Process Involving Students

The Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, Policy 3341-2-41, has certain jurisdictional limitations.  An allegation of Prohibited Conduct as defined under that Policy that is outside the scope of that Policy’s jurisdiction, but within the jurisdiction of the University under the Code, will be treated as an allegation of prohibited conduct under Section 6.B.4. of the Code.

A matter may be referred for jurisdictional reasons from the Title IX process to the Code process at any time or may originate in the Office of the Dean of Students.  Interim measures under Section 8 of the Code may be applied as warranted.  The Code process for a referred matter will begin with Section 9 (Conduct Procedures).  The Dean of Students (or designee) will review each referred matter to determine if additional incident reporting, conduct meetings, or investigation are needed.

If the Respondent disputes an allegation of prohibited conduct under Section 6.B.4. or Section 6.B.5. of the Code, the case will be assigned to the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board for hearing and resolution.  The Board will conduct the hearing in accordance with the hearing procedure set forth in Policy 3341-2-41 and make a written determination of hearing outcome and sanctions in accordance with that Policy.  All subsequent steps (including appeal) will be accomplished in accordance with the Code.

Promptly after learning of a report of Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will contact the complainant confidentially to discuss the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures and will implement supportive measures.

The Title IX Coordinator or designee will also explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint. If the conduct reported to the Title IX Coordinator or designee does not appear to be Prohibited Conduct within the scope of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, any information gathered during the intake process may be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students or other appropriate authority and the complainant may be referred there without affecting the complainant’s right to choose to file a formal complaint.

A formal complaint is a document filed by a complainant alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the school investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. The formal complaint must state that, at the time of its filing, the complainant is participating in or attempting to participate in a BGSU education program or activity.

The document may be a paper or electronic submission that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint. A complainant may file a formal complaint with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by e-mail to http://www.bgsu.edu/titleix, or through the BGSU online report form found on the BGSU website by visiting the Title IX or the Office of Human Resources pages.

A complainant may also choose not to file a formal complaint. If so, BGSU will provide supportive measures but not investigate unless the Title IX Coordinator determines that signing a formal complaint to initiate an investigation over the wishes of the complainant is not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.

The Title IX Coordinator (after consulting with the Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer or designee) may determine that, despite a complainant’s request, a formal complaint is required to ensure the complainant’s health and safety or that of the university community. If the Title IX Coordinator makes and documents that determination, the Title IX Coordinator may then sign and file a formal complaint. Signing and filing a formal complaint does not make the Title IX Coordinator a complainant or a party during the resolution process: the Title IX Coordinator must continue to comply with requirements for Title IX personnel to be free from a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.

BGSU uses two processes to resolve formal complaints of Prohibited Conduct under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures. Formal resolution is by an investigation that will result in a hearing (unless the formal complaint is dismissed) and possible sanctions and may involve an appeal. Alternative resolution is by informal or restorative methods and may be offered by the university or requested by the complainant or respondent at any time after the formal complaint is filed, unless the formal complaint alleges Prohibited Conduct by an employee against a student.

The formal resolution process involves notice of allegations, investigation, a preliminary report and final report, a live hearing and written determination, and possible sanctions and appeal. Each of these steps is described below.

After receiving a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to all known parties. The notice will include the following:

(i) Information about the formal resolution process, the informal resolution process, and where to find the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures.

(ii) Information about the allegations, including identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known; the conduct allegedly constituting Prohibited Conduct; and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known; this information must be provided in sufficient time to allow the respondent to prepare a response before any initial interview.

(iii) A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the formal resolution process.

(iv) A statement that each party may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.

(v) A statement that each party and their advisor may inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint.

(vi) A statement advising the parties of any provision in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, the Code of Student Conduct, or any other university policy, that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the formal resolution process.

During the course of the investigation, the university may decide to investigate allegations about the complainant or respondent that were not included in the notice originally provided. If that occurs, BGSU will provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known.

An investigation must give the complainant and respondent a full, equal, and fair opportunity to be heard and to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The investigation will be thorough and impartial.

