Findings & Appeals
Standard of Evidence
The procedures will use the preponderance of evidence standard (i.e. it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred).
There are three possible findings that can be reached:
- no violation of policy has occurred,
- a violation(s) of policy has occurred, or
- no finding (not enough evidence to reach a decision)
Once a finding is determined, if the responding party is found to be responsible for a policy violation, the investigator will determine the appropriate response(s). This report must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator-504/ADA Compliance Officer within five (5) working days after the conclusion of the investigation.
If the party is found in violation(s), responses will be determined by the investigator(s) who will include responses, if applicable, in a notification letter. The investigator will also share the status of the investigation and the findings to the reporting party if there is one.
Once the responding party receives the investigation report, either party may:
- accept the findings and responses if applicable;
- accept the findings and responses in part and reject them in part;
- or may reject all findings and/or responses.
If either party rejects in full or in part any finding or sanction, either party may appeal the decision following the appeal processes described below.
In cases where the University determines through the student conduct process that a student violated a policy that would constitute a “crime of violence” or non-forcible sex offense, the University may also release the above information publicly and/or to any third party. FERPA defines “crimes of violence” to include forcible sex offences and non-forcible sex offenses.
Appeals are available to both the reporting party and the responding party through the appropriate appeals process. The appeal will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator-504/ADA Compliance Officer to determine if the appeal meets the established grounds for appeal. Appeals must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator-504/ADA Compliance Officer within two (2) business days of notification of findings. The grounds for appeal are defined as:
- A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
- To consider new evidence, unavailable during the investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included; and
- The sanctions imposed are substantially outside the parameters or guidelines set by Marian University for this type of offense or the cumulative conduct record of the responding individual.
Appeals are managed through the appropriate university channels.