Skip to main content Skip to sidebar content

Student Code of Conduct

I. Purpose

Willamette University is dedicated to student learning both in and out of the classroom. Inherent in this commitment is the expectation that students act in accordance with shared community values and principles aimed at creating vibrant living-learning communities. Willamette prizes freedom of expression, open discourse and the exchange of ideas. Through its curriculum and related programs, the University seeks to create an atmosphere that encourages and supports the practice of intellectual and artistic freedom. To this end, the University fosters discussions about the larger ethical issues related to artistic expression. It also strives to resolve conflicts through thoughtful dialogue and consultation in a manner that sparks rather than fetters the imagination. At the same time, members of the Willamette community must recognize their shared obligation and commitment to being mindful and responsible about the impact their intellectual ideas and creative process may have on individuals, communities, and the human and non-human environment.

The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to outline community expectations and prohibited behaviors to support an optimal student learning environment. It also articulates the University’s procedures for resolving alleged violations and conflicts and ensuring a fair process for determining responsibility when student behavior may have deviated from these expectations.

The Code of Conduct is not written with the specificity of a criminal statute but is instead a University administrative document rooted in education and community. The core values articulated in the University motto, Not unto ourselves alone are we born, are that all members of the Willamette community are called to act with respect and care toward other persons, property, and the environment in which we learn and live, with an understanding of how our behaviors impact other members of our community.

In addition, Willamette University does not tolerate discrimination in its activities or employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or status with regard to pregnancy, disability or age. We are firmly committed to adhering to the letter and spirit of all federal and state equal opportunity and civil rights laws.

Members of the Willamette community have responsibilities and options when they witness or experience incidents that interfere with these values. Incidents of misconduct and/or bias should be reported as soon as possible to enable the behaviors to be addressed and those targeted to be supported. For more information on reporting incidents of bias, see the Bias Incident Response website.

Consistent with its purposes, reasonable efforts are made to support the personal, academic, and social wellbeing of those students who bring forth concerns, those who choose to participate in the conduct process, and those who are held accountable for violations of University regulations. Sanctions implemented through the process are designed to give students the opportunity to reflect on their choices, enhance their ethical decision-making, and aid them in adjusting their behavior to become congruent with the University’s community expectations.

II. Scope and Jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to the conduct of individual students, student organizations, and student groups, both undergraduate and graduate, including individuals enrolled or auditing courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Law, Atkinson Graduate School of Management (AGSM), the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), Tokyo International University of America (TIUA), and any other Willamette sponsored educational experiences. Graduate students, law students and other affiliated programs of Willamette may also be subject to additional expectations for behavior based on state law, and program and professional standards for conduct. These expectations can be found in the respective schools’ student handbooks and websites.

The jurisdiction of Willamette relative to its student code of conduct and conduct review processes includes behavior that occurs (1) on University premises, (2) at University-sponsored or University-supervised events regardless of where they occur, (3) on electronic networks or social media, or (4) off University premises (including behavior reported through off-campus programs), especially when the behavior may adversely affect the Willamette community or its interests as an academic community.

Persons who are not presently enrolled but who have a continuing relationship with the University, as well as students who have been notified of their acceptance for admission, are considered students under this Code of Conduct. Persons who withdraw or attempt to withdraw after allegedly violating University policies will be governed by the Code of Conduct until such matters are finally resolved. Persons who seek to rejoin the University must first resolve such matters. The completion of resolution or outcomes may be conditions of return to the University.

While a matter is pending or in process, the University may proceed with resolution based on available information. If allegations of a violation cannot be resolved prior to a student’s intended graduation date, the University reserves the right to withhold a student’s degree until after the matter has been finally resolved if the student has been deemed eligible to receive a Willamette degree.

University and residence hall guests are expected to follow all University policies. Student hosts are accountable for the conduct of their guests and may be subject to disciplinary action as the responsible party for violations of University policy incurred by their guests. This applies to individuals, groups, and student organizations.

The University’s conduct review process does not serve as an extension of or replacement for the local, state or federal civil or criminal court system. In addition, the outcome of civil or criminal proceedings concerning a violation will not control or be binding on the outcome of the conduct review process for the same violation. All students should be aware that it is the policy of the University to cooperate with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities in the investigation of crime. The University will not provide a sanctuary against criminal prosecution.

The Vice President for Student Affairs (“VPSA”) and their designee(s) are delegated oversight of the Student Code of Conduct and its operation. When violations of the Student Code of Conduct by students enrolled in the College of Law, AGSM, or other affiliated programs occur, the Office of Student Affairs will consult with administrator’s in the respective schools/programs to determine how these issues will be resolved or adjudicated. Unless otherwise specified by the VPSA, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, and the Associate Dean of Students at PNCA with the support from other designees in the Division of Student Affairs (e.g., Residence Life and Housing staff, Student Conduct Case Manager, Associate Director of Student Life at PNCA) shall be the primary administrators for the conduct review process and supporting programs on the respective campuses. Should situations arise that are not explicitly addressed by the Student Code of Conduct, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion and Associate Dean of Students at PNCA are granted authority to exercise judgment in a manner consistent with the Code; this may include the issuance of temporary regulations or procedures.

The University also reserves the right to make permanent amendments or rules for the general welfare of community members and of property. Any question of interpretation of the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy shall be referred to the VPSA or their designee for a final determination. The Student Code of Conduct will be reviewed at least every three years under the direction of the VPSA or their designee.

III. Prohibited Conduct

View this section.

IV. Definition of Terms

The below definitions apply to the conduct review process. Specific definitions and other information related specifically to non-Title IX sexual or gender-based misconduct are under misconduct, section F, and those related to Title IX sexual or gender-based misconduct are in the Title IX policy and procedures.

Alternative Resolution - An alternative resolution of a complaint that does not necessitate a full investigation or adjudication. This may be appropriate where both parties wish to resolve the case without a completed investigation or adjudication, or where the respondent has admitted or wishes to admit responsibility.

Code - Refers to the Student Code of Conduct

Complainant - A member of the Willamette University community (e.g., enrolled student, University employee, applicant, or alum) who files a complaint to report a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. It also includes any person who is reported to have experienced a violation of this policy in cases where some other person has made a report on that person’s behalf. The University may move forward with a complaint on behalf of a non-affiliated complainant.

Complaint - A complaint is the act that initiates an investigation or resolution. Individuals who would like more information about filing a complaint are invited to contact the Office of Student Affairs or the Title IX coordinator (if related to sexual misconduct) for additional information. (This is not the same as a formal complaint under the Title IX policy and procedures).

Conduct Authority - A trained and impartial university official designated by the university to make decisions regarding application and implementation of the Conduct Review Process. Typically an individual in the Office of Student Affairs or Residence Life Housing.

Confidentiality - generally means that information shared with a campus designated confidential resource will not be revealed to any other person or office, including during an investigation, unless written permission is granted by the individual to share their information. However, not all confidential resources have a legal privilege that protects information from disclosure in other settings.

Days - ‘Days’ is defined as business days unless otherwise specified.

Hearing Authority - A trained and impartial person or persons designated by the University to conduct the live hearing or panel review, make a decision regarding the alleged violations based upon a preponderance of the evidence, and impose sanctions, if applicable. Also called a decision-maker. The Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator (or designee) is responsible for determining the appropriate hearing authority for each matter.

Hearing Facilitator - A trained and impartial person or persons designated by the University to facilitate the logistics of the Hearing Process including communications with hearing authorities, university officials, parties and witnesses.

