A. End of Term
Incidents reported during the last 15 working days of each semester, as well as January and Summer terms, conduct bodies may consider Incident Reports within 24-hours of the meeting notice. Incident reports not reviewed in meetings before the end of the term will be reviewed (without the presence of the student(s) named on the report) by a Review Officer or a panel of Student Life representatives advised by the Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities. Notification of decisions and sanctions will be sent by email.
B. Summer/January Term
The standard provision for Conduct Body reviews are followed as much as reasonably possible with the available personnel. The Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities may ask board members and Review Officers appointed or elected for the prior academic term to continue. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students shall appoint any additional student members required and the university Provost shall appoint any faculty members required.
C. Emergencies or Unusual Circumstances
At her/his discretion, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students may immediately review emergencies or unusual circumstances in which student conduct interferes seriously with the rights of others, with the normal ongoing work and activities of the university, or poses possible danger to the health, safety, and welfare of that individual or other people or property. In such special situations, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students may issue a temporary decision and temporary sanction to stabilize the situation, and prevent further disruption or harm. This may involve steps up to and including, the immediate removal of students from the campus and community, without limitation.
As soon as is practical thereafter, the allegations against the student will be heard by the URB or a team of Review Officers at a special meeting called by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. At such a Review Meeting, the student will be accorded the rights set out in Section IV of these procedures, except that the timelines set out in Section IV – Subsection A and for the entire Student Rights and Responsibilities process may vary.
D. Special Considerations in Sexual Misconduct Cases
PLU takes allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence very seriously. Allegations that PLU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy has been violated trigger some procedures in addition to those set out above as required by federal law.
PLU generally investigates allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence in one or more of three ways. All three processes are designed to:
- Provide notice to students and employees of sexual misconduct grievance procedures, including where complaints may be filed; Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures: Section III. Incident Reports B. Process for Submission of Incident Reports; UDRC: https://www.plu.edu/udrc/Policies-Procedures/home.php
- Apply the procedures to complaints alleging harassment carried out by employees, other students, or third parties;
- Provide for adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints, including the opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence;
- Set out designated and reasonably prompt time frames for the major stages of the complaint process; Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures: See VII. Review Procedures B. Timing of Process UDRC: https://www.plu.edu/udrc/Policies-Procedures/home.php
- Provide notice to parties of the outcome of the complaint; Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures: See VIII. Decisions.; UDRC: [https://www.plu.edu/udrc/Policies-Procedures/home.php]
- Assure community members that the school will take steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.
PLU’s three processes are:
The Student Rights and Responsibilities Process is utilized if allegations are made that a current student has violated PLU’s Sexual Misconduct policy in its Student Code of Conduct. The process is governed by PLU’s Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures, See VII. Review Procedures.
The University Dispute Resolution Process is utilized if allegations are made that PLU’s Human Resources Policy has violated by a faculty or staff member, or a third party. The process is governed by PLU’s Grievance Procedures.
Further Investigation by the Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is advised of and monitors all allegations of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment or sexual violence, as they are filed in and investigated and determined through either the Student Rights and Responsibilities process or the UDRC process. The Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities and all UDRC Committee Members have been designated as Title IX Deputies to actively participate in the Student Rights and Responsibilities and Dispute Resolution processes, respectively. All final determinations of either group are forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator for review. The Title IX Coordinator will, in her/his sole discretion, decide whether further investigation is necessary to determine whether a violation of Title IX may have occurred. PLU’s Student Code of Conduct Sexual Misconduct Policy – which is designed to educate students about healthy sexual interaction - prohibits some sexual conduct that may not rise to the level of sexual harassment or violence as defined by Title IX. As a result, it is possible for a student to be found “Responsible” and sanctioned for a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy in the Student Code of Conduct, but for a determination to be made that the conduct has not violated Title IX.
If the Title IX Coordinator investigates further, and discovers information that causes him/her to believe Title IX may be violated, s/he may file an independent Incident Report in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Process or a Complaint in the Grievance Process based on the additional information. The prompt and equitable procedures set out in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures and the Grievance Procedures will be utilized to review the additional information.
All questions about PLU’s efforts to stop sexual harassment and sexual violence should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities.