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Misconduct Policy

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The following text is taken from the Belmont University Bruin Guide.

Statement of Policy

Belmont University is a Christian community of learning and service. Our community is committed to the dignity and worth of every individual, which is embodied in our Community Commitment to Individual Worth.  Sexual misconduct is the antithesis of this Community Commitment. Because of our faith commitment, community values and obligations of federal law under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, members of the Belmont community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct and from retaliation for reporting incidents of sexual misconduct. Accordingly, the community rejects and responds assertively to sexual misconduct violations. When violations are found, Belmont will take action calculated to stop the behavior, ameliorate its effects, and/or prevent the behavior from reoccurring. Such action is likely to include, but is not limited to, suspension, expulsion, or dismissal of the person who violated this policy. This policy statement is aided and supported by the university’s Substance Free Community Policy as well as by its practice of providing secure, single sex on campus residential living areas. 

Preemption Clause

The following process alters the general Accountability Process found in the Bruin Guide and the Employee Handbook. This process governs the community’s response to sexual misconduct violations. When an incident involves multiple alleged violations, one of which is an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, this process will control for all violations.

Jurisdiction

The university retains the right to address violations of its Sexual Misconduct Policy when the violation involves: a Complainant and a Respondent that are both members of the Belmont community, such as, but not limited to, students, faculty, staff, and contractors and the incident occurred on campus; the incident occurred at an off-campus Belmont activity or event; or the incident occurred off-campus and denies or limits the ability of the Complainant to participate in or benefit from Belmont’s educational programs or activities.

When the Complainant or Respondent is not a member of the Belmont community, it limits the authority the university can exercise over that individual. In those situations, the university retains the right to conduct an investigation and provide appropriate remedies. The Title IX Coordinator may continue under the Sexual Misconduct Accountability process, refer the Respondent to a more appropriate university process for a response, close the matter, or take other action within the administrative discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.

The Sexual Misconduct Policy and Other Policy Violations[1] 

The well-being and safety of Belmont community members is of critical importance to our community. Accordingly, special consideration will be given in cases where concern over other violations of policy may create a disincentive for Belmont individuals to report violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. 

If a person(s) reports a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the University will not pursue any other violations it learns of related to the incident. These violations may include, but are not limited to, violations of the Substance-Free Community Policy, Visitation Policy, Sexual Values Policy, etc. This applies to the person making the report, witnesses or others who may be able to provide information, and the person who experienced the sexual misconduct if he or she is someone other than the reporting person.

The university’s goal in not pursuing potential violations by others involved is to encourage reporting. It does not condone those violations. Accordingly, this special consideration will not excuse any violations by someone alleged to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Definitions

  1. Consent:  Belmont University defines consent as follows. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual behavior. Consent to any one form of sexual behavior cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual behavior. Consent cannot be given by someone under the age of 18. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated.
  2. Coercion: Words or conduct that, viewed from the perspective of a Reasonable Person, substantially impair a person’s ability to voluntarily choose whether to engage in a particular sexual act (e.g., Sexual Contact or Sexual Intercourse). Coercion is something more than mere seduction or persuasion. Coercion includes, without limitation:                       
    i.            Physical force; and                             
    ii.            words and /or conduct that would cause a Reasonable Person to fear imminent harm to the person’s health, safety, or property or that of a third person; threat of the loss of a job benefit; or kidnapping of the person or a third person.
  1. Incapacitated (or Incapacitation): A temporary or permanent state in which a person cannot make informed, rational judgments (e.g., judgments concerning Sexual Contact, Sexual Intercourse, or Sexual Exploitation) because the person lacks the physical or mental capacity to understand the consequences of their words and/or conduct; and /or the person is unable to physically or verbally communicate consent.
  2. Preponderance of the Evidence: The amount of evidence that causes one to conclude that an allegation is probably true (i.e., more likely true than not true). If the evidence on a particular allegation is equally balanced, then that allegation has not been proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
  3. Complainant: A person who asserts that he/she has been subjected to Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence. This term does not imply pre-judgment concerning whether the person was subjected to Sexual Misconduct and/ or Relationship Violence.
  4. Responsible Employee: A Belmont employee who has the authority to redress sexual misconduct, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct, or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.
  5. Sexual Misconduct: for the purposes of this policy, “sexual misconduct” is defined as domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation and stalking.

