Policies and Procedures
Stetson University has policies and procedures in place regarding the receipt, investigation, and resolution of complaints of discrimination. The university will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into allegations of sex or gender-based discrimination. This investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable determination about whether the university nondiscrimination and Title IX policies have been violated. If so, the university will implement a prompt and effective remedy to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. The standard of proof in such disciplinary proceedings shall be that of the preponderance of the evidence, which is based upon whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred.
It is the policy of Stetson University, consisting of its multiple campuses, wherever located (collectively, the “University”) not to discriminate on the basis of sex, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, parenting status, race, age, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, physical characteristics, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law in its educational programs, activities, or employment. The policy is enforced by Stetson and, where applicable, federal laws such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The University is an equal opportunity educational institution. The appropriate course of investigation for any and all potential sex and gender-based complaints will be determined by the Title IX Coordinator(s) after review of the allegations. Sex or gender-based complaints will follow the grievance procedures set forth in the Gender-Based Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and Interpersonal Violence policy.
Inquiries regarding this policy and referrals to designated coordinators under the ADA/Section 504, Title IX, and the Age Discrimination Act may be directed to the Director of Compliance & Title IX Coordinator, 300 N. Amelia Avenue, DeLand, FL 32723, 386-822-7960 or to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-1100, 800-421-3481, TDD: 877-521-2172.
This policy applies to any allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex or gender, including all forms of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and interpersonal violence committed by students, University employees, or third parties. Students are those registered or enrolled for credit- or non-credit bearing coursework (“students”); University employees are those employees who are full-time and part-time faculty and staff, including temps (“employees”); and third parties are those who are contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or others (“third parties”). This policy applies to acts of sex or gender-based discrimination and violence committed by or against students, employees, and third parties whenever the misconduct occurs:
1. On University owned or controlled property; or
2. Off University owned or controlled property, when (a) the conduct occurred in connection with a University program or activity, including University-sponsored study abroad, research, online, or internship programs; or (b) the conduct occurred outside of the context of a University program or activity, but may have the effect of interfering with, denying, or limiting an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education or work programs or activities.
Individuals who violate this policy may be accountable to both civil and/or criminal authorities, in addition to the University, for acts which constitute violations of law and University Policies and Procedures. Disciplinary action at the University will normally proceed concurrently with these civil and/or criminal proceedings and will not be subject to challenge on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced. In addition, the University is not required to postpone its process in order for a criminal or civil matter to be resolved but will continue proceedings in accordance with campus policies.
1. Acts of violence or intimidation:
include sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking
2. Sexual Misconduct:
includes a broad range of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and sexual violence
3. Sexual assault:
is the commission of an unwanted sexual act, further defined as:
(a) non-consensual sexual contact: the deliberate touching a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks), or clothing covering any of those area(s) without consent, or using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts, and/or (b) non-consensual sexual intercourse: penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object that occurs without consent, however slight the penetration, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, that occurs without indication of consent of both individuals, or that occurs under threat or coercion.
Sexual assault can occur either forcibly and/or against a person’s will, or when a person is incapable of giving consent. Under federal and state law, sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, rape, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, sexual assault with an object, sexual battery, forcible fondling (e.g. unwanted touching or kissing for purposes of sexual gratification), and threat of sexual assault. See F.S. 784.011 (assault); 784.046(c) (sexual violence); 794.011 (sexual battery)
4. Sexual violence:
Includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into this category, including but not limited to, acts of non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling, and threat of sexual assault. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment included under the protections of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.
5. Sexual exploitation:
taking sexual advantage of another person without consent, including but not limited to:
(a) causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person (b) causing the prostitution of another person (c) recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) of another person (d) allowing third parties to observe private sexual act (e) engaging in voyeurism (f) knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV
words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another. Consent to one form of sexual activity can never imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent is not the lack of resistance; there is no duty to fight off a sexual aggressor. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is clearly communicated by the person withdrawing consent through words or actions. A person shall not knowingly take advantage of another person who has an intellectual or physical disability, who is incapacitated by the use of medication, alcohol or other chemical drugs, or who is not conscious or awake, and thus is not able to give consent as defined above. Further, a person shall not physically or verbally coerce another person to engage in any form of sexual conduct to the end that consent, as defined above, is not given. In addition, certain states have designated a minimum age under which a person cannot give consent. In the state of Florida, the age of consent is 18.
the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. Where alcohol (or any other drug) is involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. Incapacitation is determined by how the substance consumed impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. The question is whether the person alleged to have committed a violation knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the person alleged to have committed a violation should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.
refers to physical force, violence, threats, intimidation, or coercion.
