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"I am a very happy owner of a salon by the beach with a wonderful staff of great young stylists. It was alot of hard work and long hours but so worth it. Thank you Rizzieri! You changed my life for the better."

 

— Jonathan M.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Scope of the Policy
  3. Prohibited Conduct
  4. Options for Assistance Following an Incident of Sexual Misconduct
  5. Title IX Coordinator
  6. Reporting Policies and Protocols
  7. School Policy on Confidentiality
  8. Investigation Procedures and Protocols
  9. Grievance/Adjudication Procedures
  10. Sanctions and Other Remedies
  11. Appeals
  12. Records Disclosure
  13. Education and Prevention Programs
  14. Amendments
  15. Definitions of Key Terms

 

1. Introduction

The Rizzieri Aveda School (the “School”) is committed to providing a working and educational environment for all students, faculty and staff that is free from sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct. Every member of the School community should be aware that the School is strongly opposed to sexual misconduct, and that such behavior is prohibited by state and federal laws.

 

As part of the School’s commitment to providing a working and learning environment free from sexual misconduct, this Policy shall be disseminated widely to the School community through publications, the School website, new employee orientations, student orientations, and other appropriate channels of communication. The School provides training to key staff members to enable the School to handle any allegations of sexual misconduct promptly and effectively. The School will respond quickly to all reports of sexual harassment, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and if necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this policy.

 

2. Scope of the Policy

This Policy governs sexual misconduct involving students that occurs on any School property or in connection with any School-sponsored program or event. This Policy applies to all students, employees, and third parties conducting business with the School, regardless of the person’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, nationality, class status, ability, religion or other protected status. The School encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened – so victims can get the support they need, and so the School can respond appropriately. As further described in this Policy, the School will seek to respect a victim’s request for confidentiality to the extent possible, while remaining ever mindful of the victim’s well-being.

 

3. Prohibited Conduct

Sexual misconduct comprises a broad range of behaviors focused on sex that may or may not be sexual in nature. Any intercourse or other intentional sexual touching or activity without the other person’s consent is sexual assault, which is a form of sexual misconduct under this Policy. Sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence are also forms of sexual misconduct. Intimidation for one of these purposes is sexual misconduct, as is retaliation following an incident of alleged sexual misconduct or attempted sexual misconduct. Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, or people who know each other well, including between people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship, can be committed by anyone regardless of gender identity, and can occur between people of the same or different sex or gender. This Policy prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct.

 

4. Options for Assistance Following an Incident of Sexual Misconduct

The School strongly encourages any victim of sexual misconduct to seek immediate assistance. Seeking prompt assistance may be important to ensure a victim’s physical safety or to obtain medical care. The School strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation.

 

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Misconduct.

Victims of sexual misconduct may file a report with the Voorhees Police Department. Victims may also file a report with the School’s Title IX Coordinator. More information about reporting an incident of sexual misconduct can be found in Section 6 of this Policy, below.

 

The victim of the sexual assault may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and the School’s disciplinary procedures. The School and the criminal justice system work independently from each other. Law enforcement officers do not determine whether a violation of this Policy has occurred. The Title IX Coordinator will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision.

 

Support Services Available.

Counseling, advocacy and support services are available for victims of sexual misconduct, whether or not a victim chooses to make an official report or participate in the School’s disciplinary or criminal process. Personal counseling offered by the School will be limited to initial crisis assessment and referral.

 

Sexual misconduct crisis and counseling options are available through a number of agencies located throughout the Voorhees Township and Camden County communities, including:

 

  • Service Empowering Rights of Victims
  • Camden, NJ Hotline: 866-295-7378/Hotline: 856-964-7378/Phone: 856-964-7378
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-4673
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233
  • Center For Family Services (Voorhees) - 856.795.0808
  • Family and Psychological Services (Cherry Hill) - 856.229.0590
  • Choices of the Heart Network – 856.374.2833
  • SJ Woman's Center - 856.662.5282
  • Charity Care at Lady of Lourdes - 856.757.3683 – Financial Services
  • Board of Social Services Camden - 856-225-8379
  • Covenant House Philly (for homeless) - 215-951-5411
  • Camden Emergency Assistance for Board of Social Services - 856-225-8140
  • Child Support Hotline – 1.877.NJKIDS1
  • Domestic Violence – 1.800.572.7233
  • NJ SNAP – 1.800.687.9512
  • Work First NJ – Welfare for Families and Individuals – 1.800.792.9773
  • Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline – 1.877.NJABUSE
  • Family Help Line (for stressed parents) – 1.800.THE KIDS
  • TANF (Welfare) 1.800.792.9773

