New Jersey Institute of Technology, or as it is popularly known, NJIT, takes a firm stance against incidents of sexual misconduct that occur within its student body. The disciplinary practices utilized when a student is accused of a Title IX offense are handled under a specific section in the Code of Student Conduct.
New Jersey Institute of Technology: Sexual Misconduct Policy
The disciplinary process begins when a report is made to a University official. The University will then report this to the Title IX Coordinator. The student who files the report will be known as the "complaining student," while the subject of the report will be known as the "accused." After a report is filed, an investigation and resolution process will begin. The University also holds a policy against retaliation against the reporter of an incident, or the complaining student. For this reason, accused students may experience certain interim measures to prevent this from occurring. This may include a temporary suspension from the university.
Investigation and Resolution
The investigative process will be overseen by the Title IX Coordinator. The investigation will typically occur through a series of meetings and interviews with the complaining student, the accused, and any specific witnesses. Both the complaining student and the accused will have ample opportunity to defend their respective interests, and can suggest witnesses or introduce evidence to support their respective cases for the investigator to consider. Depending on the situation, the case may be resolved outright, if the evidence has reached the standard of "a preponderance of evidence." However, at times the case may need to proceed to a hearing.
If the case is to go to a hearing, the hearing will be held by the Student Conduct Hearing Board. The Board is headed by a Chair, who will direct the hearing. Hearings will begin with opening statements from both sides. Following opening statements, the investigator will be called upon to provide a summary of the investigation and what facts have been obtained. Next, the complaining student may present their supporting evidence and witnesses. The accused may question the witnesses. Following the questioning of the complaining student's witnesses, the accused may then present their own witnesses and evidence, with questions to follow from the complaining student. Finally, closing statements will be given by both parties, and the investigator. The members of the board may pose additional questions. After this, the hearing will close for deliberation and the board will make a decision using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
Students are entitled to the presence of an advisor at any investigative meetings, and during the hearing process. Sexual misconduct allegations are particularly serious matters. The mere reporting of sexual misconduct can carry severe consequences that can have life long impacts on a student's personal, academic, and career goals. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor through the investigation and hearing process. An attorney can offer powerful insight on courtroom tactics and methods to students. Techniques such as cross-examination and argument construction can be incredibly useful in a hearing. In addition, should any extended consequences arise from the initial reporting at NJIT, an attorney will be able to guide students through them.
New Jersey Institute of Technology Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable hearing or investigation outcome, students have an opportunity for an appeal. Appeals must be made within three (3) business days of receiving the outcome. The grounds for appeal are evidence of a procedural error, new information, a claim of a decision not supported by evidence, and/or disproportionate sanctioning.