9. Domestic violence:
includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, cohabitant, co-parent, or person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
a) Florida law defines domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” F.S. 741.28
10. Dating violence:
violence, including sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be gauged by its length and type, the frequency of interaction and the reporting party’s statement of such a relationship.
a) Florida law defines dating violence as “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” F.S. 784.046
a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct includes a series of acts over any period of time. Stalking includes harassment and cyberstalking, either of which includes a course of conduct that causes substantial emotional distress to the victim and that serves no legitimate purpose. Stalking includes any credible threat to the victim that causes reasonable fear for the safety of the victim, the victim’s family members, or others closely associated with the victim, regardless of whether the perpetrator actually intends to go through with the threats.
a) Florida law defines stalking as “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person. For purposes of clarity, “harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.” F.S. 784.048
conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, residential, and/or educational environment. Retaliation includes harassment of any party involved in a University process, including, but not limited to, intimidation and threats. This includes any form of retaliation against students, student organizations, staff, or faculty.
the person or party who is the recipient of unwanted behavior that may violate University policy
the person or party responding to the complaint of unwanted behavior that may violate University policy
a person or party who provides information, knowledge or observation of behavior between the Complainant or Respondent
16. University Support Person:
a staff and/or faculty member who serves as a process and resources guide. This person does not represent either party, may not speak on the party’s behalf, and may not participate in any other role in the process.
a person of the complainant or respondent’s choosing who may accompany the complainant or respondent during meetings with University personnel. This person does not represent either party, may not speak on the party’s behalf, and may not participate in any other role in the process.
a staff and/or faculty member within Stetson University who acts as a neutral fact-finder, who, during the course of the investigation, typically conducts interviews with the complainant, the respondent and each third-party witness, and collects evidence; Investigators receive annual training on how to conduct investigations that promote the safety of the parties involved.
19. Appeals Officer:
a staff and/or faculty member within Stetson University who acts as the school official designated to make the final decision in regard to an appeal.
Standard of Evidence
The standard of evidence used for determining a violation of this policy is the preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is whether or not it is deemed to have been more likely than not that an action occurred in violation of this policy.
Limits for Reporting
There is no time limit for reporting a violation of this policy. Nevertheless, students, employees, and third parties are encouraged to report allegations immediately in order to maximize the University’s ability to obtain evidence, and conduct a thorough, impartial and reliable investigation. Failure to promptly report a violation of this policy may result in the loss of relevant evidence and witness testimony and may impair the University’s ability to enforce this policy.
A typical University response to allegations under this policy will be completed within sixty (60) business days, if not sooner. Should there be a need for an extension beyond the standard sixty (60) business day timeframe, the reasons for the extension will be formally documented and communicated to both parties. Extensions will only be considered and granted for good cause.
Receipt of Report
Upon receipt of a report of an alleged violation of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator(s), and/or their designees, will:
a) Assess nature and circumstances of the report, including the complainant’s safety and well-being and offer the University’s immediate support and assistance;
b) Inform the complainant of the right to seek medical treatment, and explain the importance of obtaining and preserving forensic and other evidence;
c) Inform the complainant of the right to contact local law enforcement, decline to contact law enforcement, and/or seek a protective order;
d) Inform the complainant about University and community resources, the right to seek appropriate and available remedial and protective measures, and how to request those resources and measures;
e) Inform the complainant of the right to seek Informal Resolution (where available) or Formal Resolution under these procedures; gain the complainant’s expressed preference for pursuing Informal or Formal Resolution, or neither, and discuss with the complainant any concerns or barriers to participating in any University investigation and resolution under these procedures;
f) Explain the University’s Retaliation policy;
g) Ascertain the ages of the complainant and respondent, if known, and, if either of the parties is a minor (under 18), contact the appropriate child protective service agency; and
h) Communicate with the appropriate University officials to determine whether the report triggers any Clery Act obligations, including entry of the report in the daily crime log and/or issuance of a timely warning, and take steps to meet those obligations.
