The College’s conduct process begins once a report and/or the results of an investigation is received by the Student Conduct Office. The process for notification of charges and hearing board meetings is described in full in the Student Code of Conduct.
Listed below are elements in the conduct process that come into play in the case of an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Upon receipt of a report/investigation results, the Coordinator of Student Conduct will review the materials and determine, based on the behaviors described, what College policies may have been violated. These alleged policy violations will become the charges filed against the accused student(s) when the matter proceeds through the conduct system.
Both the accused student(s) and impacted party may choose an advisor to assist them through the Conduct process. Advisors are limited to current members of the College community (student, staff, or faculty). If concurrent criminal or civil charges have been filed in association with the incident then the student may have their non-College related attorney attend the hearing as a non-participating observer.
When a hearing is scheduled, members of the College community that have first-hand information regarding the alleged incident may be asked to attend 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 the individual(s) of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Additionally, a student must notify the Student Conduct Office 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
- Behaviors which are illegal and in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be handled by both the courts and on campus conduct system
- Certain offenses 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
Violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy may result in College suspension or dismissal. In instances where student organizations are involved, these organizations may also have sanctions taken against them, including the rescinding of their institutional recognition.
Students who would like more information regarding either the New Hampshire Sexual Assault Statute or College conduct expectations should review the law and the Student Code of Conduct. They may also contact the Director of Campus Safety, the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students.
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
The 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 it is determined by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or his/her designee; that the relevency outweighs the prejudicial effect.
- 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.