Violations

The following behaviors violate this Sexual Misconduct Policy, betray our Community Commitment to Individual Worth and are contrary to the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. All individuals are protected from the following behaviors regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Alcohol or drug use does not absolve a person of responsibility for committing a violation. 

  1. Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

                 i.            Such conduct is made an explicit or implicit condition of an individual’s academic status or employment; or

                 ii.            Refusing or submitting to such conduct is used as basis for academic or employment decisions; or

                 iii.            Such conduct creates a hostile environment in which the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or the individual’s ability to benefit from the university’s educational experiences or services because it is sufficiently serious, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both an objective (a reasonable person’s view) and subjective (the complainant’s view) standard.

Sexual harassment can include:  Conduct that involves a bargained for exchange of submission to sexual activity for professional or academic favors; conduct that creates a hostile or offensive working or learning environment; or an act of retaliation committed by a faculty member, staff person, or student that adversely affects a person’s employment or educational pursuits because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • a suggestion by a supervisor or professor that sexual involvement with him/her would improve the employee’s chance for promotion or the student’s chance for a good grade;
  • repeated unwelcome sexual attention (comments, questions  about an individual’s sexuality or sex life);
  • repeated and gratuitous comments one’s own sex life and desires;
  • repeated undesired physical contact, such as brushing up  against someone; and
  • sexual harassment also includes sexual violence such as sexual assault and other forms of non-consensual sexual contact.
  1. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact 

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, and that is without consent and/or by force.

Non-consensual sexual contact may include, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • intentionally contacting another’s breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals;
  • intentionally touching another with any of the above mentioned body parts;
  • making another touch you or themselves with or on any of the above mentioned body parts; and
  • any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, regardless of whether it includes breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
  1. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse 

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, and that is without consent and/or by force.

Non-consensual sexual intercourse may include, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • Non-consensual vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger;
  • Non-consensual anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and
  • Non-consensual oral contact (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).
  1. Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct violations.

Sexual exploitation may include, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • invasion of sexual privacy;
  • prostituting another person;
  • non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • engaging in voyeurism;
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another person;
  • exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals; and
  • sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
  1. Domestic and/or Dating Violence

Domestic and/or dating violence is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another with whom they are in an intimate relationship in order to gain or maintain power and control in the relationship.

Domestic and/or dating violence may include, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • physical violence;
  • sexual violence;
  • verbal abuse;
  • emotional abuse;
  • intimidation;
  • threats; and/or
  • and money influence.
  1. Stalking

Stalking is a course of conduct of two or more occurrences directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

 i.            fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

 ii.            suffer substantial emotional distress.

  

Actions Following an Incident

  1. Immediate Steps

Get to a safe place, such as a residence assistant or residence director’s room, the campus security offices located in Gabhart or on 12th Ave South or a trusted friend’s room or off-campus residence. If you are off-campus and injured, call 911 for immediate help. If you are on campus and injured, call Campus Security at (615) 460-6911 for immediate help. Campus Security will come to your aid and summon Metro emergency responders.

If you have been the victim of non-consensual sexual intercourse, it is strongly recommended that you visit an emergency room as soon as possible for a rape evidence examination to preserve evidence and support your opportunity to make decisions later. If possible, take a trusted friend or relative with you to the hospital to provide additional support. Belmont personnel from the Office of Student Affairs are available to accompany you to the hospital. All victims of sexual assault must go to Metro General Hospital. If you go to any other hospital emergency room you will be routed to Metro General Hospital. Metro General Hospital is located at 1818 Albion St, Nashville TN., 37208.

Deciding whether or not to report a crime to police may be difficult for you. If you decide to go to the hospital, by procedure hospital staff will alert the police of your arrival. It is up to you if you would like to file a police report or talk to a police officer. You will be asked if you would like a sexual assault counselor to assist you at the hospital. This counselor is trained to help you think through your options as well as answer any questions that you might have throughout the entire process.

