12.3.7. Definitions of Roles

12.3.7.1. Advisor

Both the complainant and the respondent involved in a discipline case alleging a violation of the policy on sexual misconduct have the right to an advisor of their choosing. Members of the hearing panel or those who will be serving as witnesses in the case may not serve as an advisor. The role of the advisor throughout the process and during the hearing is to provide support and advice to the student. Advisors may not speak to the hearing panel or ask questions of the other parties or witnesses. At the student’s request, the advisor may be present any time their advisee is meeting with the hearing panel or other member of the University staff regarding the discipline case. The advisor may not speak on behalf of the student; the student must speak on their own behalf. The advisor must maintain the confidentiality of the entire discipline process. Proceedings will not be rescheduled to accommodate an advisor.

12.3.7.2. Advocate

The University will provide both the complainant and the respondent with an advocate who is trained in Title IX matters and is knowledgeable about the policies and procedures set forth in this policy. The Title IX coordinator will connect complainants and respondents to faculty and staff advocates. Complainant and/or Respondent may choose not to utilize the advocate. Advocates may not speak to the hearing panel or ask questions of the other parties or witnesses. At the student’s request, the advocate may be present any time their advisee is meeting with the hearing panel or other member of the University staff regarding the discipline case. The advocate may not speak on behalf of the student; the student must speak on their own behalf. The advocate must maintain the confidentiality of the entire discipline process.

12.3.7.3. Complainant

The complainant is a person who makes a complaint of an alleged violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

12.3.7.4. Conduct Officer

At various places throughout this policy there will be references to a “conduct officer.” In this context, “conduct officer” means either the chief conduct officer or an individual who, by virtue of previous training concerning the policy on sexual misconduct, is qualified to substitute for the chief conduct officer.

12.3.7.5. Hearing Coordinator

The hearing coordinator is a conduct officer. The hearing coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, convening and chairing the hearing panel, communicating with the parties about the date, time, and location of the hearing, disseminating the panel’s decisions, and facilitating any appeal. The hearing coordinator ensures that the process and procedures are followed and rights and responsibilities of those involved in the hearing process are respected. The hearing coordinator is present during hearing panel deliberations, but does not have a vote.

12.3.7.6. Hearing Panel

The hearing panel hears complaints of alleged violations of the policy on sexual misconduct, makes determinations of responsibility in such cases, and determines sanctions, if applicable. A hearing panel is composed of three members of the Oglethorpe University nonstudent community who have been trained in Title IX matters and who serve on the faculty-staff judicial board. Potential panel members may be excused from a hearing in the event of a conflict of interest, lack of availability, or other valid reason, as determined by the hearing coordinator.

12.3.7.7. Investigator

The investigator is a trained employee who is responsible for interviewing the complainant, respondent and witnesses. The investigator gathers all evidence and assembles an investigation report that is provided to the hearing panel.

12.3.7.8. Respondent

The respondent is a person who has been charged with an alleged violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

12.3.7.9. Witnesses

The complainant and respondent may submit the names of unlimited witnesses to the investigator. The accounts of witnesses interviewed will be included in the investigation report. At the hearing, witnesses may be called to sit before the panel. If called, witnesses shall be in the hearing room only during the time they are speaking. Witnesses will answer questions from the hearing panel, the complainant, and the respondent. Written notification will be sent to the witnesses informing them of the date, time and location of the hearing. If there is good reason they cannot attend, the hearing coordinator may submit questions to them in advance for written response. .

12.3.7.10. Confidential Resources

Employees and officials at the University are responsible employees and required to report incidents of sexual misconduct. Students age 18 or older seeking confidential resources may consult with the University counseling center. In the State of Georgia licensed counselors and clergy are the only parties that may be allowed to maintain confidentiality.