Terms to Know

Adjudicators:  For both student and employee cases these are the individuals who make a decision whether there is sufficient evidence to find someone charged as Responsible for the actions that are alleged. For student cases, three trained faculty or staff volunteers serve as adjudicators. For employee cases, two senior staff members serve as adjudicators.

Advisor of Choice: Individuals may choose an Advisor of Choice (including an attorney). If either party does not have an Advisor of Choice at the hearing, the University will make available an Advisor of the University’s choice, without charge, for the limited purpose of conducting cross-examination in the live hearing. The Advisor of Choice may be the Support Person, as well, but only one person will be allowed to accompany each party to the live hearing.

Affirmative Consent: see individual tab

Complainant: The term Complainant refers to the person who allegedly experienced Sexual Misconduct in violation of the policy.  In some cases, the Title IX Coordinator may file a formal complaint and thereby initiate an investigation and adjudication process pursuant to the University’s policy.  In that instance, the Title IX Coordinator is not the “Complainant”; the complainant remains the person who allegedly experienced the sexual misconduct.

Confidential Resource: Trained campus and community resources who must retain your confidentiality, unless there is imminent harm to self or others. Confiding in these resources is NOT reporting to the University.

Confidential Response: A complainant may seek assistance from on-campus or external resources with whom confidential discussions may be held, without report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, unless the complaint describes a narrative of imminent harm to self or others.

Formal Complaint: A complaint must be made in writing and signed by the complainant in order to initiate the University’s grievance process of an investigation and adjudication. The complainant may then choose to have supportive measures provided only, to request an Informal Resolution and the terms proposed, or to request a Formal Investigation.

Informal Resolution: This is a non-judgmental discussion; the University is not determining whether the charge has enough evidence for a decision of responsibility. If the charged person also agrees to the terms proposed, the conditions are documented and the case is permanently closed. 

Formal Investigation and Adjudication:  A Formal Investigation and Adjudication can be requested, which involves two trained investigators who will interview both parties, interview relevant witnesses, and gather evidence such as photographs, videos, emails, text messages, Facebook posts, or any other material sources relevant to the allegation(s). For students, the investigation is followed by a live hearing with the Review Board, with a decision using the Preponderance of the Evidence standard to make a finding of "Responsible" or Not Responsible." For employees, the investigation is followed by a decision, but no live hearing, determining responsibility. 

Mandatory Reporter: Employees who have an obligation to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator if they hear about or are aware of sexual misconduct and to take action based on those reports. They can also assist students by directing them to appropriate resources.

No-Contact Order: A directive from the University that the people involved in a case either temporarily or permanently have no deliberate interaction with one another, nor may anyone on their behalf.

Preponderance of Evidence: The standard of proof used by the Review Board to determine whether an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy occurred. This standard evaluates whether it is “more likely than not” that the Respondent engaged in the conduct charged.

Respondent: The term Respondent refers to the person alleged to have committed a violation of this policy.  The term “accused” may be used in this policy to refer to the Respondent prior to the time that a formal complaint has been made.

Responsible: The term used when the Review Board determines there is a preponderance of evidence to support a finding of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Responsible Administrator: Please see the definition for Mandatory Reporter. We are moving away from the terminology of "Responsible Administrator" in favor of "Mandatory Reporter."

Review Board (RB):  The name for the body of adjudicators who make a decision of responsibility, based on the preponderance of the evidence standard and impose  sanctions, if appropriate . 

Supportive Measures: Supportive measures are intended to restore or preserve, to the extent practicable, equal access to the University’s educational programs and activities and protect the safety of all parties without unreasonably burdening the other party or parties. As required by federal regulation, these supportive measures must be non- disciplinary and non-punitive to the parties. If a Complainant does not wish to file a formal complaint and initiate an Investigation and Formal Adjudication, the Complainant will, nevertheless, be entitled to receive supportive measures.

Support Person: Individuals may choose a support person to be involved during the investigation only. The support person may not speak for or represent the persons. The University will not communicate directly with support people. Support Person Guidelines are provided. The Support Person does not attend the live hearing nor participate in cross-examination.

Transcript Notation: As required by New York law, all colleges and universities in New York are required to denote certain conduct outcomes on academic transcripts of students found in to have engaged in conduct that constitutes crimes of violence (including but not limited to sexual assault) as defined in the Clery Act. Required transcript notations, as appropriate to the circumstances, are:

“Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” “Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” “Withdrew with conduct charges pending”

Suspension and expulsion transcript notations are applied at the conclusion of the conduct proceedings and appeals processes. If a student withdraws with charges pending, but conduct proceedings are nonetheless completed, any final transcript notation will be based on the outcome of those proceedings. (Pending completion of those proceedings, the transcript will carry the above withdrawal notation.)

Transcript notations for a student suspended are required by law to remain on the transcript for a period of at least one year following completion of the suspension. By University policy, a withdrawal notation will remain on a transcript for at least one year following the withdrawal. (By law, expulsion notations are not subject to removal.) Subject to these minimum periods, a student may request to have a suspension/withdrawal transcript notation removed by submitting a petition in writing to the Title IX Coordinator, who will share the request with the Deans of Academic Affairs and Student Life. The Deans will make all decisions about notation removal. For full information.

Witness: Someone who may have seen an incident or who may have had real-time interactions with either the person making the charge or the person charged, interactions (discussion, text or email messages and more) that will help the University understand the narrative as accurately as possible.