Until you decide whether or not to have evidence collected it is very important to remember that there are things that you should not do:

•           DO NOT shower or brush your teeth, if at all possible.

•           DO NOT go to the bathroom, if at all possible.

•           DO NOT drink or smoke.

•           DO NOT change your clothes or underwear. If you have removed this clothing, bring it with you to the hospital in a paper bag. This may preserve a lot of evidence.

  1. Reporting Sexual Misconduct to the University
  1. Confidential Resources

The Assistant Chief of Programs, Advocacy, and Outreach is a primary source serving as a confidential advisor to provide support, assistance, and knowledge of resources, rights, and referrals to victims of crimes such as sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, harassment, and stalking. The Assistant Chief of Programs, Advocacy, and Outreach may be reached at 615-460-5661 (office). 

Additionally, individuals may seek confidential, professional assistance in the form of counseling, advocacy and/or support related to their experience or a friend’s experience of sexual misconduct via the following Belmont services:

  • Counseling Services at 615-460-6856
  • Health Services at 615-460-5506
  • University Ministries Pastoral Care at 615-460-6419
  1. Non-Confidential Resources

The University has designated certain employees as “Responsible Employees” for reporting violations of the sexual misconduct policy. These employees are officers in Campus Security, staff in Residence Life, staff in the University’s Dean of Students office, staff in Human Resources and/or members of the faculty.  Any person may report sexual misconduct to a Responsible Employee regardless of whether he or she was the one who directly experienced the sexual misconduct.

Alternatively, any person may report sexual misconduct directly to the Title IX Coordinator. Belmont’s Title IX Coordinator is:

Molly Zlock, J.D.
Assistant Dean of Students & Title IX Coordinator
Office of Student Affairs
Beaman Student Life Building, Room 208
TitleIX@Belmont.edu
615-460-6407

Donna Gwaltney, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Human Resources & Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Office of Human Resources
Fidelity Hall, Room 425
TitleIX@Belmont.edu
615-460-6456

  1. Reporting Sexual Misconduct to External Authorities

Behavior that violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy may also constitute illegal criminal acts. The university’s accountability process is separate and different from any criminal process a person may wish to pursue. A person may pursue both simultaneously. The university’s Title IX Coordinator will assist individuals with beginning the process of contacting the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department.

Alternatively, a person may contact the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department directly. The Sex Crimes Section is open from 7:30 AM to 11 PM, Monday through Friday, though detectives are on-call 24 hours a day. To report a crime occurring locally to external authorities, please contact: Nashville Metropolitan Police Department’s Sex Crimes Section at 615-862-7540.

  1. Non-Belmont Resources

Additionally, the following is a list of non-Belmont resources who can assist students who have been affected by sexual assault. Belmont University does not have a contractual relationship with any of the resources listed below. They are simply listed as a courtesy to community members. Individuals should determine for themselves whether they feel the agency will meet their needs.

•           24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-879-1999

•           Crisis Intervention Hotline (crisis counseling) at 615-244-7444    

•           National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233   

•           24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255  

•           Weaver YWCA Domestic Violence Center at 615-242-1199  

Request for Privacy

  1. A Complainant has the right to make a request for privacy.  The Title IX Coordinator will honor a Request for Privacy, except when there is a substantial risk to the safety or orderly operation of the community. To evaluate if the risk of such harm exists, the Title IX Coordinator will consider, but is not limited to, whether:

i.            The Respondent has a demonstrated pattern of behavior violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy;

ii.            The Respondent has threatened further violence;

iii.            The Respondent used a weapon;

iv.            There is more than one Respondent alleged to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy during the incident; and/or

v.            The community is at an increased risk of future acts occurring due to the unique circumstances of the incident (e.g. recurring off-campus house party, etc.).

