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Pepperdine University

Sexual Misconduct

I. Introduction

II. Policy

III. Definitions

IV. Immediate Steps to Take If You Are Subject to Sexual Assault

V. Seeking Confidential Support

VI. Title IX Coordinator for Students

VII. Reporting Sexual Misconduct

VIII. Role of Advisors

IX. Supportive Measures

X. Interim University or Housing Restriction

XI. Informal Resolution

XII. Disciplinary Process for Student Respondents

XIII. Sexual Misconduct by the University, Faculty, or Staff

XIV. Sexual Misconduct by Third Parties



 

I. Introduction

Pepperdine University (University) affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. Our University code of ethics states that we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not engage in any form of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).

II. Policy

Because of our commitment to honoring the dignity and respect of every individual, Sexual Misconduct (and any related Retaliation) is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. This Policy applies to Sexual Misconduct complaints brought by a Student against the University, Employee, another Student, or Third Party, as well as complaints brought against a Student by an Employee or Third Party. Sexual Misconduct complaints brought by an Employee against the University, another Employee or Third Party, as well as complaints brought by Third Parties against Employees, are governed by the Human Resources Department's policies and procedures, including those set forth in the University Policy Manual. This Policy applies to Sexual Misconduct that occurs in, or results in the denial of access to, University programs or activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, student employment, financial aid, or campus housing, regardless of whether the conduct occurred on or off campus. All capitalized terms are defined below.

Speech that constitutes a protected exercise of a Student's rights under California's Leonard Law will not be deemed a violation of this Policy. However, some speech that may be protected by the Leonard Law is nonetheless inconsistent with the Golden Rule, and Students are encouraged to live by this higher standard rooted in our Christian faith and heritage.

The University encourages individuals to immediately bring any concerning behavior to the University's attention even if such behavior does not constitute Sexual Misconduct or Retaliation as defined below.

III. Definitions

Complainant

Complainant refers to an individual, as described in section II above, who is reported to have experienced Sexual Misconduct, regardless of whether the individual makes a report or seeks disciplinary action.

Respondent

Respondent refers to an individual, as described in section II above, who has been accused of engaging in Sexual Misconduct.

Employee

Employee refers to a University faculty or staff member, including full-time, nine to twelve month, part-time, regular, tenured, restricted, probationary, and temporary positions.

Student

Student refers to a University student, including an applicant for admission; any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled in course work; has completed the immediately preceding term, is not presently enrolled, and is eligible for re-enrollment; is on an approved educational leave or other approved leave status; is currently serving a suspension, expulsion, or interim restriction; or is awaiting a degree. This includes the period before classes begin, while the student is attending classes, between academic sessions or on leave. This Policy applies even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.

Third Party

Third Party refers to an individual who is not a University Student or Employee (e.g., independent contractors, vendors, volunteers, alumni/ae, or visitors).

Witness

Witness refers to an individual who may have information relevant to a report of Sexual Misconduct. A Witness may be a Student, an Employee, or a Third Party.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct includes Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking. Sexual Misconduct can be committed by men or women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.

Sex Discrimination

Sex Discrimination occurs when an individual is subject to an adverse action based upon that individual's sex. An adverse action means an action that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the individual's ability to participate in a University program or activity. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset an individual does not constitute an adverse action.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's educational programs and activities. Sexual Harassment also includes gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. This definition will be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with the accepted standards of mature behavior, academic freedom, and the mission of the University.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  1. A student repeatedly contacts another student to go out on a date after the student has made it clear that such contact is unwelcome.
  2. A male professor makes several comments to a female student suggesting that if they have a sexual relationship he will give her a better grade in his class.
  3. A lesbian student is called a "dyke" by a male classmate, who also makes sexually explicit remarks.
  4. A male staff assistant in a biology lab repeatedly makes disparaging comments about women such as "science is a man's field" and "women don't have the capacity to understand."
  5. A student worker tells her supervisor that she is not comfortable with him massaging her shoulders, but he continues to do so and also makes comments about her attractiveness.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is a general term that covers a broad range of inappropriate and/or unlawful conduct, including rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. As defined under California law, rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse that involves the use or threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Other examples of Sexual Assault include the following nonconsensual acts: oral copulation, anal intercourse, and penetration of the anal or vaginal area with a foreign object, including a finger. Sexual battery includes the nonconsensual touching of a person's intimate parts such as breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals or the clothing covering the immediate area of those parts, or forcing a person to touch another's intimate parts. Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure (including physical, verbal, or emotional pressure), alcohol, medications, drugs, or force to have sexual contact against someone's will or with someone who has already refused.

Affirmative Consent

All sexual activity between members of the University community must be based on Affirmative Consent. Affirmative Consent means informed, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the Affirmative Consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean Affirmative Consent, nor does silence mean Affirmative Consent. Affirmative Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of Affirmative Consent.

In evaluating whether Affirmative Consent has been freely sought and given, the University will consider the presence of any force, threat of force, or coercion; whether the complainant had the capacity to give Affirmative Consent; and, whether the communication (through words and/or actions) between the parties would be interpreted by a reasonable person (under similar circumstances and with similar identities) as a willingness to engage in a particular sexual act. Affirmative Consent cannot be obtained through physical force or where there is a reasonable belief of the threat of physical force, when one person overcomes the physical limitations of another person, or by taking advantage of another person's incapacitation.

An individual is also unable to provide consent to engage in sexual activity when the individual: 1) is a minor (age 17 or under); 2) has a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability that renders her or him incapable of giving knowing consent; 3) is asleep or unconscious; or 4) is incapacitated from alcohol or other drugs, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known or recognized by the Respondent.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the individual is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. In addition, an individual is incapacitated if they demonstrate that they are unaware at the time of the incident of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction.

When alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. When drug use is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond being under the influence or impaired by use of the drug. Alcohol and other drugs impact each individual differently, and determining whether an individual is incapacitated requires an individualized determination.

Some of the factors used to determine incapacitation include:

  • Stumbling or otherwise exhibited loss of equilibrium
  • Bloodshot, glassy or unfocused eyes
  • Slurred speech or word confusion
  • Vomiting, especially repeatedly
  • Outrageous or unusual behavior
  • Being disoriented, or confused as to time, place, etc.
  • Loss of consciousness

None of these factors, except for the last, may constitute—in and of themselves—Incapacitation. But, the process of finding someone responsible for a violation of the policy related to incapacity involves careful examination of all evidence, amounting to a sufficient or insufficient meeting of the preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard may be met with some combination of factors.

Some counter-indicators of incapacity may include:

  • Stops to do things to prepare for sexual activity
  • Stops to use or request birth control
  • Brushes teeth after vomiting
  • Goes to restroom
  • Carefully removes clothes
  • Carries on relatively normal conversations
  • Motor abilities are not impaired

The use of alcohol or other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion about whether consent is effectively sought and freely given. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of one's own or the other individual's intoxication or Incapacitation, the safest course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual activity. A Respondent's voluntary intoxication is never an excuse for or a defense to prohibited conduct, and it does not diminish the responsibility to determine that the other person has given consent.

In evaluating consent in cases of reported Incapacitation due to alcohol or other drugs, the University considers all of the above factors in determining two issues:

  1. Is there a preponderance of evidence that the Complainant was incapacitated?
  2. Did the Respondent know that the Complainant was incapacitated? And if not, should a sober, reasonable person in a similar set of circumstances as the Respondent have known that the Complainant was incapacitated?

If the answer to both of these questions is "yes," there was no consent; and the conduct is a violation of this Policy.

Domestic Violence

Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of California, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of California.

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition: 1) Dating Violence includes but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse and 2) Dating Violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.

Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: 1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition: 1) Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person's property, 2) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling, and 3) Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Standard of Evidence

Determinations on whether the Sexual Misconduct Policy was violated will be made based on the preponderance of the evidence standard (whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy).

Retaliation

Retaliation is an adverse action (as described in the definition of Sex Discrimination above) taken against an individual who has asserted a good faith complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this Policy, assisted in reporting or opposing a violation of this Policy, or participated in an investigation or proceeding related to this Policy. Retaliation may be committed by the Respondent, the Complainant, or any other individual or group of individuals.

IV. Immediate Steps to Take If You Are Subject to Sexual Assault or Other Forms of Violence or Threatening Behavior

  • Go to a safe place and speak with someone you trust. Tell this person what happened. If there is any immediate danger and you are on the Malibu campus, call Public Safety at 310-506-4441. If you are off-campus, call 911. If you are located at one of Pepperdine's graduate, DC, or international campuses, contact your program director or local law enforcement to obtain information regarding local counseling, medical and legal resources available to you.

  • Consider securing immediate professional support to assist you in the crisis. You can consider on- or off-campus options. During office hours, you may access the Pepperdine Counseling Center 310-506-4210, the Pepperdine Health Center 310-506-4316, the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center 310-319-4000, or the Sojourn Services (domestic and dating violence) at 310-264-6644.

  • After hours, if you live on-campus, your resident advisor, student life advisor, resident director, or Public Safety, 310-506-4441, can typically help you reach a confidential Pepperdine University counselor.

  • After hours, if you live off-campus or live on-campus but prefer to use off-campus options, call the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center's 24-hour hotline: 310-319-4000. When contacting SMRTC, please let them know if you are in need of transportation to and from the center, as free options are available. Students may also contact Sojourn Services at 310-264-6644.

  • In cases of sexual assault, for your safety and well-being, immediate medical attention is encouraged to evaluate for physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. Further, being examined as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours, is important for evidence collection, which may be used to support prosecution should you decide immediately or later to pursue criminal charges. The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center will arrange for a specific medical examination at no charge. To preserve evidence, it is best that you do not bathe, shower, douche, or change clothes before that exam. Even if you have already bathed, you are still encouraged to have prompt medical care. Additionally, you are encouraged to gather bedding, linens, or unlaundered clothing and any other pertinent articles that may be used for evidence.

  • Even after the immediate crisis has passed, consider seeking support from the Pepperdine Counseling Center, the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, or Sojourn Services.

  • Contact the Title IX coordinator for students (see contact information below) if you need assistance with University-related concerns, including academic issues (e.g., missed classes or exams; requesting extensions regarding coursework) or on-campus housing issues (e.g., requesting that the student who you believe assaulted you be moved or that you be moved to a different residence hall).

  • Consider your reporting options (see section VI below).

  • Report to Public Safety or the Title IX coordinator for students any concerns about Retaliation against you or your friends.

V. Seeking Confidential Support

Students who have been victimized are urged to seek confidential support from the counselors at the Pepperdine Counseling Center located at TCC 270 (310-506-4210) or the University chaplain, Sara Barton, or assistant chaplain, Lauren Begert, at TCC 106 (310-506-4275). These settings allow students to receive emotional/spiritual support and think through their next steps, including reporting options, confidentially. There are rare exceptions to confidentiality in cases of court subpoena, child or elder abuse, or if there are serious threats of suicide or harm to others

VI. Title IX Coordinator for Students

The Title IX coordinator for students monitors the University's overall compliance with Title IX in all matters related to students, ensures appropriate training and education, and oversees the University's investigation, response, and resolution of reports made under this Policy. Upon receiving reports of Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX coordinator for students ensures that appropriate action is taken to eliminate that conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. The Title IX coordinator for students is available to advise all individuals—including individuals who have experienced Sexual Misconduct, individuals who are alleged to be responsible for Sexual Misconduct, and Third Parties.

VII. Reporting Sexual Misconduct

The University encourages all individuals to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct or suspected Sexual Misconduct, whether they are Complainants or Witnesses. Reporting protects Complainants, promotes a healthy and safe campus culture, and holds Respondents accountable. Although individuals (excluding Responsible Employees as described below) have the right not to report Sexual Misconduct, many individuals subjected to Sexual Misconduct have shared that filing a report with the University, local law enforcement, and/or a community resource center is the beginning of the process by which they regain control over their lives. Though the reporting and disciplinary processes can be difficult, they are often worth the effort because individuals feel empowered by bringing the Respondent to justice. Reporting Sexual Misconduct may also help to establish precedents that will aid others in the future or prevent others from being subjected to Sexual Misconduct by the same Respondent.

Individuals subjected to Sexual Misconduct have several reporting options. At the University, individuals can anonymously report, confidentially report, or file a formal complaint of Sexual Misconduct, as explained below. Outside the University, individuals can report Sexual Misconduct to community resource centers that specialize in providing resources to victims of Sexual Misconduct, file a criminal charge with local law enforcement, or file civil litigation against the Respondent. Some individuals will choose to pursue criminal charges (i.e., through the police and criminal courts). Others will choose to pursue University disciplinary options, if the Respondent is a Pepperdine Student or Employee. Civil litigation is another option that some choose. Some will choose a combination of the above options, and some will choose none.

Under California law, the University is required to immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, disclose to local law enforcement, any report of sexual assault, whether committed on-or-off campus. If the individual communicates to the University that he or she would like his or her identity withheld, the University will not disclose the individual's or the alleged respondent's identity in its report to law enforcement.

Reporting Within the University

Note: If there is any immediate danger and you are on the Malibu campus, call Public Safety at 310-506-4441. If you are off-campus, call 911. If you are located at one of Pepperdine's graduate, DC, or international campuses, contact your program director or local law enforcement to obtain information regarding local counseling, medical and legal resources available to you.

Formal Complaint

Anyone may formally report a complaint of Sexual Misconduct or Retaliation related to Sexual Misconduct to the University by contacting:

La Shonda Coleman
Title IX Coordinator for Students
Student Care Team Chair
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Tyler Campus Center Suite 210
Malibu, CA 90263
310-506-4436
lashonda.coleman@pepperdine.edu

or

Lauren Cosentino
University Title IX Coordinator
Vice President for Campus Operations and Human Resources
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Thornton Administrative Center
Malibu, CA 90263
310-506-4397
lauren.cosentino@pepperdine.edu

An individual reporting Sexual Misconduct may do so verbally or in a written report. If a written report is submitted, it should contain a brief written statement citing the type(s) of Sexual Misconduct that occurred (see definitions section above) and supporting facts (e.g., Respondent name, what happened, when and where the incident occurred, Witness(es), etc.). The scope of any investigation, and who will conduct the investigation, shall be in the sole discretion of the University's Title IX coordinator or the Title IX coordinator for students. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents. Typically, investigations are conducted by the Department of Public Safety and a formal investigative report will be generated.

Formal complaints and any related investigative materials concerning a University Student Respondent will be submitted to the associate dean of students as discussed in section XII below to determine if an administrative or student disciplinary committee hearing will be convened. Formal complaints and any related investigative materials concerning the University, faculty or staff, will be submitted to the grievance officer as discussed in section XIII below. Formal complaints and any related investigation materials concerning a Third Party will be evaluated as described in section XIV below. The University reserves the right to investigate, take disciplinary action, and/or report Sexual Misconduct to local law enforcement regardless of how much time has passed since it occurred and even if the Sexual Misconduct is reported after the Student graduates or Employee leaves the University.

Anonymous Report

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of Sexual Misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing names, identifying the respondent, or requesting any action. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the University's ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. The University may conduct an initial investigation to determine appropriate next steps.

Anonymous reports may be made on the anonymous crime tip hotline by calling voicemail at 310-506-7634 or on the LiveSafe app. Public Safety will receive these reports and share them with the Title IX coordinator for students who will determine appropriate steps.

Confidential Reporting

If an individual discloses Sexual Misconduct to an Employee (other than the University chaplains or Counseling Center staff), but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, Pepperdine must weigh that request against the obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all Pepperdine community members, including the individual reporting the incident. If Pepperdine honors the request for confidentiality, the individual must understand that Pepperdine's ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the Respondent may be limited.

Although rare, there are times when Pepperdine may not be able to honor an individual's request for confidentiality in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all Pepperdine community members. Pepperdine has designated the Title IX coordinator for students to evaluate requests for confidentiality. When weighing an individual's request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX coordinator for students will consider a range of factors, including the following:

  • whether there have been other Sexual Misconduct complaints about the same Respondent;
  • whether the Respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
  • whether the Respondent threatened further Sexual Misconduct or other violence against the individual or others;
  • whether the Sexual Misconduct was committed by multiple Respondents;
  • whether the Sexual Misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • whether the individual is a minor;
  • whether the individual's report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.