Initial Review Meeting - A meeting between a respondent and a Conduct Authority after a Notice of Investigation and Hearing has been sent. The meeting includes reviewing rights in the Formal Resolution Process, reviewing the allegations and reviewing potential outcomes. The Initial Review Meeting determines the next course of action in the Formal Resolution Process.

Intake Meeting - A meeting between a Conduct Authority and any person with whom the Conduct Authority needs to discuss the details of a received report to decide which resolution options are appropriate. An Intake Meeting may occur at any point before or during the Student Conduct Review Process at the discretion of the Conduct Authority.

Investigator - A trained and impartial person designated by the University to investigate allegations of misconduct.

Members of the University Community – Refers, collectively and individually, to faculty, staff, students, trustees, volunteers, organizations, groups, alumni, and contractors of the University or any of its campuses, facilities, programs, or events.

Panel Hearing - Two or more trained and impartial members of the University community or contractors designated by the University to conduct the conduct review process and make recommendations regarding the alleged violations based upon a preponderance of the evidence, and recommend sanctions.

Party - A complainant or respondent in a case.

Preponderance of Evidence – The standard of evidence used by the hearing authority. Preponderance of evidence means that the statements and information presented in the matter must indicate to a reasonable person that it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred.

Privilege - in the context of confidentiality generally refers to licensed professionals including mental health and health care providers, ordained clergy and personal attorneys all of whom must keep information confidential as required by their professions and licenses. These individuals are prohibited from breaking confidentiality unless there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, or if a report involves suspected abuse of a minor under the age of 18. Confidential Advocates do have a legal privilege but are, however, required by state law to notify Child Protective Services or local law enforcement in cases of suspected child abuse. This is a 24/7 responsibility. In addition, the legal privilege they have protects communications made between the professional and the student, and records created or maintained in the course of providing services to the student from disclosure in court.

Privacy - generally means that information related to a report of misconduct will only be shared with a limited circle of trained individuals who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, or resolution of the report. While not bound by confidentiality, these individuals will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process. The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), as outlined in the University’s FERPA Policy. The privacy of an individual’s medical and related records may be protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), excepting health records protected by FERPA. Access to an employee’s personnel records may be restricted by applicable state and federal law. While there are certain limitations on privacy, the University generally will not release the names of the Complainant or Respondent to the general public without express written consent or absent another exception consistent with the law. The release of names will be guided by applicable law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Clery Act. In addition, no information will be released from a proceeding to enforce this Policy except as required or permitted by law and The University Policy.

Protected Activity - Exercising any right or privilege under this Student Code of Conduct. Examples of protected activities include reporting (internally or externally) misconduct in good faith, assisting others in making such a report, participating in a grievance process, acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this policy, honestly participating as an investigator, witness, decision maker, or otherwise assisting in, an investigation or proceeding related to an alleged violation of this policy.

Reasonable Person - An objective standard used to determine whether another reasonable person, under similar circumstances or similarly situated to the reporting party/complainant, would also have been offended or experienced the behavior as harmful.

Referral – Document which contains the basis for the alleged violation of the misconduct part of the Student Code of Conduct, including but not limited to police reports or information submitted to the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Residence Life and Housing, or via the electronic reporting form.

Referring Party – or also called the complainant, the person or office which reported the alleged violation of the misconduct part of the Student Code of Conduct to the Office of Student Affairs or hearing authority.

Report - A disclosure of information regarding an experience of misconduct covered by this Student Code of Conduct, to a University employee or official, or person acting in an official capacity on behalf of the University. This is not the same as filing a complaint with the University for the purpose of initiating an investigation or conduct process.

Reporting party – Person who is reporting alleged misconduct as described in the Student Code of Conduct that they experienced, witnessed, or was reported to them. There may be more than one reporting student for an incident.

Respondent – Student, student group, or student organization whom it is alleged committed a violation or violations of the Student Code of Conduct. There may be more than one respondent for an incident. In the cases of student groups or student organizations, the president, director, or other member of leadership will participate in the student conduct process on behalf of the group or organization.

Responsible Employee: An employee who has been designated by the University as required to report all information relating to reports of discriminatory misconduct (e.g., sex or gender based misconduct) to the University.

Standard of Evidence: The decision regarding a respondent’s responsibility will be determined by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning “more likely than not.”

Student – Any person enrolled in credit or non-credit courses or educational programs offered through Willamette University, who have been notified of their acceptance, expressed intent to or registered for courses or otherwise entered into any other contractual relationship with the University from the time they are admitted to Willamette University up through the date of graduation. This includes, but is not limited to, new students at orientation, persons not currently enrolled but who are still seeking a degree from Willamette University, persons currently under suspension, and any other person enrolled in a credit earning course offered by Willamette University, including TIUA, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, law, or PNCA credits and while pursuing credit away from the campus (e.g., study abroad, internships), or during a leave of absence. Students who are not currently enrolled in classes, but who have a continuing relationship with the University or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students” for purposes of the Student Code of Conduct, as are persons who are living in University residence halls, apartments or other properties, although not enrolled in the University. Students are held to these expectations from the time of admission through the awarding of a degree which includes before classes begin and during the periods of breaks and between semesters. For purposes of exercising jurisdiction for University discipline, it also includes any person who has graduated from Willamette University if the University determines that their graduation or receipt of credit may have involved misconduct while they were working toward a degree as well as currently enrolled students who have been charged with serious violations of civil or criminal law, regardless of when that violation occurred.

Student Groups - A number of persons who are associated with the University and each other, but who have not registered, or are not required to register, as a student organization (included but not limited to athletic teams, musical or theatrical ensembles, academic or administrative units, clubs not registered as a student organization).

Student Organization - A number of persons who are associated with one another and have registered with the University as a student organization, including but not limited to clubs, club sports, or fraternities and sororities.

Support Person – Any person chosen by either the complainant or the respondent to provide support to them throughout their interactions with administrators or hearing officers as part of the conduct process. This person does not actively participate in the process, but can be present at meetings and hearings to provide support to the complainant or respondent. The support person cannot be a witness in the matter in question.

Substantial Emotional Distress - Significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require, medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

University – Willamette University, including the College of Law, AGSM, PNCA, and TIUA and any other affiliated programs or educational experiences.

Third-Party Reporter: A person other than the complainant who reports an incident or allegation of discriminatory misconduct.

Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator - The University officials or designees charged with ensuring the University’s overall compliance with Title IX and related University policies and procedures.

University Official – Any person or persons employed or contracted by the University (including but not limited to faculty, staff, administration, and student staff members) acting within the scope of their job duties.

Witness – Person who is requested to participate in an investigation or a hearing because they may have information about the alleged misconduct. Witness names may be supplied by the complainant, respondent, or others with knowledge of the matter.

V. Supportive Measures and Resources

Supportive Measures

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, free of charge individualized services offered to a complainant or a respondent by the University as appropriate and reasonably available. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party. supportive measures are also available whether or not a complaint has been filed.

To receive supportive measures a person must disclose a concern to a Willamette University confidential or non-confidential resource. This means that in order to receive any supportive measures, the complainant’s name and some additional details will need to be disclosed, and the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA and/or Title IX Coordinator or Confidential Advocate (if sexual or gender based conduct) must be informed so as to approve whether or not the supportive measures are sufficient to ensure that they are appropriately designed to provide or restore equal access to Willamette’s educational programs or activities.

Supportive Measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • Mutual No contact/Restricted contact order.
  • Residence hall room changes.
  • Assistance with arrangements with faculty for academic work (extended deadlines, rescheduled exams, etc.).
  • Increased safety or escorts on campus.
  • Adjustments to work schedule.
  • Other measures on a case-by-case basis.