 

The School’s Title IX Coordinator will work with all students affected by sexual misconduct to ensure their safety and support their well-being. This assistance may include providing accommodations to support or protect a student after an incident of sexual misconduct and while an investigation or disciplinary proceeding is pending. Such accommodations may include the ability to alter class schedules, withdraw from/retake a class without penalty, and access academic support (e.g., tutoring). The School may be able to provide additional interim measures to victims while an investigation is pending, such as no contact orders and changing the alleged perpetrator’s class schedule.

 

5. Title IX Coordinator

The School’s Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the School’s compliance with Title IX and the prevention of sex harassment, sexual misconduct and discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator is:

 

  • Knowledgeable and trained in School policies and procedures and relevant state and federal laws;
  • Available to advise any individual, including a complainant, respondent, or a third party, about School and community resources and reporting options;
  • Available to provide assistance to any School employee regarding how to respond appropriately to a report of Title IX-related prohibited conduct and related retaliation;
  • Participates in ensuring the effective implementation of this Policy, including monitoring compliance with all procedural requirements, record keeping, and timeframes; and
  • Responsible for overseeing training, prevention, and education efforts and annual reviews of climate and culture.

 

Inquiries or concerns about Title IX may be referred to the School’s Title IX Coordinator:

Ms. Valerie Ferrie

8200 Town Center Blvd

Voorhees Township, NJ 08043

Phone 856.988.8600 extension 2401

Email: vferrie@rizzieri.com

 

6. Reporting Policies and Protocols

The Rizzieri Aveda School strongly encourages all members of the School community to report information about any incident of sexual misconduct as soon as possible, whether the incident occurred on or off campus. Reports can be made either to the School and/or to law enforcement.

 

Reporting to the School

An incident of sexual misconduct may be reported directly to the School’s Title IX Coordinator. If the School’s Title IX Coordinator is the alleged perpetrator of the sexual misconduct, the report should be submitted to the School’s Director. Reports may also be submitted via email at studentsupport@rizzieri.com. Filing a report with a School official will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers.

 

An individual who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct may report the incident at any time, regardless of how much time has elapsed since the incident occurred. The School is committed to supporting the rights of a person reporting an incident of sexual misconduct to make an informed choice among options and services available.

 

The School will respond to all reports in a manner that treats each individual with dignity and respect and will take prompt responsive action to end any misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

 

Reporting to Law Enforcement

An incident of sexual misconduct can be reported to law enforcement at any time, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, by calling 911.


At the complainant’s request, the School will assist the complainant in contacting law enforcement. If the complainant decides to pursue the criminal process, the School will cooperate with law enforcement agencies to the extent permitted by law. A complainant has the option to decide whether or not to participate in any investigation conducted by law enforcement. Filing a police report will:

 

  • ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests
  • provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam)
  • assure the victim has a referral to confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault

 

Reporting of Crimes & Annual Security Reports

Campus safety and security are important issues at the Rizzieri Aveda School. Our goal is to provide students with a safe environment in which to learn and to keep students, parents, and employees well informed about campus security. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, requires institutions of higher education to record and report certain information about campus safety, including the number of incidents of certain crimes on or near campus, some of which constitute sexual misconduct under this Policy.

 

Each year the School prepares this report to comply with the Clery Act. The full text of this report can be located on the School’s web site at www.rizzierischools.com. This report is prepared in cooperation with the local law enforcement agencies around our campus. Each year notification is made to all enrolled students and employees that provides the web site to access this report. Copies of the report may also be obtained in person from the Director of Education or by calling 856.988.8600 extension 2275. All prospective employees may obtain a copy from the Director of Education.

 

Timely Warnings

In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that, in the judgment of the Director of Education constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide “timely warning” will be issued. The warning will be issued through the most effective and efficient means available and may include instant messaging to students and School employees. Notices may also be posted in the common areas throughout the School. Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the Director of Education by phone at 856.988.8600 extension 2275 or in person at the School.

