Policy & Procedures

Policy and Procedures for Sexual Misconduct

This revised Sexual Misconduct Policy is effective as of September 2014 and applies to all allegations of Sexual Misconduct regardless of when the alleged Sexual Misconduct occurred unless: (a) a formal complaint was filed prior to the effective date; or (b) the alleged offense occurred prior to the effective date and the alleged offense meets the new definitions of Stalking or Relationship Abuse and Violence, in which case the complaint will be handled as Harassment under the Code of Responsibility.

The following policy and procedures apply to any offense that constitutes Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence (as those terms are defined in Section VI of the Code of Responsibility) in which the accused is a student. The Davidson College Sexual Harassment Policy contains information pertaining to situations in which the accused in a sexual misconduct case is a member of the College's faculty or staff.

A. Resources for Students Involved in Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence Cases

The College is committed to providing maximum support for all students involved in these cases and strongly encourages students to report any incident of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence.  All College services are available to victims of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence regardless of whether or not a student intends to file a formal complaint. Likewise, all College services are available to students accused of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence. In coping with an incident or allegation, both accused and accusing students are strongly encouraged to make use of appropriate resources, including health services, counseling, rearrangement of classes and/or housing, immediate assistance to secure one's safety, the Dean of Students Office, and the Chaplain's Office. The contact information for such resources is listed below.

Campus Police 704-894-2178
Dean of Students Office 704-894- 2225
Student Health and Counseling 704-894- 2300
Chaplain's Office 704-894- 2423

For information about the confidentiality of resources, see Sections B.2 and E.2 of this policy.

B. Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence

1. How to Report. If you are the victim of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, you are encouraged to report the incident immediately to the Dean of Students (704-894-2225) and/or the Campus Police (704-894-2178).  In an emergency, dial 911 to contact Campus Police.

Davidson College has designated an Associate Dean of Students to serve as a Title IX Coordinator to oversee compliance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. ("Title IX") which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities. Sexual Misconduct is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.  All incidents of Sexual Misconduct involving students that are reported to the College will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. The Title IX Coordinator, in cooperation with Campus Police, also oversees compliance with the institutional policies and procedures addressing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f).

While students are encouraged to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence directly to the Dean of Students Office and/or the Campus Police, students may report these incidents to any of the members of the Davidson College faculty or staff listed in Section B.2, below.  Reports made to non-confidential employees of these incidents which involve students will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office for assessment and will be reported to the Campus Police for Clery Act reporting purposes.  The Title IX Coordinator will provide the student making the report with a written explanation of the student's rights and options under this policy.

The College encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward. The College recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential Code of Responsibility consequences for his/her own conduct.  An individual who reports Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, either as a Complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for his/her own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.  This amnesty policy applies to the College's student conduct process.

2. Confidential and Anonymous Reports. If a student requests confidentiality when making a report, the College will take all reasonable steps to respond consistent with the request for confidentiality. Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a student's confidentiality: 

Medical Professionals and Chaplains - College Chaplains and the counselors, doctors, or nurses at the Student Health Center are protected by confidentiality laws, and therefore reports made directly to these employees will remain strictly confidential, and will not be referred to the Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office or to the Campus Police without the consent of the student. 

Health Educator Reports - Ordinarily, reports made directly to the Student Health Educator may be made in confidence, meaning these reports will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator and Campus Police (for Clery Act reporting purposes) without identifying information and without triggering action by the college. Exceptions include when the student gives consent for identifying information to be reported or if the Student Health Educator determines imminent health or safety concerns outweigh the reporting student's request to keep the report confidential.  

Responsible Employee Reports - Reports made to "responsible employees"-which include faculty, vice presidents, Student Life staff, Title IX and Deputy Title IX Coordinators, supervisors of student employees, Public Safety staff, coaching staff, and Residence Life student staff members – will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office for assessment and will be reported to the Campus Police for Clery Act reporting purposes. A "responsible employee" who receives a report must report all relevant details about the alleged misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, including the names of: the person who provided the report; the student who experienced the alleged misconduct; the individual(s) accused of committing the misconduct; any other students involved in the alleged misconduct; as well as relevant facts of the incident (e.g., date, time, location). 

As a general rule, the College will not conduct an investigation or take any remedial action without first obtaining the student's consent, and will conduct any investigation and respond to a report consistent with a student's request for confidentiality or request not to pursue action. Refer to Section E.2 below for additional information about confidentiality of reports made or referred to the Title IX Coordinator   

C. Jurisdiction and Delegation

This Sexual Misconduct Policy applies in all situations enumerated in Part I of this Code of Disciplinary Procedures.

Whenever an action may be or is required to be taken under this policy by the Dean of Students, the action may be taken by the Dean's designee. Whenever an action may be or is required to be taken under this policy by the Title IX Coordinator, the action may be taken by a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

D. Options for the Reporting Person ("Complainant")

Persons, including students, who are victims of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence by a student, may elect to take the following actions:

  1. File a criminal report with Campus Police. Campus Police will discuss with the victim the possibility of conducting a criminal investigation and, in appropriate cases, the possibility of seeking a civil no-contact order or protective order.     
  2. File a formal complaint with the Dean of Students Office, to request that the incident be adjudicated by the Sexual Misconduct Board pursuant to the procedures set forth in this Policy.
  3. Pursue informal mediation of the complaint conducted by staff of the Dean of Students Office in appropriate cases. Informal mediation is never appropriate in cases involving allegations of sexual assault. Both the Complainant and Accused must agree to engage in informal mediation, and either party can end the informal mediation process at any time, for any reason.  Students must understand that anything said in this informal mediation process may be used in either criminal proceedings or formal adjudication by the Sexual Misconduct Board. The Dean of Students has the discretion to determine if it would be inappropriate to informally mediate any particular Sexual Misconduct complaint. 

