A. Administrative Resolution: A process for resolving complaints in which the COD Chair and OSCCS review documents submitted by the complainant and the respondent. In an administrative resolution regarding an individual student, the highest status sanction available is probation without a transcript notation, along with other possible sanctions to educate the respondent. In an administrative resolution regarding a student organization, the highest status sanction available is organizational probation, along with other possible sanctions to educate the respondent.
B. Advisor: The complainant and the respondent each may have one advisor, who may be any person of their choice except a member of the media or an attorney, with the exception that attorneys are permitted to serve as advisors to complainants and respondents in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, or stalking, including Title IX Sexual Harassment. Attorneys are not permitted to serve as advisors in any other type of case. The advisor may assist either party in preparing their case and in accompanying the party at any meeting or in any hearing. Both parties have equal rights to have an advisor present. Advisors may not serve as witnesses and are typically not permitted to address the COD, other parties, or witnesses. Exceptions are rarely made and are allowed only by the Chair. Parties are responsible for contacting and for arranging the participation of their advisors.
The following provisions apply only to Title IX Sexual Harassment hearings:
C. Associate Chair: A faculty member of the COD, appointed by the Chair, who is empowered to chair hearings and sanctioning panels and manage cases as designated by the Chair for a specified period of time, usually one academic year.
D. Chair of the COD (Chair): Faculty leader of the COD, appointed by the Chair of the Faculty.
E. COD Hearing (Hearing): A process that may be used to resolve formal complaints in which members of the COD review documents submitted by the complainant and respondent, as well as in person statements from those parties and their identified witnesses. In a hearing, the full range of sanctions is available. As described in Section ¬¬¬XIII, special procedures will be employed for hearings involving complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, or Title IX Sexual Harassment, including a different panel composition.
F. COD Sanctioning Panel (Sanctioning Panel): A sanctioning panel may be convened to determine sanctions when a respondent accepts responsibility for all the alleged violations and when the Chair determines the incident may warrant sanctions greater than those available in an administrative resolution. In a sanctioning panel, the full range of sanctions is available. See Section XV for specific rules and procedures regarding sanctioning panels involving complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking that do not meet the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment. Sanctioning panels are not available for resolving complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment.
G. Complainant: An individual who brings a complaint alleging violation(s) of MIT policy by students, former students, student organizations, or former student organizations. Typically, anyone may be a complainant, whether or not they are a member of the MIT community. A complainant includes an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.
H. Day (also business day or Institute day): This is a regular day, Monday through Friday, during which MIT offices are open for regular business. It excludes weekends and holidays on which the Institute is closed, but can be a day in which MIT has class or when there is an academic break (for example, over Spring Break or the summer).
I. IDHR: The Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response office.
J. Investigation: The formal process of collecting information and evidence at the request of the Chair of the COD, the OSCCS, the Office of the Chancellor, a representative of the Division of Student Life, the Title IX Coordinator, or other appropriate Institute official. An Investigation will usually result in a written fact-finding report that is submitted to the COD for consideration at a Hearing or Sanctioning Panel, and may also include a recommended finding of responsibility for violations of Institute policy. The investigator(s) may also report the findings to other Institute officials either in writing or orally, and the report may be used to evaluate whether a complaint should be filed with the COD. If appropriate depending on the findings, an Investigation can also be used to support an Administrative Resolution or non-binding recommendations concerning a residence hall to MIT Senior Leadership. Investigations conducted by IDHR in response to complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking, including Title IX Sexual Harassment, as well as other forms of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, will be conducted in accordance with processes developed by IDHR. See also Section XIII for special procedures for investigating and resolving complaints of sexual misconduct sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and Title IX Sexual Harassment.
K. MIT Senior Leadership: The President, the Provost, the Chancellor, the Vice President for Research, and the Vice President for Open Learning.
L. Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS): The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is the department within the Division of Student Life that is responsible for educating the Institute community about MIT’s standards of behavior, facilitating the discipline process for allegations involving students and student organizations, and serving as a liaison between all parts of the MIT community and the COD. The Associate Dean of the OSCCS is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the COD. The OSCCS will meet with students, faculty, and staff on behalf of the COD. OSCCS staff members participate in administrative resolutions. One OSCCS staff member may participate in all hearings and sanctioning panels as an ex-officio, non-voting member. Other OSCCS staff may also be present during panel and hearings to provide facilitation support.