The presence of one or more of these factors could lead Pepperdine to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors are present, the Title IX coordinator for students will likely approve the request for confidentiality.

If Pepperdine determines that it cannot honor the confidentiality request, Pepperdine will inform the Complainant prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling Pepperdine's investigation and response. Pepperdine will remain mindful of the Complainant's well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the Complainant from retaliation or harm and work with the Complainant to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the Complainant, whether by other students or Pepperdine employees, will not be tolerated.

Pepperdine will also:

  • Assist the Complainant in accessing other available academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and advocacy or legal assistance both on and off campus;
  • Provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
  • Inform the Complainant of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement—and provide the Complainant with assistance if the Complainant wishes to do so.

Because Pepperdine is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of Sexual Misconduct campus-wide, reports of Sexual Misconduct (including confidential or anonymous reports) will also prompt Pepperdine to consider broader remedial action—such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported Sexual Misconduct occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

If Pepperdine determines that it can approve a Complainant's request for confidentiality, Pepperdine will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and support the Complainant.

Responsible Employees

With the exception of University employees designated as confidential resources (see "Confidential Reporting" above), all other University employees, including faculty and staff, are required to report immediately any information they know about suspected prohibited conduct or potential violations of this Policy. These individuals are referred to as Responsible Employees. Student workers who have supervisory responsibility or responsibility for the welfare of other students are also considered Responsible Employees when they learn of potential violations of this Policy in the scope of their employment.

Responsible Employees must report all known information, including the identities of the parties, the date, time and location, and any details about the reported incident to the Title IX coordinator for students. The Title IX coordinator for students will share all reports with Pepperdine's Department of Public Safety to ensure a coordinated institutional response. Responsible Employees may provide support and assistance to a Complainant, Witness, or Respondent; but they cannot promise confidentiality or withhold information about prohibited conduct. Failure by a Responsible Employee to report suspected prohibited conduct in a timely manner may subject them to appropriate discipline, including removal from a position or termination of employment.

Responsible Employees are not required to report information disclosed: (1) at public awareness events (e.g., "Take Back the Night," candlelight vigils, protests, "survivor speak-outs," or other public forums in which students may disclose prohibited conduct (collectively, public awareness events); or (2) during an individual's participation as a subject in an Institutional Review Board-approved human subjects research protocol (IRB Research). The University may provide information about Title IX rights and about available University and community resources and support at public awareness events, however, and Institutional Review Boards may, in appropriate cases, require researchers to provide such information to all subjects of IRB Research.

A Complainant may choose not to make a complaint or report in their own case, even if the Complainant would otherwise have reporting obligations by virtue of being a faculty member, staff member, or student worker.

Reporting Options Outside the University

Community Resource Centers

  • The Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
1223 Wilshire Blvd., No. 410
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310.451.0042
http://www.therapefoundation.org
Provides professional support, including counseling, medical and advocacy services, to victims of sexual assault.

  • The Sojourn Services

1453 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.264.6644
https://www.opcc.net/?nd=sojourn
Provides professional support, including counseling, medical and advocacy services, to victims of domestic and dating violence. Sojourn also operates a crisis shelter.

Local Law Enforcement

  • Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Station

27050 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
818.878.1808 or 911 for emergency
http://shq.lasdnews.net/pages/patrolstation.aspx?id=LHS
For help in reporting the sexual misconduct to local law enforcement, call the Department of Public Safety (506-4700). It is important to understand that reporting sexual misconduct does not obligate the reporting party to press criminal charges.

Civil Court

  • Santa Monica Municipal Court

1725 Main St #102, Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.260.3522
http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/SM
For help filing a civil lawsuit, please contact the Santa Monica Municipal Court.

Resources for Students Located Out of State or Abroad

Students participating in a program located out of state or abroad should consult with their program director for confidential reporting options, available community resources, and law enforcement contact information in their location. The Title IX coordinator for students welcomes reports from all Students, regardless of where they are located.

Immunity

In order to encourage Complainants and Witnesses to make reports of conduct prohibited under this Policy, the University will not pursue disciplinary action against a Student enrolled at the University who makes a report to the University as a Complainant or a Witness to an incident of prohibited Sexual Misconduct (including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking) for a violation by the Student of the University's Student Code of Conduct occurring at or near the time of the incident, regardless of the location at which the incident occurred or the outcome of the investigation. This includes immunity for disclosure of personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs (underage or illegal) which would otherwise be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Even when immunity is extended, the University may initiate an assessment or educational discussion or pursue other non-disciplinary options regarding alcohol or other drug use.

VIII. Role of Advisors

Involved parties may be assisted at pre-hearing and hearing meetings by an advisor of their choice. The advisor cannot speak for the involved parties. The role of the advisor is to accompany the involved parties and advise them privately during the pre-hearing and hearing process.

IX. Supportive Measures 

Upon receipt of a report of Sexual Misconduct, the University may impose reasonable and appropriate supportive measures designed to eliminate the reported hostile environment or alleged violation and protect the parties involved. The University will maintain consistent contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed. Supportive measures may be implemented regardless of whether a confidential report or formal complaint has been filed.

The Complainant or Respondent may request separation or other protection, or the University may choose to implement supportive measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader University community, and/or the integrity of the investigative and/or disciplinary process.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure by either party to abide by any restrictions imposed. The University will take immediate and responsive action to enforce a previously implemented measure.