Following the receipt of the report, the Title IX Coordinator(s) and/or their designees will assess the nature and circumstances or the report and take prompt and effective action as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances to support and protect the complainant and University community. This includes providing interim measures and remedies pending the investigation and, if applicable, the hearing. Interim measures may assist in ensuring that a thorough and impartial investigation can take place in a timely manner.
Decisions regarding reasonable interim measures will be implemented with the input of the complainant, as long as the desired actions do not interfere with protecting the community from any immediate threat of harm. The Title IX Coordinator(s), or appropriate University personnel, may take any further protective action that they deem appropriate concerning the interaction of the parties pending the hearing, including but not limited to:
a) Imposing a “no-contact” order, which will prohibit communication between the parties involved, including in person, through third parties, or via electronic means;
b) Directing appropriate University officials to alter the respondent’s and/or complainant’s academic or work schedule, University housing arrangements, and/or University employment arrangements;
c) Imposing interim probation and/or suspension on an employee, student, and/or organization pending the completion of the investigation and resolution process. During interim suspension, the respondent may be denied access to campus and/or residential property, classes and/or all other University activities or privileges which are determined to be appropriate.
Violation(s) of the Title IX Coordinators’ directives and/or administrative actions may lead to additional violations.
Any interim measures taken will be designed to minimize the burden on the complainant as much as possible. In addition to the actions provided after the receipt of a report, complainants will be provided written notification of their options and available resources. These options are available regardless of whether the complainant reports the incident to the campus public safety department or to law enforcement. When a decision is reached to initiate an investigation or to take any other action under these procedures that impacts a respondent (including the imposition of interim measures), the Title IX Coordinator(s) and/or their designees will notify the respondent and provide the respondent with available resources and options.
Regardless of the informal or formal resolution request, the complainant and respondent will be provided a written copy of this policy as well as available resources and options.
If the complainant requests not to move forward with the formal resolution process, the University will weigh the overriding factors and determine its ability to grant this request. Should the University determine that it cannot maintain anonymity and/or honor an inaction request, the University will inform the complainant prior to starting an investigation. If appropriate, the option for informal resolution of the complaint will be explored with the complainant.
Complainants may change their minds at any point in time and pursue a formal resolution process, regardless of where they are currently engaged in the informal resolution process. Some minor incidents can be resolved through informal or other interventions as long as both parties agree to participate voluntarily.
Mediation is not appropriate for any form of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking and will not be an option. Regardless of the complainant’s request for an informal or formal resolution, the University is still required to provide reasonable remedies that are deemed appropriate for the situation, including but not limited to, directing appropriate University officials to alter the respondent’s and/or complainant’s academic schedule, University housing arrangements, and/or University employment arrangements, providing targeted training or prevention programs, and/or providing or imposing other remedies tailored to the circumstances as a form of information resolution.
Once there is a determination that the formal resolution process will commence, the complaint will be sent to the investigator(s) for further investigation. The complaint will set forth the name of the complainant, respondent, and the date, location and nature of the alleged misconduct.
Both the complainant and the respondent will be provided a University support person who can assist with providing support during the process. The University support person may be present during all meetings with University officials to serve as a guide during the disciplinary process. If the University support person is not utilized, the complainant and/or the respondent may select an alternative advisor of their choice (i.e., parent, friend, attorney, etc.). This person will act as a support person but will not represent either party. The complainant and respondent are entitled to have one support person present during all meetings with University officials during the disciplinary process, should they so choose.
Reports filed against Stetson University faculty, staff, or third parties for violations of this policy will follow the disciplinary process that corresponds to the employee or student status of the alleged individual (respondent). Should the respondent carry the status of both employee and student, the Title IX Coordinator(s) will determine the more appropriate and fitting process to invoke. For those cases that involve students or employees and the respondent is a third party vendor or contractor, the Title IX Coordinator(s) will work with appropriate University and local officials to determine an appropriate course of action. The University will still offer all resources and available options and assure that protective measures are in place.
The investigation process is outlined below:
a) Students: All Campuses
The formal investigation process commences with the notice of investigation being sent to both the complainant and respondent. The complaint is then forwarded to the investigator(s) designated by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Within five (5) business days, or as quickly as feasibly possible, after receipt of a report and notice to initiate an investigation from the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the investigator(s) will notify the parties of their interview dates.