The Title IX Coordinator will assign one or more investigators to each investigation. In many cases, an investigator will be a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, but may also be a member of the Office of the Dean of Students, the Title IX Coordinator (when appropriate), any trained staff member, or an external investigator to be selected and assigned in consultation with the Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer, the university’s President, and the Office of General Counsel (if applicable).

The investigator typically will separately interview the complainant, the respondent, and available witnesses; record the interviews; give the parties an equal opportunity to submit or identify relevant information; and gather relevant information. That information may include documents, images, written or electronic communications or data, and medical records (with the person’s consent). BGSU will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.

Before any interview or other meeting, the investigator will give written notice to the party whose participation is invited or expected. That notice will state the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the interviews or other meetings, and will be given with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.

The investigator will provide the complainant and respondent with a draft summary of their statement and give them an opportunity to comment.

Although the complainant or respondent may provide materials to the investigator, it is the university’s duty to gather relevant information that is reasonably available.

Each person serving as an investigator must be impartial and have no conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent. There will be a primary investigator who will serve as the lead investigator. This person may be assisted by one or more secondary investigators.

A complainant or respondent who is concerned that the designated investigator cannot conduct a fair and unbiased review may report those concerns to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will assess the circumstances and decide whether to designate a different investigator.

The investigator’s role is to gather facts, not to function as an advocate for a complainant or respondent. But upon request, an investigator may identify campus support resources for the complainant and respondent and refer them to the Office of the Dean of Students to coordinate services.

BGSU presumes that a report of Prohibited Conduct is made in good faith. A finding that the conduct does not violate the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, or that there is not enough evidence to conclude that an incident occurred as reported, does not mean that a report was made in bad faith.

Each investigation and hearing is a neutral, fact-gathering process in which the respondent is presumed not to be responsible. This presumption is overcome only if, after a hearing, the appropriate decision maker finds that the respondent violated the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures  by a preponderance of the evidence.

For purposes of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures , a preponderance of the evidence means that, based on all the reliable, relevant evidence and reasonable inferences from that evidence, the respondent is more likely than not in violation of this Policy. This standard is to be used for all formal complaints of sexual harassment (including where employees and faculty are respondents).

The complainant, respondent, and witnesses may choose whether or not to participate in the investigation. Even if a complainant or respondent declines to participate, however, the investigator may continue to investigate the reported conduct and, to the extent consistent with due process, issue findings based on the evidence that is available.

BGSU expects the complainant, respondent, witnesses, and all others to provide truthful information in any proceeding under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures. Knowingly providing a materially false statement or other information may result in disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct or other applicable policy.

The respondent may decide to accept responsibility for the Prohibited Conduct at any time. If so, then with the voluntary agreement of the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter to an alternative resolution process.

The complainant and respondent may each have one advisor of their choice throughout the formal resolution process. The advisor may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. The university will not be responsible for professional fees of any advisor.

The role of the advisor is to provide support and guidance and, at the hearing, to directly ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. An advisor may not be a witness or have any other role in the process.An investigative interview or meeting or hearing will not be postponed to accommodate the schedule of a party’s chosen advisor. If a party’s chosen advisor is not present at the hearing, BGSU will choose an advisor for that party (without fee or charge) to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.

The investigator is responsible for gathering relevant information to the extent reasonably possible. That information may include documents, images, written or electronic communications or data, and medical records (with the person’s consent).

The complainant and respondent, however, will be asked to identify witnesses and provide other relevant information as soon as possible to aid prompt investigation and resolution.

The investigator will review all information identified or provided by the parties. For purposes of the preliminary and final reports, the investigator will determine the relevance and probative value of all information developed or received during the investigation. The investigator will provide all relevant information to the parties for their review and comment (as described in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures).

The university cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the university obtains that party’s voluntary, written consent to do so for the formal resolution process. In those instances, the investigator will summarize relevant information from those records in the preliminary report. Each party will be allowed to review the preliminary report and the relevant portions of the records.

When specialized expertise is needed, the investigator may seek authorization from the Title IX Coordinator to consult experts who have no connection to the reported incident.

A respondent’s prior or subsequent conduct will not be used to prove that the respondent had the character to engage in the alleged conduct.

