Resolution No.1

SEXUAL ASSAULT TASK FORCE RESOLUTION I

RESOLUTION TO ADOPT A DEFINITION OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

WHEREAS, the physical and emotional well-being of all students in the Columbia University community is of utmost concern, and

WHEREAS, insuring mutual responsibility for this well-being requires that standards of sexual conduct be recognized and maintained by members of the Columbia University community,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University adopt the following definition of sexual misconduct:

Sexual misconduct is non-consensual, intentional physical contact of a sexual nature which includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome physical contact with a person's genitals, buttocks, or breasts. Lack of consent may be inferred from the use of force, coercion, physical intimidation, or advantage gained by the victim's mental or physical incapacity or impairment of which the perpetrator was aware or should have been aware.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this definition be widely distributed and used to educate the University community regarding sexual misconduct.

Resolution No.2

SEXUAL ASSAULT TASK FORCE RESOLUTION II

RESOLUTION TO ENHANCE UNIVERSITY PROCEDURES FOR RESPONDING TO INCIDENCES OF ALLEGED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

WHEREAS, the physical and emotional well-being of all students in the Columbia University community is of utmost concern, and

WHEREAS, students and others have expressed concern that current University structures and resources are insufficient to meet the physical and emotional needs of individuals experiencing sexual misconduct;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University establish a system of 24 hour, rotating on-call volunteer advocates affiliated with the Rape Crisis Center to respond immediately to individuals experiencing sexual misconduct. Upon receiving a request from such an individual, the advocate would proceed immediately to a campus meeting place designated by that individual and offer support, reassurance, and education about various avenues for handling the immediate situation. The advocate would accompany the individual to the hospital emergency room, if the individual so chose, and would assist him/her in contacting University security and the local police department. The advocate would supply the individual with written materials on procedures for pursuing a complaint through the campus disciplinary system as well as through the criminal courts. The advocate would also make information available regarding mediation and counseling resources in the University. The advocate would maintain contact with the in dividual over a period of several weeks with her/his consent to see if further information or assistance was needed, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that for those individuals experiencing sexual misconduct who do not require immediate crisis intervention, the University Ombuds Officer would be available as a resource for mediating complaints and providing direction in pursuing disciplinary action within the University system. In cases where mediation is elected by the individual and agreed to by the person accused of perpetrating the sexual misconduct, a written agreement between the two parties outlining rules for future inte ractions between them would be the only documentation of the mediation process. Copies of this agreement would be kept only by the parties themselves. If mediation was deemed unwarranted or unsuccessful by the individual experiencing the sexual miscondu ct or by the person accused, the Ombuds Officer would provide the individual with information regarding other options within the University for pursuing a complaint of sexual misconduct, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these enhanced resources be widely publicized within the University community.

Resolution No. 3

SEXUAL ASSAULT TASK FORCE RESOLUTION III

RESOLUTION TO IMPROVE DEAN'S DISCIPLINE IN CASES INVOLVING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

WHEREAS, the physical and emotional well-being of all students in the Columbia University community is of utmost concern, and

WHEREAS, University statutes provide that it is the duty of the Dean of each Faculty to administer discipline in the school or college of which he or she is Dean, subject to the reserve powers of the President and the Provost, and

WHEREAS, students and others in the University community have expressed concern regarding the absence of standardized procedures and training for those currently handling cases of sexual misconduct under Dean's Discipline,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Provost convene a working group of deans to develop a procedures manual for handling cases of sexual misconduct through the current process of Dean's Discipline. Information on these procedures would also be made widel y available to students, for example through the reserve desk in Butler Library and FACETS, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that those deans who hear cases of sexual misconduct through Dean's Discipline receive training in the psychological, social, and legal issues involved as well as on the procedures established for hearing such cases. This training may, but need not be, offered in conjunction with training provided to others on campus such as Rape Crisis volunteers or disciplinary panel members.