Note: Any supportive measures put in place will be kept confidential, except to the extent that doing so impairs the ability of the University to provide the specific supportive measures.

Confidential Resources

Students who are considering or wanting to report sexual misconduct are encouraged to meet with a Confidential Advocate to review options, discuss the processes available and advocate for students who need supportive resources or measures on campus.

Confidential Advocates for Students:

  • University Confidential Advocates 503-375-5361
  • Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARAs) 503-851-4245

Students who are considering or wanting to report other forms of misconduct may wish to consult with confidential resources. Information shared with any of the confidential resources listed below will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to other campus offices or individuals without the written consent of the individual.

Confidential Health & Counseling for Students:

  • University Chaplain 503-370-6213
  • Bishop Wellness Center 503-370-6062
  • WUTalk/ProtoCall 24- Hour phone crisis support 503-375-5353

Confidentiality, Privilege and Privacy have distinct meanings related to the Conduct Review Process, see Part IV: Definitions of terms for clarification.

VI. Conduct Review Process

The conduct review process is used to support and enforce the Student Code of Conduct (“Code”) by providing a fair and equitable process to determine if a student is responsible or not responsible for an alleged violation of this Code.

For cases involving allegations of sexual or gender-based misconduct that fall under Title IX, the university Title IX policy and procedures will apply.

The university administers the conduct review process in good faith, making every reasonable effort to be fair to all involved. Past student conduct violations will not be considered when a decision of responsibility is being made concerning a current alleged violation; however, past violations may be considered when determining a sanction for an individual found to be responsible for a violation of this Code.

A. Reporting Misconduct

The university encourages individuals who believe they have experienced or witnessed misconduct to report the behavior to a staff member in the division of Student Affairs (e.g., Residence Life staff, Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA) for assistance. Those who are aware or reasonably believe that another person is experiencing misconduct directed at them may also make a report through this process or seek support from private and/or confidential resources.

Reports of potential violations of the Code that are not sex or gender based may be made via the electronic community concern/incident report form that is routed to the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion and the Student Conduct Case Manager on the Salem campus and to the Associate Dean of Students and Associate Director of Student Life at PNCA. Cases involving students enrolled at AGSM or the College of Law or other affiliated programs will be referred to the appropriate conduct officer of the respective schools or program as appropriate. For sex or gender-based misconduct the electronic Sexual Misconduct Report Form can be used to notify the Title IX Coordinator of these incidents.

In addition to, or instead of, filling out the report forms, individuals may choose to speak with any non-confidential Willamette University employee to initiate a report of misconduct, or may submit a written statement by email (see the Conduct Review Process, Part VI, Section C, #4 on filing a formal complaint).

Please note that a report is not the same as a Complaint, and therefore a report alone does not start the Formal Resolution process (alternative resolution or investigation and hearing).

Reports of potential violations will be kept private to the extent possible for the university to respond to the report, but reports made to administrators not designated as confidential as part of the conduct review process may share information on a need to know basis as outlined by FERPA. Confidential resources include (i.e. Bishop Wellness Center staff, Chaplain, confidential advocate)

Duty to Report Allegations of Sexual or Gender Based Misconduct (Responsible Employees).

Any university employee (other than the Confidential Advocates, Bishop Wellness Center staff and Chaplains working within the scope of their employment) who observes sexual or gender based harassment or who knows of, or is informed of alleged harassment, must promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator or designee of the allegation.

University employees should not attempt to resolve a complaint of discrimination, harassment or assault related misconduct without assistance from the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator. Employees must also comply with their obligations to report any child abuse or neglect consistent with state law, as well as Campus Security Authority reporting obligations.

Anonymous Reports

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of misconduct. The Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, the Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, or the university Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous report and will determine any appropriate steps, including individual or community remedies as may be appropriate, and in compliance with all Clery Act obligations. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, the university’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. This means that unless identifiable information is shared with a responsible employee, the university may not be able to take any action to stop the alleged conduct, including--discrimination or harassment--remedy its effects, or prevent future instances of the behavior because it will not be able to engage in the appropriate procedures under this policy.

A Complaint to initiate a conduct review process cannot be filed anonymously, and is only considered to have been filed when filed by the complainant or by the appropriate university official.

Protection Against Retaliation

An individual reporting misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not substantiated based on the available evidence. Retaliation does not include good faith actions pursued in response to a report of misconduct. Any person who believes they have experienced retaliation under this policy should contact the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, or the Title IX Coordinator who will forward any complaint of retaliation to the appropriate office for handling. Retaliation may subject the person who retaliates to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination.

Timeline for Reporting

The university does not limit the timeframe for reporting an incident regardless of when the incident occurred. However, individuals are encouraged to report as soon as practical, as memories may fade and evidence may be lost over time. Jurisdiction may also be lost eventually if the respondent is no longer a student. While this does not prevent the university from a formal resolution process, it will limit the options available to the university for encouraging participation or sanctioning.

Timely Warning

If a report of misconduct presents a serious and continuing threat to the community, Willamette University may issue a campus-wide timely warning to protect the health and safety of community members. The timely warning will not include any identifying information about the person who experienced the unwanted behavior.

Amnesty

The university’s highest priorities are the physical and mental health, safety, and well-being of all members of the community. Therefore, no student seeking medical attention by contacting either university or local authorities for intoxication (nor a student who seeks medical attention on behalf of the affected student) or who reports misconduct as a complainant or witnesses/third parties, and cooperates with and/or assists any medical, university, or law enforcement officials will be formally charged for the unlawful use or possession of alcohol or other drugs or violation of COVID or other related safety protocols.

Although this does not relieve any student or organization from responsibility for other policy violations that may have occurred prior to seeking medical attention, the effort to seek help for the affected student may be a mitigating factor in sanctioning. Affected students may be required to complete an evaluation or other education programs, but will not face disciplinary charges or sanctions as prescribed through the student conduct process.

B. Outreach and Initial Assessment

1. Overview

Upon receipt of information or a report alleging a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, the Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, or their designee (e.g., Residence Life and Housing Staff, Associate Director of Student Life at PNCA, or Student CARE and Conduct Case Manager) will reach out to the individual who experienced the misconduct to schedule an intake or informational conversation and provide the following information:

  • Availability of supportive measures;
  • The difference between a report and a Complaint;
  • How to request educational interventions or conflict resolution;
  • How to file a Complaint or Formal Resolution;
  • When applicable: information about safety planning, personal protection orders from the local courts; the importance of preserving evidence;
  • Resources for counseling, health care, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid and other available services; and,
  • Right to a support person of their choice.

That individual may choose to receive supportive measures only and not proceed with a Formal Resolution. They may also request a Formal Resolution which can be an alternative resolution or an investigation and hearing. The Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, or designee will discuss the individual’s rights and options, and will also assess for, and provide, appropriate supportive measures, which are available with, or without a Formal Resolution.

For those who wish to proceed with any resolution process, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, or designee will assess the facts as presented to determine whether the information provided suggests a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

2. Student Emergency Removal Provisions/Interim Safety Measures

If at any time the university determines that the conduct, as alleged, poses a risk of immediate harm to one or more members of the university community or to the university’s educational environment, the university may instruct that a student be removed or placed on leave, on an interim basis, from specific programs or activities.