Available Supportive Measures

The Title IX coordinator for students or designee, at his or her discretion, may implement supportive measures with potential remedies which may be applied to the Complainant and/or the Respondent including, but not limited to:

  • Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment, on and off campus;
  • Imposition of a no-contact directive;
  • Rescheduling of exams and assignments;
  • Providing alternative course completion options;
  • Changing class schedules, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdrawal from a course without penalty;
  • Changing work schedules or job assignments;
  • Changing a student's University-owned housing;
  • Assistance from University support staff in completing University housing relocation;
  • Limiting an individual's or organization's access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter;
  • Voluntary leave of absence;
  • Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
  • Providing medical services;
  • Providing academic support services, such as tutoring; and/or
  • Any other supportive measure or remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this Policy.

X. Interim University or Housing Restriction

The vice president for student affairs or the University's dean of students or designee may impose an interim University-wide restriction or University housing restriction on a student respondent at any time after receiving a report. Such measures may be imposed: 1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; or 2) if the Respondent poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University. During the interim restriction, the student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus (including classes).

The interim restriction does not replace the regular disciplinary process, which will proceed as set forth in this Policy, up to and through an appeal, if required. After being placed on an interim restriction, a student may appeal the decision by contacting the vice president for student affairs if the University's dean of students made the interim restriction decision or the University's dean of students if the vice president for student affairs made the decision.

XI. Informal Resolution

Informal resolution is a voluntary process that parties can mutually agree to participate in rather than proceeding with an administrative hearing, student disciplinary committee hearing, or grievance officer review (described below). The option to pursue an informal resolution will be presented to the parties only after the University has sufficient information about the nature and scope of the conduct and determines that informal resolution is appropriate. The University Title IX coordinator or Title IX coordinator for students will obtain both party's voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process. The informal resolution process may be initiated at any time prior to issuing a final determination regarding responsibility.

Any party may terminate the informal resolution process at any time. If the process is terminated for any reason, the matter will be resolved following the formal disciplinary process outlined below.

The Informal resolution process may include targeted or broad-based educational programming or training, mediation through supported direct conversation or interaction with the parties, and/or indirect conversations between parties through the University Title IX coordinator or Title IX coordinator for students or designee. The University will not compel the parties to mediate the matter in person, or engage in any other form of informal resolution that is not mutually acceptable. The parties are encouraged, although not required, to consult with their advisors and any support persons during the entire informal resolution process.

The University Title IX coordinator or Title IX coordinator for students will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for informal resolution.

XII. Disciplinary Process for Student Respondents

Authority and Responsibility for Student Sexual Misconduct Discipline

The associate dean of students for community standards (associate dean) is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding the adjudication of alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy by Student Respondents.

The associate dean (or designee) reviews the formal investigative report which is typically prepared by the Department of Public Safety. If the associate dean determines that the facts stated in the report, if true, would violate the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the incident will be heard through either an administrative hearing or a hearing with the Student Disciplinary Committee. The University's dean of students serves as the final appeal for disciplinary decisions in Sexual Misconduct cases involving Student Respondents.

The University's actions are not dependent on the initiation or outcome of criminal charges or civil complaints. Disciplinary proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal or civil proceedings.

Administrative Hearings

In some Sexual Misconduct cases, the associate dean (or designee) meets individually with those involved rather than submitting the case for a hearing before the Student Disciplinary Committee. Administrative hearings are typically conducted when the allegations are of a less serious nature and discipline would not result in suspension or dismissal. If an administrative hearing is to take place, the involved parties will receive a written notice prior to the hearing date that will include a description of the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the investigative materials, and any other information the associate dean deems necessary to provide to the parties. The notice and related materials will be sent to the involved parties' pepperdine.edu email accounts. The notice will also include the date and time of the administrative hearing.

The administrative hearing officer (normally the associate dean) will meet with the Complainant first to discuss the incident. After the meeting with the Complainant, the administrative hearing officer will meet with the Respondent to discuss the incident. The meeting will be followed by an email from the administrative hearing officer summarizing the discussions and imposing a sanction if a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy is found.

Sanctions imposed as a result of an administrative hearing cannot be appealed. Student Disciplinary Committee sanctions may be appealed; therefore, parties who are requested to attend an administrative hearing may request instead to have the matter heard by the Student Disciplinary Committee if they would like to reserve their right to an appeal. This request may be made by either party.

Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings

If, after reviewing a Sexual Misconduct report and related investigative materials, the associate dean determines that the facts stated in the report, if true, would violate the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and the resulting sanction could result in a suspension or dismissal from the University, and the credibility of the parties/witnesses is central to the adjudication of the allegations, the matter will be submitted for hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee. The committee will include a minimum of three faculty and/or staff members in addition to the chair, with a mix of both male and female members. The associate dean (or designee) will chair the committee but is not a voting member unless there is a tie vote.

Prior to the committee hearing, the involved parties will receive a written notice that will include a description of the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the investigative materials, and any other information the associate dean deems necessary to provide to the involved parties. The notice and related materials will be sent to the involved parties' pepperdine.edu email accounts.

The notice will also include the date and time of the hearing, not less than five or more than fifteen calendar days after the date of the written notice to the involved parties. Maximum time limits for scheduling hearings may be extended at the discretion of the associate dean.

Other than as outlined below, hearings need not adhere to formal rules of procedure or evidence followed by courts of law. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:

  1. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the associate dean.

  2. The hearing will normally be conducted via video conferencing. Admission of any person to the hearing will be at the discretion of the associate dean. If the hearing is conducted on campus, the associate dean may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Respondent, and/or other Witness during the hearing, by providing separate facilities, permitting participation via video conferencing or by other means, as deemed appropriate by the associate dean.