Resolution No. 4

SEXUAL ASSAULT TASK FORCE RESOLUTION IV

RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH AN ALTERNATIVE FORM OF DEAN'S DISCIPLINE FOR HEARING CASES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVOLVING STUDENTS

WHEREAS, University statutes provide that it is the duty of the Dean of each Faculty to administer discipline in the school or college of which he or she is Dean, subject to the reserve powers of the President and the Provost, and

WHEREAS, students and others in the University community have expressed their desire for an alternative procedure to be available in addition to the traditional form of Dean's Discipline for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct involving students, and

WHEREAS, the Senate wishes to make available to the Deans of the various Faculties, and their designated administrators responsible for the management of Dean's Discipline, alternative procedures for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct under the D eans' statutory responsibility for administering student discipline,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Senate adopt on a three-year trial basis, to be reviewed by the Senate after that time, an alternative form of Dean's Discipline, the disciplinary hearing panel, for hearing cases of sexual misconduct involving students , which shall be structured as follows:

DISCIPLINARY HEARING PANEL

SELECTION OF PANEL MEMBERS

A disciplinary hearing panel will be convened by the Assistant Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEOAA) upon written request from a "gatekeeper" Dean, accompanied by complainant's written statement of the alleged assault. The discipl inary hearing will commence as soon as possible but in any case not later than one month (30 calendar days) from the date the written request from the "gatekeeper" is received.

Each hearing panel will be composed of three (3) persons as follows: a student, a faculty member, and an officer of administration. Unless complainant and accused agree, none of these shall come from the school or department of the complainant or a ccused nor shall any have prior association with either party to the complaint. The Assistant Provost for OEOAA will identify appropriate panel members for each hearing from a pool of individuals who have been selected by her/him in consultation with the Provost and Council of Deans from nominees of faculties of the various schools and departments, administrative groups, and student councils or votes of student bodies. Names of members of specific hearing panels will be kept strictly confidential by all parties involved.

COMPOSITION OF HEARING PANEL POOL

The hearing panel pool will consist at all times of 8 students (4 graduate and 4 undergraduate), 8 faculty members distributed among the various schools and departments of the University, and 6 officers of administration also distributed across the U niversity. The names of members of this pool will be made available upon request through the office of the Assistant Provost for OEOAA. It is intended that each person in the hearing panel pool serve for a minimum of two years and receive special traini ng on legal and psychosocial aspects of sexual misconduct.

NOTIFICATION OF THE ACCUSED

Upon receipt of written request for a panel hearing and written statement of the complainant, the Assistant Provost for OEOAA will notify accused by telephone and registered letter of the complaint against him/her. At this time, accused will receive (1) a copy of the complainant's written statement; (2) a description of the panel disciplinary process which includes discussion of her/his rights and responsibilities, including the right to be accompanied by an advisor of his/her choice; and, (3) a directi ve not to communicate with the complainant personally or through intermediaries in any way, violation of which may result in immediate disciplinary action by the Dean of the accused's school or department.

Accused will be requested to respond to the allegations against him/her in writing within two weeks (10 working days) of receipt of this notification. Along with a written response, accused will be asked to supply names and addresses of witnesses or others who can corroborate her/his response to the allegations. Failure of the accused to respond to notification within the time specified will not affect commencement of the panel hearing.

WITNESSES AND OTHER SUPPORTING EVIDENCE

Complainant and accused will be requested to supply the Assistant Provost for OEOAA with names, addresses, and telephone numbers of corroborating witnesses or others who can testify to their versions of the alleged sexual misconduct. These witnesses wil l be notified by registered letter of the time and place of the panel hearing and requested to appear to give testimony. Witnesses will be urged to cooperate; however, it is recognized that they are under no compulsion to do so.

Each party's list of witnesses will be made available to the other party no later than 48 hours before the hearing takes place. No witness whose name does not appear on these lists will be allowed to testify at the panel hearing unless it is delayed as described below. Under no circumstances are parties to the complaint or their representatives to make any contact with witnesses for the other party prior to the panel hearing. Violation of this prohibition may result in immediate disciplinary action by the Dean of the offending party's school or department.

HEARING PANEL PROCEDURES

ROLE OF ADVISORS TO COMPLAINANT AND ACCUSED
Both complainant and accused may be accompanied at the panel hearing by one individual of their choice, including an attorney, if so desired, to offer them support, guidance, consultation, and advice. This advisor may not directly question panel mem bers, witnesses, or the opposing party, or make statements on behalf of his/her advisee. However, the adviser may consult with his/her advisee on any matter, including actions the advisee should take to avoid self-incrimination. At all times, panel memb ers will direct and control the proceedings and set boundaries for appropriate conduct during the hearing process.

