The Washington University in St. Louis Student Judicial Code prohibits “Sexual contact with any member of the university community or visitor to the university without that person’s consent, including, but not limited to, rape and other forms of sexual assault[,]” which will be referred to as “sexual assault” in these procedures.
The following University Sexual Assault Investigation Board (“USAIB”) procedures shall apply to all complaints of sexual assault filed by employees, students or third parties against university students.
Complaints alleging other forms of sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence or stalking that are filed against a student but that do not involve an alleged sexual assault, at the discretion of the judicial administrator, may be (a) referred for investigation and resolution by the USAIB pursuant to these procedures or (b) adjudicated pursuant to the procedures set forth in the University Student Judicial Code. Complaints alleging sexual assault or sexual harassment filed against a faculty or staff member are governed by the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Hearing Procedures and should be directed to the Title IX coordinator or any of the university’s sexual harassment advisers, whose contact information can be found at https://hr.wustl.edu/items/discrimination-harassment-policy/.
These procedures are designed to provide for prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of complaints involving sexual assault filed against university students. Criminal or civil rules of procedure applicable in a court proceeding, including formal rules of evidence, are not applicable. In addition, the procedures found in Sections V and VII of the University Student Judicial Code, including those governing the initiation of proceedings with a written complaint, the issuance of charges, a Judicial Board hearing, and an appeal, are inapplicable to formal complaints filed that involve allegations of sexual assault. The University Sexual Assault Investigative Board (“USAIB”), as further described below, will conduct a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation of sexual assault complaints to determine the relevant facts from which a well-informed decision can be made and an appropriate resolution reached.
Filing a Complaint
- To file a formal complaint against a student alleging sexual assault, an individual (“complainant”) should contact the university’s Title IX coordinator or judicial administrator.
- A complainant is also encouraged to file a criminal report with the Washington University Police Department (“WUPD”) or the appropriate law enforcement agency and may simultaneously pursue criminal and university disciplinary processes. The university will ordinarily not delay its investigation if criminal charges are filed. At the request of law enforcement authorities, however, the university may postpone the university investigation and proceeding while the authorities gather evidence.
University Sexual Assault Investigative Board
- The University Sexual Assault Investigative Board (“USAIB”) is comprised of faculty, staff and students appointed by the chancellor and trained to investigate complaints involving allegations of sexual assault. The USAIB investigates and decides how the university will resolve complaints referred to it by the university’s Title IX coordinator or the judicial administrator, as further described below, and may impose sanctions, including those identified in the University Student Judicial Code, up to and including suspension and expulsion.
- Complaints may allege other violations of the University Student Judicial Code in addition to sexual assault. The USAIB may investigate and exercise jurisdiction over such complaints in their entirety as long as the additional charges arise out of the same set of facts and circumstances or are related to the alleged incident of sexual assault. The USAIB may elect to refer the other charges to the University Judicial Administrator, who will then resolve the charges him/herself or send the remaining charges to the University Judicial Board for hearing and resolution.
Investigation and Report
- Upon receipt of a complaint by a complainant alleging an incident of sexual assault perpetrated by a student (the “respondent”), the Title IX coordinator or the judicial administrator, or their respective designee, may conduct an investigation or, at his/her discretion, request that WUPD or an independent investigative agent conduct such an investigation . (Accordingly, references to “investigator” hereafter will be taken to mean the Title IX coordinator, judicial administrator, or their designees, WUPD or the independent investigative agent, as the case may be.) A hold will be placed on the respondent’s academic records until final disposition of the complaint.
- Following the investigation, the investigator will provide a written report to a three-member panel selected from the USAIB (“panel”). The report will describe the relevant facts and circumstances learned during the course of the investigation into the complaint, and it will contain reports of all interviews conducted by the investigator, but it will not set forth any conclusions as to whether those facts and circumstances constitute a violation of the University Student Judicial Code.
- After reviewing the report, the panel may request clarifications and additional investigation. When the report is complete, the parties will be given the opportunity to review the report and provide a written response, which will be provided to the investigator, the panel and the other party.
- The investigator’s final report, as amended or supplemented pursuant to subsection (g) if applicable, will be provided to the panel, along with any written statements provided to the investigator by parties or witnesses.
- The panel will separately interview both parties as soon as practicable. Absent special circumstances, the panel’s interviews of the parties will normally take place within 14 days following submission of the final report to the panel.
