Student Handbook

Procedural Provisions for Sexual Misconduct and Other Sensitive Issues

PROCEDURAL PROVISIONS FOR GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT AND OTHER SENSITIVE ISSUES

Although in campus hearings legal ideas like guilt and innocence are not applicable, Hendrix College will never assume a student is in violation of college policy.  In fact, campus hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.  

Gender-based misconduct hearings and procedures include a prompt, fair, and impartial process from the initial investigation to the final result.  The proceedings must be conducted in a manner consistent with Hendrix College policies and transparent to the accuser and accused. 

Gender-based misconduct proceedings must be conducted by officials who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the accuser or the accused. College officials conducting gender-based misconduct hearings and procedures will receive annual training related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. They will also receive yearly training on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. 

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has interpreted Title IX to require schools to evaluate evidence of alleged Gender-Based Misconduct under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard and that is the standard adopted by this policy.  A preponderance of the evidence means that the conduct in question “more likely than not” occurred.  In the context of a hearing hereunder, the accused student will be found to be responsible for the alleged gender-based misconduct if the Panel, by majority vote, concludes that such Gender-Based Misconduct more likely than not occurred based upon careful review of all evidence presented.

The student(s) in question shall be notified, in writing, of the alleged charge(s) and of the date, time, and place of the hearing. Every effort will be made to set up a hearing within ten (10) working days after an investigation of an incident is completed; however, factors – such as holiday breaks, end of academic term, on-going investigation, etc. may prevent the College from meeting this guideline. In the event an extension of this timeframe is required for good cause, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing of the delay and the reason for the delay. To ensure a prompt process and hearing, gender-based misconduct complaints are given priority. The College will seek to resolve all issues of sexual misconduct within 60 days of the reporting of the incident to the College. 

The college reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of gender-based misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting to the local police. 

Not all forms of gender-based misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the college reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, ranging from oral warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of gender-based misconduct.  Under this policy, any complainant has standing, whether the misconduct occurred in a male-on-female context, or the context is female-on-male, male-on-male, female-on-female or involved multiple students of any gender. 

Procedural Rule for Addressing Information about Past Sexual History The past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other party in hearings unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the Chair.  All such information sought to be admitted will be presumed irrelevant, and any request to overcome this presumption by the parties must be included in the complaint/response or a subsequent written request, and must be reviewed in advance of the hearing by Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, or Chair of the hearing board.   While previous conduct violations by the accused student are not generally admissible as information about the present alleged violation, the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students may supply previous complaint information to the board, or may consider it if he/she is hearing the complaint, only if:

            1) The accused was previously found to be responsible;

            2) The previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation; or

            3) Information indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the accused student. 

Student Handbook Contact Info

Jim Wiltgen
Dean of Students
(501) 450-1222
wiltgen@hendrix.edu

Kesha Baoua
Assoc. Dean of Students;
Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
(501) 450-1222
baoua@hendrix.edu

De Ann Huett
Administrative Assistant 
(501) 450-1222
huett@hendrix.edu

 

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