There will be no direct verbal interaction between complainant and accused or between advisors to the two parties. All communication will be directed through the hearing panel which will carry responsibility for questioning the parties and witnesses. E ither party can submit written questions to the panel to be asked to the other.

CONDUCT OF THE HEARING
Only panel members and parties to the allegations and their advisors will be present at all times during the hearing process. Witnesses will remain in another room until called, outside hearing-range of the proceedings.

The panel members will have discretion to arrange the hearing in such a way that takes into account any special needs of the parties to the complaint.

Hearing panel proceedings will be tape recorded for use in an appeal of panel findings. These tapes will be kept in a locked vault in Low Library under supervision of the Secretary of the University and destroyed when all appeals have been exhausted or time limits on appeals have expired.

Parties to the complaint as well as their advisors and witnesses are obligated to keep the proceedings confidential. Even after the hearing process and all appeals are completed, no one shall make public a name not his/her own.

RULES OF EVIDENCE
The burden of proving the allegations against the accused is carried by the complainant. S/he must present clear and convincing evidence that sexual misconduct occurred. "Clear and convincing" means that the hearing panel members must be convinced that it is highly probable that sexual misconduct has occurred.

With the exception of the prior relationship between the complainant and the accused, the prior sexual history of either party shall not be admissible as evidence.

It is up to the parties to the complaint to present credible evidence supporting their claims to the panel during the hearing. Physical evidence in the possession of either party (e.g. in his or her room or locker) may not be obtained or introduced without that party's written consent.

Each party will supply a description of the evidence s/he will present at the hearing to the Assistant Provost for OEOAA at least 3 days prior to the hearing. This information will be made available to the other party at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. Evidence not previously made available to the other party in this way may not be introduced at the hearing itself. An exception may be made in the case of evidence that emerges during the hearing process. In this case, such evidence may be in troduced with consent of both parties. If such consent is not forthcoming, the hearing must be delayed 48 hours prior to the introduction of such evidence.

The accused's refusal to answer panel members' questions or to cooperate in university disciplinary proceedings against him/her will not be taken by the panel as evidence of guilt in the alleged incident. However, as in traditional Dean's Discipline , the panel proceedings will go forward even without the accused's active cooperation.

DISPOSITION AND DISCIPLINARY RECOMMENDATIONS
Panel members must unanimously agree on the basis of clear and convincing evidence that it is highly probable that sexual misconduct occurred for the accused to be found guilty.

If the accused is found guilty, the complainant may make a "victim's impact statement" describing how the event affected his/her life, including recommendations for the type of disciplinary action s/he would like to see taken. This statement is not bin ding on the panel but will be given due consideration in panel deliberations regarding appropriate disciplinary action against the accused.

Similarly, the accused, if found guilty, may submit a statement and supporting evidence directly to the panel in mitigation of the offense, as well as disciplinary recommendations.

If, during the course of the panel hearing process, it becomes evident to panel members that the complainant has maliciously made false accusations or otherwise acted in bad faith, panel members may vote to dismiss all charges against the accused and recommend disciplinary actions against the complainant as judged appropriate.

If the accused is found guilty, panel members will make formal recommendation to the Dean of Students or other appropriate dean of the accused's school or department regarding disciplinary action to be taken. As in traditional Dean's Discipline, possi ble disciplinary actions include: (1) immediate expulsion without possibility of readmission; (2) suspension for a specified period of time; (3) required withdrawal for a stipulated period with provision for counseling, formal apology, community service, or other form of restitution; (4) continued enrollment with provision for counseling, formal apology, community service, or other form of restitution. All forms of discipline may or may not include formal notation on a student's transcript.

Both parties to the complaint will be notified by telephone and registered letter of the panel's findings and recommendations for disciplinary action within two weeks (10 working days) of the hearing. Copies of this letter will also be sent to the O ffice of the President of the University and to the accused's Dean of Students or other appropriate dean. Implementation of the panel's recommendations is at the discretion of the accused's Dean of Students; however, it is expected that these recommendat ions will be followed unless there are extenuating circumstances unknown to panel members at the time disciplinary recommendations were made. In such a case, the Dean of Students will notify panel members of the reasons for his/her alternative action.