  1. Complainant should be aware that their request for privacy may hinder the Title IX Coordinator’s ability to take remedial actions. This is particularly true for remedial actions aimed at the Respondent.
  2. A complainant may reopen a report in which a request for privacy has been granted. Complainant should note that the passage of time may inhibit the university’s ability to investigate a reopened report.  

Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process

For the purposes of this section, the Title IX Coordinator includes the university’s identified Title IX Coordinator as well as his or her designee. The Title IX Coordinator coordinates the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, decisions related to routing reports of alleged sexual misconduct to Deputy Title IX Coordinators, granting Requests for Privacy, assigning Investigator(s), pursuing Alterative Administrative Resolution, and determining responsibility.  In consultation with other appropriate campus leaders, the coordinator also assigns sanctions and remedies.

  1. Support Advisors

Throughout the Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process, both parties are entitled to a Support Advisor of their choosing to attend any meetings with the Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Intake Officer or any assigned Investigator(s). An advisor is solely for support and may not speak, present information for consideration, or otherwise directly influence the process. Any attempt to do so can result in the Title IX Coordinator taking action against the advisor up to and including permanent removal from the process and alleging a separate failure to comply violation against the advisor’s party. The University cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an attorney as their advisor, the university in not obligated to provide an attorney to any other party.   

  1. Initial Review

i.            Students 

In matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a Belmont student, a Belmont employee if reported by a student or a non-Belmont affiliate, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will review the initial report and determine if the initial reported behavior falls under the purview of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and if there is reasonable cause to continue.  The Deputy Title IX Coordinator shall request a written statement from the Complainant that includes information related to the circumstances giving rise to the report.  If the Deputy Title IX Officer determines that the written statement contains an allegation of sexual misconduct, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will recommend that the matter:

  1. continue under the Alternative Administrative Resolution Process;
  2. continue under the Formal Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process; or
  3. result in other action within the administrative discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.

 ii.            At Will Employees and Faculty

In matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a Belmont employee reported by another employee, the Title IX Coordinator will review the initial report and determine if the initial reported behavior falls under the purview of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and if there is reasonable cause to continue. If reasonable cause to continue exists, the matter will be referred to the Department of Human Resources for further investigation and adjudication.

  1. Interim Measures

Belmont University will take appropriate measures to protect the Complainant, on an interim and permanent basis, to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities, as well as, to employment. In all cases, remedies—both interim and permanent--can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Removal from or modification of living arrangements;
  • Removal from or modification of academic courses;
  • Removal from or modification of co-curricular program and activities, including athletics;
  • Placement of an administrative hold on a student’s accounts prohibiting access to transcript request and other services, including the issuance of a diploma;
  • Escort by Campus Security while on campus;
  • No-Contact Orders between involved individuals;
  • No-Trespass Order on Belmont’s campus for an individual;
  • Advisory letter. For example, a letter informing a person, organization, team, etc. that actions or behavior that created an environment conducive to violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy should end immediately or result in a further response by the university;
  • Alleging violation(s) of other university commitments or policies for a person, organization, team, etc. whose actions or behavior created an environment conducive to violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy;
  • Assistance with retaking coursework or withdrawing from a course(s) without penalty;
  • Assistance locating an off-campus counselor if on–campus counseling cannot meet needs; and
  • Any necessary emergency action at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, including emergency suspension from the university.
  1. Alternative Administrative Resolution Process

i.            At any time following the initial review and prior to a determination of responsibility, at the request of the parties, at the recommendation of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, the matter may proceed through the Alternative Administrative Resolution Process. 

ii.            The Title IX Coordinator will put all parties on notice of the commencement of an Alternative Administrative Resolution Process by email notification. Additionally, the Respondent will receive a copy of the written statement submitted by the Complainant. An email to a Belmont-provided email address or any attempt to contact non-Belmont individuals is considered notice.  All parties may choose to meet with the Title IX Coordinator to discuss the process.  This meeting shall be limited to procedural information only.  The Title IX Coordinator will not discuss the merits of the allegations with either party.   

iii.            An Alternative Administrative Resolution Determination is final. It formally ends the university’s accountability process related to the alleged incident of sexual misconduct absent new behavior. Accordingly, individuals are advised to give thoughtful consideration on what they desire the university to do in response to an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy before requesting Alternative Administrative Resolution.