Any such risk assessment will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on an individualized safety and risk analysis including consideration of applicable disability procedures, less restrictive alternatives and supportive measures, and will be determined by the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, or Associate Dean of Students at PNCA in consultation with appropriate university officials. The decision will be provided to the student in writing.

Students should complete the conduct decision appeal form within three (3) business days of the interim measures if they wish to appeal. The VPSA will review the written appeal and provide a determination in writing within five (5) days of receiving the student’s appeal. The VPSA may consult other University administrators or experts as necessary in reaching a decision. During the pendency of the appeal, the interim measures will remain in effect. The decision to assign any interim measures will not be considered as evidence that any determination has been made regarding potential responsibility for violating this policy.

3. Accommodations

Accessible Education Services will assist with the coordination of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with documented disabilities who are participating in reporting an incident or participating in the conduct review process, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). If you have questions or need assistance, please contact accessible-info@willamette.edu.

4. Notice to Parents, Families, or Third Parties

The Federal Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students the right to restrict access to their education records, which includes student conduct records. Except in limited circumstances, it is the student who notifies the parent(s) or self-selected third parties about a pending case. If a student decides to include a concerned third party in the conduct process, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or their designee will be responsive to the inquiry in compliance with FERPA. Nevertheless, the student must reply to University communications related to the conduct process such as meeting requests, and the student must forthrightly participate in the process. Communications during the conduct process are between the University and its students.The University reserves the right to notify parents or families without a student’s prior consent in health or safety emergencies.

C. Resolution of Reports in Conduct Review Process

After a report has been received by the University, it may be resolved by various methods including:

  1. Supportive Measures Only
  2. Educational Conversations/Intervention
  3. Conflict Resolution process
  4. Formal Resolution
  5. Dismissal

1. Supportive Measures Only

See Part V: Supportive Measures and Resources

Any Supportive measures put in place will be kept confidential, except to the extent that doing so impairs the ability of the University to provide the Supportive Measures. The University will, however, have the discretion to initiate a response beyond supportive measures, and that will be evaluated in the context of the University’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for its employees and students. The factors that the University may consider in this regard include the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, whether there have been other complaints or reports of misconduct by the alleged respondent, and the nature of the allegations such as use of weapons, drugs or intoxicants, serial violations or other threats to the complainant or the community.

2. Educational conversation/intervention

An educational conversation or intervention may take place when the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or designee determine that a report or complaint received by the Office of Student Affairs does not indicate a likely violation of the Student Code of Conduct, or by request of the complainant, or it is a 1st time violation of lower level behavior. A member of the Office of Student Affairs, the Department of Residence Life and Housing, or other member of the University community may contact the student(s) to have a discussion that engages the student(s) in self-reflection and raises awareness of the impact of their actions on the community and the potential consequences of repeated behavior in the future.

3. Conflict Resolution (Coaching, Mediation, Restorative Justice)

The University is committed to assisting students in resolving conflicts peacefully and to developing the skills needed to successfully navigate difficult situations throughout their lives. When appropriate, we offer a variety of tools for conflict resolution used to meet the unique needs of students, foster learning experiences, and promote citizenship in the community.

  1. Conflict Coaching - a one‐on‐one consultation process designed to assist students in gaining confidence, developing skills and strategies for resolving conflicts themselves.
  2. Mediation - Mediation is a meeting between two (2) or more people, facilitated by a trained facilitator, who serves as a neutral third party. Staff in the office of Residence Life and Housing are a great initial resource for conflict experienced by students who live in the residence halls. The mediator’s role is to guide the participants through the mediation process; they do not choose sides, give advice, make suggestions, or otherwise take any position in the process. The purpose of mediation is to assist students in a conversation with the hopes of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement regarding a specific issue or conflict.
  3. Restorative Justice Conference - a process of dialogue with the intent of restoring relationships and repairing harm that is facilitated by a trained staff member after an incident has occurred that has negatively impacted a community. This is achieved only after a person or persons who have caused the harm have accepted responsibility for their actions and expressed interest in speaking with those who were affected. Both the responsible person(s) and the community members affected by the incident come together to identify the impact of the incident and collaboratively determine how to rebuild trust and repair any harm that has been caused.

4. Formal Resolution

  1. Filing a Complaint for Formal Resolution - In order to proceed to a Formal Resolution process, a Complaint must typically be filed by either a complainant, or the university. A Complaint has a very specific definition under this Code and differs from solely making a report to the University which has been discussed in the previous sections.

    A Complaint must include:
    • The complainant’s digital or physical signature (or an indication that the complainant is the person filing the Complaint), or a signature from a university official (Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, Title IX Coordinator (if sexual or gender based misconduct) or designee.; and
    • An allegation of misconduct as defined under this Code that, if true, may result in a sanction of suspension or expulsion. This may include the following, if known:
      • Where the incident(s) occurred
      • What incident(s) occurred
      • When the incident(s) occurred
      • Identity of respondent, if known
      • A request for an alternative resolution or investigation/hearing

Complaints are drafted by a conduct authority for “signature” by the appropriate official or complainant; Reports and requests for Formal Resolution may be made via the electronic Maxient form, via email, phone call, in person or via mail.

  1. Non-participating complainant - In the event that the individual who filed the complaint declines to participate in an Intake Interview, and if the complaint contains an allegation meeting all of the jurisdictional elements of the Student Code of Conduct, the complaint is signed or includes an electronic submission from the complainant, and requests an investigation, that will constitute a Complaint. If a complainant chooses not to participate, they will still receive updates regarding the resolution process, unless the complainant chooses in writing not to receive them.

  2. University- initiated complaint - The University will have the discretion to sign and initiate a Complaint and that will be evaluated in the context of the University’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for its employees and students. The factors that the University may consider in this regard include the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, whether there have been other complaints or reports of misconduct by the alleged respondent, and the nature of the allegations such as use of weapons, drugs or intoxicants, serial violations or other threats to the complainant or the community.

  3. Consolidation of cases - In the event that the allegations under this policy also involve allegations of a violation of a separate policy, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA and Title IX Coordinator will have discretion to consolidate those other allegations within one investigation or hearing.

  4. Alternative Resolution of a Formal Complaint - The University may offer to the parties the option of alternative resolution at any time. Either party may also request, in writing, to proceed with an alternative resolution. Participation in the alternative resolution process is voluntary for both complainant and respondent. Both parties and the University must agree to the use of alternative resolution to resolve the complaint.

    If an alternative resolution option is preferred, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX coordinator if related to sexual or gender misconduct, will assess whether the complaint is suitable for alternative resolution and will then take steps to determine if the other party is also willing to engage in alternative resolution. Both parties must agree, in writing, to an alternative resolution.

    The University may determine that alternative resolution is not appropriate, for example, where other formal action may be reasonably necessary to prevent continuing or future misconduct, where there is a threat to the safety of the complainant or campus community, or where multiple reports have occurred against the same respondent.

    When either party requests an alternative resolution, the Office of Student Affairs will provide the complainant and respondent written notice that includes:
    • The specific allegation and the specific conduct that is alleged to have occurred;
    • The requirements of the alternative resolution process including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a complaint arising from the same allegations;
    • The right of either party to end the alternative resolution process at any time and instead choose to pursue a formal investigation process;
    • Any consequences resulting from participating in the alternative resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared;
    • A statement indicating that the decision to accept a complaint does not presume that the conduct at issue has occurred, nor presumed not responsible, unless and until, at the conclusion of the formal investigation and adjudication processes, there is a determination of responsibility;
    • An explanation that each party may be accompanied by an advisor and a support person of their choice;
    • The date and time of the initial meeting with the office of Student Affairs designee, with a minimum of two (2) days notice;
    • Information regarding supportive measures, which are available equally to the respondent and to the complainant.
    If either party does not voluntarily agree in writing to pursue an alternative resolution, or if the complainant, respondent, or University, at any time, determines that alternative resolution is no longer appropriate, the University will promptly inform the complainant and respondent in writing that the complaint will proceed through the investigation and hearing process.

