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Investigation Process

Reports of interpersonal violence are investigated and adjudicated by two offices, Equal Opportunity Programs, which examines potential violations of Title IX, and the Office of Student Conduct, which enforces the Student Code of Conduct. This dual process ensures proceedings will be impartial and fair for all.

To initiate an investigation, submit a report online

 

Title IX Investigation Process

Equal Opportunity Programs will conduct an investigation to determine whether there may have been a policy violation. If the investigator believes a violation has occurred, they will forward the case to the Office of Student Conduct for resolution.

 

Student Conduct Process

The student conduct office will meet with both the complainant and respondent. These meetings are to help both individuals prepare for the hearing process.

What To Expect

The Office of Student Conduct staff will set a date, time and location for your hearing and then notify you through your university email.

Bringing Others

Both the complainant and respondent can bring one adviser -- a family member, friend, lawyer or other individual -- to the hearing, as long as that person was not directly involved in the incident. They will not be allowed to speak or directly participate. You will need to fill out a Consent to Release Information Form [pdf] for anyone coming to the meeting.

Confidentiality and Recordings

Your hearing will be closed and confidential, and you are encouraged not to discuss the case outside of the hearing. Video and audio recordings are not permitted by anyone other than the Office of Student Conduct. We will keep the recording until all appeals are concluded. You may request the recording via email to saosc@mailox.sc.edu.

Hearing Process

Both the complainant and respondent are able to participate in all portions of the hearing. 

Your hearing will follow a script, and witnesses will only be present when they are being questioned. Review a sample script [pdf]. Both students, council members and university representative(s) will all have the opportunity to ask questions, but the complainant and respondent cannot question each other directly.

Panel
Interpersonal violence cases are heard by a panel of three students and two faculty or staff members. These Carolina Judicial Council panelists, along with all staff members in the Office of Student Conduct, receive specialized annual training on interpersonal violence. 

Case Documents
Both students may submit relevant documents up to three business days in advance to be considered for the hearing packet. 

Witnesses
The university representative and students can call witnesses to present information during the hearing. Witnesses must be limited to presenting facts regarding the case. Character witnesses are not permitted.

If witnesses are unable to attend a scheduled hearing, a written statement may be submitted in advance.

Council Deliberation

After all information has been presented, the council will meet in private to reach a decision, and, if appropriate, determine sanctions.

The council uses the standard of a "preponderance of the evidence," which means that the information presented must demonstrate that it is more likely than not a violation occurred.  Decisions of the council must be a majority vote.

If the respondent is found responsible, the council may review any of their prior conduct records to determine the appropriate outcome.

After a decision is made, the council will share the results with both students. A university representative will send an outcome letter to both students' university email addresses that will include:

  • findings
  • any sanctions
  • a statement regarding both students' right to appeal.
Appeals

Decisions from the Carolina Judicial Council are the final and highest level of case resolution. An appeal is only allowed if there has been a procedural error or if there is new evidence that could not have been available at the time of the hearing. More about appeals »

 

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