iv.            In determining whether to grant Alternative Administrative Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator will consider factors such as, but not limited to, the wishes of both the Complainant and Respondent, substantial risk to the safety or orderly operation of the community, and timing in the process.

v.            Alternative Administrative Resolution allows the Title IX Coordinator to assign sanctions and remedies intended to stop, ameliorate, and prevent the reoccurrence of the sexual misconduct as well as any other violation(s); and create an informational record of the incident for internal purposes and consideration, such as—but not limited to— use in future accountability proceedings, use in recommendations for study abroad, consideration in granting positions that represent the university, and conferring university awards.

vi.            Alternative Administrative Resolution does not allow the Title IX Coordinator to make a determination of responsibility; suspend, expel, dismiss, or place a Respondent on probation status with the university; or create a university conduct record that is subject to internal and external disclosures under FERPA.

vii.            The Title IX Coordinator will deliver resolution letters outlining any sanctions and remedies to the Complainant and Respondent within 60 days from the date of the initial review, barring institutional breaks or other reasonable cause at the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator with notice to the parties.

viii.            Neither a Complainant nor Respondent may appeal an Alternative Administrative Resolution.

ix.            An Alternative Administrative Resolution is a final action and ends university involvement. A report may not be reopened.

  1. Formal Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process

i.            At the recommendation of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator’s initial review or at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, the complaint may proceed in accordance to the Formal Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process.

ii.            The Title IX Coordinator will put all parties on notice of the commencement of a Formal Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process by email notification.  In addition, the Respondent will be provided a copy of the written statement submitted by the Complainant. An email to a Belmont-provided email address or any attempt to contact non-Belmont individuals is considered notice.  All parties may choose to meet with the Title IX Coordinator to discuss the process.  This meeting shall be limited to procedural information only. The Title IX Coordinator will not discuss the merits of the allegations with either party.

iii.            The Title IX Coordinator maintains the right to review whether reasonable cause exists during the Formal Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process. If at any time the Title IX Coordinator determines that reasonable cause does not exist, the Title IX Coordinator has the sole discretion to end the Formal Sexual Misconduct Accountability Process with notice to the parties.  

iv.            The Title IX Coordinator will assign at least one (1) neutral investigator to the investigation. The investigators will be Belmont employees who are trained on a yearly basis to conduct these types of investigations.

v.            Once assigned, an Investigator will contact the parties to schedule an investigation. A maximum of three attempts will be made to contact the parties using either his or her Belmont provided email account or the contact information provided in the initial report.

vi.            The Investigator(s) reserves the right to schedule the time, date, and location at his/her sole discretion and may take under consideration such factors as person’s schedule, Investigator(s) schedule, prejudice to the person of delaying the hearing date, the time necessary to collect information, nature of the alleged violation(s) and other factors. The parties may participate in person (preferred), in writing, by phone, or electronically.

vii.            The Investigator(s) shall not meet with the Complainant and Respondent at the same time.

viii.            The Investigator(s) should interview the parties regarding the Complainant’s written statement. An investigator shall not consider any evidence about the parties’ prior sexual conduct with anyone other than each other.  Evidence of a prior consensual dating or sexual relationship between the parties by itself does not imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual misconduct. 

ix.            During an investigation, parties may:

  1. Present information in any form (personal account, text messages, emails, etc.) regarding what happened during the alleged incident;
  2. Inform the Investigator(s) of any witnesses of the alleged incident and provide their contact information; and/or
  3. Not provide information in response to questions at his or her choosing.

x.            In consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, the Investigator(s) will determine whether information is relevant to determining what happened during an incident. Accordingly, the Investigator(s) may redirect or not allow information to be shared.

xi.            The Investigator may meet with individuals that have information regarding what happened during an incident as many times as he or she reasonable believes is necessary to collect information.

xii.            All in-person interviews will be recorded.