Students who elect not to pursue any of the above options may nonetheless do any of the following:

  1. Seek counseling.
  2. Request a rearrangement of class schedule or housing.
  3. Request a no-contact order.
  4. Request the Dean of Students address the Complainant's concerns with the Accused.

E. College Investigation of Reports of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence

The College is committed to taking appropriate action to resolve incidents of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence and to ensure a safe and non-hostile environment for all students.  The College strongly encourages all students to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence and will not tolerate any form of retaliation for reporting. The College is severely limited in its ability to investigate and address sexual assault on campus without student cooperation and information.  

1. Nature of the College's Inquiry

The College will undertake an appropriate inquiry with all reports of alleged Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence involving students, regardless of whether the person making the complaint wishes to pursue resolution of any kind.  The specific steps in the College's inquiry will vary depending on the nature of the allegations; the information available to the College; whether the person complaining of the Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence (the "Complainant") elects to pursue criminal charges, files a formal complaint with the Dean of Students, or requests the College not to pursue action; and other factors.

As a general rule, the College will not conduct an investigation or take any remedial action without first obtaining the consent of the Complainant, and will conduct any investigation and respond to a report consistent with a Complainant's request for confidentiality or request not to pursue action.  The College's ability to respond to a complaint of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, to prevent its recurrence, or to address its effects may be severely limited if the Complainant requests confidentiality, does not provide the name of the alleged perpetrator, or asks that the report not be pursued.

2. Requests for Confidentiality/Not to Pursue Investigation.

In cases where the Complainant requests confidentiality or requests the College not to pursue an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office or his or her designee will conduct a preliminary assessment into the alleged Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, and may weigh the Complainant's request against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged incident(s); the Complainant's age; whether there have been other complaints or reports of similar incidents against the same accused student; and the accused student's right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the College as an "education record."  The Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office may determine that, in the interest of providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students, it is necessary for the College to act on information it has received. 

In cases where the Complainant files a formal complaint, the College cannot keep the Complainant's identity from the accused student.  Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence are serious offenses and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the Complainant/alleged victim.  However, the college will provide options during the hearing before the Sexual Misconduct Board for questioning without confrontation, including using a room divider, using separate hearing rooms, or using technology such as Skype.

3. Interim and Non-Disciplinary Measures

When the college receives a report of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, the college may determine that interim and non-disciplinary measures are necessary to ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students. Interim and non-disciplinary measures are separate from any sanctions the Sexual Misconduct Board may impose as a result of a hearing in which the Accused Student is found responsible. Interim and non-disciplinary measures are imposed by the Dean of Students and may be extended beyond and/or imposed after a formal hearing, separate from and in addition to any sanctions that may be imposed by the Sexual Misconduct Board.

Upon receiving a report and making the appropriate inquiries, and regardless of whether the Complainant wishes to pursue criminal charges, a formal complaint with the Dean of Students,  informal mediation (where appropriate), or no resolution of any kind, the Dean of Students may take interim and non-disciplinary measures.  These interim and non-disciplinary measures include, but are not limited to, a no-contact order, probation, alteration of class schedules or housing arrangements, meeting with the accused student to address the concerns of the complainant, or interim suspension as described in the Extraordinary Disciplinary Powers of the President.  No-contact orders issued pursuant to this policy apply to both Complainant and Accused, and both students are responsible for complying with the specific instructions set forth in the no-contact order.  Where Complainant and Accused are members of the same organization or athletic team, the Dean of Students will consider ways to permit both students to continue participation, but when such compromise is not possible, the Dean of Students has the discretion to determine whether one or both students is restricted from participation. 

Students seeking the assistance of interim and non-disciplinary measures should speak with the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate and, if warranted, will coordinate the request.  Even when a Complainant or Accused does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the college may choose to impose interim and non-disciplinary measures at its discretion to ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students. 

If the Complainant has filed a formal complaint with the Dean of Students, the interim and non-disciplinary measures will remain in place at least until the hearing before the Sexual Misconduct Board is held. 

If the Complainant has not filed a formal complaint with the Dean of Students , the Dean of Students2 will assign a staff member as an Investigator to investigate the circumstances that led to the imposition of the interim and non-disciplinary measures.  Investigators are neutral fact-finders who, during the course of the investigation, typically conduct interviews with the Complainant, the Accused student, and any material third-party witnesses.  [Note: if the Complainant later files a formal complaint, an additional investigation into the allegations likely will be performed.  An investigation under this Section is for the limited purpose of determining the appropriateness of the interim and non-disciplinary measures.]  The Title IX Coordinator and the Dean of Students will review the investigative report. The Dean of Students will determine: whether to keep the interim and non-disciplinary measures in place; whether additional measures are warranted to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory environment; and the time period of their imposition.  The Dean of Students will send written notice of this determination to Complainant and Accused.

F. Rights of the Student Parties

Being charged with Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, is both serious and difficult.  A student who has been so charged is strongly encouraged to confer with the Dean of Students to learn about the relevant policies and procedures.