 

Third-Party and Anonymous Reporting

In cases where sexual misconduct is reported to the Title IX Coordinator by someone other than the complainant (by an instructor, classmate or friend, for example), the Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the complainant that a report has been received. This Policy and the Procedures will apply in the same manner as if the complainant had made the initial report. The Title IX Coordinator will make every effort to meet with the complainant to discuss available options and resources. Reports from an anonymous source will be treated in a similar fashion.

 

No Retaliation

The School prohibits retaliation against those who file a complaint or third-party report, or otherwise participate in the investigative and/or disciplinary process (e.g., as a witness). The School will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs. Any incident of retaliation should be promptly reported to the Title IX Coordinator or the School’s Director.

 

Coordination With Drug Free School Policy

Students may be reluctant to report instances of sexual misconduct because they fear being disciplined pursuant to the School’s alcohol or drug policies. The School encourages students to report all instances of sexual misconduct and will take into consideration the importance of reporting sexual misconduct in addressing violations of the School’s alcohol and drug policies. This means that, whenever possible, the School will respond educationally rather than punitively to student alcohol or drug policy violations associated with reported sexual misconduct.

 

7. School Policy on Confidentiality

The School encourages victims of sexual misconduct to talk to somebody about what happened, so victims can get the support they need, and so the School can respond appropriately.

 

This policy is intended to make students aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them, so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of sexual misconduct. The School encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.

 

Privileged and Confidential Communications – Professional & Pastoral Counselors

Privileged and Confidential Communications – Professional & Pastoral Counselors Professional, licensed counselors and pastoral counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the community (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator without a victim’s permission. The School does not provide professional or pastoral counseling, but can assist a victim of sexual misconduct in obtaining support services from these groups or agencies. Contact information for these support organizations is listed in Section 4 of this Policy.

 

A victim who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the School or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated.

 

NOTE: While these professional and pastoral counselors and advocates may maintain a victim’s confidentiality vis-à-vis the School, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law.

 

ALSO NOTE: If the School determines that the alleged perpetrator(s) pose a serious and immediate threat to the School community, the School’s Director of Education may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the community. Any such warning should not include any information that identifies the victim.

 

Reporting to Title IX Coordinator

When a victim tells the Title IX Coordinator about an incident of sexual misconduct, the victim has the right to expect the School to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.

 

To the extent possible, information reported to the Title IX Coordinator will be shared only with people responsible for handling the School’s response to the report. The Title IX Coordinator should not share information with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement.

 

Before a victim reveals any information to the Title IX Coordinator, the Coordinator should ensure that the victim understands the Coordinator’s reporting obligations – and, if the victim wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the victim to confidential resources. If the victim wants to tell the Title IX Coordinator what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the Coordinator should tell the victim that the School will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the School will be able to honor it

 

The Title IX Coordinator will not pressure a victim to request confidentiality, but will honor and support the victim’s wishes, including for the School to fully investigate an incident. By the same token, the Title IX Coordinator will not pressure a victim to make a full report if the victim is not ready to.

 

Requesting Confidentiality From the School: How the School Will Weigh the Request and Respond

If a victim discloses an incident to the Title IX Coordinator but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the School must weigh that request against the School’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the victim.

 

If the School honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the School’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.

 

Although rare, there are times when the School may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students.

 

The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate requests for confidentiality. When weighing a victim’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including the following:

 

  • The increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual misconduct or other violence, such as:
    • whether there have been other sexual misconduct complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
    • whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
    • whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual misconduct or other violence against the victim or others;
    • whether the sexual misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators;
  • whether the sexual misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • whether the victim is a minor;
  • whether the School possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual
    misconduct (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
  • whether the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs
    or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.

The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the School to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the School will likely respect the victim’s request for confidentiality.

 

If the School determines that it cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the School will inform the victim prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the School’s response.
The School will remain ever mindful of the victim’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the victim from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the victim, whether by students or School employees, will not be tolerated. The School will also:

 

  • assist the victim in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance;
  • provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of course schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
  • inform the victim of the right to report a crime to local law enforcement – and provide the victim with assistance if the victim wishes to do so.

 

The School may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.

 

Because the School is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the School to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/ victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

 

If the School determines that it can respect a victim’s request for confidentiality, the School will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the victim.

 

Miscellaneous

Public awareness events. Public awareness events or other forums in which students disclose incidents of sexual violence, are not considered notice to the School of sexual misconduct for purposes of triggering its obligation to investigate any particular incident(s). Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts.

