Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) is committed to providing a safe environment free from “discrimination and harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.” In order to uphold this environment, IUPUI has policies in place that deal with suspected instances of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination.
IUPUI students accused of committing a Title IX or sexual misconduct violation will face the university's formal resolution procedures, which could lead to sanctions as serious as suspension or expulsion. As IUPUI takes cases of sexual misconduct seriously, so should accused students.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct at IUPUI
IUPUI uses the Indiana University (IU) Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy to deal with alleged cases of sexual misconduct or Title IX violations. Unlike some universities, IU only has one policy dealing with sexual misconduct, which covers both Title IX and behavior and procedures that fall outside the scope of Title IX.
The IU policy has a Title IX resolution procedure and a University resolution procedure. For prohibited behaviors that overlap between Title IX rules and University rules, such as sexual harassment, the policy provides a Title IX definition and a University definition.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Violations at IUPUI
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Sexual exploitation (University-prohibited behavior only)
How Does IUPUI Handle Sexual Misconduct Complaints?
The Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy at IUPUI has two resolution procedures: One for behavior that falls under the Title IX definition (Title IX Resolution Procedures) and one for behavior that is prohibited by IU but not covered by Title IX (University Resolution Procedures). If a complaint of sexual misconduct falls under both definitions, the Title IX Resolution Procedures take precedence.
To initiate either procedure, anyone can make a report to either the Sexual Misconduct & Title IX Coordinator or University Director of Institutional Equity. These university administrators can help determine if the person filing the report should make a formal complaint as well as provide supportive or interim measures.
Title IX Resolution Procedures
The Title IX resolution process at IUPUI starts when someone makes a formal complaint about sexual harassment. Only the alleged victim may file a formal report, however, the Title IX Coordinator may also file a report on their behalf if they have reason to do so.
Following a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or a designee conducts a formal investigation. The investigator may meet with both the accuser (complainant) and the accused student (respondent) to gather information. The investigation also involves meeting with potential witnesses. Once the investigation is complete, both the complainant and respondent will have the chance to review the investigative report. The investigator is responsible for charging the respondent as well if their report suggests that the respondent is responsible for committing a Title IX violation.
Some cases may be eligible for an alternative resolution, in which the respondent accepts responsibility for all charges. The options for an alternative resolution may include:
- Development of action plans
- Voluntary resolutions
- Appropriate sanctions
- Appropriate remedies
Without an alternative resolution, the process moves to a hearing, where the complainant and respondent go before a three-person hearing panel. Both parties may have advisors of their own choosing at the hearing, who can only participate during the questioning of other parties and witnesses. Both the complainant and respondent may call and question witnesses and answer questions posed to them by the hearing panel.
At the end of the hearing, the panel deliberates to decide if the respondent is responsible for the alleged sexual misconduct violation. If it finds the student responsible, it proposes sanctions that must be approved by a Sanctioning Official.
Either party may appeal a decision of the hearing panel within ten days of the written decision. A Student Affairs official reviews the appeal and decides one of the following:
- Affirm the original decision
- Affirm the sanction
- Set aside the original decision but impose a new sanction
- Set aside the original decision and order a new hearing
- Set aside the sanction and propose a new one
The decision of this Student Affairs official is final.
University Resolution Procedures
The University Resolution Procedures at IUPUI are similar to the Title IX process, but with a few key differences.
The investigation proceeds in the same manner, allowing both parties to review it before the investigator places a formal charge on the respondent. At the hearing, however, the parties' advisors are not permitted to speak on their behalf at all. Complainants and respondents can question witnesses, but not each other.
The decision and sanction process are the same, allowing the three-person hearing panel to propose a sanction if the respondent is determined as responsible for the sexual misconduct violation. Both parties also have ten days to appeal the written decision of a hearing panel, and a Student Affairs official reviews the appeal. Again, the Student Affairs official's decision is final.
Possible Sanctions for Sexual Misconduct Violations at IUPUI
For both the Title IX and University resolution procedures, students may face one or more of the following sanctions:
- Formal warning
- Behavioral assessment or counseling
- Required educational training
- Disciplinary probation
- Permanent expulsion
How a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Help
In both sets of sexual misconduct resolution procedures, accused students may have an advisor with them through all stages of the investigation process and during a hearing. This advisor can help students prepare a defense, determine which questions to ask witnesses, and coach them on how to answer questions. Having an experienced advisor by your side can make the process feel much less overwhelming. An experienced advisor who is solely dedicated to your cause will also work towards a fair process and the best possible outcome.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of college students nationwide overcome sexual misconduct allegations. Contact the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686 to help protect your education.