1. Rights of the Student Parties

Any student who is a Complainant or Accused Student in a disciplinary proceeding before the Sexual Misconduct Board shall be afforded the following rights:

  • Accused students shall be informed in writing of the charges against them.  Both the Complainant and the Accused students shall be provided with copies of Pre-Hearing materials and shall have adequate time to prepare for a hearing (See specified times in Sections H-I below).
  • At their request, Complainant and Accused students shall not be required to take any reviews or examinations between the time the Dean of Students delivers the charging statement and two days after the Notice of Action is delivered by the Sexual Misconduct Board.
  • Accused students shall be assumed "not responsible" unless proven "responsible" by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • Students shall have a fair and equitable hearing, with a presumption that the Accused student is not responsible for the charges unless proven otherwise.
  • Accused students shall not be required to testify against themselves, but the Sexual Misconduct Board may require other students to testify against them.
  • Accused students shall not suffer an excessive penalty.
  • No evidence obtained in violation of a right to privacy shall be admitted.
  • No pressure shall be placed on Accused students to confess or incriminate themselves.
  • Students shall not be restrained in any manner from the full exercise of their rights on appeal.
  • Students have the right to be present during the hearing and to be advised of the sanctions imposed (See specific privacy provisions in Section L below).
  • Students shall have access to support from the counseling center staff and the college chaplain's office.

Any student who is a Complainant or Accused Student in a disciplinary proceeding before the Sexual Misconduct Board also has all of the rights described in the hearing and appeal procedures set forth below. 

2. Assistance of an Adviser. Both the Complainant and the Accused Student have the right to be assisted by an Adviser provided by the College during the investigation of a complaint, pre-hearing proceedings, and disciplinary hearing.  The Complainant and Accused may select from the list maintained by the Dean of Students Office of trained Advisers or decline the assistance of an Adviser.  No person may serve as an Adviser unless he or she has been trained and is included on the list maintained by the Dean of Students Office. 

The function of such an Adviser is to understand the pre-hearing and hearing process, and support the student through the pre-hearing and hearing process. The Complainant or Accused may elect to have his or her Adviser attend any meeting with a College employee, interviews with the Investigator, and to the hearing. The Adviser is not an advocate for the student and may not address the Sexual Misconduct Board or question the parties or witnesses during the proceedings, but the Adviser may consult with the student that he or she is assisting. Advisers will not communicate with parents or attorneys of either the Complainant or Accused student.

3. Attorneys. The Complainant and Accused have the right to consult a private attorney, at their own expense, regarding a complaint. Attorneys cannot participate in the investigation or hearing process.  Attorneys may be present on campus during a hearing; however, they are required to remain outside of any hearing room.  

G. The Sexual Misconduct Board

1. Organization. The Sexual Misconduct Board (the "Board") comprises the Chair, appointed by the Dean of Students; nine professional staff appointed by the Dean of Students secretary; nine faculty members (six of which shall be appointed by the President (for three years, renewable) and three of which shall be elected by the faculty in accordance with their bylaws); and six members of the Honor Council selected by the Dean and the Chair of the Honor Council. 

2. Hearing Panels. From the Board, a panel of six persons will be convened to hear each case. Typically, the panel will include the Chair, two faculty members, two Honor Council members, and two staff representatives (in addition to the Chair). Upon written request to the Dean of Students by either the Complainant or the Accused, the panel will not include members of the Honor Council. In that case, the panel will include the Chair, three faculty members and three staff representatives (in addition to the Chair). The Chair shall preside over the hearing but shall not have a vote in the deliberations.

3. Function and Authority. The Board's purpose is to hear cases which include allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence. The Board is charged with determining whether the Accused is responsible or not responsible for the alleged conduct and determining appropriate sanctions. A hearing before the Board does not preclude subsequent legal action. The Board is empowered to consider any charge under the Code of Responsibility which is linked to a charge of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence, following the hearing procedures set forth below. 

4. Training. Annual training will be provided through the Dean of Student's Office to the Board.

H. Initiating a Complaint Before the Sexual Misconduct Board

1. Who May File a Formal Complaint. Any student, faculty member, employee, or guest of the College may file a formal complaint against a student for an alleged violation of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence. The person filing the formal complaint shall be the Complainant.  In the event that the Title IX Coordinator determines it is necessary for the College to act on information it has received in the interest of providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students, then the College may file a charge on behalf of the complaining party, in which case the College will be deemed the Complainant. A complaining party who does not file the charge for an alleged violation may be considered a witness at the hearing and will be entitled to receive all notifications due to complainants under this policy, including notification regarding the outcome of the hearing.

2. Filing a Formal Complaint.  To initiate a complaint of Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence to be heard by the Sexual Misconduct Board, the Complainant must submit a formal statement (the "formal complaint") describing the incident to the Dean of Students. Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Dean of Students will inform the Accused student that a complaint has been filed and an investigation will be initiated. The Dean of Students also will provide to both the Complainant and the Accused a copy of this policy, an explanation of the process, and a list of approved Advisers.   

3. Investigation. Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the Dean of Students will assign a staff member as an Investigator to thoroughly investigate the allegations. Investigators are neutral fact-finders who, during the course of the investigation, typically conduct interviews with the Complainant, the Accused student, and third-party witnesses; visit and take photographs at each relevant site; and, where applicable, coordinate with Campus Police or other law enforcement agencies. The completed investigative report typically will include summaries of interviews with Complainant, Accused, and third-party witnesses; other photographic, electronic and forensic evidence; and a list of facts undisputed by the parties. A typical investigation will be completed within sixty (60) days, if not sooner. Investigators will not communicate with parents of either the Complainant or the Accused student. Parents may call the Dean of Students office with questions about the process; details regarding a specific case will not be shared.

4. Charging Statement. Upon review of the complaint and the investigative report, and in consultation with the Investigator, the Dean of Students determines whether further proceedings are warranted.  If the Dean determines that they are not, the Complainant and Accused are notified of the determination and no charges are issued.  If the Dean determines that further proceedings are warranted, the Dean shall prepare a statement of charges setting forth the nature, time, and place of the violations, as alleged by the Complainant.  The Dean shall provide the charging statement and a copy of the investigative report promptly to the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Board.  The Chair shall review the investigative report and remove (redact) any information that the Chair considers would be inadmissible at the hearing or any identifying information of persons who are not parties or witnesses to the proceedings and that is not necessary to pursue the charges.