APPEAL PROCESS
An individual who believes s/he has been wrongfully found guilty of sexual misconduct under these procedures may appeal the hearing panel's decision to the Dean of his/her school or department. S/he should notify her/his Dean as soon as possible of the intent to appeal. A formal appeal must be made in writing, hand delivered or sent by certified mail, no later than one week (5 working days) after receiving notification of the panel's findings. This document must clearly state why the accused believes s/he was unjustly found guilty of the allegations against him/her.

The Dean may review the audio tape of the panel proceedings but will not conduct a new investigation. The basis of deciding an appeal will be (1) whether the disciplinary hearing process was fairly conducted and (2) whether the panel's finding of gu ilt and recommended disciplinary action are reasonable under the circumstances of the case. Any new evidence or witnesses not available at the time of the original hearing must be presented to the original hearing panel before being presented on appeal.

CASES INVOLVING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION
In those cases where the complainant also files a criminal complaint, or where the accused is under investigation or accused of a criminal offense involving the same conduct, the University shall suspend internal disciplinary proceedings until the matter is resolved in the criminal justice system. In such cases, the Assistant Provost for OEOAA will notify the Dean of Students or other appropriate dean of the accused's school who will take whatever action s/he deems necessary to protect the safety and we ll-being of the complainant and the campus community. This may include suspension of the accused without prejudice pending the outcome of legal proceedings against him/her, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution sets forth an alternative to traditional Dean's Discipline in the event of an allegation of sexual misconduct against a currently enrolled student in the University. Nothing in the resolution is meant to preclu de the University, or any of its schools, from taking any disciplinary action deemed appropriate under existing procedures and powers.

Resolution No. 5

SEXUAL ASSAULT TASK FORCE RESOLUTION V

RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH A PROCESS FOR ACCESSING THE DISCIPLINARY HEARING PANEL

WHEREAS, University statutes provide that it is the duty of the Dean of each Faculty to administer discipline in the school or college of which he or she is Dean, subject to the reserve powers of the President and the Provost, and

WHEREAS, students and others in the University community have expressed their desire for an alternative procedure to be available in addition to the traditional form of Dean's Discipline for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct involving students, and

WHEREAS, the Senate wishes to make available to the Deans of the various Faculties, and their designated administrators responsible for the management of Dean's Discipline, alternative procedures for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct under the D eans' statutory responsibility for administering student discipline, and

WHEREAS, the Senate has adopted on a three-year trial basis an alternative form of Dean's Discipline, the disciplinary hearing panel, for hearing cases of sexual misconduct involving students,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that access to the disciplinary hearing panel process be structured as described below:

"GATEKEEPERS"

Nine Deans or Assistant Deans of Students across the university [including one each from Barnard and Teachers College, if they so elect] will be identified to receive and review requests for a university-wide panel hearing on sexual misconduct charge s. These nine Deans will serve as "gatekeepers," providing information about and access to various avenues for pursuing complaints of sexual misconduct.

These nine persons will be selected by the Assistant Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action with consultation from the Provost and Council of Deans. Persons so selected will agree to make themselves readily available to meet with persons b elieving themselves to have experienced sexual misconduct perpetrated by a Columbia [Barnard, Teachers College] student. They will receive specialized training in responding to complaints of sexual misconduct. This training will consist of education abo ut social, psychological, and legal aspects of sexual misconduct as well as avenues within and outside of the Columbia community for pursuing complaints of sexual misconduct.

INITIAL STEPS IN PRESENTING A COMPLAINT OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

The names of these "gatekeepers" will be widely publicized and made readily available to all students through the University Counseling Center, the Rape Crisis Center, sexual assault crisis volunteers, the Ombud's office, at freshman orientation, etc . Anyone who believes that she or he has been a victim of sexual misconduct by a student currently enrolled at the University and wishes to pursue disciplinary action against the student can discuss his/her complaint with any "gatekeeper" on the list.

The complainant may present her/his case to the "gatekeeper" in person or be represented by another person of her/his choosing. If complainant elects to have the initial request presented by a representative, s/he must meet in person with the "gatek eeper" before the decision to go forward with a panel hearing request can be made.

These initial discussions will be held strictly confidential by the "gatekeeper" until such time as the complainant files a formal written request for a disciplinary panel hearing. During these discussions, the "gatekeeper" will present all options available for pursuing a complaint of sexual misconduct including (a) traditional Dean's Discipline, (b) Ombuds mediation, (c) filing a criminal complaint, (d) university-wide panel hearing, and educate him/her regarding procedures in each. The "gatekeep er" will also discuss with complainant differences and similarities between sexual harassment and sexual misconduct to enable complainant to chose the most appropriate recourse in his/her situation.

