Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the Student-on-Student Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Reporting and Review Process at LMU.
What happens immediately after a call of sexual or interpersonal misconduct is received at the Department of Public Safety (DPS)?
A: When a case of sexual or interpersonal misconduct is reported to DPS, the DPS on-duty manager and investigator are notified as well as the on-duty Resident Director. DPS notifies the Title IX Coordinator and other necessary university officials, including the Chief of Public Safety, in order to determine if an emergency notification or timely warning should be issued.
If the initial report is made by phone or email, the investigator attempts to contact the complainant to arrange a meeting. If the complainant comes into the DPS office to make the report, the investigator will meet with the complainant at that time to provide a referral for necessary immediate health care, take a statement and to obtain the presence of a Resident Director for support and to explain services available to the student on and off-campus. The next steps in the investigation process will be described and 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 respondent(s). The University’s policy against retaliation will also be explained.
Are all sexual or interpersonal misconduct cases referred to law enforcement?
A: Certain instances of sexual or interpersonal misconduct rise to the level of a felony (including sexual assault, rape, forced oral copulation, and domestic and dating violence) and are therefore automatically reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Complainants are encouraged to file a report with local law enforcement, but are informed that it is their right to decide whether to file or not to file. DPS will assist reporting parties in filing a report with law enforcement if they decide to go forward.
Who investigates a sexual or interpersonal misconduct claim on campus? What are the components of the investigation?
A: Initial intake of information may be conducted by DPS officers (what happened, who was involved, where did it occur and when). This information assists with the subsequent investigation, which is usually conducted by the DPS Investigators.
How is the respondent notified of a claim against him/her?
A: The DPS personnel in charge of the investigation will call the respondent in for a meeting. When the respondent is in the office, the respondent will be informed that a report of alleged sexual or interpersonal misconduct has been received. A support person (usually the Resident Director on duty) will be present to help explain the next steps of the process.
What actions are taken vis-a-vis the respondent promptly after a Student Conduct Code complaint is made?
A: As was assigned to the complainant when the report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct was received, the respondent is assigned a separate Student Affairs Resource Administrator (SARA). The SARA reviews the conduct process, explains resources available to the student and offers assistance with interim measures.
What is the range of interim measures that a complainant or respondent can immediately request the University make?
A: The SARA reviews the following interim measure considerations with both the complainant and respondent:
Residential: e.g., do the students live in the same building?
Academic: e.g., do the students have the same class or classes?
Transportation: e.g., does the student desire to have an escort from Public Safety?
Work: e.g., do the students work in the same office or department on campus?
Is the respondent told the names of any witnesses against him/her?
Are advisors assigned for both the complainant and respondent?
A: The complainant and the respondent are each assigned a SARA, as well as an Advisor from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility. The Advisors are current LMU staff members, but the student may choose a different advisor (including their SARA) if they prefer. Alternatively, either party may choose an advisor of their choice from outside the LMU community. Advisors, irrespective of how chosen or assigned, 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.) The Advisor’s role is to assist students in understanding the conduct process during hearings, and an Advisor may not address the Conduct 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.
Who sits on the conduct panel that reviews sexual or interpersonal misconduct cases?
A: There are two Conduct Officers assigned to each case. If the decision of the case is appealed, the appeal is heard by the Student Conduct Committee. The Student Conduct Committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students, and a minimum of three people (one faculty and one student) is needed to make quorum.
Is the burden of proof/standard of review preponderance of the evidence in all sexual and interpersonal misconduct cases?
A: Preponderance of evidence is the evidence standard used in all judicial cases including sexual and interpersonal misconduct cases including sexual and interpersonal misconduct de novo appeals.
What factors are considered in determining sanctions?
A: The evidence presented during the hearings, the witness statements, the nature and gravity of the offenses for which a respondent is found responsible as well as any aggravating or mitigating circumstances together with the respondent’s disciplinary history, if any, are all considered in making a determination on sanctions.
Is there a statute of limitations on sexual and interpersonal misconduct claims?
A: There is no statute of limitations on sexual and interpersonal misconduct claims in the conduct process.
Is a respondent’s inebriation a defense?
A: Inebriation is not a defense.