Investigations will be conducted by investigator(s) who have received annual training on issues related to acts of sexual or gender-based misconduct, and how to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of complainants and promotes accountability. The investigator(s) will interview the complainant, respondent, and relevant witnesses to gain information and collect evidence. Both parties have the right to provide witnesses and evidence to the investigator(s) for consideration during the investigation process. Witnesses must be able to provide relevant, first-hand information regarding the incident. Character witnesses, testimony, letters, and reports will not be accepted. The appropriateness and relevancy of the witnesses and their testimony in the investigation will be determined at the investigator(s)’ discretion. Under certain and appropriate circumstances, the identities of certain parties involved may be withheld from the investigative report. The investigator(s) reserves the right to add to or modify the alleged policy violations at any time during the investigation process and will notify the appropriate parties of such modifications.
Respondents and witnesses are obligated to participate in an investigation under this policy. Individuals who do not participate in the investigation will be subject to disciplinary action. Should the respondent choose not to participate in the investigation, the investigator(s) will proceed with the investigation and conclusions of alleged policy violation.
Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare a written summary of the information collected. The investigator(s) will provide an opportunity for both parties to review the investigative report prior to their final evaluation of policy violation. The investigative report will be made available for both the complainant and respondent to review in person during a scheduled appointment with the investigator(s). The parties must submit any comments about this summary to the investigator(s) within five (5) business days after review of the written summary.
The investigator(s) will then prepare the final investigative report, which provides an overview of the alleged policy violations, due diligence taken, evidence considered, findings of fact and determination of whether or not the respondent is responsible or not responsible for each allegation, using the preponderance of the evidence standard. The investigator(s) will also recommend appropriate sanctions should the alleged be found responsible for violation of this policy.
The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will review the contents and conclusions of the investigation report. The Title IX Coordinator will oversee each investigation and ensure sufficiency of evidence gathered, that the facts gathered support the findings, that best practices are followed, and that each allegation is addressed in the investigator(s)’ investigative report. The Title IX Coordinator will either accept the investigator(s)’ findings and recommendations or request that the investigator(s) collect additional information.
If it is determined that a violation of this policy occurred, appropriate sanction(s) will be issued to end the conduct and prevent its recurrence. Appropriate sanctions may include the entire range available under University policy. Appropriate sanction(s) for violation of this policy are determined by the investigator(s) upon the conclusion of their investigation and review by the Title IX Coordinator. An outcome letter will be provided to both the respondent and complainant at the same time which outlines the investigation findings, sanction(s), and appeal process.
b) Faculty and Staff: All Campuses
Reports filed against Stetson University faculty or staff for alleged violations of this policy will follow the procedures outlined herein. Violations of this policy fall outside of the jurisdiction of the University Grievance Procedures and Committees outlined in the Stetson University Personnel Policies (Section 4), Part 3: “Faculty and Staff Grievance Procedures.”
The appropriate course of investigation for allegations of prohibited conduct under this policy involving faculty or staff will be determined and directed by the Title IX Coordinator after review of the allegation(s). Once the determination has been made that an investigative process is to be invoked, the Title IX Coordinator will assign up to two investigators who have been designated to serve in this capacity for the University, and who have received annual training in conducting investigations. Under certain and appropriate circumstances, the identities of certain parties involved may be withheld from the investigative report. The investigator(s) also may determine at any point in the investigation that the matter does not involve violations of this policy and refer the matter to the appropriate Grievance Officer.
The Deputy Title IX Coordinator will send the Notice of Investigation to notify the respondent party of the pending investigation.
Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare a written summary of the information collected. The investigator(s) will provide an opportunity for both parties to review the investigative report prior to the final evaluation of policy violation. The investigative report will be made available for both the complainant and respondent to review in person during a scheduled appointment with the investigator(s). The parties must submit any comments about this summary to the investigator(s) within five (5) business days after review of the written summary.
The investigator(s) will then prepare the final investigative report, which provides an overview of the alleged policy violations, due diligence taken, evidence considered, findings of fact and determination of whether or not the respondent is responsible or not responsible for each allegation, using the preponderance of the evidence standard.
The investigative report will be distributed to the Grievance Council, or the Dean of the College of Law, who will review the contents and conclusions of the written investigation report. The Grievance Council or the Dean will either accept the investigator(s) findings or request that the investigator(s) collect additional information.