 

Off-campus Counselors and Advocates. Off-campus counselors, advocates, and health care providers will also generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the School unless the victim requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form.

 

8. Investigation Procedures and Protocols

The School’s Director oversees the School’s investigation, response to, and resolution of all reports of prohibited sexual misconduct, and of related retaliation, involving students, faculty, and staff

 

Notice of Investigation

The School’s Director will inform the complainant before starting an investigation. The complainant may request that an investigation not be undertaken. The School’s Director will consider such a request in light of the School’s commitment to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students. If the School’s Director determines not to investigate, (s)he will notify the complainant in writing, including that the determination was made at the complainant’s request. At the complainant’s request, the School’s Director will also notify the respondent in writing, including that the complainant asked the School not to investigate.

 

The School’s Director will direct the complainant, respondent, witnesses and other interested individuals to preserve any relevant evidence.

 

If an investigation proceeds, the School will notify the respondent in writing that a report has been filed. The notice will describe the allegations in the report. The complainant and respondent will be given the opportunity to meet separately with the School’s Director to review the Policy and these Procedures.

 

Investigation Process

The School’s process for responding to, investigating and adjudicating sexual misconduct reports will continue during any law enforcement proceeding. The School’s Director may need to temporarily delay an investigation while the police are gathering evidence but will resume the investigation after learning that the police department has completed its evidence-gathering and will generally not wait for the conclusion of any related criminal proceeding.

 

The School’s Director will interview the complainant, respondent and any witnesses. They will also gather pertinent documentary materials (if any) and other information.

 

Investigation Report

The School’s Director will prepare a report detailing the relevant content from the interviews and the documentation gathered. The report will include the assessment of individual credibility and recommended findings of responsibility.

 

The respondent and complainant will each have the opportunity to review a copy of the investigative report and any other information that will be used during the disciplinary proceedings. The names and other identifying information of other students will be redacted from such materials in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except to the extent that doing so would interfere with the purpose of Title IX to eliminate sex-based discrimination. The School’s Director will supervise this review and ensure that reasonable time is afforded for review prior to the hearing.

 

Time Frame for Investigation

Consistent with the goal to maximize educational opportunities and minimize the disruptive nature of the investigation and resolution, the Title IX Coordinator seeks to resolve all reports in a timely manner. In general, an Investigation may last up to 30 days, from receipt of written notice from the complainant of the intent to proceed with an investigation. Adjudication will generally take up to 30 days from the date the investigative report is provided to both the complainant and the respondent. The Title IX Coordinator may set reasonable time frames for required actions under the Policy. Those time frames may be extended for good cause as necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation, comply with a request by external law enforcement, accommodate the availability of witnesses, accommodate delays by the parties, account for School breaks or vacations, or address other legitimate reasons, including the complexity of the investigation (including the number of witnesses and volume of information provided by the parties) and the severity and extent of the alleged conduct. Any extension of the timeframes, and the reason for the extension, will be shared with the parties in writing. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.

 

Where necessary, the School will take immediate steps to protect complainants pending the final outcome of an investigation, including academic accommodations and other interim measures. These steps may include the ability to change class schedules; withdraw from/retake a class without penalty; access academic support such as tutoring; issue no contact orders; and change the alleged perpetrator’s class schedule.

 

Impact of Victim’s Confidentiality Request

A victim’s request for confidentiality will likely limit the School’s ability to investigate a particular matter. The School may take steps to limit the effects of the alleged sexual misconduct and prevent its recurrence without initiating formal action against the alleged perpetrator or revealing the identity of the student complainant. Examples include: providing increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred; providing training and education materials for students and employees; revising and publicizing the School’s policies on sexual misconduct; and conducting climate surveys regarding sexual misconduct.

 

Voluntary Resolution

Voluntary resolution, when selected by the complainant and deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator, is a path designed to eliminate the conduct at issue, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects in a manner that meets the expressed preference of the complainant and the safety and welfare of the School community. Voluntary resolution is not appropriate for all forms of conduct under the Policy.

 

The School retains the discretion to determine, when selected by the complainant, which cases are appropriate for voluntary resolution. If a complainant requests voluntary resolution, and the Title IX Coordinator concludes that voluntary resolution is appropriate, then the Title IX Coordinator will take appropriate action by imposing remedies designed to maximize the complainant’s access to all employment, educational, and extracurricular opportunities and benefits at the School and to eliminate a potential hostile environment. A complainant may request and decide to pursue voluntary resolution at any time. In those cases in which the voluntary resolution involves either the notification to or participation by the respondent, it is the respondent’s decision whether to accept voluntary resolution.