    Once the final terms of an alternative resolution have been agreed upon by both parties, in writing, the matter will be considered closed, and no further action will be taken. Voluntary agreements under the alternative resolution process are not subject to appeal.

    The alternative resolution process is generally expected to be completed within thirty (30) business days and may be extended for good cause. Both parties will be notified, in writing, of any extension and the reason for the extension.

    Records of any alternative resolution will be maintained and may be shared with other offices as appropriate.

  5. Investigation/Hearing for a Formal Complaint - When a Complaint is filed and an alternative resolution is either not appropriate or not agreed to by both parties, the parties will receive a notification describing the alleged violation(s) and the time and place for the informational meeting.

    At the informational meeting, the respondent will be provided with information regarding what process will be followed which depends on the nature of the reported misconduct.

    1. Notice of Complaint and Investigation - Within a reasonable period of time from the filing of a Complaint and prior to the start of an investigation, the respondent and complainant will be provided, in writing, with a Notice of Complaint and Investigation. Such notice will include:
      • The Complaint containing the specific allegation and the specific conduct that is alleged to have occurred; the identities of the complainant and respondent; and the date and location (if known) of the conduct that is alleged to have occurred;
      • The procedures that will be followed, including an explanation that each party will have the right to review relevant evidence prior to the completion of the investigation;
      • An explanation that each party may be accompanied by a support person of their choice;
      • The date and time of the initial interview with the conduct authority, with a minimum of two (2) days notice;
      • Information regarding amnesty granted during this process;
      • Information regarding supportive measures.

      The decision to accept a Complaint does not presume that the conduct at issue has occurred, and the respondent is presumed not responsible, unless and until, at the conclusion of the process below, there is a determination of responsibility.

      Should additional allegations be brought forward, a revised notice of investigation will be provided to both parties, in writing.

    2. Initial Review Meeting - At the start of the investigation and hearing process, the conduct authority will schedule a time for an Informational meeting. This meeting is designed to prepare the student to review the Complaint, review the next steps, review options, and to answer questions about the process.

      The initial review meeting is the first step in the conduct review process and serves to provide the respondent with the opportunity to discuss the allegations that led to the referral as well as a range of potential sanctions for the violation in question should the charges be substantiated.

      After a discussion regarding the incident and the rights and process available to the respondent, the respondent will have an opportunity to accept or deny responsibility for the charge(s).* If the respondent accepts responsibility for the charge(s), the conduct authority will consult with the Dean of Students and/or Title IX Coordinator, and may sanction the respondent as part of the informational meeting.

      *This option does not apply where the sanction may be suspension or dismissal.

      If the respondent denies responsibility for one or more of the charges, the conduct authority will proceed to initiate the investigation process and schedule a hearing.

      If the respondent does not appear at this initial meeting without prior notification, the hearing officer a decision may be rendered in the students’ absence.

    3. Responsibilities of Respondents, Complainants, and Witnesses - All participants in the conduct review process have the following responsibilities:
      1. To be honest and forthright in all information they provide during the conduct review process. Presenting false and misleading information during this process may be considered a separate Code violation.
      2. To attend all required meetings, conferences, or hearings, as scheduled, unless alternate arrangements are made in advance.
      3. To refrain from disruption of the conduct review process. Disruption of this process may be considered a separate Code violation.
      4. Complainants and respondents have the responsibility during the investigation process to provide information that they believe may be relevant, as well as to provide names of witnesses that they believe may have relevant information.

    4. Relevancy of Evidence: Information submitted as evidence will be determined to be relevant or irrelevant, meaning whether it tends to make a material fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence. In process A, relevance determinations will be made by the investigator(s). In process B, relevancy recommendations will be made initially by the investigator in the investigation report, and ultimately determined by the hearing authorities.

      Relevant information can include direct observations by witnesses or those who someone spoke with immediately after an incident, video, text, or photographs, emails, business or medical records, social media posts, journals, phone or security records, etc. Typically, information that is submitted simply to demonstrate a party’s character or truthfulness in general will not be considered relevant.

    5. Support Person - Being involved in a student conduct process can be stressful, and many students find it helpful to have the support of someone they trust during the process. Students are allowed to bring a support person of their own choosing to any meeting or interview to provide support. A support person is someone who can provide emotional support and guidance to a student during the conduct review process. If needed, the Office of Student Affairs can assist students in identifying an appropriate support person from the University community.

      The support person may attend any meetings and the hearing with the student, and may assist the student in considering questions, understanding expectations and the process. However, the support person may not actively participate in or interfere with the proceedings. If there is a conflict of interest related to the support person, the Office of Student Affairs reserves the right to disqualify that support person. The student would then be required to obtain a new support person. When possible, the conduct authority will make reasonable adjustments in order to accommodate a support person’s schedule. However, the University is not obligated to reschedule meetings and/or hearings to accommodate the support person. A student may select a new support person in the event of a scheduling conflict.

    6. Conflict of Interest or Bias - If an investigation is initiated, the University will appoint a trained investigator(s) (if needed) and hearing officer(s). The investigator(s) and hearing officer (s) may be an employee or third-party hired by Willamette University. Appropriate investigators may include Conduct Officers, Area Coordinators,

      Any investigator(s) chosen to conduct an investigation must be impartial and free from any conflict of interest.

      After a Notice of Investigation is issued to the complainant and respondent, each party may object to the designated investigator on the grounds of a demonstrated bias or actual conflict of interest. Both parties will have two (2) business days from the date of the Notice of Investigation to object to the selection of the investigator on those grounds. Objections should be made, in writing, to the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA. If the objection is substantiated as to either the investigator or a specific hearing officer, that individual will be replaced.

      A conflict of interest may include, for example, situations where an assigned official is a party’s family member, close friend, current or former faculty member, advisor or has other similar relationships with a party. The fact that an individual is the same or different gender, race, etc. of a party or individual involved in the process, or regarding someone’s professional experience (e.g. former prosecutor or defense attorney) is not considered a conflict or bias and requests for changes in staffing on these bases will not be considered.

  • Misconduct that may result in lower level sanctions, will follow Process A
  • Misconduct that may result in suspension or expulsion, the process will follow Process B. Students will be notified in writing if the alleged behavior could result in suspension or expulsion.
  • g. Information Specific to Process A: Lower Level Sanctions:
    1. Investigation Interviews - Where this process is followed, the University strives to complete the interview and investigation process within a maximum of ten (10) business days, which may be extended for good cause by the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator. Both parties will be notified, in writing, of any extension granted, the reason for the extension and the new anticipated date of conclusion of the investigation.

      The investigator(s) will interview all parties and may interview relevant or helpful witnesses. The investigator(s) will gather relevant evidence that may be offered by the parties and any identified witnesses. Interviews may be conducted in person, or via video conference. Parties may propose questions for the investigator(s) to ask of the other parties or witnesses.

      The investigator(s) will create a brief and neutral summary of each interview.

    2. Evidence Review and Investigation Report - At the conclusion of the interviews and when the evidence has been gathered, the investigator(s) will provide each party the opportunity to review the evidence gathered that is relevant to the allegation(s). This will include evidence both supporting or not supporting the allegations at issue.