xiii.            The Investigator(s) will prepare a statement for the parties and their witnesses based on the information provided at the interview(s). Once this statement is prepared, the Investigator(s) will email the statement to the parties and provide A deadline to approve the statement via email acknowledgement. The parties shall inform the Investigator(s) of any discrepancies within the statement and make any necessary amendment prior to approving the statement.

xiv.            Witnesses are expected to cooperate with all university investigations.  In some circumstances and at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, a witness may be compelled to participate.   Investigator(s) will attempt to contact a witness no less than 3 times.  If the witness does not respond after the third attempt, the Investigator(s) will determine that the witness does not want to participate in the investigation.  Witnesses who elect not to participate in the investigation are prohibited from presenting any information regarding the alleged conduct for the remained of the investigation, including the appellate stage unless the information was not available at the time of the request.  

xv.            Prior to completing an investigation, the Investigator(s) shall email all final statements and evidence to the parties for their review. The parties shall have two business days to review the information and submit a final statement based on the information. If a party fails to provide comment within the two business day period, the university will proceed with the accountability process under the assumption that all information in the investigatory file is accurate. Following the two business day period of review, the Investigator(s) will submit the entire investigatory file to the Title IX Coordinator for determination of responsibility.     

  1. Determination of Responsibility

i.            The Title IX Coordinator will review the investigatory file and make a determination of responsibility regarding the alleged violation(s).

ii.            The determination of responsibility will be based upon the preponderance of the evidence; accordingly, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether it was more likely than not an alleged violation(s) occurred.

iii.            Based on the investigatory file, the Title IX Coordinator may find the Respondent responsible for the alleged violation or not responsible for the alleged violation. 

iv.            Prior to making a determination, the Title IX Coordinator may ask the Investigator(s) to clarify information, give an opinion on the credibility of the information, and address any other concerns relevant to his or her deliberations.

v.            Prior to making the determination, the Title IX Coordinator may consider granting an Alternative Administrative Resolution if requested by the Complainant or Respondent or proceeding with the Alternative Administrative Resolution Process at their discretion.

vi.            If the Respondent is found responsible, the Title IX Coordinator will assign sanctions and remedies in consultation with other appropriate campus leaders.

vii.            The Title IX Coordinator will deliver written outcome letters to both the Complainant and Respondent, which state the determination of responsibility and any sanctions or remedies within 60 days from the date of the initial review, barring institutional breaks or other reasonable cause at the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator with notice to the parties.

viii.            Determination of Responsibility, sanctions, and remedies will become part of the Respondent’s university conduct record and may be shared both internally and externally in accordance with the person’s FERPA rights.

  1. Sanctions or Remedies

In accordance with his or her authority and in consultation with other appropriate campus leaders, the Title IX Coordinator may assign sanctions or remedies. Sanctions and remedies are calculated to stop the behavior, ameliorate its effects, and/or prevent the behavior from reoccurring. Absent any other escalating factors, the community’s response to a person’s first violation for non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, or sexual exploitation consistently includes separation from the community via suspension, expulsion, or dismissal as well as additional sanctions. In all cases, sanctions for violation(s) can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Verbal Reprimand;
  • Written Reprimand;
  • Removal of University Housing. A person removed from Belmont housing for accountability reasons will be responsible for all housing charges assessed for the semester he/she is removed. Students will forfeit $100 housing deposit. Additionally, the student will be responsible for the complete payment of his/her current meal plan, unless he/she receive an exemption from University Housing;
  • Restitution;
  • Fines;
  • Reflection Essays;
  • Letters of Apology;
  • Required attendance in educational seminars, programs, etc.;
  • Drug Testing;
  • Loss of privileges, such as the privilege to move off-campus, membership in co-curricular organizations, etc.;
  • Permanent No-Contact Orders between involved individuals;
  • Permanent No-Trespass Order on Belmont’s campus for an individual;
  • Limited Probation. Limited Probation is defined as a period of time during which any further violation of the same nature within the Community Code of Conduct puts the student’s status with the University in jeopardy. If the student is found “responsible” for another violation of the same nature during the period of Limited Probation, serious consideration will be given to imposing a sanction of Institutional Probation, Suspension or Expulsion. Limited Probation could potentially affect the students’ ability to represent the University in leadership positions or on athletic teams, participation in student activities or study abroad opportunities, your entrance into University residence halls or other areas of campus, or contact with another specific person(s). The University may choose to treat violations of a different nature either as separate from the limited probation or extend the limited probation to encompass that behavior. In those circumstances, the University will consider the totality of the students’ conduct record when determining an appropriate sanction;
  • Institutional Probation. Institutional Probation is defined as a period of time during which any further violation of the Community Code of Conduct puts the student’s status with the University in jeopardy. If the student is found “responsible” for another violation during the period of Institutional Probation, serious consideration will be given to imposing a sanction of Suspension or Expulsion. Institutional Probation could potentially affect his/her ability to represent the University in leadership positions or on athletic teams, participation in student activities and study aboard opportunities, entrance into University residence halls or other areas of campus, or contact with another specific person(s);
  • Suspension from Belmont University. Separation from the University for a specified period, which includes loss of all tuition, fees, coursework and other privileges of an enrolled student; and
  • Expulsion from Belmont University. Separation from the University without the possibility of readmission. A student will lose all tuition, fees, coursework and other privileges of an enrolled student.
  1. Appeal Request & Review

