If you are accused of sexual misconduct you have certain rights according to the Title IX regulations and the ESU Sexual Misconduct Policy.
If accused of sexual misconduct via a formal complaint filed with the Title IX Office, you are presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and any determination regarding responsibility is only made at the conclusion of an investigation and formal hearing.
- The University has a process to address formal complaints alleging sexual misconduct. It is the Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process and is managed by the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator.
- If a formal complaint accusing you of sexual misconduct is filed with the Title IX Office, you will receive a written notice of the allegations made against you. The notice will include the identity of the accuser, the date/time/location of the incident(s), a description of the allegation(s) made against you, and an explanation of your rights in the process. Your role in the process is known as the "Respondent" and the person who filed the complaint is known as the "Complainant".
- The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator will request a meeting with you to fully explain the Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process, notify you of the supportive resources available to you, and answer any questions you may have.
The Respondent in the Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process is assumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination is made regarding responsibility, and this is made at the end of the process following an investigation and formal hearing.
Accused students (and employees) have certain rights. Specifically:
- You have the right to an advisor. An advisor is an individual who may be present to provide support to you throughout an investigation and/or hearing. Advisors may accompany you to any meeting or hearing but may not speak for you, except for the purposes of cross-examination.
- You have the right to view and respond to the allegations made against you.
- You have the right to be treated with fairness and respect throughout the process.
- You have the right to request supportive measures from the University, which may include mutual no contact orders, counseling services, academic considerations, security escorts, etc.
- You have the right to decline to participate in an investigation or hearing without adverse inference against you.
- You have the right to inspect, review, and respond to evidence obtained as part of the investigation and to view the final investigative report.
- You have the right to accept or decline an offer by the other party to pursue informal resolution.
- You have the right to a hearing and for your advisor to cross-examine parties and witnesses.
- You have the right to appeal (on certain grounds) a determination of responsibility resulting from the hearing.
- You have the right to be protected from retaliation for reporting your experience or participating in the University process.
- You have the right to have the University keep your name and other information related to you as confidential as possible. Information related to the complaint resolution process will be distributed on a need-to-know basis only. Need-to-know is typically defined by that level of information that is necessary to coordinate the provision of requested supportive measures, to protect the safety of individuals or campus community members, or to administer the complaint resolution process.
- What protections are provided by the University to a person who is falsely accused?
If an investigation results in a finding that a Complainant willfully filed a bad faith report, filed a false formal complaint, or made misrepresentations as part of the reporting or resolution process, the person may be subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct in the case of students or other relevant University policy and collective bargaining agreements in the case of University officials, employees or volunteers. Further, if the complaint is unfounded the process would end.