A victim does not have to be a member of the University community; guests or visitors may also be victims. When an incident occurs off-campus, even if the victim is not a member of the University community, the victim may have the right to file a complaint with Office of Student Conduct. This is possible when the behavior is considered to have a substantial University interest, or in other words, the student is likely to endanger others, repeat the behavior, or interfere with the educational process and operation of the University.
Most Code of Conduct violations involve a potential victim so the following list does not cover all possibilities. The most common offenses against others are:
- Endangering Others
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse and/or assault
- Theft or damage of property
- Other offenses that violate rights to privacy or that could lead to violence.
Victims have rights and the Office of Student Conduct has a responsibility to protect those rights like:
- To have a Victim/Witness Advocate from on or off campus to assist throughout the discipline process. The Advocate may assist in the following ways:
- Provide emotional support
- Arrange for other services as needed, such as counseling, medical treatment, etc.
- Be with you at the hearing and, if needed, raise objections and advise you on questions.
- Assist in preparing a victim impact statement.
- To have an Administrative Directive sent immediately to the respondent that forbids him/her from contacting you by any method including through friends or acquaintances. If this is violated, the respondent may be immediately separated (interim expulsion).
- If the respondent is a roommate or lives close to you in the residence halls and threat is a consideration, arrangements can be made to find a new room for you or, in some cases, the accused may be asked to be moved and prohibited from visiting a particular hall or campus area.
- To be informed of outcome of the discipline process.
In the event of a hearing, the victim also has these rights:
- To have unrelated past behavior excluded from the hearing
- The choice to participate either for the entire hearing or only for her/his testimony
- The opportunity to testify with special accommodations: i.e. over the phone, behind a screen, video teleconference at other location of her/his choice, etc.
- To have an advocate from on or off-campus
- To have no direct contact with the respondent: i.e. questions from the respondent would be posed through a third party (i.e. the chairperson) and then relayed to the victim
- The option to provide questions to the Presenter prior to or during the hearing that she/he may incorporate those into questioning the accused student
- The right to provide a victim impact statement that will be reviewed only by the board in the event that the respondent is found responsible. The impact statement may be considered before the board determines a sanction
- The opportunity to request a recess during the hearing if she/he needs a break or wishes to consult with an advocate or the chairperson
- In the instance of a University Hearing Board Hearing, the option to appeal the Hearing Board's decision for one of the following reasons:
- Stated procedures were not followed that affected the hearing outcome
- New evidence is presented that was not available during the time of the original hearing and the information is relevant to establish that the respondent may be responsible for any misconduct
- The sanction(s) imposed was outside the University's sanction range for such violations and/or not justified by the nature of the offense.