- At its sole discretion, the panel may rely upon the investigator’s report and its interviews of the parties for its understanding of the relevant facts, or it may interview additional witnesses, whether or not such witnesses have previously been interviewed by the investigator. The panel may also interview the investigator.
- Based upon the information provided in the final report, any written statements provided to the panel, and its own interviews of the parties and others, the panel will determine whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the University Student Judicial Code.
- If the majority of the panel determines that the respondent more likely than not violated the Judicial Code, the panel will issue a decision, including written findings of fact. If the respondent is found in violation, the decision will be provided to the vice chancellor for students, who will impose sanctions, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the university. In the event of absence or disqualification of the vice chancellor for students, the panel decision should be forwarded to the chairperson of the University Judicial Board, or his/her designee, for review and imposition of sanctions.
- Absent special circumstances, the university’s investigation and interviews will be concluded, and the panel will issue a written decision notifying the parties of its determination as to whether there has been a violation of the Judicial Code within 60 days of the initial submission of the complaint. The respondent will be notified in writing of any sanctions imposed, and the complainant will also be notified in writing of any sanctions, to the extent permitted by law.
- The parties may seek a review of the panel’s decision by the provost by submitting that request in writing within 14 calendar days of the panel’s issuance of its decision. The scope of such review shall be limited to determining: (i) whether the procedures set forth herein were fairly implemented or (ii) whether any sanctions imposed are insufficient or excessive.
- The provost may direct that the matter be remanded to the USAIB with specific instructions to address the provost’s determinations as to procedural fairness. The provost may also reduce, modify or increase the sanctions assessed by the vice chancellor for students. The decision of the provost is final.
- In the event of the absence or disqualification of the provost, the review will be conducted by the chairperson of the Faculty Senate Council, or his or her designee.
- Sanctions will be stayed pending the disposition of any review, except that a temporary suspension will remain in effect. If a hold has been placed on a student’s records, it will remain until final disposition of the complaint.
Further Action by Title IX Coordinator
- At any point before, during or after the investigation and regardless of the panel’s final decision, the Title IX coordinator, or his/her designee, may determine that interim or remedial measures, (not including suspension or expulsion) directed at the parties, witnesses, or a broader university population are necessary and appropriate to prevent and/or respond to sexual harassment or sexual violence. Depending on the specific nature of the allegation, such measures may include but are not limited to: implementation of a no-contact order, temporary housing or course/classroom assignment changes, medical and counseling services, academic support services and accommodations, additional training and education.
- The dean of students,or his/her designee, may impose a temporary suspension if necessary, pursuant to the standard and procedures set forth under the University Student Judicial Code Section X with the exception of the filing of a statement of charges against the suspended student referenced in Sections X.E. and X.F. For purposes of these procedures, the suspending authority must initiate the investigation provided for in these procedures within 10 days of the date of the temporary suspension. The dean of the school or college in which the suspended student is enrolled will be notified of the temporary suspension.
- A temporary suspension shall end when rescinded by the suspending authority, or upon the failure of the suspending authority to initiate an investigation within a reasonable time or, if not rescinded and if the investigation is initiated, when the decision by the USAIB Panel and any decision on appeal to the provost, if applicable, is final.
- Retaliation against or interference with individuals who report or file complaints of violations of university policy, including the University Student Judicial Code, those who cooperate in university investigations of such reports or complaints, or those who serve on the USAIB or panel to hear and decide complaints brought before the panel is a violation of university policy, will not be tolerated and, if perpetrated by a student, will itself be treated as an offense under the University’s Student Judicial Code. Any individual from the university who engages in such retaliation or interference should be referred to the university’s judicial administrator or Title IX coordinator, as appropriate, for further investigation and disciplinary action as warranted.
- Any individual complainant, respondent or witness may be accompanied by an individual to provide support at any time during the investigation process. This individual may not be a fact witness that may be interviewed by the panel. The adviser may not address the USAIB Panel, nor may the adviser contact the investigator or anyone on the USAIB panel while the complaint is pending before the USAIB.
- Records of the USAIB directly related to an investigation shall be destroyed after a period of 10 years from the date of final disposition of a complaint unless the outcome of the complaint results in suspension or expulsion, in which case the records will be maintained indefinitely. If the respondent withdraws from the university prior to issuance of the USAIB decision, the records shall not be destroyed. The university may provide information regarding the matter, including in cases where a respondent has withdrawn prior to the USAIB final decision, to other institutions, agencies, employers or others in accordance with the law.