INITIATING THE DISCIPLINARY PANEL HEARING PROCESS

If, after weighing his/her options, complainant decides to request a panel hearing, he/she must submit to the "gatekeeper" a formal written statement containing: (1) a description of the alleged sexual misconduct, including what took place, when, where; (2) the name and identifying information (campus address, telephone number) of the person or persons accused; (3) names, addresses, and telephone numbers of possible witnesses or others who can give corroborating information.

This written statement will be accompanied by a signed pre-printed form which indicates that (a) complainant has received written and verbal information from the "gatekeeper" describing all the options available to him/her for pursuing complaints of sexu al misconduct and sexual harassment both within and outside the University; and, (b) complainant understands that, by selecting to have his/her complaint heard by a university-wide disciplinary hearing panel, s/he is foregoing alternative disciplinary pro cedures available within the University such as traditional Dean's Discipline or a sexual harassment panel hearing.

Within one week (5 working days) of receiving this formal written request, the "gatekeeper" will approve the request for a hearing panel if each of the following criteria are met:

  1. the alleged incident falls within the definition of sexual misconduct adopted by the University Senate;
  2. the location at which the alleged incident is said to have occurred is: (a) on University owned or managed property; (b) a University sponsored event; (c) on property within the immediate environs of the University;
  3. the accused is a matriculated student at Columbia University [Barnard College, Teachers College];
  4. the alleged incident occurred not more than 180 days prior to the written request for a hearing;
  5. the "gatekeeper", on the basis of his/her investigation, finds that it is plausible that sexual misconduct may have taken place and that the accused may be the perpetrator of this misconduct.

If all criteria are met, the "gatekeeper" will send written notification of approval within one week (5 working days) of receiving the written complaint to the complainant and to the Assistant Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action who will initiate the hearing process.

If the "gatekeeper" determines that the complaint as presented does not meet one or more criteria for a panel hearing, s/he will notify the complainant and the Assistant Provost for OEOAA in writing within one week (5 working days) of receiving the writt en complaint of the grounds for denying the request.

APPEALING DENIAL OF A PANEL HEARING

A complainant whose request for a sexual misconduct panel hearing has been denied may appeal this decision in writing to the Assistant Provost for OEOAA within one week (5 working days) of receiving written notification of the denial. This written appea l must clearly state reasons for complainant's belief that the panel request was unfairly denied.

Upon receipt of this written appeal, the Assistant Provost for OEOAA will submit the complainant's original statement, the "gatekeeper's" statement of reasons for denial and complainant's appeal to two other "gatekeepers" from the list of nine, neith er of whom shall be from the complainant's or accused's school or department, to review the denial. If the complainant so requests, they shall meet with him/her, and, if they do so, and if the accused so requests, they shall also meet with the accused. Otherwise, a meeting with the complainant shall be in their discretion.

There must be agreement between the two appeal "gatekeepers" that a complaint should go forward in order to overturn a decision to deny a request for a panel hearing. Complainant will be notified of the appeal decision within two weeks (10 working d ays) of receipt of his/her written appeal by the Assistant Provost for OEOAA.

Resolution No. 6

SEXUAL ASSAULT TASK FORCE RESOLUTION VI

RESOLUTION TO NOTIFY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY OF NUMBER AND DISPOSITION OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT COMPLAINTS

WHEREAS, the physical and emotional well-being of all students in the Columbia University community is of utmost concern, and

WHEREAS, this physical and emotional well-being relies in part on an educated and informed community, and

WHEREAS, in the past there as been a widely shared perception among students that complaints of sexual misconduct are not treated with the seriousness these complaints deserve, and

WHEREAS, lack of general information about the number and disposition of such complaints has contributed to this perception,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University publish on an annual basis in the Columbia Record, and make available to the Columbia Spectator and others through the office of the Assistant Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action , statistics on the number and type of complaints of sexual misconduct filed, the types of disciplinary hearings held, and the disposition of these complaints. Publication should be done in a manner that protects the identities of the parties involved w hile assuring members of the University community that such complaints are taken seriously and resolved in a timely manner. Such publication would also serve to educate community members regarding inappropriate sexual behavior in a university setting.