Policies for Cases of Sexual Misconduct

Procedures for Hearing Cases of Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse, Nonconsensual Sexual Contact, Sexual Exploitation, Bias-Related Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence & Stalking

Pre-Disciplinary Hearing Information & Procedures

Off-Campus Complaints: Alfred State takes judicial jurisdiction to the extent practical and possible, over these type of cases as long as the person charged is a student, regardless of the enrollment status of the alleged victim,

The College will also take judicial jurisdiction to the extent practical and possible, over all sexual misconduct cases that occur off campus, if the person being charged and the alleged victim is a student and the impact of the assault is likely to have a substantial effect on the alleged victim’s on-campus life and activities, or if the incident poses a threat or danger.

To the extent practical and possible, Alfred State may also take judicial jurisdiction over students charged with off-campus sexual misconduct cases where the alleged victim is not a student. Complaints can also be brought against students when incidents take place during a period when the College is not in session (such as spring break). This policy does not include adjudicating incidents that occurred before the accused was matriculated or after the student has graduated. The College cannot hear complaints against students who have graduated.

Rights of Complainant and Respondent for Cases of Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse, Nonconsensual Sexual Contact, Sexual Exploitation, Bias-Related Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence & Stalking

It is the goal of Alfred State to ensure that student victims (complainant) and the student accused (respondent) of sexual misconduct, bias-related harassment, dating/domestic violence & stalking  to have access to needed resources, services, and information. Alfred State strives to offer a reasonable parity of resources, services, and information, to the extent possible, to all parties to the complaint, including, but not limited to, the following rights:

 

 Removing Respondent from Residential or Academic Environment

The College will remove a respondent from her/his living unit and/or academic setting, if requested by the complainant and the College finds it is reasonable to do so (space available, etc.). Although such an administrative action by the College may seem unfair to the respondent, it may be necessary action so that the College can protect the rights of the complainant and minimize any further interaction that may occur if left unaddressed. This decision is implemented by the vice president for student affairs or designee.

Interim Suspension – Removal from the College until Hearing

The College can also choose to invoke an interim suspension with alleged infractions of sexual misconduct or bias-related harassment and can be invoked when the College believes there is evidence that the respondent may pose a risk to the safety and well-being of others prior to the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.

Size and Composition of Sexual Misconduct, Bias-Related Harassment, Dating/Domestic Violence & Stalking Panels

Sexual misconduct, bias-related harassment, dating/domestic violence & stalking are complex issue for disciplinary panels to hear. Panelists for these types of hearings complete additional training provided by the Division of Student Affairs before they can serve on a specialized panel.

These complaints are heard by faculty and staff who are appointed to the Student Conduct Committee and are selected by the vice president for student affairs to serve on sexual misconduct cases. Specialized panels are chaired by the associate dean for judicial affairs (if associate dean is not available, an alternate chair will be appointed by the vice president for student affairs). The three-person panel will consist of the chair and two other members. All disciplinary hearings are closed to the public and are limited to College representatives on the hearing panel, the victim, the respondent, advisers and witnesses. The College does not allow character witnesses to attend any disciplinary hearings.

Respondents may wish to appeal decisions of the administrative hearing panel. To initiate an appeal, the student must submit a written request for an appeal to the vice president for student affairs within four (4) business days of notification of the results of the hearing.

Appeals

Students may wish to appeal decision of the Student Conduct Committee/administrative hearing officer. To initiate an appeal, the student must submit a written appeal with four (4) days of notification of the results of the hearing. The College can only accept appeals from the respondent. It cannot accept appeals from third parties (e.g., parents, faculty, staff, and friends). All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of Judicial Affairs. The vice president for student affairs will review all appeals where a sanction of suspension or expulsion was imposed, appeals submitted for cases heard by the associate dean for judicial affairs, or cases heard by Student Conduct Committee panels. All other appeals are heard by the associate dean for judicial affairs. Students who have been sanctioned with suspension of expulsion may request to listen to the audio recording made during the hearing prior to their submission of an appeal letter.

An appeal must be in writing and its scope be limited to the following:

  1. Questions of Fact:  Students may appeal on "questions of fact" by introducing new evidence which would  significantly affect the outcome of the case. Evidence that comes forward that was not known by the accused shall be considered new evidence. Evidence that was withheld by a student shall not constitute a question of fact, nor is it to be considered upon appeal.
  2. Question of Procedure:  Appeals will be considered on the basis of "questions of procedure" by demonstrating that the procedural guidelines in this document were breached and the such departure from established procedure significantly affected the outcome of the case.
  3. Severity of Sanction:  Students may appeal the "severity of sanction" that has been imposed by presenting a statement of explaining why they feel the penalty is too severe. 

Appeals are considered for breach of procedures when the procedure in question directly affects the disciplinary decision rendered. For example, the time of notification of a disciplinary decision could result ina procedural breach but would have had no impact in how the decision was initially rendered by a panel. Thus, no grounds for appeal would be granted. However, if the hearing chair, per se, failed to allow the respondent or complainant to ask questions int he hearing related to the charges imposed, such action may constitute a procedural breach that eventually affected how the panel reached a decision. As a result, a respondent might assert that this type of procedural breach was grounds to submit an appeal.

All facts and evidence related to the case shall be reviewed by the vice president for student affairs (or associate dean for judicial affairs) to determine  whether just cause exists to overturn the Student Conduct Committees' recommendation/administrative hearing officer's decision. If just case is demonstrated to exit, then the appellate officer may choose to rehear the case of modify the sanction and/or special conditions imposed. If no just cause is demonstrated to exist, the appellate officer shall notify the student in writing of why the appeal was denied. This action shall be final and is not subject to further appeal.