      Response to Evidence: Each party will have a maximum of three (3) business days in which to respond to the evidence either in writing or by requesting an additional interview.

      Final Investigation Summary
      The investigator will draft a final summary that documents their findings related to disputed facts, and present to the conduct authority if the conduct authority is not serving as the investigator. The Conduct authority will render a decision and provide the rationale for their determination and sanction to the respondent, and if appropriate, to the complainant.
  • h. Information Specific to Process B: Suspension or Expulsion:
    1. Investigation Interviews - Where this process is followed, the University strives to complete the interview and investigation process within forty (40) business days, which may be extended for good cause by the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator. Both parties will be notified, in writing, of any extension granted, the reason for the extension and the new anticipated date of conclusion of the investigation.

      The investigator(s) will interview all parties and relevant witnesses and gather relevant evidence provided by the parties and any identified witnesses. Interviews may be conducted in person, or via video conference. The investigator(s) will prepare a neutral summary of each interview. Each party will be provided with an opportunity to offer relevant witnesses and evidence. Information or evidence that is not provided to the investigator will not generally be allowed during the hearing, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that such information was not reasonably known to or available to the parties at the time of the investigation.

      Site Visit(s): The Investigator(s) may visit relevant sites or locations and record observations through written, photographic, or other means.

      Expert Consultation(s): The Investigator(s) may consult medical, forensic, technological or other experts when expertise on a topic is needed in order to achieve a fuller understanding of the issues under Investigation.

      Coordination with Law Enforcement: The Investigator will contact any law enforcement agency that is conducting its own investigation to inform that agency that a University Investigation is also in progress; to ascertain the status of the criminal investigation; or to determine the extent to which any evidence collected by law enforcement may be available to the University in its investigation.

    2. Evidence Review and Investigation Report

      At the conclusion of all interviews and fact gathering, and when the evidence has been gathered, the investigator will provide each party the opportunity to review all of the evidence gathered that is relevant to the allegation(s). This will include evidence both supporting or not supporting the allegations at issue.

      Given the sensitive nature of the information provided, the information will be provided in a secure manner. Neither the complainant nor the respondent (nor their support person) may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided. Any student or employee who fails to abide by this requirement may be subject to discipline. Any support person who fails to abide by this may be subject to discipline and/or may be excluded from further participation in the process.

      Response to Evidence: Each party will have five (5) days in which to respond to the evidence, in writing, and submit it to the investigator/conduct authority. The investigator will incorporate any relevant response provided by the parties into the Final Investigation Report.

      Along with their response to the evidence, each party may also submit a written request for additional investigation, such as a request for a follow-up interview(s) with existing witnesses to clarify or provide additional information, including offering questions to the investigator to pose to witnesses or to the other party. This response may include written questions that a party would like the investigator to ask of any party or witness. The investigator will have the discretion to determine which questions are relevant and whether to pose them and may choose to explain to the party who proposed the questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. Any questions submitted by parties will still be included in the record available to the appeals officer as appropriate.

      This is the final opportunity for parties to offer new evidence.

      Upon receipt of each party’s response to the evidence reviewed, the investigator will determine if any additional investigation is needed. The investigator will consider the responses provided, may pose questions to parties or witnesses as appropriate, and may interview new relevant witnesses, or accept new, relevant, evidence.

      If new relevant evidence is provided by either party, or gathered by the investigator, the newly gathered evidence (including answers to clarifying questions) will be made available for review by each party. Each party will have additional time as determined by the investigator in which to respond to the new evidence. Each may provide a response in writing to the investigator, and the investigator will incorporate any written response provided by the parties into the Final Investigation Report.

      New Evidence at Hearing: Any evidence to be considered by the Hearing Authority must be provided to the Investigator. Information that was not provided to the Investigator will not be allowed during the hearing itself, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that such information was not reasonably known to, or available to, the parties at the time of the investigation. Should new evidence be presented at the hearing, the Hearing Authority will have the authority to delay the hearing and send the matter back for further, limited investigation.

      Final Investigation Report - The investigator will prepare a written report of all of the relevant evidence gathered and all investigative steps taken to date. The investigator will not make any determinations of policy violations. The investigator may suggest preliminary factual findings based on relevant evidence and credibility assessments. The investigator will attach to the Final Investigation Report any responses received in writing from the parties and will include as an attachment all relevant evidence gathered during the investigation, as well as all interview transcripts and interview summaries.

    3. Conclusion of Investigation, Threshold Review of Report

      Prior to issuing the Final Investigative Report to the Parties, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Investigator, will review the draft Final Investigation Summary and make a threshold determination either to dismiss the Complaint or certain allegations within the Complaint, or to proceed to a Hearing.

      Dismissal is appropriate only when required (as described in the Dismissal Section below). A dismissal decision under this provision may not be based solely on an assessment of the credibility of a party or witness and may be appealed within five (5) business days, using one of the permissible grounds for appeal.

      The Hearing phase of the process begins when the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator or designee sends the Notice of Hearing and concludes when the Hearing Authority issues a written Final Determination. Specific deadlines and dates calculated according to these procedures will be outlined in communications from the University.

    4. Post-Investigation Resolution Options

      Shortly after receiving the Final Investigation Report, the Parties will receive a Notice of Resolution Options from the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or their designee. The parties will then again be offered the opportunity to consider an Alternative Resolution prior to proceeding to a Hearing.

      Alternative Resolution: Within five (5) business days of the Notice of Resolution Options, the parties may choose to not proceed to a Hearing, and instead proceed with an Alternative Resolution, as described above. Both parties must voluntarily agree in writing to the Alternative Resolution, and if so, the complaint will be resolved by the Alternative Resolution agreement. At this stage, an Alternative Resolution may involve, among other options, an acceptance of responsibility or violation agreement by the respondent as described in the Alternative Resolution section.

      If both parties do not agree to Alternative Resolution, the complaint will proceed to a Hearing.

    5. Hearing Process - The purpose of a hearing is to provide an equitable forum for the review of the available information regarding an alleged incident of misconduct. The preponderance of the evidence standard is used in determining responsibility, and the respondent is presumed not responsible unless responsibility is established by a conscientious and rational judgment on the whole record indicating it is more likely than not the alleged misconduct occurred.

      Each party will be provided with a Notice of Hearing, which will include information regarding the date of the hearing, the names of the assigned Hearing Authorities, and any deadlines for submission of evidence, names of witnesses, or questions to be reviewed by the Hearing Authorities. The hearing will be scheduled no less than ten (10) business days from the date of the Notice of Hearing.

      Hearings will be scheduled as far in advance as possible. The Hearing facilitator will provide three possible hearing dates to the Parties and their Advisors; one of those dates must be chosen. Exceptions may be granted for good cause. The Hearing facilitator will consult the students’ academic schedules prior to scheduling any conferences or hearings. If there is a legitimate need to reschedule a hearing or conference, the student must contact the Hearing facilitator as soon as possible before the scheduled date to request rescheduling. Any unexcused failure to attend a hearing or conference will result in the hearing being held in the student’s absence.