Prior or subsequent conduct may be considered for other purposes, such as determining preparation or plan, intent, knowledge, or the respondent’s motive for taking an action. To that extent, evidence of a pattern of substantially similar Prohibited Conduct by the respondent may be deemed relevant to the matter under investigation.

If the investigator determines that a respondent’s prior or subsequent conduct is relevant, both persons will be informed in writing.

Prior sexual contact between a complainant and a respondent is generally not relevant. It will be considered only in limited circumstances.

If the investigator determines that the parties’ prior sexual contact is relevant, both persons will be informed in writing.

Witnesses are persons who observed the acts in question or have information relevant to the incident. A witness may not participate solely to speak about an individual’s character unless relevant.

The investigator will give each identified witness the opportunity to discuss the investigation process and participate in an interview. After the interview, the investigator will provide each witness a draft summary of their statement for their review and comment.

The investigator will provide a written summary of each witness’s interview to the complainant and the respondent for their review and comment. The summary will identify the witness by name and by their relationship to each other person and the university.

The investigator will provide this information in or with the draft investigation report.

If the university learns of a concurrent criminal investigation, BGSU’s investigator will inform the criminal investigator that a university investigation is in progress; inquire into the status of the criminal investigation and determine whether law enforcement officials will make any evidence available to the university.

Upon request, BGSU may agree to defer part or all of its investigation until law enforcement evidence gathering is complete.

To the extent consistent with the law enforcement request, the investigator will communicate with the parties about resources and support, procedural options and anticipated timing, and any interim measures deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of the affected individuals.

Because the standards for a criminal proceeding differ from the standards for a violation of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures , BGSU will not base its decisions solely on law enforcement reports or actions. BGSU will take immediate and appropriate action in response to a report of Prohibited Conduct, even if a law enforcement action is pending. If BGSU finds that Prohibited Conduct has occurred, it will take appropriate action, even if a law enforcement action is pending.

The period from the start of an investigation, which begins with the investigator’s notice to the respondent, to a final investigation report typically should not exceed sixty to ninety calendar days.

In some situations, however, this target may not be achievable. For example, additional time may be needed to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation (particularly in complex cases involving multiple witnesses or large volumes of information); the absence of a party or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities; or for other well-supported reasons.

If the investigator determines that the ninety-day period must be exceeded, both parties will be informed in writing.

After interviewing the complainant and the respondent, giving each of them the opportunity to review and comment on their statement and to identify witnesses and provide information, completing witness interviews, and gathering relevant information, the investigator will prepare a preliminary report.

Usually, the preliminary report will include the complainant’s statement, the respondent’s statement, and a statement from each available witness, and a copy of the other relevant information obtained during the investigation and/or a written summary of it. The preliminary report will not contain any findings.

The investigator will provide the preliminary report to the complainant the respondent, and their respective advisors (if any) for review and comment. In addition, the investigator will provide the parties and their advisors any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a formal complaint, including the evidence upon which the university does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source, so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to the final investigation report.

The preliminary report and evidence will be provided electronically or in a hard copy. Each party will have ten (10) calendar days from the date the preliminary report is shared to submit a written response, which the investigator will consider before completing the final investigation report.

If a party identifies new relevant information, the investigator will address any relevant issues identified and pursue additional investigative steps as needed. The investigator will include those matters in a revised preliminary report and give the parties two (2) business days to review and comment on it before writing the final report.

 

After all review and comment periods have ended, the investigator will write a final investigation report. The final investigation report will fairly summarize the relevant evidence and include the investigator’s findings and a summary of the investigator’s rationale for those findings.

If the final investigation report determines that the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute Prohibited Conduct even if proved, did not occur in a BGSU education program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States, then the university will dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that conduct for purposes of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures.

The Title IX Coordinator may dismiss the formal complaint, or any allegations in the formal complaint, if at any time during the investigation or hearing any of the following occur: the complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations in it; the respondent ceases to be enrolled at or employed by the university; or specific circumstances prevent the university from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations.

A dismissal will not preclude action under another applicable university policy or code of conduct. For example, if alleged conduct by a student would constitute a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the matter will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students, and if alleged conduct by an employee would violate any university policy, the matter will be referred to the Office of Human Resources or other appropriate authority.

