What are students' rights?

  1. A safe environment - The university will take whatever measures it deems reasonable and feasible to protect the safety of the campus community, and the well-being and rights of students. Such measures may include but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, changing an academic or work schedule, or restricted-contact or no-trespass orders.
  2. Respect - All parties involved in an incident of sexual misconduct will be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness.
  3. Be taken seriously - The university will treat all complaints seriously and will investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
  4. Access to university resources and support - All parties will have full access to campus services designed to assist in such cases, including the Bishop Wellness Center Health and Counseling Services, the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, the Office of Student Affairs (coordinates the hearing process), and the Confidential Advocate (located in the Gender Resource and Advocacy Center).
  5. A fair conduct process - The university will inform all parties about the investigation and adjudication processes and their options, rights and responsibilities therein.
  6. File a complaint with the police - The university will not discourage students from or pressure students into taking legal action off campus.
  7. Privacy - The sexual misconduct hearing is closed to the public, and the university may disclose information from the hearing only to individuals legitimately involved in the proceedings.

Complainant and respondents rights in the hearing process include:

  • To be assured of confidentiality, in accordance with university policy, the terms of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Oregon State law.
  • To be notified in writing of the time, date and location of the hearing; the names of administrators who will hear the case; and all alleged charges.
  • To request that a specific administrator be replaced due to a conflict of interest. (This request should be made in writing to the Director of Rights and Responsibilities within two working days of receiving notice of a hearing)
  • They will at no point in the hearing process required to be in the same room at the same time, or be allowed to question the other party directly.
  • In the event of new information not available at the time of the sexual misconduct investigation, the right to present supporting evidence that pertains directly to the events in question.
  • To have equitable opportunities to present evidence and witnesses.
  • To be apprised of all known evidence at the time of the hearing.
  • To equal access to evidence, written statements, and testimony.
  • To submit an impact statement to be reviewed only in the sanctioning phase of deliberations, if the respondent is found responsible for the charge(s).
  • To be informed in writing and in a timely fashion of the outcome of the hearing.
  • Opportunity to request an appeal the of the hearing outcome based on the appeal criteria.
  • Be informed in writing of appeal request(s).
  • Be informed in writing of appeal outcome.

Additional Respondent Rights

  • To be considered not responsible for the alleged violation until proven responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • To address charges in person. (If a student does not attend a conduct hearing, the case may be heard in absence of the student at the discretion of the hearing administrators. In this case, all available evidence will be considered when deciding the outcome).

The Federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights

The Federal “Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights” exists as a part of the campus security reporting requirements, commonly known as the Jeanne Clery Act.

They are as follows:

  • Survivors shall be notified of their options to notify law enforcement.
  • Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present.
  • Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
  • Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.
  • Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic and living situations.

The Federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights was signed into law by President George Bush in July of 1992. This law requires that all colleges and universities (both public and private) participating in federal student aid programs afford sexual assault victims certain basic rights. Schools found to have violated this law can be fined up to $35,000 or lose their eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs. Complaints about schools that have filed to comply with this law should be made to the U.S. Department of Education.

Willamette University

The Office of Student Affairs

Putnam University Center Third floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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