IV. The COD Process is Private and Internal

A. In general, COD processes are private and confidential. With respect to complaints against individual students, only participants in the process will be allowed in a hearing or sanctioning panel and at the discretion of the COD Chair. With respect to complaints against student organizations, the COD Chair will determine appropriate hearing and sanctioning panel attendance on a case-by-case basis.

B. The COD’s consideration and determination of a complaint is confidential and should not be discussed outside of the COD process by members. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to, the existence and substance of the complaint, the names of complainants, respondents, witnesses, what is said in COD processes and by whom, the findings made, and sanctions imposed by the COD. Complainants, respondents, advisors, and witnesses are encouraged to use discretion in their sharing of information about the COD process, but complainants and respondents are not restricted from discussing the allegations or gathering and presenting relevant evidence.

C. Any information regarding a complaint before the COD or a decision by the COD may only be communicated by the COD or OSCCS to the parties (including their advisors) or to other officials of MIT in order to permit them to fulfill their professional responsibilities, to the extent it is feasible to do so, or as required by law.  In certain cases, the COD Chair or OSCCS can permit the disclosure of a decision by the COD to other third parties as necessary to implement the decision (for example, in the case of a student organization) or when required by law (for example, in cases involving sexual misconduct).

D. The COD process is not intended to be a legalistic or adversarial process. Attorneys for either party cannot participate in any part of the COD process except by serving as advisors (defined in Section V) to complainants and respondents in cases involving allegations of violations of Mind & Hand Book, Section II(11): Harassment (based on gender, sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy); Section II(17): Intimate Partner Violence; Section II(23): Sexual Misconduct; Section II(24): Stalking; and Section II(28): Title IX Sexual Harassment. Attorneys are not permitted to serve as advisors in any other type of case. Advisors may attend meetings, hearings, or sanctioning panels with their student and may give support and advice, but advisors are not permitted to serve as a witness, make arguments on behalf of or represent students, question witnesses, or author documents, except that advisors, including attorney advisors, are permitted to conduct direct, oral, real-time cross-examination of parties and witnesses in Title IX Sexual Harassment hearings. The Chair may ask for an attorney for the COD to be present if the Chair decides the COD may benefit from legal advice.

E. Records maintained in the COD process are governed by MIT policies regarding privacy and release of student records. Information on these policies is available through the OSCCS.

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