The Chair shall provide the charging statement and a copy of the redacted investigative report promptly to the Accused by hand delivery, registered mail, or electronic mail (read receipt requested).  The Chair also will concurrently provide a copy of the charging statement and the redacted investigative report to the Complainant, Investigator, and Dean of Students.  If the parties have selected Advisers, the parties may elect to share these and other pre-hearing materials with the Advisers.   

5. Addendums to Investigative Report. In exceptional circumstances, if, after thecharging statement is issued, new and substantive information related to the charge(s) is reported to the Investigator, the Chair may direct the Investigator to re-open the investigation and create an addendum to the investigative report.  If the hearing date has not yet been set, the Chair shall notify the parties and the Dean of Students that the investigation has been re-opened and that all response deadlines are stayed pending completion of the investigation.   If the hearing date has been set, the Chair shall announce a schedule for distribution of the addendum and the parties' opportunity to respond to the information contained in the addendum (such deadlines shall not be less than two days before the hearing).  The hearing shall not be rescheduled unless the Dean of Students determines, based on the new information, that the statement of charges should be rescinded or amended.  If the statement of charges is amended, all pre-hearing and hearing deadlines shall be reset from the date of service of the amended statement of charges.    

6. Computing Time; Deadlines. When computing time periods, the following rules apply:

a. Exclude the day of the event that begins the period.

b.Exclude any intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and college holidays (i.e., only business days are counted).

c. When an act must be done within a specified time, the act must be completed by 5 p.m. on the last day of the period.

The rules in this section H.5 do not apply to interim measure or sanction time periods.   

7. Dean's Administrative Conference With Accused. Within two days of the Accused's student's receipt of the charging statement and redacted investigative report, the Accused shall attend an administrative conference with the Dean of Students.  The Dean notifies the Accused student at the outset of the conference that anything he or she says may be used against him or her in the disciplinary proceedings or in any related criminal proceedings.  The Accused shall be given the options: (a) to admit responsibility for the violation(s) charged; or (b) to decline to admit responsibility and have the charge heard by the Sexual Misconduct Board.  The election of the Accused shall be recorded in writing over his or her signature, and the Dean of Student will promptly provide a copy of the Accused's election (the "Accused's Election") to the Chair, Complainant, and Investigator.

If the Accused admits responsibility, the Chair shall proceed to set the hearing to determine the appropriate sanction(s).  

8. Response to Charging Statement and Investigative Report. Within five days of receipt of the charging statement and investigative report, both the Accused and the Complainant may submit a formal written response to the Chair.  In the event that the charging statement includes other charges under the Code of Responsibility that are linked to the charges under this Policy, either party may include in his or her formal written response a request that those other charges be adjudicated by the Judicial Board separately from the hearing on the Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence charge(s).

9. Preparing for Hearing. Upon receipt of both parties' response or lapse of the five-day response period, the Chair shall concurrently provide copies of the "Pre-Hearing Materials" (including the formal complaint, the charging statement, the investigative report, the Accused's Election, and the Accused's and Complainant's responses, if any) to the members of the Hearing Panel, the Complainant, the Accused, the Investigator, and the Dean of Students in preparation for a hearing.  If the parties have selected Advisers, the parties may elect to share the Pre-Hearing materials with the Advisers.  The Title IX Coordinator also shall receive a copy of the Pre-Hearing Materials.

10. Composition of Panel. Within three days of receipt of the Pre-Hearing Materials, either the Complainant or the Accused may submit a written request to the Chair that the hearing panel not include members of the Honor Council.  Such a request made by either party will be honored.    The Chair shall determine whether any Board Members have conflicts of interest with the parties and shall not assign a Board Member with a disclosed conflict of interest to the hearing panel.  Examples of conflicts of interest include a student-party currently enrolled in a course taught by a faculty member of the Board; a student-party in a formal counseling relationship with a staff member of the Board; or where a Board member currently supervises the student-party's academic work, college student employment, or athletic or other educational participation or programming.   

11. Multiple Accused Students. In the event the complaint involves more than one accused student, upon written request to the Chair by any of the accused students within three days of receipt of the Pre-Hearing Materials, the hearings concerning each student shall be conducted separately. 

I.  Preparation for the Hearing

1.  Setting the Hearing. Upon receipt of a request regarding composition of the hearing panel or lapse of the three-day request period, the Chair of the Board promptly confers with the Complainant, Accused, Investigator, and Dean of Students to ascertain the earliest practicable date for the hearing, taking into account the time required for adequate preparation.  The Chair then sets a hearing time, date, and place, and dockets it on the Board's records, and gives written notice of the setting to the members of the Board panel who are to hear the case, the Complainant, the Accused, and Investigator.  Notice to the Complainant and Accused shall be served by hand delivery, registered mail or electronic mail (read receipt requested).  Unless otherwise agreed to by both parties, the hearing date shall not be less than three, nor more than ten, days from the date of service of notice. 