  3. Involved parties may be assisted at hearings and pre-hearing meetings by an advisor of their choice. The advisor cannot speak for the involved parties. The role of the advisor is to accompany the involved parties and advise them privately during the pre-hearing and hearing process.

  4. Hearings will be chaired by the associate dean or designee, and will proceed in the following manner:

    • Reading of the alleged violation(s).

    • The Respondent's denial or admission of the alleged violations(s). (If the Respondent admits to the alleged violation(s), then the committee may dismiss the Respondent and deliberate on the appropriate sanctions).

    • Presentation of information and/or Witnesses supporting the alleged violation(s) and questions by the committee; and, when necessary and appropriate, cross-examination of the Complainant and/or relevant Witnesses.

    • Presentation of information and/or Witnesses that rebuts the alleged violation(s) and questions by the committee; and, when necessary and appropriate, cross-examination of the Respondent and/or relevant Witnesses.

    • Each involved party has the option of presenting a closing statement to the committee.

  5. The associate dean may call Witnesses to appear via video conferencing who have relevant testimony about the alleged violations. The involved parties will receive a list of these witnesses at least 72 hours before the hearing. At the hearing, the involved parties may indirectly cross-examine the Witnesses by submitting written questions. Initial questions should be submitted to the associate dean at least 48 hours before the hearing. During the hearing, additional follow-up questions may be submitted in writing to the committee (as set forth more fully in paragraph 7 below). If the credibility of a Witness is not central to the adjudication of the allegations, the associate dean (at his or her discretion) may permit a written statement to be used if a Witness is unable to attend the hearing.

  6. Both parties may indirectly cross-examine each other about the events giving rise to the complaint. Under no circumstances, however, will a party be compelled to answer questions under cross-examination that may lead to criminal prosecution. At the conclusion of each party's or Witness's testimony before the committee, there will be a break in the hearing so that the parties may propose questions in writing to the committee. Cross-examination relating to a party's sexual activity or predisposition is not permitted unless such evidence is offered (1) to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, (2) if the evidence concerns specific incidents of the Complainant's sexual activity with respect to the Respondent and is offered to prove consent, or (3) to establish a party's motive or pattern of conduct. The associate dean has the discretion to determine which questions are appropriate and relevant to the proceedings. The associate dean will explain to the parties any decision to exclude proposed questions.

  7. Involved parties may also call Witnesses to appear via video conferencing who have relevant testimony about the alleged violations. The associate dean reserves the right to limit witnesses to those who have relevant testimony about the alleged violations. Character witnesses are not allowed. If parties wish to call Witnesses, they must submit a list of intended Witnesses, purposes of their statements, and intended questions to the associate dean at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. Names of Witnesses provided by the Complainant/Respondent, and allowed by the associate dean to appear at the hearing, will be shared with the other party at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. It is the responsibility of the party who calls the Witness to request and ensure the Witness' participation at the hearing. If the credibility of a Witness is not central to the determination of the allegations, the associate dean (at his or her sole discretion) may permit a written statement to be used if a Witness is unable to attend the hearing. If the Witness attends the hearing, the committee may ask the Witness questions and the other party may indirectly cross-examine the Witness by submitting written questions to the committee. Witnesses may only be present while giving testimony.

  8. Relevant documents and materials may be accepted as information for consideration by the committee at the discretion of the associate dean. This information must be submitted to the associate dean at least 48 hours before the hearing. The committee may or may not consider any documents received after the 48-hour deadline subject to the discretion of the associate dean. Involved parties will receive a copy of all relevant materials submitted.

  9. If, during the course of the hearing, additional policy violations are discovered, the Respondent will be notified of the new alleged violation(s) and will be granted additional time, if needed, to prepare a defense of the new alleged violation(s). The Respondent may waive the additional time and the hearing can proceed with the new alleged violation(s) taken under consideration by the committee. A record will be made in the hearing notes of additional alleged violation(s) and whether or not the respondent waived or requested additional preparation time.

  10. The committee's determination will be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence standard (whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy).

  11. After the hearing, the committee will determine by majority vote whether the Respondent has violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

  12. If the Respondent is found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the committee will then make a recommendation to the associate dean on the appropriate sanction(s).

  13. The associate dean will notify the involved parties in writing regarding the decision and sanctions (if issued) to the pepperdine.edu e-mail accounts. There will be a single written record of the hearing, which normally consists of the statement of alleged misconduct, a summary of the information presented at the hearing, a summary of the statements of the involved parties and witnesses, statement of the decision, and the sanctions issued, if any. The hearing will not be transcribed or otherwise recorded.

  14. If either of the involved parties or witnesses fail to appear at the hearing or participate, the committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the associate dean determines that good cause exists for the involved parties or witnesses not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set at the sole discretion of the associate dean.

  15. The committee will normally render a decision within 90 calendar days of the formal report being filed or within 90 calendar days of the Title IX coordinator for students' decision not to honor a confidentiality request. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that render this time-frame impractical. In such cases, decisions will be rendered as promptly as possible.

Sanctions

Violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy may result in the imposition of one or more of the sanctions listed below. Sanctions that may be imposed are not limited to those listed. In certain limited situations, the associate dean or designee may impose a sanction but suspend or postpone its actual implementation. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the associate dean may result in further disciplinary action, including but not limited to, a registration hold, placement on, or extension of, University probation, suspension, or permanent dismissal.

Sanctions are based on general principles of fair treatment. While attempting to be consistent in its disciplinary decisions, the University also seeks to be fair and sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

  • Warning: Oral or written notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy and that continuation or repetition of misconduct may result in a more severe sanction.

