Thomas More College

Discipline Response Procedures

Allegations Against Students
Sexual assault is a serious charge and could result in suspension or dismissal from the College. Charges of sexual assault are adjudicated through the campus judicial system.  This process is described in the Student Handbook.  When the initial investigation of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is concluded, the Dean of Student Affairs Office will determine whether probable cause exists to file charges under the Student Code of Conduct. Charges are filed when probable cause exists and the complainant agrees to proceed in the discipline system. Discipline proceedings involving sexual misconduct will follow the procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and shall specifically ensure the following:

  1. The complainant and respondent shall have the opportunity to be present during the proceedings, produce witnesses and question witnesses except in extremely rare situation when a witness may not be available and may supply a statement notarized to its truthfulness.
  2. Under no circumstances shall a complainant of sexual harassment or sexual assault be subjected to mediation with the alleged perpetrator.
  3. Both parties shall be notified at the same time of the outcome of the hearing within one business day of the proceedings.
  4. Discipline cases may involve the interim suspension of the accused when there is probable cause to believe that the safety and well being of either party is in jeopardy.
  5. Cases will be scheduled to begin promptly and will not be delayed for criminal proceedings. An exception to this timeline may occur in situations where the respondent is suspended on an interim basis and not permitted to return to campus until the case is completed. This may extend the time by no more than thirty days at which time a hearing is required to be scheduled.
  6. In all cases involving sexual misconduct, the standard shall be “preponderance of the evidence,” and sanctions may include warning, probation, suspension or expulsion in addition to educational sanctions.
  7. For sensitive complaints such as sexual misconduct, alternative testimony options will be available to all parties, such as placing a privacy screen between parties or use of technology such as skype/facetime to allow for testimony outside the physical presence of the other parties. These options are intended to make the parties more comfortable without working to the disadvantage of the other party.
  8. The College will work to maintain the rights of both parties and no determination of being in violation shall be made until a hearing is completed. Filing a false report is a serious matter and will result in discipline charges being filed with the potential of suspension or expulsion from the institution.
  9. Both parties have the right to appeal a hearing decision not in their favor by notifying the Dean of Student Affairs in writing of the grounds for appeal with a statement supporting their appeal within two (2) business days at 5pm. The Dean of Student Affairs will review: a. whether the rights affirmed by the Board of Trustees have been denied; b. whether the adjudication was supported by the preponderance of the evidence; c. whether the procedures for a campus judicial proceeding and the sexual misconduct policy were appropriately applied. The decision may be upheld or overturned on these criteria.

Allegations Against Staff/ Faculty
Allegations against faculty/staff will be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources who will conduct an initial investigation. Upon a finding of probable cause that the sexual misconduct/sexual harassment policy has been violated, the matter will be referred to the department head employing the accused staff/faculty member. The department head shall follow the process outlined in the faculty/staff manual. Resources to support both parties will be provided.