information obtained. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students for the campus where the respondent is enrolled, or their designee, conducts the student conduct process in those cases in which a student is alleged to be in violation of the Policy and Procedures and, if necessary, imposes student conduct sanctions for students found in violation of the Policy and Procedures.

      The Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Deans of Students are responsible for record keeping in these matters.

      Use of a Designee as the Investigator, Finder of Fact and / or Adjudicator in a Conduct Proceeding: The University may, at its discretion, designate another trained/experienced person(s) to act as the investigator, finder of fact, and/or adjudicator in a conduct process. If there is a designation, the parties involved will be informed.

      Administrators involved in the investigation and conduct process receive training, at least annually, on issues relating to sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. These administrators are also trained in conducting an investigation that protects the safety of the participants and promotes accountability.
      1. Notification of Proceedings and Meetings

        Once an initial inquiry has been conducted showing that a more formal investigation is warranted (meaning the behavior in question may constitute prohibited conduct under the Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures), the complainant and respondent are:
        • Informed that there is a formal investigation into the conduct in question;
        • Provided information as to the behavior that will be evaluated;
        • Informed of which provisions of the Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures the behavior being investigated may violate;
        • Informed of the possible sanctions;
        • Notified that they will be provided the time and place for all meetings in relation to the conduct process.
        The University will ensure both parties are afforded the right to a fair process in all cases involving sexual and related misconduct. This right to process includes: (1) notice to a respondent describing the date, time, and location of the reported misconduct as well as relevant facts addressing the elements of the allegation; (2) a reference to the specific provisions of this policy that are alleged to have been violated; and (3) notice of possible sanctions. In advance of any meeting they are requested to attend, the parties will receive written or electronic notice of that meeting.

      2. Time Frame for Investigation, Conduct Process, and Resolution

        While the time to resolve a reported incident will vary from case to case depending on the specific facts and circumstances, it is expected that in most cases complaints will be resolved within 60 days of the day the complainant requests that the University’s investigation and student conduct processes commence. If these processes will take longer than 60 days, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing as to the delay and the reason for the delay. Delay can sometimes, but not always, be imposed by complexity of the complaint, holiday closures of the University, breaks in class schedule, midterm, and final examinations, as well as the need to coordinate multiple parties for interview meetings and hearings.