Carnegie Mellon University takes strict diligence when administering disciplinary action for instances of sexual misconduct that arise within the University's student body. The University upholds a policy on Sexual Harassment and Assault that outlines how these matters are adjudicated. The University will use the same method for sexual misconduct violations as it does for behavioral violations, however, certain extra measures will be taken in the instance of sexual misconduct, due to the nature of these violations.
Carnegie Mellon University Community Standards Process
The Community Standards process for incidents of sexual misconduct begins when a complaint is filed to a University official, and forwarded to the Title IX office. The University will assign an appropriate investigator to the case to gather facts relevant to the case. If it is believed that a student facing allegations is a threat to the University community, the University may decide to impose certain interim measures such as suspension from classes, or prevention from being present on campus. Throughout the investigation and hearing process, students who are initiating the complaint are known as "complainant" while the student facing allegations will be known as the "respondent."
University Disciplinary Committee Hearings
When a case is to be adjudicated by the University Disciplinary Committee, a hearing will be held. Hearings will be directed by a chosen moderator, and decided upon by the Committee. Prior to a hearing, complainant, respondent, and Committee members will be provided a report and summary of the facts from the investigation. The complainant and respondent may also submit written statements for the Committee regarding their responses to the matters at hand. At hearings, both parties involved will be given time for both introductory statements and summarizing arguments. Witnesses will be called one at a time, and will only be questioned by each of the parties involved in the hearing. After all information has been heard, the Committee will retire to deliberate. Decisions will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence."
At hearings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor of their own choosing. The University will treat instances of sexual misconduct with particular severity. In addition, the mere appearance of sexual misconduct allegations can have serious long term negative consequences for a student's academic and professional goals. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor throughout these matters. An attorney can provide students with insight into courtroom-tested methods of presenting evidence and argument, as well as proper methods of cross-examination. These techniques can be incredibly useful when applied to a University hearing setting. Also, should the reporting of the sexual misconduct at Carnegie Mellon University result in further adverse matters, an attorney will be able to provide further assistance to a student if necessary.
Carnegie Mellon University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are permitted the chance for an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within seven calendar days of the notification of the decision. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, inappropriate sanctions, a claim of the decision unsupported by substantial evidence, or new information.