If the formal complaint or any allegations are dismissed, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly and simultaneously send written notice to the parties advising them of the dismissal and the reasons for it.

If the formal complaint is not dismissed, the investigator will submit the final investigation report to the Title IX Coordinator for review and approval with copies to the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of General Counsel for review. The final investigation report will then move forward for adjudication accompanied with a conduct resolution record (CRR).

The Title IX Coordinator will simultaneously provide a written notice of the outcome of the investigation and a copy of the final investigation report to the complainant and respondent and their respective advisors (if any) at least ten (10) days before the scheduled hearing for their review and written response. The notice will include a scheduled meeting with each party to provide information about next steps, which may include information on an alternative resolution process and will include information on a full Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board hearing. Information about appeals will be provided at designated points in the process.

After the respondent has reviewed the final report, the respondent may request referral to an alternative resolution process, subject to the complainant’s voluntary agreement of the complainant, unless the respondent is an employee and the complainant is a student. (Under 34 CFR § 106.45, informal resolution cannot be used to resolve an allegation that an employee sexually harassed a student). In all other cases, the Office of the Dean of Students will convene a hearing before a panel of the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board.

Each academic year, the university will appoint a Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board consisting of no fewer than ten, no more than twenty members to be appointed by the Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer in consultation with the university President. Members of the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board will receive annual training.

When a case is scheduled for hearing before a panel of the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board, the Associate Dean of Students or trained designee shall serve as a voting Chair of the hearing panel. The Chair will only vote in the event of a tie. The Chair will select two additional Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board members who will comprise the hearing panel.

The university may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.

If a selected member has direct, firsthand knowledge of the case, is personally acquainted with the complainant or respondent, has any other conflict or for other good cause as determined by the Chair, that individual will be recused and be replaced by another Board member. After any members, including the Chair, who were listed in the written notice and disqualified for cause have been replaced, the composition of the panel will be final.

The Chair shall maintain records related to the selection of the hearing panel in accordance with applicable university records retention schedules.

The Chair will set a hearing date, which cannot occur sooner than ten (10) calendar days after the final investigation report was sent to each party and advisor. At least five (5) calendar days before the hearing date, the Associate Dean of Students will give written notice to the complainant and the respondent and their respective advisors (if any).

The written notice will specify the hearing date and list the names and job titles of the panel members. It will also specify a date by which the complainant and respondent must each submit a list of witnesses, provide copies of any documents the party intends to present (including any written impact or mitigation statements), identify any advisor who will attend the hearing, and submit a written explanation seeking to disqualify any member of the panel for bias or conflict of interest.

If the university chooses to have legal counsel present the case to the hearing panel, the written notice will include that information. If so, the respondent may also present their case through legal counsel.

 

At least three calendar days before the hearing, the Chair will make a list of all witnesses and copies of all documents available to the complainant and the respondent.

The hearing will be live and audio-recorded. The live hearing may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at the university’s discretion, any or all parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other. The recording is university property and shall be an education record of a student complainant and a student respondent. The university will make the recording available to the parties for inspection and review.

The university expects that the complainant and the respondent will each be present and available for the entire live hearing. The complainant and respondent need not be present in the same room. At the request of either party, the university will provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the hearing panel and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.

The Chair will exercise control over the proceedings. The Chair is also permitted to ask questions. Formal rules of evidence will not apply.

The hearing panel may only consider relevant evidence. Prior conduct history of any party or witness may be considered if relevant.

Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.

During the hearing, each party may refer to any relevant evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a formal complaint (including the evidence upon which the university does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source), including for purposes of cross-examination.

The Chair will determine whether evidence is relevant.

The members of the hearing panel and the investigator may ask questions directly to each witness. Each party’s advisor may ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. This cross-examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the university will provide an advisor of the university’s choice to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.

The Chair may disallow any question that seeks information that is not relevant. Before a complainant, respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Chair must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.

Each witness (other than the complainant and the respondent) will be excluded from the hearing while another witness speaks before the hearing panel.

