Filing A Complaint With LMU
LMU students are encouraged to report any incident of sexual or interpersonal misconduct to the University. LMU’s jurisdiction extends to student conduct which occurs on University premises, in study abroad programs or at University events, programs or activities, both on and off campus, as well as to other off-campus misconduct which adversely affects the University, students, the University’s reputation or good will and/or the pursuit of the University’s mission, goals and objectives.
Read the Student Conduct Code and an overview of the student judicial procedures.
File a Student Conduct Code complaint with the Department of Public Safety.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) on-duty manager or investigator will notify the Title IX Coordinator and other relevant university officials, including the Chief of Public Safety, in order to determine if an emergency notification or timely warning should be issued.
The DPS is responsible for the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Students are encouraged to report all incidents of sexual or interpersonal misconduct directly to DPS so that the student can be connected with support resources and an investigation can begin. In addition to taking a statement and documentation, DPS also refers the student to law enforcement and the Rape Treatment Center for off-campus support; however, the student has the right to decline this support and only pursue a complaint with the University.
A No Contact Order (a university order that forbids a student from having any form of contact— including but not limited to physical, written, verbal and/or electronic— with another student for a specific period of time) will be issued and explained to the complainant and the respondent, particularly emphasizing that the University has a policy against retaliation.
A student may also speak with someone from one of the following departments who will then notify DPS to begin the Student Conduct Code complaint process:
- Office of Residence Life
- Division of Student Affairs
- Department of Judicial Affairs
- Title IX Coordinator
Note: Reporting an incident of sexual or interpersonal misconduct to DPS or any other of the offices listed above will result in anonymous data collection that will be included in the University’s Annual Security Report as required under the Jeanne Clery Act. This information will only include nature, date, time and general location of each crime, as well as the current status (or “disposition”) of the complaint within the University. In addition, any of the offices listed above may be obligated to report known names and facts of the incident to the LMU Title IX Coordinator.
Speak with a Student Affairs Resource Administrator (SARA).
The SARAs will make themselves available, separately, to assist both the complainant and the respondent in identifying University and external resources that are available to them in the context of alleged Sexual Misconduct or interpersonal misconduct. Though not advocates, the SARAs are members of the Student Affairs Division who are trained to assist students in identifying University and external resources and explaining the University’s judicial process in cases of alleged sexual misconduct and interpersonal misconduct.
Case referral to the Department of Judicial Affairs.
Complaints will be promptly investigated; in normal circumstances, complaints will be investigated and at least an initial determination made within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the complaint.
The Chief Judicial Officer or a designee will review referrals to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge a student with a violation of the Student Conduct Code and to hold Student Conduct Code proceedings.
The primary focus of the inquiry in Student Conduct Code proceedings will be to determine if the respondent is responsible or not responsible for the alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code and, if the student is found to be responsible for a violation, to impose sanctions.
In keeping with the mission of the Department of Judicial Affairs and purpose of the Student Conduct Code, university proceedings will not (and are not intended to) emulate the criminal justice system. Formal rules of evidence will not be applicable, and the standard of preponderance of the evidence will be used. Deviations from the procedures outlined below may not necessarily invalidate decisions or proceedings. Because of the need to efficiently, effectively and promptly protect the academic environment under the University’s Title IX obligations, Student Conduct Code proceedings will normally progress without regard to or for the pendency of criminal or civil proceedings. Student Conduct Code proceedings are not subject to challenges on the grounds that criminal or civil charges involving the same incident/conduct are being investigated, prosecuted or have been reduced or dismissed.
Complainants are required to provide information and evidence pertinent to the case and may be asked to appear before a Judicial Officer/Hearing Board and/or the Student Conduct Committee.
Seek interim measures from the University to ensure your safety and well-being.
In cases alleging sexual or interpersonal misconduct, the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee may coordinate interim measures, including, but not limited to, changes in academic, residential, transportation or work accommodations, intended to ensure the well-being of the complainant, the respondent, the investigatory process and/or the University community while the complaint is being investigated and prior to the determination of the allegation.
Any interim measures taken will be designed and implemented in a manner intended to achieve the purpose stated above while at the same time limiting (to the extent possible) any adverse effect to the complainant’s or the respondent’s academic standing or progress.
Speak with your assigned Advisor delegated by the Department of Judicial Affairs.
Before the Student Conduct Code proceedings begin, both the complainant and the respondent will each be assigned an Advisor by the Dean of Students or a designee to assist the Students as they progress through the University judicial process. Students are not required to utilize their appointed Advisors and may select a different Advisor from the LMU community or an advisor of their choice from outside the LMU community. Advisors are required to adhere to rules and regulations established in the Student Conduct Code. (See Rights and Responsibilities page for guidelines on selecting an Advisor.)