 

Voluntary resolution may include: conducting targeted or broad-based educational programming or training for relevant individuals or groups; providing increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred; facilitating a meeting with the respondent with the complainant present (in cases that do not involve sexual assault); and any other remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of the Policy. In some forms of voluntary resolution, the remedies imposed will focus on supporting the complainant with no participation or involvement by the respondent. In other forms of voluntary resolution, the respondent may agree to participate. Depending on the type of remedy used, it may be possible for a complainant to maintain anonymity.

 

Voluntary resolution may also include restorative principles that are designed to allow a respondent to accept responsibility for misconduct and acknowledge harm to the complainant or to the School community. Restorative models will be used only with the consent of both parties, and following a determination by the Title IX Coordinator that the matter is appropriate for a restorative approach.

 

The School will not compel a complainant to engage in mediation, to confront directly the respondent, or to participate in any particular form of informal resolution. Mediation, even if voluntary, is never appropriate in sexual assault cases and will not be used in such cases. As the title implies, participation in voluntary resolution is a choice, and either party can request to end this manner of resolution and pursue an investigation and adjudication at any time, including if voluntary resolution is unsuccessful at resolving the report. Similarly, a complainant can request to end an investigation and pursue voluntary resolution at any time

 

The time frame for completion of voluntary resolution may vary, but the School will seek to complete the process within 30 days of the complainant’s request.

 

9. Grievance/Adjudication Procedures
 
Hearing Panel

If voluntary resolution is not available, the School will convene a hearing panel following the end of the investigation. The hearing panel determines whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible for a violation of the Policy. If the respondent is determined to be responsible, the matter proceeds to the sanctions stage.

 

The hearing panel will generally include the Title IX Coordinator and two additional members who will be individuals associated with the School. These additional hearing panel members may include administrators, officers, lawyers or other individuals with relevant experience and special training. Panel members may participate remotely so long as the hearing room is equipped with telephone equipment that allows the panel member to hear all the participants and to be heard by all the participants throughout the hearing proceedings. All panelists will receive training from experts in the field at least once a year. In addition to training on how the adjudicatory process works, the training will include specific instruction about how to approach students about sensitive issues that may arise in the context of sexual misconduct. The complainant and respondent will be informed of the panel’s membership before the hearing process begins.

 

Written Submissions

Both the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to submit written responses to the investigation report and other relevant information to the hearing panel. Each of the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to review any written submissions by the other. The hearing panel may set reasonable parameters for these written submissions. The hearing panel will review the investigation report and written submissions.

 

Hearing Procedures

The Title IX Coordinator will, whenever possible, give the complainant and respondent at least five days’ advance notice of the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator will arrange to hold the hearing at an off-campus location. The hearing is a closed proceeding, meaning that no one other than the panel members, the complainant and respondent, their respective advisors, witnesses (when called), and necessary School personnel may be present during the proceeding. The Director of Education will work with School staff so that any student whose presence is required may participate in the hearing.

 

In general, hearings will proceed as follows:

 

  • The Title IX Coordinator may set reasonable time limits for any part of the hearing. Each of the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to present witnesses and other information consistent with the Policy and these Procedures. The panel may determine the relevance of, place restrictions on, or exclude any witnesses or information. When the complainant and respondent are not able to be present for the hearing panel, arrangements will be made for participation via alternate means.
  • In cases where either the complainant or respondent opts not to participate in the hearing, the panel may still hear from the other.
  • Additional hearing rules include:
    • Questioning. Only the panel may ask questions of the complainant and respondent and any witnesses. Both the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to suggest questions of the other and of witnesses by submitting suggested questions to the panel in writing. The panel may revise or not ask any or all submitted questions.
    • Information Regarding Romantic or Sexual History. The panel will not consider the romantic or sexual history of either the complainant or respondent in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, except for testimony offered by one or the other about the complainant’s and respondent’s shared sexual history that the panel deems relevant. If such information is offered by the complainant or respondent, the other has the right to respond. The existence of a prior consensual dating or sexual relationship between the complainant and respondent by itself does not support an inference of consent to alleged sexual misconduct.
    • Prior Conduct Violations. The hearing panel will not consider the respondent’s prior conduct violations, unless the School’s Director provided that information to the hearing panel because the respondent was previously found to be responsible, and the previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation(s) and/or the information indicates a pattern of behavior by the respondent.

