V. Definitions

A. Administrative Resolution: A process for resolving complaints in which the COD Chair and OSC 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, intimate partner violence, or stalking.  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 in a hearing. Both parties have equal rights to having 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.

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 Sections V(L) and XIV, special procedures will be employed for sexual misconduct hearings.

F. Complainant: Those who bring complaints alleging violations of MIT policy by students, former students, student organizations, or former student organizations. Typically, anyone may serve as a complainant, whether or not they are a member of the MIT community.

G. Day (also business day or Institute day): This is a regular day, Monday through Friday, during which MIT offices are open for regular business.  A business day can be a day in which MIT has class or when there is an academic break.  Business days exclude weekends and holidays that the Institute is closed.

H. Hearing Panel: The COD members who participate in a COD hearing. A hearing panel consists of seven COD members, including at least two faculty members (one of whom may be the Chair), two Dean's representatives, and two student members.  As described in Section XIV, special procedures will be employed for sexual misconduct hearings, including a different panel composition.  Complaints of sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, and stalking will be heard by three COD members who serve on the sexual misconduct subcommittee.

I. Office of Student Citizenship (OSC): The Office of Student Citizenship 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 Director of the OSC is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the COD.  The OSC will meet with students, faculty, and staff on behalf of the COD.  OSC staff members participate in administrative resolutions.  One OSC staff member may participate in hearings, sanctioning panels, sexual misconduct hearings, and sexual misconduct sanctioning panels as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

J. 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, or a former student organization alleged to have violated MIT policy while holding recognized status.

K. 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.

L. Sanctioning Panel: A panel consisting of one student member, one Dean's representative, one faculty member, and the Chair that may be convened to determine sanctions when a respondent accepts responsibility for the allegations and when the Chair determines the incident may warrant sanctions greater than those available in an administrative resolution. As described in Sections V(M) and XV, special procedures will be employed for sexual misconduct sanctioning panels.

M. Sexual Misconduct Hearing: A process that may be used to resolve complaints of sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, and stalking in which specially trained members of the COD review an investigation report that may include written statements from the complainant and respondent, as well as in person statements or interview summaries from those parties and other witnesses. In a sexual misconduct hearing, the full range of sanctions is available.  Sexual misconduct hearings may take place using videoconferencing or similar technology so that the parties are not required to be in the same room together.

N. Sexual Misconduct Sanctioning Panel: A process that may be used in which specially trained members of the COD determine the appropriate sanction in cases of sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, and stalking where the investigator, the Chair, the complainant, and the respondent all agree that a violation of MIT policy took place.  When all parties agree that a 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.  The full range of sanctions is available.

O. Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee (Subcommittee): A group of six COD members who are specially trained in issues of sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, and the COD procedures for sexual misconduct hearings and sexual misconduct sanctioning panels.  Of COD members, only members of the subcommittee will be permitted to participate in sexual misconduct hearings and sexual misconduct sanctioning panels.  The subcommittee will not include any students.

P. Student: A person becomes an MIT student at the start of the term for which he or she is admitted or readmitted. Regular student status is retained until graduation, unless the student 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.

Q.  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, residence halls, individual floors or units within residence halls, academic clubs, honor societies, performance groups, athletic teams, club sports, and clubs. 

R. Student Organization 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 of the student organization or members of the governing council to which the student organization belongs (e.g., DormCon for residence halls, Association of Student Activities for a club, etc.).  These representatives act as the complainant or respondent on behalf of their organization and any reference to complainant or respondent in these rules will include the student organization representatives in cases involving student organizations.

S. 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. Parties are responsible for contacting and for arranging the participation of their witnesses.

 

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