Duquesne University handles all cases of sexual misconduct that occur within its student body with the utmost severity. The policy is upheld and enforced by the University's Office of Anti-discrimination Policy and Compliance. The University will adjudicate all matters of sexual misconduct through its procedures within its Code of Student Conduct, however, special measures will be taken throughout the process, due to the nature of these incidents.
Duquesne University Conduct Policies And Procedures
When a complaint about sexual misconduct is filed with a University official, the matter will be investigated by officials assigned to cases of sexual misconduct. Students that initiate the complaint will be known as the "complainant" while the student facing the allegations will be known simply as the "accused student." The University may take additional steps to protect the complainant if the accused student is deemed a threat to the community.
Sexual misconduct hearings will be held either by a lone administrator or by the Sexual Violence Conduct Board. Certain measures may be taken to protect the safety or identity of the complainant if it is deemed necessary by the University. Hearings do not have a specific agenda or schedule that will be followed and instead will proceed according to the direction of the hearing body. In spite of this, both complainant and the accused student will, in theory, be guaranteed certain rights throughout the process. Both parties will have an opportunity to present their own supporting witnesses, as well as any evidence deemed necessary. While these witnesses may be brought into the hearing, the opposing parties are not permitted cross-examination. Instead, questions for witnesses are posed by the party that the witness is supporting, and the members of the hearing body. Once all the relevant information has been heard, the hearing body will close the hearing and begin deliberations. Decisions will be made using the standard of "more likely than not."
Throughout the hearing process, students are permitted the presence of an advisor at their side to assist them. The University will treat all instances of sexual misconduct very seriously. Students held responsible for sexual misconduct charges will experience long-lasting negative consequences that can drastically affect their professional and academic goals. Because of this, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor through these hearings. An attorney can provide a student with a plethora of specialized courtroom knowledge that can prove highly effective in a hearing setting. In addition to this, if any adverse consequences stem from the initial reporting of sexual misconduct at Duquesne University, an attorney will be able to guide a student through these consequences.
Duquesne University Appeals
If the hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) calendar days of the hearing outcome notice. The grounds for appeal are a debate about the fairness of the hearing, new evidence for consideration, or a debate over whether the sanctions were appropriate (which is different than general dissatisfaction with the hearing outcome and not allowed per Duquesne's appeal policies).