2.  Pre-Hearing Meetings. Prior to the hearing (and in any case not less than two days before the hearing), the Chair shall conduct two pre-hearing meetings: one with the Complainant, and the Investigator; and one with the Accused and the Investigator.  The purpose of the pre-hearing meeting is to prepare all parties for the hearing.  Major topics of the pre-hearing meetings will include identification of proposed witness testimony; exchange of exhibits; identification of questions; distribution of additional hearing materials, if any; and any other purpose that the Chair determines:

a. Identification of witnesses to be called at the hearing.  The parties to the hearing and the Investigator each may submit a list of witnesses and the nature and subject of each proposed witness's testimony.  The Chair determines whether particular witness testimony will be received at the hearing.  Witness testimony that is cumulative of the testimony provided in the investigative report typically will not be received unless the person was an eyewitness to the events at issue or a party has additional questions for the witness that were not addressed in the investigative report.  Witnesses not identified at the pre-hearing meeting may not be called at the hearing unless the Chair permits an exception for good cause.  The Chair also may require that the Investigator interview the newly suggested witness prior to the hearing.

b. Exchange of exhibits. The parties to the hearing and the Investigator each may submit proposed exhibits.  The Chair determines whether particular exhibits will be received at the hearing.  Exhibits not identified at the pre-hearing meeting may not be introduced at the hearing unless the Chair permits an exception for good cause.

c. Identification of Questions. The parties to the hearing and the Investigator each may submit proposed questions.  There will be an opportunity at the hearing to submit additional questions.  The Chair determines whether particular questions will be permitted at the hearing.

3. Distribution of Additional Hearing Materials, if Any.  Prior to the hearing (and in any case not less than two days before the hearing) the Chair shall provide to the members of the Hearing Panel, the Complainant, Accused, Investigator, and Dean of Students, additional information pertinent to the case, if any.  If the parties have selected Advisers, the parties may elect to share the additional hearing materials with the Advisers.  The Title IX Coordinator also shall receive a copy of any additional hearing materials.

4. Witnesses. 

a. Identification of Witnesses.  Witnesses shall be identified at the pre-hearing meetings and the Chair determines whether particular witness testimony will be received at the hearing. 

b. Categories of Witnesses.  Permissible witnesses include material witnesses, that is, witnesses with relevant information to share on the event or events in question; and pattern witnesses, that is, witnesses with relevant information to share regarding alleged past conduct of the Accused that is sufficiently similar in nature to suggest a pattern of behavior. Character, expert or opinion witnesses are not permitted.  Advisers, the Title IX Coordinator, and the Dean of Students may not be called as witnesses.  

c. Securing Attendance of Witnesses.  The Dean of Students will try to arrange the attendance of witnesses, if reasonably possible, who are identified and approved by the Chair at the pre-hearing meetings. 

5. Panel Preparation. To ensure an efficient and thorough hearing, the hearing panel may choose to meet in advance, without the parties present, to prepare for the hearing.   The Chair shall preside over the panel preparation meeting and may use this time to appoint a secretary, read the investigative report, review the process, formulate questions for the Investigator, parties, and/or witnesses, and for any other purpose that the Chair determines.

J. Personal Support for the Parties

1.  Representatives of the Parties. If the Complainant or Accused has declined the assistance of an Adviser, he or she may have one representative attend the hearing.  The representative may be selected by the party from a list of approved representatives maintained by the Dean of Students Office, or may be a fellow Davidson student chosen by the party.  Parents or lawyers may not act as representatives.  The role of the representative is to provide support to the party.  The representative does not make statements, present evidence, or call or question witnesses at the hearing. 

2. Additional Support for the Parties. The Complainant and the Accused each may request that additional persons (e.g., family member, spiritual advisor, lawyer) be allowed to sit in a nearby waiting room during the proceedings of the Sexual Misconduct Board.  To facilitate personal support and counsel to the parties, the Chair may provide appropriate recesses from time to time.  However, such persons shall not be permitted to sit in the hearing room during the closed hearing. 

K. Hearing Procedures

1. Fair and Equitable Hearing. The College is committed to providing a hearing that is fair and equitable to all parties, with a presumption that the Accused is not responsible for the charges unless proven otherwise.

2. Confidentiality. All aspects and phases of proceedings involving the Board shall be strictly confidential, including the investigations, hearings, and appeals.  The hearings shall be closed and confidential and any person participating in any aspect of the proceedings must strictly maintain their confidentiality.  All persons participating in a Sexual Misconduct hearing shall pledge in writing to maintain in confidence all matters presented or discussed at the hearing.

3. Pledge of Honesty. All witnesses in a Sexual Misconduct hearing, including the parties, shall pledge in writing to present honest testimony.  In the event that the Accused student is found to be "not responsible" due to inconclusive evidence, the Complainant will not be subject to disciplinary action for lying on the grounds of filing a formal complaint.  Likewise, in the event that the Accused student is found to be "responsible" by a preponderance of the evidence, the Accused will not be subject to disciplinary action for lying on the grounds that the Accused student pled "not responsible."  However, if the Chair has reason to believe that a student lies during the hearing, then the student may be formally accused of lying as an Honor Code violation.

4. Role of the Chair. The Chair presides and makes all rulings regarding procedure, evidence, and practice.  Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Sexual Misconduct hearings.  The Chair controls, by recognition, the participation of the members of the Board and others in the hearing.

5. Role of the Investigator. The Investigator (designated by the Dean of Students) shall attend the hearing to present evidence and facilitate the questioning of the parties and any non-party witnesses, as set forth in detail below.

6. Rules of Order. The Board, by majority vote, may adopt specific rules of order for the conduct of its hearings and other deliberations, but these shall not abridge any of the General Rules of Procedure or rights secured to the parties as herein provided.

7. Evidence. No attempt shall be made to apply technical rules of evidence.  In general, any evidence, whether oral testimony or documentary, which is considered by the Chair to be relevant to the charge or defense, should be received subject to the power of the Chair to exclude frivolous, repetitive, or merely cumulative testimony.  Hearsay evidence (testimony by a witness to what a person not present at the hearing stated) should be received and evaluated with caution, since no opportunity ordinarily exists to question the absent person.  Circumstantial evidence can receive the same consideration as direct evidence.  Objections to evidence are ruled upon by the Chair alone.