    6. Hearing Authorities – Hearing authorities are responsible for processing cases involving alleged misconduct as described in this Code. The Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or Title IX Coordinator (or designee) is responsible for determining the appropriate hearing authority for each matter. The following are possible hearing authorities:
      1. Hearing Officer – Appropriate staff members from the University community or agency contracted by the University who are responsible for hearing matters involving alleged violations of this Code and serve to advise both the complainant and the respondent regarding procedures related to this Code. They have the authority to hold pre-hearing conferences, to serve as a hearing officer in an administrative hearing and to serve as a hearing officer on a panel hearing. They have the authority to recommend a full range of sanctions under this Code, up to and including disciplinary suspension and disciplinary expulsion.
      2. University Panel Hearing –The University panel hearing is responsible for hearing matters involving alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct when the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA has determined that disciplinary suspension or disciplinary expulsion may be appropriate sanctions if the respondent is found responsible for the charge(s). A hearing panel is composed of two professional staff members from the University community or agency contracted by the University, and a facilitator. The panel is advised by a member of the Office of Student Affairs and does not directly impose sanctions. In instances where the respondent is found responsible, the panel will make a recommendation regarding sanctions to the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA for Community Care and Inclusion or designee, who will then impose any sanctions.

      All hearings are closed to the public with the exception of support persons for the complainant and respondent, and witnesses for the limited time that they are requested to appear.

      Pre-Hearing Meeting: There will be a pre-hearing meeting with each party at which time, each party must submit to the Hearing facilitator and Hearing Authority:
      • a preliminary list of witnesses they wish to have present at the Hearing;
      • a list of written questions they wish to pose to the other party;
      • a list of written questions they wish to post to any witnesses;

      This meeting is also an opportunity to ask questions about the Hearing and discuss any issues that need to be resolved prior to the Hearing. The Hearing facilitator will also provide the parties with the Rules of Decorum for the Hearing.

      Hearing Structure: Hearings may be conducted in person or via videoconferencing. If by videoconference, prior to the hearing, the Hearing facilitator will have received instruction regarding the operation of any audio-visual equipment for the hearing. The Hearing facilitator will also provide the participants instructions on how to participate in the videoconference hearing. No complainant or respondent will be compelled to participate in the hearing. However, the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA or designee may choose to continue with the hearing in the absence of the complainant, respondent or any witness.

      The general structure of the Hearing will be as follows:
      • Outline of the process, agenda and any expectations for behavior during the hearing;
      • Review of the allegations and any supplemental information;
      • The Hearing Authority will ask questions of each party, in an order determined by the Hearing Authority;
      • The Hearing Authority will provide an opportunity for each party to submit written follow up questions for consideration. The Hearing Authority may then pose any of the party’s questions that are relevant and appropriate.
      • The Hearing Authority will ask questions of any relevant witnesses in an order determined by the Hearing Authority; After each witness, the Hearing Authority will provide an opportunity for each party to submit written follow up questions for consideration. The Hearing Authority may then pose any of the party’s questions that are relevant and appropriate.
      • The Hearing Authority may ask relevant follow-up questions of either party, or any witnesses based on information presented at the hearing;
      • The Hearing Authority will make any closing remarks and end the Hearing;
      • The Hearing Officer or Panel will render a written Final Determination within ten (10) business days of the Hearing.
      • The Hearing Officer or Panel may delay making a decision on responsibility or a sanction if more follow up is needed based on information provided during the hearing.
    7. Final Determination - Following the hearing, the Hearing Authority will then prepare a Final Determination. To the extent credibility determination needs to be made, it will not be based on a person’s status as complainant, respondent, or witness. If a party chooses not to participate, the Hearing Authority will not make a negative inference based solely on the decision not to participate. However, a decision to selectively participate may affect the weight and credibility of the information provided by the party.

      The Hearing Authority's Final Determination will include:
      • The allegations;
      • Description of procedural steps;
      • Findings of fact;
      • Conclusion of application of facts to the Code; and
      • Rationale for the determination.

      The Hearing Authority’s Final Determination will also be provided to the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA, and where appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator. If there is no finding of responsibility, the Hearing facilitator will communicate the findings, along with a copy of the Final Determination, to the parties, together with procedures for appeal.

      If there is a finding of responsibility, the Hearing facilitator will contact the appropriate sanctioning officer who will determine the sanction and notify the Hearing facilitator of the sanctioning determination. The Hearing facilitator will then provide each party with the Final Determination, including the determination of the appropriate sanction, will inform the complainant of any appropriate remedies, and will inform both parties of the procedure for appeals.

5. Dismissal

The University also has the discretion to dismiss a complaint in certain circumstances such as:

  • If prior to the commencement of a hearing, it is determined that the conduct at issue does not meet the definitional or jurisdictional requirements of the Code.
  • If during an investigation or prior to the commencement of a hearing:
    • complainant notifies the Dean of Students for Community Care and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Students at PNCA in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the complaint or any allegations within the Complaint;
    • the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed at the University; or
    • circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination.

In a case where the conduct charges are dismissed, if the alleged conduct would, if true, support a finding that another University policy or code has been violated, the University may, in its sole authority, transfer the case for further handling under the appropriate policy or code. The University may use evidence already gathered during this process for the further handling of the complaint.

Upon dismissal, both parties will be notified in writing of the decision and the rationale for the decision. The decision to dismiss is subject to appeal. Both parties will be notified in writing of any determination made following the appeal.

Reporting and responding parties do not have the right to confront the other party at any time during the hearing.

For cases involving allegations of Title IX sexual or gender-based misconduct, please see the Title IX policy for procedures and reporting and responding student rights applicable to such cases.

VII. Sanctions

When a student or student organization is found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, a sanction appropriate to the policy violation(s) may be assigned by the office of Student Affairs. Sanctions are designed to help prevent subsequent violations, to guide students in future decision making, and where appropriate, remedy any harm to the community.

When considering the sanctions to be imposed, a range of factors may be considered, including:

  1. nature, context, and severity of an incident,
  2. developmental needs of the student,
  3. level of accountability and responsibility taken by the student,
  4. level of cooperation from the student,
  5. need to stop the misconduct and prevent its recurrence,
  6. need to remedy and address the impact or effects of the conduct on others,
  7. disciplinary history of the student,
  8. best interests of the University community, and
  9. any other aggravating, mitigating, or relevant factors.

The written Final Determination received by the respondent will also set forth the sanction(s) imposed. The written decision will include information regarding the appeal process and the deadline for filing an appeal.

Compliance with all assigned sanctions within the time allocated is mandatory. Failure to complete or comply with any assigned sanction, or failure to meet an assigned deadline (if applicable), may result in further disciplinary action, and/or the placement of a hold on a student’s University account. If a student withdraws or takes a leave prior to the completion of their sanctions, they must complete all assigned sanctions before they will be able to re-enroll. One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed if a student is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Restitution
Restitution is assessed to compensate the University for loss, damage or injury. Restitution may take the form of a monetary payment, the repair or replacement of damaged property, or participation in a campus or community work or service project. Fines and restitution must be completed by the date specified when the sanction is given.

Community Service Hours
Community service contribution to the University or an agreed upon recognized nonprofit agency for a specified number of hours. Community service hours must be completed by the date specified when the sanction is given and be pre-approved and verified by the Office of Student Affairs.

Suspension of Privileges
For a specified period, a student may lose the privilege to host student or non-student guests in their residence hall room and/or on campus. A suspension of privileges may also prohibit the student from participating in specified activities, from entering certain University buildings or facilities, or from operating or parking a motor vehicle on campus.

Educational Intervention
A student may be required to meet with another individual or group (i.e., Substance Abuse Specialist, Anger Management course). The number of meetings will be determined by the party to which the student has been referred. Should a student need an outside assessment, the student is solely responsible to pay for all required assessments and any resulting recommended treatment.