Students who wish to have the assistance of an Advisor during the hearing process must inform the presiding Judicial Officer in writing or via email at least two days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing. The Advisor’s role is to assist students in understanding the judicial process during hearings, and an Advisor may not address the Judicial Officer/Hearing Board or play any other role during hearings. All communication involving Advisors must be between the Advisor and the student, and an Advisor may not appear in lieu of the student.
Both the complainant and the respondent will have reasonable access to the evidence supporting the charge, upon request, prior to a Student Conduct Code hearing.
The initial Student Conduct Code hearing takes place.
Both the reporting and responding parties will have the opportunity to present evidence relevant to the alleged misconduct and to respond to the evidence against them, including the right to offer evidence and call appropriate fact (non-expert) witnesses.
Expert witnesses are not allowed and character witnesses are disfavored. The Judicial Officer/Hearing Board must be notified prior to the hearing that the student plans to provide witnesses. These witnesses must have relevant knowledge and information pertaining to the case.
During the hearing, the Judicial Officer/Hearing Board will explain the University’s judicial system and student rights, and will also provide a copy of the Student Conduct Code. The Judicial Officer/Hearing Board will also explain the quasi-confidential nature of the judicial process and the fact that the details discussed during hearing may become a part of the file relating to the case.
Hearings will generally be private except for Judicial Officers/Hearing Boards, parties and Advisors. Recording devices of any kind are not permitted for use by the students, witnesses or Advisors. The Judicial Officer/Hearing Board has the responsibility to arrange the hearing so that the complainant and respondent do not have to see each other.
Students subject to actual or potential criminal charges relating to conduct alleged in pending Student Conduct Code proceedings, may assert their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination during Student Conduct Code proceedings. While no inference of responsibility for Student Conduct Code violations will be drawn because of the assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege, the Judicial Officer/Hearing Board will nonetheless evaluate all the other evidence in reaching a final decision.
Supplemental hearings take place, if necessary.
Both the complainant and respondent, as well as the Judicial Officer/Hearing Board, may submit new and/or additional evidence and call appropriate fact (non-expert) witnesses at any supplemental hearings. Expert witnesses are not allowed and character witnesses are disfavored. Again, the Judicial Officer/Hearing Board must be notified prior to the hearing that the student plans to provide witnesses. These witnesses must have relevant knowledge and information pertaining to the case.
The complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to respond to any new or additional evidence that is presented for the first time at the supplemental proceeding.
Judicial Officer/Hearing Board makes a final decision.
Sanctions will be imposed if it is determined that the respondent is responsible for an asserted Student Conduct Code violation. If the respondent is found not responsible, the charge will be dismissed. The burden of proof will be upon the complainant, who must establish the responsibility of the respondent following the preponderance of the evidence standard.
The decision of the Judicial Officer/Hearing Board will include a brief summary of the testimony, findings, decision and applicable sanction(s). The decision will be sufficiently detailed to permit review and appeal as provided in the Student Conduct Code.
A student’s judicial history and record is cumulative; therefore, increased sanctions may be imposed to take into consideration the student’s complete record of all Student Conduct Code violations, not just those that are similar to the case in question. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, disciplinary warnings, fines, eviction from student housing, suspension or dismissal from the University.
For compliance with Clery Act records retention requirements, all official judicial correspondence will be retained for a minimum of seven years.
File an appeal (if applicable).
Under Section X and XI of the Student Conduct Code, both the complainant and respondent in cases of sexual or interpersonal misconduct have the right to appeal the decision of the Judicial Officers/Hearing Board, based on the following grounds:
- The sanction is substantially disproportionate to the offense.
- The procedures provided for in the Student Conduct Code were not followed resulting in significant prejudice to the student.
- New, relevant evidence is available which with the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been produced at the time of the hearing.
- The decision is not supported by substantial evidence.
You may submit a written appeal petition (typed or printed) to the Student Conduct Committee c/o the Department of Judicial Affairs in Malone 355 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once a letter of appeal has been submitted, all sanctions will be deferred until the Student Conduct Committee hears the appeal, unless otherwise stated in the sanction letter.
The Student Conduct Committee will review all materials, including your written appeal. The student filing the appeal will be called to a meeting of the Student Conduct Committee to verbally present their appeal and answer questions from the Committee. Similarly, the non-appealing party will be entitled to appear separately before the Student Conduct Committee to present his/her case and answer questions from the Committee.