i.            Only Determinations of Responsibility and any related sanctions or remedies may be appealed. Alternative Administrative Resolutions Determinations may not be appealed.

ii.            Both the Complainant and Respondent may submit an appeal. An appeal request form should be completed and submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, within two business days from the date the person is delivered his or her outcome letter. The person requesting the appeal is responsible for clearly stating the reason for appeal as well as any supporting materials. The form is available from the Title IX Coordinator.

iii.            The form should state the reason(s) for appeal and information that supports the reason.

iv.            Reasons for appeal are limited to:

v.            Procedural error, which may have a bearing on the Determination of Responsibility, sanctions, or remedies;

vi.            New information that was not available at the time of the investigation which may have a bearing on the initial decision(s); and/or

vii.            Information demonstrating that there is no way a reasonable person could have arrived at a similar Determination of Responsibility, sanctions, or remedies as the Title IX Coordinator absent bias. 

viii.            The Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant when a Respondent has filed an appeal and vice-versa. An email to a Belmont-provided email address or any attempt to contact non-Belmont individuals is considered notice.

ix.            The Title IX Coordinator will assign an appellate officer to review the appeal request form.

x.            The person requesting the appeal is not required to be in attendance for the appellate review and will not be included in the review. The person may request to meet with the appellate officer. Requests are granted at the discretion of the appellate officer.

xi.            The appellate officer will decide whether or not to grant an appeal. If the appellate officer finds no reason for appeal exists, then the original response and any sanctions will stand. If the appellate officer finds a reason for appeal exists, he or she has the option of recommending to the Title IX Coordinator that the original determination of responsibility as well as sanctions and remedies should stand as is; the original determination of responsibility should stand but sanctions and remedies should be modified; or the determination of responsibility should be reversed, sanctions should be reversed, and remedies modified or reversed.  The appellate officer cannot increase sanctions.

xii.            The appellate review will be delivered to the Complainant, Respondent, Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal request form.

xiii.            The Associate Provost and Dean of Students retains the right to determine the final outcome of an incident. The Dean of Students/Provost will take the appellate review under consideration and communicate to the Complainant and Respondent the final Determination of Responsibility, sanctions, and/or remedies within 10 business days of delivery of the appellate review (Final Outcome).

xiv.            There is no review of the Associate Provost and Dean of Students’ Final Outcome.

xv.            Suspensions, expulsions, and dismissal will not take effect until the appellate review is complete, except in the case of an emergency action.



[1] The Sexual Misconduct Policy, in part, addresses non-consensual sexual behavior. This policy is not to be confused with the community’s policy regarding consensual sexual behavior. Please refer to the “Sexual Values Policy” in the Community Commitment to Self-Control section of the Bruin Guide for expectations related to consensual sexual behavior. Consent is defined under the Definition section of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.