The School will keep an audio recording of the hearing for the use of the panel, for sanctioning, and for purposes of appeal. The panelists may request a transcript of the recording. Cell phones and recording devices may not be used in the hearing room(s) unless approved by the panel in advance.

 

Panel Determinations/Standard of Proof

The panel will use “preponderance of the evidence” as the standard of proof to determine whether a violation of the Policy occurred. Preponderance of the evidence means that a panel must be convinced based on the information it considers that the respondent was more likely than not to have engaged in the conduct at issue in order to find the respondent responsible for violating the Policy. The panel will find a student responsible, or not responsible, based on a majority vote. The panel will generally render a decision within 10 days after the conclusion of a hearing. The panel’s decision will include an explanation of the basis for the decision.
If the panel finds the respondent responsible, the matter will proceed to the sanctions stage.

 

10. Sanctions and Other Remedies

The Title IX Coordinator, with the advice and counsel of the other hearing panel members, shall be responsible for imposing sanctions that are:

 

  • Fair and appropriate given the facts of the particular case;
  • Consistent with the School’s handling of similar cases;
  • Adequate to protect the safety of the campus community; and
  • Reflective of the seriousness of sexual misconduct.

 

The Title IX Coordinator will consider relevant factors, including if applicable: (1) the specific sexual misconduct at issue (such as penetration, touching under clothing, touching over clothing, unauthorized recording, etc.); (2) the circumstances accompanying the lack of consent (such as force, threat, coercion, intentional incapacitation, etc.); (3) the respondent’s state of mind (intentional, knowing, bias-motivated, reckless, negligent, etc.); (4) the impact of the offense on the complainant; (5) the respondent’s prior disciplinary history; (6) the safety of the School community; and (7) the respondent’s conduct during the disciplinary process.

 

The Title IX Coordinator will render a sanctioning decision within five days following the receipt of the panel’s determination. The sanctioning decision will be communicated in writing to the complainant and the respondent.

 

The School may impose any one or more of the following sanctions on a student determined to have violated the Policy:

 

  • Reprimand/warning
  • Changing the respondent’s academic schedule
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Restricting access to School facilities or activities
  • Community service
  • Issuing a “no contact” order to the respondent or requiring that such an order remain in place
  • Dismissal or restriction from School employment
  • Suspension (limited time or indefinite)
  • Leave of Absence
  • Termination

 

In addition to any other sanction (except where the sanction is expulsion), the School will require any student determined to be responsible for a violation of the Policy to receive appropriate education and/or training related to the sexual misconduct violation at issue. The School may also recommend counseling or other support services for the student.

 

Whatever the outcome of the hearing process, a complainant may request ongoing or additional accommodations and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether such measures are appropriate. Potential ongoing accommodations include:

 

  • Providing an escort for the complainant
  • Changing the complainant’s academic schedule
  • Allowing the complainant to withdraw from or retake a class without penalty
  • Providing access to tutoring or other academic support, such as extra time to complete or re-take a class

 

The School may also determine that additional measures are appropriate to respond to the effects of the incident on the School community. Additional responses for the benefit of the School community may include:

 

  • Increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the misconduct occurred
  • Additional training and educational materials for students and employees
  • Revision of the School’s policies relating to sexual misconduct
  • Climate surveys regarding sexual misconduct

 

11. Appeals

Either the respondent or the complainant or both may appeal the determination of the hearing panel and/or the sanctions. Appeals are decided by the Director of the School. The three grounds for appeal are:

 

  1. A procedural error affecting the determination or sanction;
  2. New information that was not available at the time of the investigation or hearing and that may change the determination or sanction; and
  3. Excessiveness or insufficiency of the sanction.

 

Disagreement with the finding or sanctions is not, by itself, grounds for appeals.

 

The appealing student must submit the appeal in writing to the Director of the School within five days after receiving the sanctioning notice. If either the complainant or respondent submits an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the other that an appeal has been filed and the grounds of the appeal. The non-appealing student may submit a written response within five days after notice of an appeal.

 

If the School’s Director concludes that a change in the hearing panel’s determination is warranted, the School’s Director may enter a revised determination, reconvene the panel to reconsider the determination, or return the matter for additional investigation. After consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, the School’s Director may also change the sanction. If both the complainant and respondent appeal, the appeals will be considered concurrently.

