Georgian Court University handles instances of sexual misconduct within its student body with particular seriousness. The University outlines its definitions of sexual misconduct and what processes it uses to take action against these actions in its Student Handbook. The process that the University uses to enact discipline for incidents of sexual misconduct mirrors that used for incidents of standard misconduct, however, the University will exercise greater scrutiny for these cases, and certain special precautions will apply as well.
Georgian Court University Sexual Misconduct Process
The University will begin the process for investigating and resolving incidents of sexual misconduct once a complaint is filed and received by the appropriate office. The University will conduct an inquiry into these matters, which will be headed by the Title IX Coordinator. Investigations will typically consist of interviews with both parties and their suggested witnesses. After the investigative phase has concluded, the investigator will generate a written report, and engage in a brief review with the Title IX Coordinator of the findings. The investigator may use "a preponderance of evidence" standard to determine responsibility at this stage. The respondent may also admit responsibility for the violations at this stage as well. If no determination can be made, the case will move forward to a hearing.
Student Conduct Hearing Process
The first step in the hearing process is a pre-hearing meeting with the Dean of Students. The purpose of this meeting is for both parties to hear the facts and understand the University Title IX hearing process. For cases involving sexual misconduct, the complainant and respondent will be scheduled to meet with the dean separately. Once the case is set to go to a hearing, the University will assemble a Title IX Hearing Board. Hearings will not have a set schedule or agenda, but will instead proceed according to the will of the chair, however, both complainant and respondent will, in theory, be guaranteed certain rights. The two parties may not directly cross-examine one another, and instead must indirectly perform their questioning by submitting questions to the chair. Both parties are entitled to the presentation of supporting witnesses and evidence. Both parties are entitled to opening and closing statements, with the respondent providing the final closing statement, and the complainant providing the first opening statement. After all information has been heard, the chair will close the hearing for the board to deliberate. Decisions at this stage are also made using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence."
Students are also entitled to two support persons of their choosing to be present at their hearing. Sexual misconduct allegations are very serious and carry consequences that can follow a student throughout their life. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their support. An attorney can ensure that a student's rights remain protected, and can also offer insight into methods of evidence and argument that can prove critical in a Title IX disciplinary hearing. In addition, should any adverse consequences follow the initial reporting at Georgian Court University, an attorney can assist students through these matters as well.
Appeals At Georgian Court University
If the hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be made within five (5) business days. The grounds for appeal are erroneous fact findings, procedural irregularities, new evidence, and overly severe sanctions.