Emory updates sexual misconduct policy

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 31, 2014
Matheson Reading Room at Emory University. Source: Wikimedia commons

Matheson Reading Room at Emory University. Source: Wikimedia commons

Emory University recently updated its sexual misconduct policy for students, clarifying and revising how the university reviews potential violations.

This year the U.S. Department of Education named Emory as one of 55 schools around the country that the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights is investigating under Title IX for how it handles reports of sexual assault.

The revised policy was published on Nov. 25.

Emory Title IX Coordinator Carolyn Livingston sent an email to students outlining the changes. The changes include:

– Listing a range of sanctions and protective measures following a final determination of a violation of the sexual misconduct policy
– Initiating an appeal process for interim restrictions
– Clarifying the role of the advisor in the adjudication process
– Adding dating and domestic violence to the definitions sections

To read the new policy, click here.

According to ChangeDetection.com, the specific updates (highlighted in yellow) are ….

8.2.2. Investigation and Adjudication

The Title IX Coordinator for Students is primarily responsible for coordinating responses to complaints of possible violations of this policy, directly overseeing the investigation and adjudication of complaints, and coordinating possible remedial actions or other responses designed to reasonably minimize the recurrence of the alleged conduct as well as mitigate the effects of the harassment. The Title IX Coordinator for Students will ensure prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions of complaints alleging violations of this policy. In most cases, an investigation will be completed within 60 days; however, a longer period may be needed in some more complex cases.

The procedures for institutional disciplinary action will be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The officials, who are members of the Emory University community, will handle matters under this policy promptly and equitably.

When conducting the investigation, the university’s primary focus will be on addressing the sexual assault and not on other Emory University alcohol or other drug policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. Emory encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting.  Emory recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential Conduct Code consequences for the individual who reports.  An individual who reports sexual misconduct, either as a Complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the university for personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk.  At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator for Students or Campus Life officials, however, may initiate an educational discussion or recommend other educational or therapeutic remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs for the reporting individual(s).

The complainant and respondent may each be assisted by an advisor of choice during any investigative meeting or pre-hearing conference that a university official schedules with a complainant or respondent.  The principal role of an advisor is to serve as a support to a complainant or respondent, and not as a representative or advocate in interactions with university officials. 

The filing of a sexual misconduct complaint under this policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and except in cases where it is determined that a conduct proceeding might impede a criminal investigation or otherwise not be in the best interests of the law enforcement agency, a complainant, or the university, a university investigation will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal proceedings to commence its own investigation and take needed interim measures.


Authority to Impose Interim Restrictions and Provide Accommodations.

During the investigation and until resolution of allegations, the Title IX Coordinator for Students, University Title IX Coordinator, or designee, may issue interim restrictions, including, but not limited to the following: no-contact or stay away orders between the complainant and the respondent, interim suspension, temporary exclusion from areas of campus, removal from or relocation to another residence hall, changes in academic/course schedules, or limiting participation in certain events, gatherings, or activities, among other measures. Interim measures should not be construed to suggest that any decision has been made about the merits of the cases. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the University Title IX Coordinator within 7 days from the day the parties are notified about the interim restriction. The University Title IX Coordinator will review the materials within 5 days of receipt of the appeal and may affirm the original restriction,; modify the restriction, which may be of greater or lesser severity, or dismiss the original restriction. The University Title IX Coordinator’s determinations on any interim restrictions are final and not appealable. Both parties shall receive simultaneous written notice of the outcome of the appeal.

8.2.3. Hearing Procedures

In hearings conducted under this Policy:

5.   The complainant and respondent are both permitted to have an advisor or attorney of choice present at the board hearing. If an advisor attends aThe attorney’s role is limited to attendance at the board hearing, where the advisor is attorney may be permitted to communicate with the student client but not be directly involved in the proceeding. The attorney shall not be permitted to advocate on behalf of the student before any official directly involved in, or at any stage during, the conduct process (pre-investigation, investigation, hearing, appeal). A complainant or respondent may alternatively have an advisor, who is a current member of the Emory community (a faculty member, staff member, or a student) to provide advice and support to a student participating in the conduct process.  An attorney or advisor may attend the hearing to provide advice and support to a student, but is not permitted to make statements to the hearing panel or question hearing participants.  While in a hearing, the attorney or advisor’s advice and support must be provided in a manner that does not disrupt the hearing.  The chairpersonIf a respondent’s conduct is related to pending criminal proceedings, the Title IX Coordinator for Students has the board has sole discretion to place limitations permit an attorney for the complainant or conditions on the advisor’s presence or participation, and in extreme cases, where an advisor fails respondent to adhere to this policy and disrupts a board hearing, attend the advisor can be dismissed from a hearing.  Any cost associated with as the participation of an advisor is the sole responsibility of the individual seeking the advisor student’s assistance advisor.



Sexual exploitation


– non-consensual video or audio-recording audio-taping of sexual activity or circulation of such video and video or audio recording;

According to the university’s 2014 security and safety report, in 2013 there were 22 reported forcible sex offenses on campus, and in 2012 there were 25. In 2011, there were 12 reports of forcible sex offenses on campus at Emory.


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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