Kean University takes incidents of sexual misconduct that arise within its student body very seriously. The University takes a zero-tolerance stance on sexual misconduct and governs this policy through its Sexual Assault, Misconduct & Violence Policy. The policy is overseen, upheld and enforced by Kean University's Title IX Coordinator. Issues of sexual misconduct will be handled with a much stricter and more heavily scrutinized process than standard violations of the school's Code of Conduct, yet will follow many of the same basic guidelines.
The Kean University Student Conduct Process
The Student Conduct Process begins when a student files a complaint of sexual misconduct against another student. Throughout the conduct process, the student who filed the complaint will be known as the "complainant," while the opposing student will be known simply as the "accused student." Investigations related to sexual misconduct are always handled by the University's Title IX Coordinator, or a designated representative. Investigations typically involve a series of separate interviews from parties and witnesses involved, and the University personnel handling the investigation will make the determination on whether or not formal disciplinary measures should be taken. During the investigation phase, the accused student may have an interim suspension imposed upon them, or other measures such as relocation from residence halls or certain classes. For sexual misconduct allegations, the University may impose a campus no-contact order on the accused student for the safety of the complainant.
If it is decided that there is sufficient evidence for a formal hearing, it will be held by an appropriate hearing officer for the case, selected by the Title IX Officer. At hearings, all parties will be introduced to the officer. The officer will then begin the hearing by stating the charges to the accused student. The accused student may then state whether or not they will accept responsibility for the charges. Following this, the accused student and complainant will both present their cases and statements to the hearing officer. Witnesses will appear one at a time. All parties, including the hearing officer, may directly question one another and any witnesses, however, depending on the circumstances of the case, certain accommodations may be made. Once all relevant information and witnesses have been heard, the hearing officer will close the hearing and deliberate. The standard of decision making will be "more likely than not."
At hearings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor. Because of the nature of sexual misconduct allegations, Kean University takes a firm stance when a student is found responsible for Title IX charges. These allegations can have long-lasting and detrimental effects on all aspects of a student's academic and professional aspirations. Because of this, accused students should always select an attorney to serve as their advisor. An attorney can ensure a student's rights are protected throughout the hearing process, and can also bring courtroom techniques such as cross-examination and argument to the hearing setting. In addition to this, an attorney will be able to help a student through any adverse consequences that arise from the initial reporting of the complaint at Kean University.
Kean University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have a chance to make an appeal. Appeals must be made within five (5) days for sanctions less than suspension or expulsion, and within three (3) days for those particular sanctions. The grounds for appeal are a claim of an unjustified sanction, a deviation in procedure, bias on the part of the hearing officer, or new information.