8. Reputation and Opinion Evidence. Reputation or opinion evidence of past sexual behavior of the Complainant is not admissible in evidence.  Reliable and trustworthy evidence regarding sexual activity between the Complainant and Accused shall be admissible at the discretion of the Chair.  For charges of Sexual Misconduct, reliable and trustworthy evidence regarding the sexual activity of the Accused, regardless of whether the student was formally charged with a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, may be admissible at the discretion of the Chair if the alleged past conduct is sufficiently similar in nature to suggest a pattern of behavior; provided, however, that evidence of past sexual activity is not admissible if the accused student previously was formally charged and found "not responsible" by the Sexual Misconduct Board.

9. Standard of Proof. No Board member should vote to find that the person charged is responsible as charged unless on weighing all of the evidence the violation is proven by a preponderance of the evidence.  No Board member should consider any evidence of violation not presented in the hearing.  Board members may properly consider as evidence of violation that the Accused has refused to cooperate in a proper institutional investigation if there is other evidence to support the charge.  Whenever the charge is not admitted, no violation is found unless a majority of the Board hearing the matter concurs in finding it. 

10. Provision of Record for Review. The Chair shall prepare a written digest of the proceedings at all hearings without regard to whether evidence is received on the question of violation, and without any request being made by the Complainant or the Accused.  The Chair may designate a member of the hearing panel to be the Secretary to take notes during the hearing for the Chair's use in preparing the written digest. The hearing will be taped for the benefit of the Chair in preparing the written digest of the proceedings.  The audio tape shall be secured in the Dean of Student's Office and shall be released only under court order or subpoena.  

11. Confrontation. At the request of the Complainant and to allow for questioning without confrontation, the hearing may be conducted in a room with a room divider or screen, in separate hearing rooms, or with the assistance of technology such as Skype.

12. General Rules of Procedure. The hearing shall proceed as follows:

a. The Chair calls the hearing to order and reviews the rules of procedure for the hearing.

b. The Investigator reads the charging statement and the Accused's Election to admit or decline to admit the violation(s).  If the Accused declined to admit to the violation(s) in the written election, then the Chair asks the Accused whether he or she admits to the substance of the charge, or declines to admit it.

c. If the Accused admits to the substance of the charge, the Accused may then make a statement in mitigation or extenuation.  The Complainant may make a victim impact statement.  Following these statements, there will be an opportunity for questions.  Questions may be asked by the Investigator, Board members, or the parties.  The parties are not permitted to question each other directly.  The parties may ask questions of each other indirectly by relaying questions via the Investigator This method is used to preserve the non-adversarial tone of the hearing.  Members of the Board may then ask questions of the Investigator.  Final remarks may be made by the Complainant followed by the Accused.  The Board shall then go into executive session to consider and determine the sanction(s), if any, to be imposed.  In executive session, the Chair shall distribute any items from the Accused's files deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students for the panel's consideration of the appropriate sanction(s), if any, to be imposed.

d. If the Accused declines to admit to the substance of the charge, the Board proceeds to hear evidence as to the matters in dispute, normally in the order set forth below. 

e. The Investigator gives an opening statement that shall include: (i) any stipulations of fact and facts that are not disputed; (ii) a summary of the policies the Accused is alleged of violating; (iii) a statement concerning the standard of proof; (iv) a list of witnesses to be called during the hearing and a statement concerning the substance and relevancy of their testimony: and (v) exhibits.

f. The Complainant and the Accused may provide testimony under the direction of the Investigator, in that order, but neither party is required to make a statement or provide testimony.

g.  The Investigator calls non-party witnesses, if any, to testify.  If a potential witness identified by the Complainant or the Accused is not called to testify, the Investigator may state the reason why that potential witness is not testifying.

h. Following the statements of each of the Complainant, Accused, and non-party witnesses, there will be an    opportunity for questions.  Questions may be asked by the Investigator, Board members, or the parties.  The parties are not permitted to question each other directly, but may ask questions of each other indirectly by relaying questions via the Investigator.  This method is used to preserve the non-adversarial tone of the hearing.

i. The Board may ask questions of the Investigator.

j. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the Board at the discretion of the Chair. 

k. The Complainant and the Accused may each make final remarks, in that order, but neither party is required to make final remarks.

l. The Board then determines in executive session by majority vote whether the Accused is responsible for the charge(s).  If the Board determines the Accused is responsible, the hearing resumes, at which time the Accused may make a statement in mitigation or extenuation, and the Complainant may make a victim impact statement.  Following these statements, there will be an opportunity for questions.  .  The Board then goes into executive session to consider and determine the sanction(s), if any, to be imposed.  In executive session, the Chair shall distribute any items from the Accused's files deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students for the panel's consideration of the appropriate sanction(s), if any, to be imposed.

m. The Board votes themselves will not be shared with the parties, only the decision on responsibility and any applicable sanction.

13. When Accused Does Not Appear. If the Accused does not appear personally, the fact that the Accused has been duly notified of the time and date of the hearing shall be verified.  If it is determined that the Accused has not been duly notified, the hearing is adjourned and the procedures revert to setting and notification of a rescheduled hearing.  If it is determined that due notice was given, the hearing proceeds without the Accused.

L. Notice of Action

The Sexual Misconduct Board may inform the parties orally of its disposition of the charges following its determination, or it may defer giving any notice for a period not to exceed two days from formal closing of the hearing.  In any event, the Chair shall, no later than three days from the formal closing of the hearing, give to the Accused a written Notice of Action.  The Chair shall concurrently give to the Complainant a copy of the Notice of Action. 

