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College Process


During the College Process there will be thorough communication with the reporter regarding each step in the procedure from the Title IX coordinator or designee. The reporter is not mandated to participate in any Title IX proceeding(s), however their absence may limit the Investigator(s) ability to evaluate all relevant information to the fullest extent possible. The reporter may be assisted by an adviser of their choice through any phases of the college process and can be provided with accommodations regarding concerns for their personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation during the process. The College can provide a specialized adviser through AVI that will make the process as least distressing as possible by providing support to the reporter, answer any questions, and explain the procedure every step of the way. If you would like to submit information regarding an incident that occurred on behalf of yourself, a friend, a colleague, or another, click the button below to formally report it.

File A Report Here

 

Below is a breakdown of the Title IX process but you can find specific information regarding the entire Title IX Process in our Title IX Policy.

 


The College Process


How The College Process Works

For all TCNJ students, faculty, and staff that have been impacted by sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or sexual harassment you have the option of participating in a college and/or criminal process.

Following receipt of notice of a potential violation of the Title IX College Wide Policy, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will immediately gather as much information as possible to determine the appropriate means for addressing the report. Options for addressing reports include, but are not limited to:

  1.   Investigating the report
  2.   Attempting to resolve the report through an informal process, or
  3.   Determining that the facts of the report, even if true, would not constitute a violation of this Policy.

If a report proceeds to an informal resolution or an investigation, or if the reporting party requests Interim Remedial Measures that might affect the accused (such as a “no contact” directive, moving the accused on-campus housing or changing an academic schedule), the Title IX Coordinator will provide the accused with notice that a report has been filed.

What are the resolution options you have through the College process:

 


Investigation

For all investigations there will be one or more trained investigators present. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will be the lead investigator and coordinate meetings with the Reporter and the Respondent. Both parties will be interviewed and asked to share information they have regarding the incident, as well as all relevant documentation (i.e. text messages, emails, photos, etc.), and identify witnesses who may provide direct information regarding the allegation. The investigator(s) will gather all information and create a statement summary which will be provided to each person providing information to ensure accuracy. At that time the Reporter or the Respondent can make additions to or note any concerns or clarifications to their statement summary. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will then add the document to the Title IX Investigation Report. Investigator(s) will strive to gather all information within 35-40 calendars day.

An Advisor of the Reporter or Respondent’s choice may be present during the initial meeting, investigation, and any additional meetings with College staff in relation to a Title IX incident but Advisors may not represent the party or actively participate in the meeting. The Title IX Coordinator or designee or investigator(s)may also have an advisor present at his or her discretion.

After gathering all information the case will either be sent to an administrative hearing (Option 1) or be determined by the investigators (Option 2). For more information about these two options please review the Title IX Policy.

All processes will be determined utilized the preponderance standard (more likely than not).


Determination Of Responsibility

Once the investigator(s) have made a determination regarding responsibility, the full investigation report, including this finding, will be reviewed by the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee to ensure that procedural protocol was followed. The Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee will either confirm that protocol was followed and the incident was fully investigated, or will ask the investigator(s) to further examine section(s) of the investigation report or seek additional information. The Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will make that determination within 10 calendar days of receiving the investigation report. If the investigators determine there are no charges or findings of responsibility and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs confirms the investigation to be complete, the Reporter may appeal the decision by following the process outlined in the Appeal for Student Cases section of this policy. If after the investigation and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students review, it is determined that the Respondent is responsible for violation of this policy, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students will forward the report to the Office of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution Services to assign appropriate sanction(s).


Appeal For Student Cases

If at the conclusion of a Title IX investigation, there is a finding of responsibility, both the Respondent and the Student Reporter are afforded the opportunity to appeal decisions and/or any sanctions issued within five business days of the date of the written decision. Appeals will be reviewed by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee. All appeals must be in writing, and include any supporting documentation that the Student wishes to be considered. Deference is given to the original Investigator’s findings of fact and decision of responsibility and/or any sanctions, therefore the burden of proof is on the Student filing an appeal to sufficiently demonstrate cause to alter procedures, the original decision or any sanctions. An appeal will generally be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the purposes below, provided however the administrator may request additional information or clarification from the accused Student, complaining party, witnesses, investigator(s), and/or other administrators for purposes of this review.

  • Process review.  To determine whether the investigation process was conducted in accordance with published procedures and without bias on the part of the Investigator(s). Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
  • Information review.  To determine whether there was information presented in the investigation that, if believed by the board or administrator, was sufficient to establish that a violation of the Policy occurred.
  • Sanction review.  To determine whether any sanctions imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Policy which the Student was found to have committed.
  • New information.  To consider new information, submitted by the appealing Student within the prescribed five business day period, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original investigation, because such information was not known to the Student appealing at the time of the original investigation.

Appeal Decision

An administrator reviewing an appeal may make one of the following decisions.

  • Affirm.  The administrator may decide to affirm the decision of the original Investigator(s).
  • Alter sanction.  The administrator may alter the sanctions issued by the Office of Student Conduct. Alteration in the sanction may include reducing or increasing the sanction or requirements.
  • New investigation.  The administrator may determine that a new investigation by different investigators is warranted to correct procedural irregularity or to consider new information. A Student may appeal a decision of the new investigators.
  • Remand.  The administrator may direct the original Investigators to review their original decision subject to any instructions from the administrator; and may affirm that decision or render a new decision consistent with those instructions. A Student may appeal a decision made by the original Investigator(s) if there are any changes after the review.

The decision of the administrator reviewing the submitted appeal is the final and conclusive decision of the College and is appealable only to the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division in accordance with the New Jersey Rules of Court.