The investigative report will be given to either the Executive Vice President/CFO or the Executive Vice President/Provost to determine an administrative solution to the complaint. The Executive Vice President/CFO or the Executive Vice President/Provost will review the report on behalf of the institution, conduct interviews with the complainant, respondent, and witnesses, as appropriate, and determine proper disciplinary consequences and protective measures in all cases where it is deemed to be warranted.
The administrative solution may include the entire range of sanctions and remedies available under University policy. In cases of University action in regard to any academic policy or alleged misconduct by a faculty member, the report will be submitted to the Executive Vice President/Provost. In cases of University action in regard to any administrative policy or alleged misconduct by a staff member, the report will be submitted to the Executive Vice President/CFO.
If either the Executive Vice President/Provost or Executive Vice President/CFO is the respondent or the complainant, the report shall go to the President.
An outcome letter will be provided to both the respondent and complainant at the same time. The outcome letter will be added to the investigative report. The Title IX Coordinator and/or a designated Deputy Title IX Coordinator will meet with the respondent and the respondent’s immediate supervisor to conclude the disciplinary action plan. A copy of the outcome letter will be added to the personnel file.
Acceptance of Responsibility
The respondent may, at any time, choose to resolve the formal resolution process by accepting responsibility for the alleged violation. The respondent will meet with the Title IX Coordinator to formally accept responsibility for the policy violation. The Title IX Coordinator will then refer the matter to the appropriate school official to determine the appropriate sanction(s).
Notification of Outcome
The outcome decision will be communicated to both parties in writing concurrently. This letter will be sent within five (5) business days after the outcome has been decided, barring any exigent circumstances that may cause reasonable delays. The final outcome letter will include, the name of the respondent; the alleged violation(s) and the outcome, i.e., responsibility, or not of a University policy violation; the sanction(s) imposed, if any; and information regarding the appeal process. Both the complainant and respondent will be informed of the outcome and the outcome of any appeal.
Where there is a finding of responsibility, one or more sanctions may be imposed. In determining sanction(s) any record of past violations, as well as the nature and severity of such past violation(s) may be considered. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
- Required Counseling
- Required Training or Education
- Administrative Warning: a written notice that the behavior violated University policy
- Restriction of Privileges: denial of specific privileges for a definite period of time. Restrictions will be clearly defined.
- Revocation of admission
- Revocation of degree
- Probation: an encumbrance on the student/employee’s good standing at the University. Subsequent violation of University policy during the probation period may result in immediate separation from the University.
- Student Suspension: termination of the student’s enrollment and separation of the student from the University for a specific period of time.
- Student Expulsion: termination of the student’s enrollment and permanent separation of the student from the University
- Employee Performance Management Process
- Employee Loss of Annual Pay Increase
- Employee Loss of Managerial or Supervisory Responsibility
- Employment Demotion
- Employee Suspension With or Without Pay
- Termination of Employment
This policy prohibits a broad range of conduct. Sanctions are assessed on an individual basis based on the unique facts and circumstances of the complaint. In accordance with the University’s commitment to foster an environment that is safe, inclusive, and free from discrimination and harassment, this policy provides latitude in the assignment of sanctions tailored to the facts and circumstances of the prohibited conduct, the impact of the conduct on the complainant and University community, and accountability by the respondent. Sanctions are designed to eliminate prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects, while supporting the University’s educational mission and legal obligations.
Sanctions are effective immediately unless otherwise specified.
Additionally, the Title IX Coordinator will direct the University Registrar to include a prominent notation on the academic transcript of any student who has been found responsible for violation of this policy when the determined sanction is either Suspension or Expulsion. Such notation will reflect the following language: “Disciplinary Suspension” or “Disciplinary Expulsion.” The Title IX Coordinator will direct the University Registrar to remove such notation where (a) the student is subsequently found not to have violated this policy and/or (b) a student who has been found responsible met the terms of the sanctions and is now in good standing pursuant to all applicable University academic and non-academic standards.
Upon the receipt of a report of prohibited conduct under this policy, and/or upon the conclusion of the formal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator may implement remedies or actions to end the harassment or discrimination, remedy its effects, and prevent its recurrence. Appropriate remedial actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling and health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Providing educational programming to the University community
- Providing a Public Safety escort on campus, when available
- Assistance with academics, including scheduling and working with instructors in regard to assignments and exams
- Relocation and/or housing assignment alterations
- Permanently altering work arrangements for employees
- Implementing no-contact orders
- Climate surveys
- Policy modification
Either party may appeal the decision by filing a written appeal to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days after delivery of the outcome letter.