M. Imposition of Sanctions

1. Standards. Unless specifically limited by some provision of this document, the Board may consider as possible sanctions in any case where a violation is found or admitted all those sanctions enumerated in Part II, Section A, without regard to the particular violation involved.  It should, however, attempt to fairly fit the sanction to the violation seen in total context.  Thus, a fairly severe sanction might appropriately be imposed for a relatively minor violation which has been persistently repeated despite formal warning, while a relatively minor sanction might appropriately be imposed for a serious violation where substantial extenuation is shown.  The sanctions of suspension for a definite time and indefinite suspension, involving loss or interruption of educational opportunity, are appropriate only when the violator's continued membership in the College community is judged to: (i) fundamentally be at variance with the integrity of its educational mission; (ii) pose a specific threat to his or her own emotional health; or (iii) pose a specific threat to the minimal internal order of the community.

2. Number of Board Required to Impose Particular Sanctions. A majority concurrence is required to impose any particular sanction.

N. Finality of Determination by Board

Determination by the Board, both as to the fact of violation and as to the sanction to be imposed, are finally dispositive of the disciplinary proceeding, subject only to the rights of the parties to appeal as provided below. Provided, however, that the Dean of Students may continue to impose existing interim and non-disciplinary measures, and/or impose new interim and non-disciplinary measures, separate and apart from the Board's determination. In the event the Board determines the Accused student is not responsible, the college may continue to provide remedies for the Complainant so long as those remedies do not unduly burden or prejudice the Accused.

O. Retaliation

No person shall be subject to restraints, interference, coercion, or reprisal for action taken in good faith to seek advice concerning a harassment or Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, or Relationship Abuse and Violence grievance, to file a grievance or to serve as a witness, panel member, or representative in the investigation and hearing of a grievance.  Acts or threats of retaliation are a violation of the Code of Responsibility and will be investigated and adjudicated accordingly.

P. Malicious and False Accusations

An allegation which is both false and brought with malicious intent is a violation of the Honor Code and will be investigated and adjudicated accordingly.

Q. Appeal Procedures from Sexual Misconduct Board Decisions

1. Appeal to Review Board. The Complainant or the Accused may appeal to the Review Board any decision of the Sexual Misconduct Board, subject to the scope of review set forth in Section 5, below.  Appeal to the Review Board is made by giving written notice of appeal to the Dean of Students within five days after receipt of Notice of Action by the Sexual Misconduct Board. Upon receiving the written notice of appeal, the Dean of Students shall immediately give written notice of the appeal to the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Board, the Chair of the Review Board, the other party to the proceedings, and the Investigator.  All appeals to the Review Board shall explain the grounds for the appeal and shall be limited in scope to the matters set forth in Section 5(b), below. A copy of the formal Notice of Action should be attached.  

2. Review Board.  Appeals from Sexual Misconduct Board Decisions shall be heard by the Review Board.  While five members present are preferred, three members, including at least one student member, of the Review Board constitute a quorum for hearing and determination of appeals.  If the hearing panel of the Sexual Misconduct Board did not include members of the Honor Council (upon written request of a party), then any appeal of that hearing will be heard solely by the faculty members of the Review Board.  In that event, three members of the Review Board constitute a quorum for hearing and determination of the appeal. 

3. Participants. While having no voting or deliberative role, the following persons normally provide information during the course of an appeal and are present when an appeal is being heard and shall be referred to collectively as the "Appeal Participants": the parties; the Investigator;  and the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Board. If the Chair is unavailable, then the Chair will designate a member of the Sexual Misconduct Board which heard the case to be present.  If requested by the parties, the Advisers (or representatives, as that term is defined in Section J.1 of the Sexual Misconduct Policy) may be present when an appeal is being heard.

4. Record of Appeal. The Review Board considers appeals solely on the record of proceedings before the Sexual Misconduct Board.  It shall not receive any new evidence. It shall, however, be permitted to consider arguments and written materials regarding alleged procedural errors. In the case of appeal from the Sexual Misconduct Board the record consists of the Notice of Action, all prehearing materials, and the digest of proceedings.  The responsibility for preparation and transmittal to the Review Board of the record is with the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Board.  The record shall be available to the members of the Review Board and the Appeal Participants no less than 2 days before the commencement of the Review.

5. Consideration of appeal; scope of review.

(a) Consideration of appeal. The Review Board shall consider the appeal solely on the record. It shall not receive any new evidence. Upon request, the Review Board may permit oral arguments and/or written briefs, by the student filing the appeal (hereinafter the "Appellant"), the student responding to the appeal (hereinafter the "Respondent"), or the Chair.  If the Review Board permits oral argument and/or written brief by Appellant, Respondent, or Chair, it must also permit oral argument and/or written brief by all.  Such arguments and briefs shall be confined to matters properly to be considered by the Review Board within the scope of its review defined in (b) of this subsection 5.

(b) Scope of review. Review of the finding of violation is confined to the questions: (1) whether there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the finding by a preponderance of the evidence;  (2) whether the hearing was free of substantial error prejudicial to the Appellant under the prescribed procedures; or (3) whether the sanction imposed is essentially appropriate in light of the seriousness of the violation.

6. Determination of appeal; Notice of Action.

(a) Determination. The Board shall reach decision in executive conference of all those sitting on the appeal. A majority of those sitting on the appeal voting together determine the action on the appeal both in respect of the finding of violation and of the imposition of sanction. A different majority may determine the action in respect of each.  The vote itself shall not be shared with the parties. Decision shall be rendered within fifteen days after receipt of the record of appeal, unless for extraordinary reasons shown by the Appellant or Respondent, the time is extended to allow more time for presentation.

