Eastern University takes instances of sexual misconduct within its student body particularly seriously. The University handles all instances of alleged sexual misconduct through its Title IX Policy. Eastern University's process for resolving sexual misconduct complaints is separate from its policy on standard behavioral misconduct, and due to the nature of these incidents is handled with greater scrutiny and severity.
Eastern University Investigation and Resolutions
The disciplinary process begins when a complaint is filed with a University Official for an instance of sexual misconduct. When a student files a complaint, they will be known throughout the process as the "complainant," while the student who is the subject of the complaint will be referred to as the "respondent." Once the complaint is filed, the University, with the help of the Title IX Coordinator, will launch an investigation into these matters. Investigations will be conducted by the Vice President for Student Development, or a designated investigator. Investigations will consist of separate interviews with the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses involved. The University may also take certain measures to protect the complainant against instances of potential retaliation on the part of the respondent. This can result in suspension or removal from University grounds.
Unlike most standard misconduct procedures, the investigation's conclusion will also include the decision made by the investigator. The Vice President for Student Development or a designated individual will make the determination of responsibility of the respondent, as well as recommending whatever sanction is deemed appropriate for the situation.
Appeals at Eastern University
If the investigation results in an unfavorable outcome, students are offered a chance at an appeal. Unlike a majority of Universities, Eastern University handles appeals with a Judiciary Board and a hearing process. The Judiciary Board varies depending on who the complaint involves. For sexual misconduct allegations that arise between students, the Judiciary Board that hears the appeal will consist of both faculty and students.
Both parties may initiate the appeals process. Appeals are to be submitted in writing to the Judiciary Board and are not limited to specific grounds for an appeal. Instead, the appeal must point out the basis for the appeal and must be made within two (2) weeks of the decision regarding the Title IX investigation. The Judiciary Board will hear oral and written statements from both parties, and also review the evidence and decision of the initial investigation. The appeals process may take up to 30 days time for a final decision to be made.
Eastern University may decide to keep hearings closed to the public, however, students working with an attorney, even if from behind the scenes, will have an advantage throughout the investigative and hearing processes. Sexual misconduct allegations can have a severe impact on the future goals of any student. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to retain the services of an attorney. An attorney can help ensure that a student's rights are protected throughout the process, and also provide keen insight into legal argument and courtroom strategies and techniques that can strongly influence the outcome of a hearing. An attorney will also be able to guide an accused student through any potential adverse consequences that may result from the initial reporting of the allegations at Eastern University.