Rider University seeks to administer swift discipline for any students that commit acts of sexual misconduct. The University's Sexual Assault policy explicitly outlines what constitutes sexual misconduct as well as what actions the University will take against these instances. The University's processes for disciplinary action against violations of the sexual misconduct policy are separate from those used for standard violations. The process is overseen by the University's Title IX Coordinator.
Rider University Sexual Misconduct
When a complaint is filed, the University will begin the process for resolving incidents of sexual misconduct. Throughout the resolution process for these incidents, students who file complaints will be referred to as the "complainant," while the student facing the allegations will be referred to as the "respondent." The University will assess the complaint to see what potential resolutions are available. The simplest, least formal resolution is mediation. Mediation cannot occur in cases of sexual assault, and both parties must agree to the mediation process when circumstances would otherwise allow resolution through mediation. In cases that warrant formal resolutions, an investigation will be held to gather information regarding the complaint. Investigators will be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator. Investigations typically consist of separate interviews with the complainant, respondent, and all parties involved.
When the investigator believes that a formal hearing is necessary, the Title IX Coordinator will assemble a Board to adjudicate the hearing. There will be a pre-hearing meeting to discuss the hearing process and also provide the evidence and witnesses that will be brought up at the hearing. At hearings, the general flow of the hearing itself will be directed by the Chair of the board. The complainant and respondent will in theory both be guaranteed certain rights, regardless of how the hearing proceeds. Both parties may question one another indirectly by way of suggestion of questions to the Board. They will engage in a similar process when witnesses are presented as well. Both parties are entitled to bring their supporting witnesses. After the Board deems that all information has been heard, the hearing will close, and the Board will deliberate. Decisions are made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
At hearings and throughout the investigative process, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor. Sexual misconduct allegations are taken very seriously by Rider University, and the consequences of being found responsible can drastically alter a student's career path, both academically and professionally. Because of these severe potential consequences, an attorney should be selected to serve as an advisor. An attorney will be able to protect a student's rights throughout the process, and can also bring courtroom knowledge and technique into a University hearing which can greatly impact the outcome. In addition, should any adverse consequences arise from the reporting of the allegations at Rider University, an attorney can serve as a student's guide through these related potential concerns.
Appeals at Rider University
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals should be submitted within seven (7) business days of the outcome. To submit a Title IX appeal at Rider University, appellants are not limited to specified grounds, but must instead clearly state what grounds the appeal is intended to argue.