Sexual Misconduct Procedures

Formally reporting students have the right, and can expect, to have incidents of sexual misconduct taken seriously by the University, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures. If the reporting student chooses to file a formal report, an investigator will be assigned to the case, and an investigation will follow. In conjunction with the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the reporting student on any interim actions necessary to remedy the harm, pending the outcome of the investigation. The University is obligated to comply with a student’s reasonable request for living and/or academic situation change following an alleged sex offense.The reporting student’s concerns and wishes are given top consideration regarding the most appropriate response for preventing future occurrences. These actions may include, but are not limited to: imposing a no contact order with the responding party; residence hall room change for one or more involved parties; changes in academic schedules or assignments for one or both parties and interim suspension of the responding party.

During the investigation, the investigator will conduct interviews with all the involved parties to determine what happened and determine whether or not a violation, by the preponderance of the evidence (“more likely than not”), has occurred. The investigator will compile all notes and other necessary information into a file and create a report. The Title IX Coordinator will review the report and determine next steps address the concern. Depending on whom the responding party may be (faculty, staff, administrator, or student), different procedures will apply to resolve the incident. Disciplinary action may be taken whether or not criminal charges are filed and without regard to whether the conduct occurred on or off-campus.

If both the reporting student and the responding party are students, the Title IX Coordinator will review the case with both parties. If the case warrants adjudication, based upon the findings of the investigator, the Title IX Coordinator will offer to both parties the hearing body options. Both parties will be given the choice to have the case heard administratively by the Provost or to be heard by the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board. If one or both parties select to have the case heard administratively, that is how the case will be heard.

Advisors

Both the reporting student and the responding party may elect to have an advisor present during the investigation process, the meeting with the Title IX Coordinator, and the hearing with the Provost or Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board. The University may provide the student with a list of individuals who have been trained as advisors for Sexual Misconduct cases, or student may choose their own advisor. The advisor is not entitled to address otherwise impede the work of the investigator, the Title IX Coordinator or administrators involved in hearing the case. Violations of these guidelines may result in the exclusion of the advisor from the process.

Appeal Process

In cases involving alleged sexual misconduct in which formal charges and a finding of responsible or not responsible have been made, both the reporting student and the responding party have the right to appeal the conduct decision. Appeals are limited to the following grounds; (a) a lack of fairness of the procedures, or (b) if there is significant new information (previously unknown) that has been revealed or discovered which alters the facts of the matter and may alter the outcome. These appeals will be received by the Title IX Coordinator and given to the Ozarks Review Board for review.

Confidentiality of Information

All involved parties and those investigating the complaint, must strictly uphold rules of confidentiality. In order to ensure a fair and impartial process, it is important the reporting student and the responding party exercise restraint regarding their communication with the individuals not directly involved in the process. Due process is guaranteed the responding party, including the right to be informed of the specific charges, the opportunity to respond, and the opportunity to present information and witnesses. All information which may be viewed by the public (for instance the crime log) or those not involved in the investigation and proceedings will contain no names or identifying information.

Prohibition of Retaliation

This policy absolutely prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring sexual misconduct charges or assist in investigating charges. Any individual bringing a sexual misconduct complaint or assisting in the investigation of such a complaint will not be discriminated against or discharged because of said involvement.

Sexual Misconduct Sanctions

  • Any student found responsible for violating the sexual harassment policy will likely receive a sanction ranging from warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous Student Code of Conduct violations.
  • Any student found responsible for violating the sexual assault policy (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous Student Code of Conduct violations.
  • Any student found responsible for violating the sexual assault policy (where intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion.

Both the reporting student and the responding party shall be informed of the outcome of any student conduct proceedings alleging sexual misconduct.