No witness may be compelled to answer a question; provided, however, that if a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the hearing panel

must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The respondent may choose to speak on their own behalf or remain silent. The hearing panel cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

The hearing panel will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.

The investigator will be the first person to present evidence to the hearing panel.

The second person who may present evidence to the hearing panel is the complainant.

The third person who may present evidence to the hearing panel is the respondent.

After the investigator, the complainant, and the respondent have each had the opportunity to present evidence to the hearing panel, the Chair will allow each of them to ask concluding questions of each other (directly or through an advisor as applicable). Finally, the Chair will allow the hearing panel to ask concluding questions of the investigator, the complainant, and the respondent.

The hearing will end after the concluding questions. The hearing panel will consider the Prohibited Conduct presented in the final investigation report. While presuming that the respondent is not responsible, the hearing panel will deliberate on the evidence presented at the hearing. The hearing panel will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and will not base its credibility determinations on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.

Written impact or mitigation statements, if any, will be received at the hearing but not considered until after a responsibility determination is made.

If a majority of the hearing panel agrees that a preponderance of the evidence compels the conclusion that respondent engaged in an act of Prohibited Conduct, it will find the respondent to be responsible.

Relevant evidence presented at the hearing may indicate that the respondent committed an act prohibited by the Code of Student Conduct. If so, and if a majority of the hearing panel agrees that a preponderance of the evidence compels the conclusion that the respondent committed an offense under the Code of Student Conduct, it will find the respondent to be responsible for that offense.

 

If the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Board hearing panel finds a student respondent to be responsible for Prohibited Conduct or an offense under the Code of Student Conduct, that same panel will review any written impact or mitigation statements and deliberate and determine sanctions. The purposes of sanctioning are to end Prohibited Conduct (or other offenses); restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education program or activity; and promote the goals and objectives of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures in a manner that supports the university’s educational mission and its duty under Title IX. Sanctions may also be designed to promote safety, deter similar behavior, and promote university values.

Once the hearing panel has made a finding as to each instance of Prohibited Conduct (or other offense) under consideration, and determined sanctions for a student respondent, it will set forth its outcome together with an explanation of the majority’s reasoning in a written determination and will submit it to the Office of the Dean of Students within five (5) calendar days of the conclusion of the hearing.

The written determination will include the following:

(i) Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Prohibited Conduct or a Code of Student Conduct offense;

(ii) A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;

(iii) Findings of fact supporting the determination;

(iv) Conclusions regarding the application of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures (or the Code of Student Conduct) to the facts;

(v) A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility;

(vi) Any disciplinary sanctions the hearing panel imposes on the student respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to a BGSU education program or activity will be provided by the recipient to the complainant; and

(vii) The procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.

The Office of the Dean of Students will simultaneously provide a copy of the hearing panel’s written determination to the complainant and respondent.

If the respondent is an employee of the university and not also a student, the Office of the Dean of Students will also provide a copy of the hearing panel’s written determination to the Office of Human Resources (for classified and administrative staff employees) or the Office of the Provost (for faculty). Any further proceedings will take place in accordance with university policies and procedures and any applicable collective bargaining agreement, and any disciplinary sanction will be imposed by the appropriate decisional authority.

As noted below, if the respondent is a student employee of the university, one of the sanctions imposed by the hearing panel may be a prohibition or limitation of university employment.

Potential sanctions include one or more of the following:

(i) Expulsion: Termination of student status for an indefinite period;

(ii) Suspension: Full separation from the university for a specified period or until certain conditions are met;

(iii) Disciplinary probation: A designated period during which the student is not in good standing with the university. Disciplinary probation may restrict student privileges and set specific behavioral expectations;

(iv) No contact directive: Restriction from entering specific campus areas and/or from all forms of contact with designated persons;

(v) Removal, suspension or transfer from designated university courses or activities for a specified period;

(vi) Reasonable restitution to pay for or replace lost or damaged property;

(vii) Educational program attendance: Enrollment in and completion of one or more of the following: a class, workshop, training, or program that could appropriately help the respondent or the university community;

(viii) Educational project: Completion of a project designed to help the respondent understand why certain behavior was inappropriate and to prevent its recurrence;