(b) Notice of Action. Written Notice of Action taken on appeal shall be given by the Secretary of the Board to the Appellant not later than two days after a decision is reached in conference.  The Secretary shall concurrently give to the Respondent and the Appeal Participants a copy of the Notice of Action.

(c) The Secretary shall prepare a written digest of the action of the Review Board.

7. The Review Board will follow a standard procedure in its hearings

(a)  The Review Board will meet in executive session to read the appeal, any briefs permitted by the Review Board, and to review the record on appeal. 

(b) The Appeal Participants will then be admitted. No other witnesses, including character witnesses, may appear.

(c) Review Board members may then ask any questions about the nature of the appeal and the particular evidence to support it.  Issues involving evidence not previously heard by the Sexual Misconduct Board shall not be considered.  The Review Board may ask questions of the Appellant, Respondent, Chair, and/or Investigator.

(d) The Review Board shall meet in executive session to discuss the case and to reach its decision. In executive session, the Chair of the Review Board shall distribute any items from the Accused's files deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students for the panel's consideration, including any interim and non-disciplinary measures imposed during the appeal process.

The Secretary of the Review Board shall prepare the digest of its deliberations. The digest shall be available to the President of the College in the case of a subsequent appeal.

(e) The Secretary of the Review Board will inform the Appellant and Respondent of its decision with the Notice of Action within two days. The Secretary will also inform the Dean of Students, and the Appeal Participants of the decision of the Review Board.

8. Actions Available to Review Board

The Review Board may, on the basis of its review of the record on appeal and its considerations of any briefs and statement received:

(a)  Affirm both the original findings regarding violation and the sanction(s), if any, imposed;

(b)  Remand for re-hearing before a new hearing panel of the Sexual Misconduct Board if it determines that there was substantial error prejudicial to the Appellant under the prescribed procedures;

(c)  Reverse the original findings if it determines there is not substantial evidence on the record to support the finding of the Sexual Misconduct Board, and in appropriate cases, impose sanction(s);

(d)  Affirm the finding of violation, but reduce or increase the sanction(s) to one(s) deemed more appropriate than those imposed; or

(e)  Where violation was admitted, reduce or increase the sanction(s) to one(s) deemed more appropriate than those imposed. 

9. Final Decision 

If an appeal is not upheld (i.e., when the Review Board affirms the original findings and the sanctions, if any, imposed), the action of the Review Board is finally dispositive of the disciplinary proceeding, except for the limited right of appeal to the President in the cases provided in subsection 10.

10. Appeal to the President.

Appeal to the President of the College is available only in cases where the Accused has been found "responsible" and the Review Board has heard an appeal.  Presidential review is limited to the question of whether the sanction of definite or indefinite suspension is essentially appropriate in light of the seriousness of the violation.

Notice of Appeal must be given in writing to the President and to the Dean of Students within five days after receipt of the Review Board's Notice of Action. Upon receiving the written notice of appeal, the Dean of Students shall immediately give written notice of the appeal to the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Board, the Secretary of the Review Board, and to the other party to the proceedings.  Review is solely on the record on appeal before the Review Board, plus any written briefs filed with the Review Board. The President may, in conference with the Appellant and Respondent, hear and consider oral argument. Review by the President is confined solely to the question of the appropriateness of the sanction in total context. The President shall ordinarily reach a decision and give formal written Notice of Action to Appellant within ten days after receiving the Notice of Appeal. The President shall concurrently give to the Respondent a copy of the Notice of Action.  The President may affirm the decision of the Review Board or may modify the sanction imposed by the Sexual Misconduct Board (either by reducing or increasing the sanction) to one deemed more appropriate. The action of the President is finally dispositive of the disciplinary proceedings.

11. Stay of sanction pending appeals.

The imposition of sanction is stayed following action by the Sexual Misconduct Board and the Review Board for the periods during which Notice of Appeal may be given following their respective actions, and thereafter until the matter has been finally disposed of within these procedures.  Provided, however, that the Dean of Students may impose interim and non-disciplinary measures at his or her discretion while an appeal is pending to ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students.  If upheld on appeal, a sanction of definite or indefinite suspension shall be effective as of the date imposed by the Sexual Misconduct Board. If either party appeals the sanction of probation, the term of the probationary period will begin after the appeal procedure has been completed if the sanction is upheld. Should the accused be a senior and the length of the probationary period extend beyond the date of commencement, that student shall not be eligible for a degree until the end of the probationary period. (See Code of Disciplinary Procedures, Part II, Section A. Range of Permissible Sanctions, Item 13 regarding out of classroom restrictions on a student receiving a sanction of suspension.)

12. Petition for readmission.

A student who has been suspending for an indefinite period under the Sexual Misconduct Policy may petition in writing for readmission to the Faculty Executive Committee.  This petition will be submitted to the Dean of Students.  The Faculty Executive Committee may, when possible, consult with members of the Sexual Misconduct Board who heard the student's case.

R. Title IX Coordinators

As a recipient of Federal funds, Davidson College is required to comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. ("Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities.  Sexual Misconduct, as defined in Section VI of the Code of Responsibility, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.  Davidson College is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from sex discrimination.  Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX should be directed to the following Title IX coordinators:

1.  Student inquiries should be directed to Kathy Bray, Associate Dean of Students, Chambers 1255, 704-894-2225, kabray@davidson.edu (Title IX Coordinator)

2.  Student athlete inquiries should be directed to Katy McNay, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance, Baker Sports Complex, 704-894-2637, kamcnay@davidson.edu (Deputy Title IX Coordinator)

3.  Employee inquiries should be directed to Ann Todd, Associate Director of Human Resources, 11 Jackson Court, 704-894-2214, antodd@davidson.edu (Deputy Title IX Coordinator)