Thomas Edison State University takes a firm stance against students who are alleged to have committed sexual misconduct offenses. The University outlines its stance in its Title IX policy. The University will pursue disciplinary action against a student using the same method as standard behavioral violations.
Thomas Edison University Disciplinary Process
Thomas Edison State College uses its Nonacademic Code of Conduct when dealing with students who are reported for allegations of sexual misconduct. The disciplinary process begins when a complaint is filed against a student. The disciplinary process is managed by the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Learner Services. The Office will decide if the filed complaint has enough merit to be developed into a complaint to be resolved through the full disciplinary process. An investigating officer will be assigned to the case in order to gather information from the student and witnesses involved. Instead of having an adversarial system between the student that submitted the complaint against the subject of the complaint, the University pursues disciplinary action against the accused student on behalf of the complaining student.
If formal disciplinary charges are to be levied against a student, the student will have to attend a formal hearing. Hearings will be held in front of the Student Conduct Committee. At hearings, students will have a chance to present their own witnesses and also review the information contained in the investigative report. Hearings will follow an agenda determined by the committee, but students are guaranteed a time period to present their defense. Following the presentation of all pertinent information, the Committee will retire to deliberate and make a decision. Decisions will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
At hearings, students are welcome to be accompanied by an advisor of their own choosing. A finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct can result in serious, far-reaching consequences, independent of any University sanctions. Due to the seriousness of sexual misconduct allegations, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor. Attorneys will be able to provide courtroom experience and insight to students at a hearing. This can strongly influence the outcome of any hearing. In addition, students may be assisted by attorneys should they experience any additional adverse consequences that stem from the initial reporting at Thomas Edison State University.
Thomas Edison University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may petition the University for an appeal of the decision. Appeals must be on the grounds of an unfair hearing, bias of a staff member who conducted a hearing, overly severe sanctions, a violation of the procedural integrity, and/or new and substantial information. Students have 15 business days following the results of the initial hearing to make an appeal.