  • University Probation: A status which indicates that a student's relationship with the University is tenuous. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found in violation of any other policy. Probation may also result in the loss of privileges, depending on the policies of various University departments and organizations. For example, a student becomes ineligible to hold some leadership positions when placed on probation. Also, if a student is placed on University probation, the student becomes ineligible for International Programs during the probation period. Ineligibility includes applying, remaining in the queue, or attending a program.

  • Loss of Privileges: Such loss may include, but is not limited to, financial assistance, eligibility to represent the University officially on athletic teams or performing groups, or use of specific University facilities, computer systems, equipment, or services.

  • Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury. Failure to pay such charges may result in additional sanctions (including, but not limited to, denial of re-enrollment or refusal to release official transcripts and records).

  • Educational Sanctions: Reading/writing assignment, drug or alcohol assessment/treatment, seminar attendance, or other discretionary sanctions as deemed appropriate.

  • Dismissal from University Housing: Loss of privilege to live in University housing. In accordance with University housing policy, students required to live on campus who are dismissed from University housing may be dismissed from Pepperdine University. Any student dismissed from University housing prior to the end of the contractual period may be responsible for any remaining monetary charges, as well as ineligible for reimbursement for any charges already paid.

  • Suspension: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return without re-applying through the office of admissions, unless the student is absent for two or more academic years, which does require re-application and readmission by the office of admission, as is the case for all students. Conditions for readmission may be specified.

  • Expulsion: Temporary separation of the student from Pepperdine University for a definite period of time, but not less than two semesters, after which the student must re-apply through the office of admission and be granted acceptance before becoming eligible for re-enrollment at the University. Conditions for readmission may be specified, but the student is not guaranteed readmission. Dismissal: Permanent separation of the student from Pepperdine University. The student is dismissed from the University and is permanently ineligible to re-enroll at the University at any time in the future. When students are dismissed, expelled, or suspended for disciplinary reasons, there will be no refund of tuition or room charges for the semester and all financial assistance for subsequent semesters will be reviewed and is subject to cancellation.

  • Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the University may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of University standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.

  • Withholding Degree: The University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

If a violation occurs just prior to a student's scheduled graduation, sanctions may be imposed even if all academic requirements are completed. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, community service, research or reflective paper, restitution, loss of privilege to participate in the graduation ceremony, deferment of degree, and a transcript hold. The University may withhold issuing a degree until all sanctions are fulfilled. In the case of a serious violation, the University may permanently withhold or revoke a degree.

Additional Remedies

The associate dean may consult with the Title IX coordinator for students and include in the decision letter additional remedies to address the effects of the incident on the parties, restore the parties' access to University programs and activities, and restore to the parties, to the extent possible, benefits and opportunities lost as a result of the incident. This may include continuing supportive or protective measures for both parties. The associate dean and Title IX coordinator for students may also identify remedies to address the effects of the incident on the University community.

Retention of Disciplinary Records

Other than University dismissal or permanent withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student's permanent academic record, but will become part of the student's disciplinary record. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than University expulsion or dismissal or withholding of a degree will be expunged from the student's disciplinary record seven years after graduation.

Appeal Process

Both parties may appeal the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee hearing to the University's dean of students (dean) or designee. The appeal must be submitted by completing the online appeal form within seven calendar days of the issuance date of the hearing decision.

On the online appeal form, the party must specifically address at least one of the following criteria:

  1. The hearing decision was not supported by substantial information. In other words, there was no reasonable basis for such decision. The disciplinary committee's credibility assessment of the parties and witnesses is not subject to review by the dean. The appealing party must state the basis for this belief and provide relevant supporting information.

  2. New information that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing and would have substantially impacted the decision. The appealing party must provide a summary of this new information and its impact.

  3. Procedural irregularity in the investigation or disciplinary committee proceedings that was substantial enough to undermine the student's ability to present a defense or provide relevant supporting information. The appealing party must identify the specific investigative or hearing procedure that was not followed, along with a summary of how it undermined the student's ability to present a defense or provide relevant supporting information.

  4. Bias or conflict of interest by an investigator or committee member. The appealing party must state the basis for this belief and provide any supporting information.

  5. Inappropriateness of the sanctions and/or remedies for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

The completed appeal form will be shared with the other party, who may submit a written response within seven calendar days from the time the appeal form is emailed to the student's pepperdine.edu account. This written response will be shared with the other party.

Generally, the appellate process does not require the dean to make personal contact with the involved parties or the student disciplinary committee. The dean may, but is not required to, convene an advisory committee to assist in making a recommendation regarding the appeal. The dean shall not be bound by the committee's recommendation.

The dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The dean may also return the case to the student disciplinary committee for further consideration. The dean's decision shall be final and effective immediately. A letter describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the decision will be emailed simultaneously to both parties' pepperdine.edu account.

XIII. Sexual Misconduct by the University, Faculty, or Staff

Applicability

This policy is applicable to formal complaints of Sexual Misconduct filed by a student against the University (i.e., an allegation that a University policy or practice constitutes Sex Discrimination), or a faculty or staff member. In cases where a faculty or staff member is accused of other forms of serious misconduct in addition to Sexual Misconduct, Human Resources and/or the dean of the respective school may take immediate action following other policies governing misconduct, thereby making this policy inapplicable (e.g., in cases where a faculty/staff member is immediately terminated). If the Respondent is a Student and an Employee, the University Title IX coordinator will determine which University policy should apply based upon the facts and circumstances (including, but not limited to, the context of the prohibited conduct, the roles of the parties at the time of the conduct, and the location of the incident).