 (ix) Employment restriction: The prohibition of or limitation on university employment;

(x) Transcript hold: Placing a hold on transcripts, meaning that BGSU may prevent a student from registering, receiving a transcript, or both, until the student has complied with all other sanctions;

(xi) Transcript notation and/or notice to other institutions (only in cases of suspension and expulsion): A notation of non-academic disciplinary action may be made on a transcript and/or BGSU may notify other institutions of non-academic disciplinary action;

(xii) University housing change: Placement in another room or housing unit or removal from university housing, which may be temporary or permanent depending on all the circumstances;

(xiii) Withholding or revoking a degree: BGSU may withhold conferring a degree due to a finding of Prohibited Conduct. In extraordinary circumstances, the university may revoke a conferred degree.

Basis for an Appeal

The complainant and respondent each may appeal from a determination regarding responsibility and from the dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations in it, on the following bases:

(i) Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter.

(ii) New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter.

(iii) The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or a member or members of the hearing panel had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

(iv) The disciplinary sanction imposed on the respondent was clearly inappropriate and/or disproportionate to the conduct for which the respondent was found responsible.

(i) Appeal of a Dismissal

Either party may appeal the dismissal of the formal complaint or any of its allegations, by providing a written notice of appeal to the Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer within five (5) calendar days of the date the written notice of the dismissal is provided.

A notice of appeal shall consist of a plain, concise, and complete written statement outlining the basis for appeal and all relevant information supporting the appeal. The Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer may impose page limits for all appeal statements.

The Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer will simultaneously provide the notice of appeal to the other party, who will have three calendar days to respond to that Officer in writing. All appeal documents from each party will be considered together in the appeal. If an appeal contains new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing, the new evidence will be provided to the other party along with notice of appeal.

The Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer will conduct the review of the appeal of a dismissal.

The scope of the review will be limited to the grounds for appeal that the appealing party identified in their appeal statement.

The Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer will consider only the following documents: the Title IX Coordinator’s written notice to the parties advising them of the dismissal and the reasons for it and the parties’ written appeal submissions.

The Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer may freely consult with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the Office of General Counsel, and other university administrators in deciding the appeal of the finding or the sanction.

The Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer may affirm the dismissal or reject it and send the matter back for further action. The decision of the Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer will be written and will describe the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The decision is final and unreviewable.

A complainant and a student respondent may appeal the hearing panel’s written determination by providing written notice to the Office of the Dean of Students within five (5) calendar days of the date the hearing panel’s written determination is provided to the parties.

A notice of appeal shall consist of a plain, concise, and complete written statement outlining the basis for appeal and all relevant information supporting the appeal. The Office of the Dean of Students may impose page limits for all appeal statements.

The Office of the Dean of Students will simultaneously provide notice of appeal to the other party, who will have three calendar days to respond to that Office in writing. All appeal documents from each party will be considered together in the appeal. If an appeal contains new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing, the new evidence will be provided to the other party along with notice of appeal.

The Dean of Students will conduct the review of the appeal of the hearing panel’s written determination.

The scope of the review will be limited to the grounds for appeal that the appealing party identified in their appeal statement. The appeal is not a rehearing.

The Dean of Students will consider only the following documents: the hearing panel’s written determination, the recording of the hearing, the parties’ written appeal submissions, the sanctioning determination, and any impact or mitigation statements.

The Dean of Students may freely consult with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the Title IX Coordinator, the Office of General Counsel, and other university administrators in deciding the appeal of the finding or the sanction.

In deciding each issue on appeal, the Dean of Students may do any of the following:

(a) Affirm the decision that was appealed;

(b) Reject the decision that was appealed and send the matter back for further action; or

(c) Modify the sanction

In an appeal of a notice of sanctions, if the sanctions are clearly inappropriate or disproportionate, the Dean of Students will impose appropriate sanctions and provide a written explanation of the reasons for the action.

The Dean of Students will seek to complete the review within ten calendar days after receiving all the appeal documents.

The decision of the Dean of Students will be written and will describe the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The decision is final and unreviewable.

The Office of the Dean of Students will simultaneously provide the decision to the parties.