Sanctions For Student Cases

The following sanctions, alone or in any combination, may be imposed upon any Student found to have violated this Policy.

1. Status Outcomes.

  • Warning. A notice in writing to the Student that the Student is violating or has violated institutional regulations and that further violations may result in more severe disciplinary action.
  • Pending termination of housing. This status serves as a housing probationary status assigned to a Student for a specified period of time before his or her housing privileges are terminated. While on this status, any further violations of College policy may result in termination of housing. In addition, this status constitutes a disciplinary record that will remain on file with the Office of Student Conduct for five years after a Student separates from the College.
  • Termination of housing. Removal or prohibition of a Student from College housing after a specific date and for a specified period of time. Through the duration of the termination, the Student will be restricted from entering all residential floors in College buildings. Students removed from College housing for disciplinary reasons will receive the refund available based on the time of the semester according to the Department of Residential Education and Housing policies and the housing contract. In addition, this status constitutes a disciplinary record that will remain on file with the Office of Student Conduct for five years after a Student separates from the College.
  • Pending suspension. This status serves as the disciplinary probation status assigned to a Student for a specified period of time before he or she is suspended from the College. While on this status, any further violations of College policy may result in suspension from the College. In addition, this status constitutes a disciplinary record that will remain on file with the Office of Student Conduct for five years after a Student separates from the College.
  • Suspension. Termination of course registration and residency (if applicable) from the College after a specific date and for a specified time. Through the duration of the suspension, the Student may be restricted from College property and may be required to provide prior notice and receive approval from the Director of Student Conduct for the purpose of conducting College business. Before a Student may be readmitted to the College after the designated period of time, the Student must meet with the Dean of Students to show satisfactory completion of any assigned directives or to discuss stipulated conditions for his or her return. In addition, this status constitutes a disciplinary record that will remain on file with the Office of Student Conduct indefinitely. Should a Student wish to return to the College after the suspension period, the Student must comply with any academic standards and procedures then in effect.
  • Expulsion. Permanent dismissal from the College and restriction from College property. In addition, this status constitutes a disciplinary record that will remain on file with the Office of Student Conduct indefinitely. Expulsion is the most serious disciplinary action taken by the College and is generally reserved for only those cases of behavioral misconduct in which all the relevant facts and aggravating circumstances support a conclusion that the only reasonable sanction is permanent removal from the College.
  • Degree Revocation. Permanent revocation of an earned degree from the College and restriction from College property. In addition, this status constitutes a disciplinary record that will remain on file with the Office of Student Conduct indefinitely. Degree revocation is reserved for only those case of behavioral misconduct that occur while an individual is a Student, but is not made known to the College until after a degree is earned, and in which all the relevant facts and aggravating circumstances support a conclusion that the only reasonable sanction is permanent revocation of an earned degree from the College.

2. Education Outcomes.

  • Restorative Practices. Participate in a discussion by trained facilitators with any persons or departments harmed and development of a shared agreement of how to correct the harm. Unlike other sanctions, all participants must voluntarily agree to participate in the restorative process. Restorative practices will not be available to Students responding to or being found responsible for any physical sexual misconduct.
  • Mediation. Participation in a mediated discussion with other disputants facilitated by multipartial, trained mediators with the hope of developing a negotiated agreement serving as resolution to the dispute. Unlike other sanctions, all participants must voluntarily agree to participate in mediation. Mediation will not be available to Students responding to or being found responsible for any physical sexual misconduct.
  • Master education plan. Develop a master education plan with the aid of the Director of Student Conduct and mentor committee, agree to the terms of the plan, and to continuous evaluation.
  • Other Discretionary sanctions. Work assignments, essays, presentations, research projects, conduct contracts, service to the College, or other discretionary assignments.

3. Administrative Directive Outcomes.

  • Administrative Relocation of Housing. Administrative transfer of a Student from one campus housing location to another.
  • Loss of privilege. Denial of any specified privilege for a designated period of time. Examples include but are not limited to: guest privileges, restriction from a College event or program, and/or area or building.
  • Restitution. Compensation for loss, damage, or injury to College property. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  • Parental notification. Notification may be sent to parents or guardians of a Student who is under 18 years of age, or financially dependent on his or her parents or guardians, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Parents or guardians may also be notified of alcohol and other drug incidents for Students less than 21 years of age, regardless of financial dependency or resulting sanction.
  • No Contact Directive/Extension of Existing No Contact Directive. This may include a new directive (as described above), or an extension of an original directive with or without altered or additional parameters or instructions. Sanctioned no contact directives may only be removed at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct, and at the written request of all involved parties.

The College is required by law to disclose possible sanctioning practices for certain violations of the Student Conduct Code. The descriptions below include possible ranges of sanctions that may be applied to Students who are found responsible for violations meeting the definitions described below. Mitigating or aggravating factors may impact the severity of sanctions assigned. For more specific information on these procedures please refer to the Title IX Policy on our Policy Page


Staff/Faculty Investigations

For all complaints against a staff or faculty member the investigators will work with the Department to determine sanctioning. Any employee found to have violated any portion or portions of this Policy may be subject to appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary action which may include, but which shall not be limited to: referral for training, referral for counseling, written or verbal reprimand, suspension, reassignment, demotion, loss of privileges or termination of employment. Referral to another appropriate authority for review for possible violation of State and Federal statutes may also be appropriate.


For more specific information please refer to the Title IX Policy on our Policies Page


If you have any questions about information on this website please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Jordan Draper, at draperj@tcnj.eduFor more information about the Conduct process please visit: http://conduct.tcnj.edu/welcome/