 

The School’s Director will notify the complainant and respondent of the final decision in writing. Appeals decisions will be rendered within 15 days after the receipt of the written appeal. All appeal decisions are final.

 

12. Records Disclosure

Disciplinary proceedings conducted by the School are subject to the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law governing the privacy of student information. FERPA generally limits disclosure of student information outside the School without the student’s consent, but it does provide for release of student disciplinary information without a student’s consent in certain circumstances.

 

Any information gathered in the course of an investigation may be subpoenaed by law enforcement authorities as part of a parallel investigation into the same conduct, or required to be produced through other compulsory legal process.

 

Additional information about FERPA can be found in the School Catalog on the School’s website: http://www.rizzierischools.com/financial-aid

 

13. Education and Prevention Programs

The School is committed to offering educational programs to promote awareness and prevention of Prohibited Conduct. Educational programs include an overview of the School’s policies and procedures; relevant definitions, including prohibited conduct; discussion of the impact of alcohol and illegal drug use; consent; safe and positive options for bystander intervention; review of resources and reporting options available for students, faculty, and staff; and information about risk reduction. Incoming students and new employees will receive primary prevention and awareness programming as part of their orientation. The Title IX Coordinator maintains an education and prevention calendar and tailors programming to campus needs and climate.

 

As part of the School’s commitment to provide an educational and work environment free from Prohibited Conduct, this Policy will be disseminated widely to the School community through e-mail communication, publications, websites, new employee orientations, student orientations, and other appropriate channels of communication.

 

The Title IX Coordinator, hearing panel members, and anyone else who is involved in responding to, investigating, or adjudicating sexual misconduct will receive annual training from experts in the field. In addition to training on how the adjudicatory process works, the training will include specific instruction about how to approach students about sensitive issues that may arise in the context of sexual misconduct.

 

14. Amendments

The School may amend the Policy or the Procedures from time to time. Nothing in the Policy or Procedures shall affect the inherent authority of the School to take such actions as it deems appropriate to further the educational mission or to protect the safety and security of the School community.

 

15. Definitions of Key Terms
  • Sexual Harassment - Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education or employment, (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for education or employment decisions affecting such individuals, or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's school or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or working environment.
    • Hostile Environment Caused By Sexual Harassment - refers to a situation where students and/or employees are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education, employment, or participation in a School program or activity, thereby creating an environment that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find hostile, intimidating, or abusive. An isolated incident, unless sufficiently severe, does not amount to a hostile environment caused by sexual harassment.
    • Quid Pro Quo Harassment – refers to a situation where students and/or employees are subject to unwanted sexual behavior where submission or rejection of such conduct is used, explicitly or implicitly, as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s education, employment, or participation in a School program or activity.
  • Sexual Assault - is any unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature that occurs either without the consent of each participant or when a participant is unable to give consent freely. Sexual assault can occur either forcibly and/or against a person’s will, or when a person is unable to give consent freely. Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any form of sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral) with any object without consent. Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object without a person’s consent.
  • Domestic Violence - A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed (i) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (ii) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (iii) by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (iv) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or (v) by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
  • Dating Violence - Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purpose of this definition dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  • Sexual Exploitation - sexual misconduct that occurs when a person takes unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the exploited party; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute sexual assault. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, videotaping or photographing of any type (web-cam, camera, Internet exposure, etc.) without knowledge and consent of all persons; prostituting another person; knowingly transmitting HIV or a sexually transmitted disease to an unknowing person or to a person who has not consented to the risk; or inducing incapacitation with the intent to commit sexual assault, without regard to whether sexual activity actually takes place.
  • Stalking - Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person's safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
  • Retaliation - means any adverse action, or attempted adverse action, against an individual or group of individuals because of their participation in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy.
  • Intimidation - To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
  • Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.
    • Past consent does not imply future consent.
    • Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent.
    • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not
      imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
    • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
    • Coercion, force, or threat of either invalidates consent.
  • Someone who is incapacitated cannot consent. Incapacitation refers to a situation in which a person is not capable of providing consent because the person lacks the ability to understand her or his decision. This situation may occur due to the use of drugs or alcohol, when a person is asleep or unconscious, or because of an intellectual or other disability that prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent.
  • Complainant – means the person making the allegation(s) of sexual misconduct.
  • Respondent – means the person alleged to have committed sexual misconduct.

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