Appeal requests must fall into one of the following grounds:
- New evidence exists, which was unavailable to the party submitting the appeal request at the time of the decision, and which would likely have affected the outcome. A summary of the new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the appeal request. Deliberate omission of information by an appealing party is not sufficient grounds for appeal;
- A significant procedural error occurred that reasonably may have impacted the outcome; or
- The sanctions are not appropriate for the violation for which the respondent has been found responsible.
The Title IX Coordinator will determine the appropriate Appeals Officer for evaluating the appeal and notify both parties in writing of the appeal request. The appropriate Appeals Officer for students on the DeLand and Celebration campuses is the Dean of Students or the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Success; the appropriate Appeals Officer for students on the Gulfport and Tampa campuses is the Dean of the College of Law or their designee; the appropriate Appeals Officer for employees is the President of the University or the President’s designee. The President or designee may consult with University Counsel or others as deemed appropriate.
The Appeals Officer may determine an outcome based on the information provided in the appeal without further action of the parties involved. Should the Appeals Officer determine the need for a meeting, the meeting is not intended to be a full re-hearing of the allegation and evidence. The Appeals Officer may also refer the matter back to the investigator(s) to collect additional information. Appeal decisions will affirm the original decision(s) or modify the original decision and/or sanctions.
The Appeals Officer’s decision is the final determination of University violations. If the Appeals Officer upholds the original findings, the effective date of any sanctions imposed will be the date of the original decision letter. The Appeals Officer will provide both the complainant and the respondent with written notice of the final outcome of the appeal within ten (10) business days.
Statement of the Rights of the Complainant
a) Complainants may have their University support person present during the investigative process. If the University support person is not utilized, complainants may select an alternative advisor of their choice. This person will act as a support person or advisor but will not represent the complainant.
b) Complainants will be afforded similar and timely access to any information that will be used during the investigation process.
c) Complainants will be given periodic status updates throughout the process, which generally takes sixty (60) business days.
d) Complainants will have equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other information during the process.
e) Complainants will never be questioned directly by or be in the presence of the respondent during the investigation process.
f) Complainants may submit a list of questions related to the alleged incident that they feel the respondent should be asked during the investigation process. The investigator(s) may use their discretion in evaluating the relevancy of the questions submitted and may choose to reframe or omit them as necessary.
g) Complainants may not have their irrelevant past conduct, including sexual history, discussed during the investigation process.
h) Complainants have the right to know the outcome of the disciplinary process. There is no limitation on the re-disclosure of this information by the complainant.
i) Complainants have the right to appeal the outcome of the disciplinary process.
j) Complainants have the right to be treated with respect by University officials.
k) Complainants have the right to be notified of available counseling, mental health, medical, or student services for victims of sexual assault or gender-based misconduct both on campus and in the community.
l) Complainants have the right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and allowed by law.
Statement of the Rights of the Respondent
a) Respondents may have their University support person present during the investigative process. If the University support person is not utilized, respondents may select an alternative advisor of their choice. This person will act as a support person or advisor but will not represent the respondent.
b) Respondents will be afforded similar and timely access to any information that will be used during the investigation process.
c) Respondents will be given periodic status updates throughout the process, which generally takes sixty (60) business days.
d) Respondents will have equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other information during the process.
e) Respondents will never be questioned directly by or be in the presence of the complainant during the investigation process.
f) Respondents may submit a list of questions related to the alleged incident that they feel the complainant should be asked during the investigation process. The investigator(s) may use their discretion in evaluating the relevancy of the questions submitted and may choose to reframe or omit them as necessary.
g) Respondents may not have their irrelevant past conduct, including sexual history, discussed during the disciplinary process.
h) Respondents have the right to know the outcome of the disciplinary process. There is no limitation on the re-disclosure of this information by the respondent.
i) Respondents have the right to appeal the outcome of the disciplinary process.
j) Respondents have the right to be treated with respect by University officials.
k) Respondents have the right to be informed of and have access to campus resources for medical, counseling, and advisory services.
l) Respondents have the right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and allowed by law.
Policy language may be subject to change due to regulatory mandates and/or guidance. The University reserves the right to make changes to this policy. For the most current version of this policy, visit http://www.stetson.edu/other/title-ix/
Related policies may also be found in the following: