The College’s conduct process begins once a report and/or investigation is received by the Coordinator of Student Conduct. The process for notification of charges and hearing board meetings is described in full at: http://www.keene.edu/handbook/code/ Below are additional elements in the conduct process that are taken into consideration in the case of sexual assault.
Upon receipt of a complaint, which is a report received and investigated by the Department of Campus Safety, the Coordinator of Student Conduct will review the materials and determine, based on the behaviors described in the complaint, what College policies may have been violated. These alleged policy violations constitute the charges filed against the alleged perpetrator when the matter proceeds through the Conduct System.
Both the alleged perpetrator(s) and impacted party may choose an advisor to assist them through the Conduct process. Advisors are limited to members of the College community (student, staff, or faculty), unless concurrent criminal or civil charges have been filed in association with the incident. In such cases, the advisor may be a non-College related attorney.
When a hearing is scheduled, members of the College community that may have first-hand information regarding the alleged incident will be summoned to the hearing to present information. Non-College related individuals may attend the hearing as a witness, however it is the obligation of the student who wants them to attend to notify them of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Additionally, a student must notify the Office of Student Conduct at least 24 hours prior to the hearing if they have requested a non-College related individual(s) to serve as a witness. The College’s Conduct System does not allow expert or character witnesses, or witnesses providing second hand or hearsay information.
A criminal conviction in and of itself may lead to disciplinary action by the College. In addition, behaviors which are both illegal and in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be handled separately in court and on campus even though the incident and the individuals involved are the same. Finally, certain offenses of a sexual nature which may not be considered unlawful or are not pursued in criminal court for other reasons may still be regarded as violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Sexual assault and other types of unprivileged sexual contact could result in costly fines and other criminal penalties including incarceration, and/or strong College sanctions, such as suspension or dismissal. In instances where student organizations are involved, these organizations may also have sanctions taken against them,such as the rescinding of their institutional recognition.
Students who would like more information regarding either the New Hampshire sexual assault statute or College conduct expectations may review the law and the Student Code of Conduct and College Discipline System. They may also contact the Director of Campus Safety, the Dean of Students, the Director of Residential Life and Housing Services, or the Coordinator of the Sexual Assault/Harassment Student Education and Prevention Program.
Leave of Absence/Withdrawal
An alleged victim who requests a leave of absence or withdrawal from the College does not forfeit his/her right to resolution of the complaint.
Any student charged with sexual misconduct violation(s) of the Code of Conduct who requests a leave of absence or withdrawal from the College prior to a hearing will still incur relevant administrative actions. Depending on the case circumstances, these actions may include but not be limited to: the continuation of the conduct process, interim suspension, and/or withdrawal with disciplinary case pending. This latter action makes the charged student ineligible to register or attend classes at any USNH institution for as long as the charge remains pending.
Statement of the Rights of the Alleged Victim
- The right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to college administrators;
- The right to be treated with respect by college officials;
- The right not to be discouraged by college officials from reporting an assault to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
- The right to notification of and assistance in options for changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident ;
- The right to be present throughout the portions of the hearing during which statements are being presented regarding the incident and to be accompanied by a person of the victim’s choice;
- The right not to have the victim’s past sexual history introduced as part of the testimony unless determined to be relevant by the coordinator of Student Conduct or his/her designee;
- The right to make a victim-impact statement and to have that statement considered by the board in determining its sanction;
- The right to be informed immediately of the outcome, pending all appeals;
- The right to the appropriate handling of requests for information from the press, concerned students, parents, and the community.