Educational/Restorative Sanctions
Educational sanctions include required attendance at an educational program or workshop, reflective/research papers, classes, interviews, presentations, projects, and/or other creative sanctions. Restorative Justice practices fall within the educational sanctions category. These practices require a student to engage in actions to restore the impact of a violation and repair the harms resulting from misconduct on other members of the community. These actions may include letters of apology, drafting and implementing a plan of resolution, engaging in restorative justice conferences, and developing plans for reintegration. Educational sanctions must be completed by the date specified when the sanction is given.

Parent or Family Notification
Contact with a student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may occur or be required in certain circumstances in connection with a matter involving alleged student misconduct, including when (a) there has been a determination that the student’s continued use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance is of concern for the student and/or community (b) knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student in connection with an emergency; or (c) the disclosure is otherwise authorized by law or University policy.

Other Reasonable Sanctions
Any reasonable sanction may be assigned that appropriately promotes the education and development of a student or student organization, ensures safety, or otherwise furthers the mission of the Office of Student Affairs.

Conduct Warning
A warning given for lower level misconduct, which indicates that additional sanctions may be imposed if the student engages in future violations of the Student Code of Conduct. A warning may or may not be accompanied by other sanctions.

Conduct Probation
Conduct Probation may be assigned for repeated misconduct or for more serious misconduct. Students who receive a sanction of conduct probation and have subsequent policy violations may face more severe sanctions, up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University. Periodic probationary meetings may also be required.

Suspension from Housing
A relocation or temporary removal from University housing, given when serious and/or repeated misconduct in the community warrants separation of the student from that community. Suspension from University housing prohibits the student from residing in or visiting specified residence halls and adjacent grounds for a stated period of time. During the period of removal, the student is not eligible for any housing refund.

Dismissal from Housing
Permanent dismissal from University housing, which prohibits the student from living in or being a guest in any University housing. In the case of dismissal from housing, the student is not eligible for any housing refund for the remainder of the term during which the dismissal takes effect.

University Suspension
A temporary suspension from the University (noted in the student’s education records), which prohibits the student from attending the University (at any campus or learning site, or online) or any University events and from entering or being present without permission on any property of the University. During a period of suspension, a student's transcript is stamped: "Disciplinary Suspension from WU". Reinstatement will not be granted until all assigned sanctions are completed and any other conditions met. A student who is suspended from the University will still be responsible for certain tuition and housing charges, subject to any applicable refund policy.

Suspension from Student Club, Organization, or Athletic Team Participation
Disciplinary suspension from a student organization, student group, or athletic team is a temporary revocation of the ability to participate in leadership, membership or engagement with the organized meetings and activities of the organization. A student who is suspended from a club, organization, or team must petition for re-enrollment through the Office of Student Affairs.

Interim Suspensions
An immediate, temporary suspension that remains in effect until the Conduct Review Process has been completed. An interim suspension can be a suspension from the University, housing, a classroom, other University room, space or premises, an academic course, lab, practicum, and/or a suspension of privileges. Interim suspensions are used when the University perceives that because of the nature of the alleged violation or other factors, an interim suspension is advisable to help protect an individual or the University community, property or the normal operations of the University until the Conduct Review Process has been completed.

Conditions of Sanction
In conjunction with a sanction, a student found to have been in violation of misconduct may be assigned conditions of sanction that are educational in nature and reflect the nature of the violation. Conditions of sanction include but are not limited to, reflective papers, seminars, community restitution, access restriction, revocation of rights and privileges, fines/fees, etc. If a student has any outstanding conditions of sanction at the conclusion of disciplinary probation or suspension, that student’s disciplinary probation or suspension status will remain in effect pending the completion of the conditions of sanction. Additionally, failure to complete conditions of sanction by the deadline given will result in the placement of a disciplinary hold on the student's academic records.

University Dismissal
Permanent dismissal from the University (noted in the student’s education records), which prohibits the student from attending the University (at any campus or learning site, or online) or any University events and from entering or being present without permission on any property of the University. A student's transcript is stamped: "Disciplinary Dismissal from WU". A student who is dismissed from the University will still be responsible for certain tuition and housing charges, subject to any applicable refund policy.

Group Probation
A status imposed on a student group or organization for a specific period of time to alert the group to the fact that their choices and behaviors are significantly inconsistent with University policy and expectations. During this time, the group is asked to take active steps toward improving the actions of their group and to demonstrate that they can abide by University policy. Any policy violations while a group is on Disciplinary Probation will result in strong consideration of Group Suspension or Group Dissolution. Group Probation will be assigned for a minimum of three months and typically not more than two years. Probation will frequently be accompanied by a Loss or Restriction of Privileges or Activities sanction.

Group Suspension
This action is a total separation of the group from the University for a specified period of time. This includes total restriction on the organization and its members or supporters conducting any activity on the campuses of the University or at off-campus University-associated events that in any way promote the goals, purposes, identity, programs, membership, or activities of the organization. Group suspension is typically assigned for a minimum of the remainder of the academic year. Once the suspension period is over, if the group has met all other terms of its sanction, it will be allowed to resume activity as a recognized group.

Group Dissolution
Group Dissolution is the termination of the group or organization’s recognition by the University. This action is a total separation of the group from the University. This includes total restriction on the organization and its members or supporters from conducting any activity on the campuses of the University or at off-campus University- associated events that in any way promote the goals, purposes, identity, programs, membership, or activities of the organization. Once dissolved, a group or organization may only reapply for recognition once all current members have left the University community.

Notification to National Organization Representatives
The organization’s national representative, officers, and/or advisers may be notified of the violation for which the student organization has been found responsible.

VIII. Appeals

The decision of the hearing officer (for administrative hearings) or the panel (for panel hearings) is final unless it can be demonstrated that one of the following has occurred:

  1. Relevant, new information (not available at the time of the hearing) has come to light since the decision was made that would have materially affected the outcome.
  2. A procedural error occurred during the Conduct Review Process which materially affected the outcome.
  3. Bias or conflict of interest on the part of an investigator or hearing authority.

Reasons other than these are not eligible for appeal. To request an appeal, a student must complete this appeal form that is sent to the appropriate appeal authority, appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs. The request must be submitted within five (5) business days after the date of notification of the outcome of the hearing and must state clearly the basis for the appeal. The appeal will be reviewed upon receipt, and a decision concerning the appeal will be available within 30 business days.

Where new information or a procedural error is presented, the appeal will either be granted, remanding the case back for a new hearing, or denied. If the appeal is granted, a new panel or hearing officer may administer the hearing. Any new information will be collected and submitted to the panel or hearing officer, and the student will have the same rights afforded to them as in the original hearing process.

In reviewing a challenge of procedural error, the hearing is presumed to have been conducted reasonably and appropriately, thus the burden is on the appealing party to show clear error. The decision of the appeal officer will be final. A student is entitled to one (1) appeal.

Conduct Records and Confidentiality

Student conduct records are maintained in the Office of Student Affairs in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), and University regulations. Student conduct records are maintained separate and apart from all other student records. Conduct records are maintained for seven (7) years after the date of graduation or withdrawal from the University. In cases where the outcome results in a suspension or dismissal, the Office of Student Affairs retains student conduct records indefinitely. Conduct records and related information may be made available to hearing panels and University personnel as necessary. Students may arrange to review their own conduct records and related information by contacting the Office of Student Affairs. The University may not communicate a student’s conduct record and related information to any person or agency without the prior written consent of the student, or except as required by law. All student conduct proceedings are closed to the public and private.

Willamette University

Division of Student Affairs

Address
University Center 3rd Floor
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Phone
503-370-6447