M. Party: A complainant or a respondent.
N. Respondent: A student alleged to have violated MIT policy, a former student alleged to have violated MIT policy while they were a student, a student organization alleged to have violated MIT policy, a former student organization alleged to have violated MIT policy while holding recognized status, or, for residence hall cases, the residence hall or floor or unit within the residence hall against whom a complaint is brought. A respondent includes a student who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.
O. Sanction: The outcomes assigned to a respondent found responsible for violating MIT policy. Graduation and registration holds may be placed by the Registrar if sanctions are not completed by designated deadlines.
P. Sexual Misconduct Hearing: A live hearing in which specially trained members of the COD resolve complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking that do not meet the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment. In a sexual misconduct hearing, the full range of sanctions is available. Sexual misconduct hearings will take place using videoconferencing or similar technology so that the parties are not required to be in the same room together.
Q. Sexual Misconduct Sanctioning Panel: A process in which specially trained members of the COD determine the appropriate sanction in cases of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking that do not meet the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment, where the IDHR investigator(s), the Chair, the complainant, and the respondent all agree that a violation of MIT policy took place. When all parties agree that a policy violation took place, the members of the sanctioning panel will review the available information, deliberate, and assign a sanction to the respondent. The sanctioning panel does not meet with the parties. In a sexual misconduct sanctioning panel, the full range of sanctions is available.
R. Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee (Subcommittee): A group of no less than six COD members who are specially trained in issues of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, Title IX Sexual Harassment, and the COD procedures for sexual misconduct hearings, sexual misconduct sanctioning panels, and Title IX Sexual Harassment hearings. Of COD members, only members of the subcommittee will be permitted to participate in sexual misconduct hearings, sexual misconduct sanctioning panels, and Title IX Sexual Harassment hearings. The subcommittee will not include any students.
S. Student: A person becomes an MIT student at the start of the term for which they are admitted, readmitted, or returns from leave. Regular student status is retained until graduation, unless the student takes a leave, withdraws, or is disqualified. Regular student status is also retained while the student is cross- registered at another institution or is on foreign or domestic study away. Non-Institute students who are registered at MIT fall under the purview of the COD for acts committed during their time of registration.
T. Student on leave: A student who is on a leave (e.g., required academic leave, personal leave, medical leave) that has been approved or required by MIT. Misconduct by a student on leave that is brought to MIT’s attention may be a basis for MIT disciplinary action, including temporary or permanent denial of a request to return from leave. Decisions concerning whether misconduct by a student on leave should be addressed as a condition to returning to MIT will be made by the COD in consultation with the Committee on Academic Performance. The COD Rules in effect at the time of the request to return from leave will be used to adjudicate any allegations of misconduct by a student on leave.
U. Student Organization: A group of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for Institute recognition or registration. This includes, but is not limited to, fraternities, sororities, independent living groups, academic clubs, honor societies, performance groups, athletic teams, club sports, and clubs. For purposes of these rules, a student organization does not include a residence hall or floors or units within a residence hall.
V. Student Organization or Residence Hall Representatives: In matters before the COD, a student organization may be represented in a hearing, sanctioning panel, or related meetings by a maximum of three MIT students who are members or representatives of the student organization. For residence hall cases, the residence hall, or floor or unit within the residence hall, may be represented by a maximum of three residents. These representatives act as the complainant or respondent on behalf of their organization or residence and any reference to complainant or respondent in these rules will include the designated representatives in cases involving student organizations or residence halls. Upon request of the respondent, the Chair, in its discretion in a given case, may expand the number of representatives that is permitted to represent a student organization, residence hall, or floor or unit within the residence hall.
W. Title IX Coordinator: The MIT official designated by MIT to ensure compliance with Title IX. MIT’s Title IX Coordinator is also the Director of IDHR.
X. Title IX Sexual Harassment: Conduct covered by MIT’s Title IX Sexual Harassment policy, located in the Mind and Hand Book and MIT Policies and Procedures.
Y. Title IX Sexual Harassment Hearing: A live hearing in which specially trained members of the COD resolve complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment. In a Title IX Sexual Harassment hearing, the full range of sanctions is available. At the request of either party, Title IX Sexual Harassment hearings will take place using videoconferencing or similar technology so that the parties are not required to be in the same room together. If a complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment also includes allegations of conduct that would violate other policies in addition to the Title IX Sexual Harassment policy, the Title IX Sexual Harassment hearing will be used to resolve the complaint in its entirety.
Z. Witness: Those who are not a party in a hearing and who may present information in the course of the COD process. Witnesses are not required to be eyewitnesses to the incident in question, but should have relevant information to present. Witnesses may not serve as advisors. Both parties have equal rights to have witnesses or witness statements presented.