The University Title IX coordinator and/or the Title IX coordinator for students may determine that a formal complaint of Sexual Misconduct filed by a student against the University or faculty or staff member can possibly be resolved through the Informal Resolution process described in section XI above instead of the grievance officer review process described below. In such cases, the parties will be offered the opportunity to do so.

Review by the Grievance Officer

If the University Title IX coordinator or Title IX coordinator for students determines that: 1) a confidentiality request cannot be honored or 2) a formal complaint of Sexual Misconduct is not appropriate for Informal Resolution (or the parties declined to participate or the process failed), the University Title IX coordinator shall serve as or designate a grievance officer to investigate the formal complaint. The grievance officer may request the assistance of the Department of Public Safety in conducting his or her investigation. An investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents. The University's actions are not dependent on the initiation or outcome of criminal charges or civil proceedings. The review may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal or civil proceedings.

If the grievance officer desires, he or she may also appoint an advisory committee to assist in the investigation of the complaint and/or advise the grievance officer on whether the Sexual Misconduct Policy was violated and, if so, recommended sanctions or remedies. The grievance officer shall not be bound by the committee's recommendation(s).

If the grievance officer determines that the complaint and investigative materials, if true, would violate the Sexual Misconduct Policy, then the grievance officer shall email a notice describing the behavior that allegedly violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy and investigative materials to the person or department against whom the complaint is made. All emails will be sent to the parties' pepperdine.edu email accounts or other appropriate contact.

The person or department shall be given fourteen calendar days from receipt of the notice and investigative materials to return a written response and any supporting materials to the grievance officer. Necessary extensions may be granted at the discretion of the grievance officer. A copy of the person or department's response, investigative materials, and any supporting materials submitted will be emailed to the student.

Within twenty business days of receipt of the written response, the grievance officer shall make a decision regarding whether there was a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. This decision shall be made by a preponderance of the evidence based on the complaint, the response, and any other information the grievance officer deems relevant. If the grievance officer decides that there was a policy violation, she or he may recommend sanctions against the faculty or staff member. When the respondent is the University, the grievance officer may recommend remedies. The decision and any recommended sanctions/remedies will be emailed to both parties by the grievance officer.

If a timely appeal (see appeal process below) is not filed by either party, the decision and any sanction recommendations against a staff member will be forwarded to the supervisor and Human Resources for further action. The decision and any sanction recommendations against a faculty member will be forwarded to the dean of the faculty member's school for further action. The decision and any remedies recommendations concerning the University will be forwarded to the University Title IX coordinator for further action.

Appeal Process

Either the staff member's senior leader within the staff member's unit or the Provost (or designee) if the matter involves a faculty member, shall serve as the "reviewing officer" for appeal decisions and any recommended sanctions in Sexual Misconduct cases. Decisions and any recommended remedies concerning the University are not appealable. Either party may submit a written request for appeal to the reviewing officer within seven calendar days from the date of the decision and any recommended sanctions being issued. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal.

The written appeal must specifically address at least one of the following criteria:

  1. The decision was not supported by substantial information. In other words, there was no reasonable basis for such decision. The grievance officer's credibility assessment of the parties and witnesses is not subject to review by the reviewing officer. The appealing party must state the basis for this belief and provide relevant supporting information.
  2. New information that was not reasonably available at the time of the review and would have substantially impacted the decision. The appealing party must provide a summary of this new information and its impact.
  3. Procedural irregularity in the review that was substantial enough to undermine the party's ability to present a defense or provide relevant supporting information. The appealing party must identify the specific procedure that was not followed, along with a summary of how it undermined the party's ability to present a defense or provide relevant supporting information.
  4. Bias or conflict of interest by the grievance officer or investigator. The appealing party must state the basis for this belief and provide any supporting information.
  5. Inappropriateness of the recommended sanctions for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

The appeal will be shared with the other party, who may submit a written response within seven calendar days from the time the appeal is emailed to the party's pepperdine.edu account. This written response will be shared with the other party.

Generally, the appellate process does not require the reviewing officer to make personal contact with the parties or the grievance officer. The reviewing officer may, but is not required to, convene an advisory committee to assist in making a recommendation regarding the appeal. The reviewing officer shall not be bound by the committee's recommendation.

Within twenty business days from the date of receipt of the written response, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the submitted materials and any other information the grievance officer deems relevant. The reviewing officer may affirm, reverse, or modify the grievance officer's decision and any sanctions recommendation. The reviewing officer may also return the case to the grievance officer for further consideration. The reviewing officer's decision shall be final and effective immediately. A copy of the decision letter will be emailed to the parties' pepperdine.edu account or other appropriate contact.

The decision and any sanction recommendations against a staff member will be forwarded to the supervisor and Human Resources for further action. The decision and any sanction recommendations against a faculty member will be forwarded to the dean of the faculty member's school for further action.

All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this policy shall be retained by the grievance officer for seven years from the date of the student's graduation.

XIV. Sexual Misconduct by Third Parties

If the Respondent is a Third Party, the University's ability to take action may be limited and is determined by the context of the prohibited conduct and the nature of the relationship of the Third Party to the University. The University Title IX coordinator and the Title IX coordinator for students will determine the appropriate manner of resolution that may include, but is not limited to, conducting an internal investigation that could result in restriction of the Third Party from campus or University activities, referral to area law enforcement, and outreach and coordination with the school or affiliation of the Third Party. The University will offer resources and assistance to all community members who experience and/or are affected by prohibited conduct.

 

Last Updated: August 19, 2019
Policy Contact: Title IX Coordinator for Students, Community Standards