HPU is a community that embraces and stands for safe, healthy relationships. HPU prohibits the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. As a student, you have a right to expect that you will be treated with respect in your relationships within the HPU community. The HPU community wants to take every opportunity to educate our community regarding preventive measures regarding sexual assault and violence. All students, incoming and returning community members, are required to view Haven (Understanding Sexual Assault), which is an on-line application geared towards education of all HPU students on the issues associated with sexual assault and relationship violence, taking into account unique perspectives and experiences. If you or someone you know may be the victim of sexual misconduct by another member of the University, you may report such misconduct or file a complaint a variety of different ways, however if this is a personal emergency or someone is in need of immediate assistance, please call 911 or 336-841-9111:
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High Point University expects all members of its community to act in respectful and responsible ways towards each other. Physical assault and crimes of violence are also subject to criminal prosecution. It is the responsibility of each individual in the University community to become educated about such acts and their consequences. Where threat of assault or assault and battery exists, the Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students, or Director of Student Conduct may exclude students from campus until the matter is resolved.
Where assault or assault and battery occurs, a priority hearing shall be arranged. At the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students, and Student Conduct staff, parties involved may be excluded from campus until the matter is resolved. Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by the current or former spouse of the complainant, by a person the complainant shares a child in common, by a person co-habitation or who has co-habituated with the complainant, or a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under North Carolina law. Dating Violence is controlling abusive and/or aggressive behavior by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. It can include: verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse or a combination. **HPU reserves the right to proceed with a hearing as deemed appropriate when the complainant/respondent are not able to be on campus.**
Sexual Misconduct Policy
High Point University expects all members of its community to act in a respectful and responsible manner towards one another. Acts of sexual misconduct including: sexual harassment (stalking, cyberstalking or relationship violence) non-consensual contact, non-consensual intercourse (sexual assault), exploitation and other gender based offenses are classified as crimes of violence that are subject to prosecution through both university and local law enforcement authorities. This policy covers complaints of alleged sexual misconduct. **HPU reserves the right to proceed with a hearing as deemed appropriate when the complainant/respondent are not able to be on campus.**
Consent is informed, freely and actively given and mutually understandable with either clear words and/or actions that both parties involved are willing to participate in the mutually-agreed upon sexual activity. If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent. If the complainant is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the complainant cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation there is no consent; this includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption, being asleep or unconscious. Being intoxicated or under the influence does not remove the responsibility of obtaining and/or giving consent. Whether the respondent has taken advantage of a position of influence over the complainant may be a factor in determining consent.
Reporting a violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
Complainants of violations of any part of High Point University’s sexual misconduct policy may be reported at any time. There is no statute of limitations on when a report can be made; however, complainants are encouraged to make reports promptly in order to best preserve any evidence for potential disciplinary or legal proceeding. Complainants are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence to the local police department by calling 911.
For incidents that occur on High Point University’s campus, you may contact the Resident Director on Duty by calling 336-880-4409 or HPU security department by calling 336-841-9111, for assistance with on campus procedures as well as providing any assistance with local law enforcement.
If a student files a report with the university, interim measures may be necessary during the investigation, conduct hearing proceedings, etc. Such interim measures may be temporary residential housing, class schedule review, extra-curricular activity assessment and appropriate actions for no-contact between both complainant and respondent.
Voluntary Confidential Reporting
If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the University system or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Chief of Security, Vice President for Student Life, or designee can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution.
The process of a violation of the sexual misconduct policy
Once the initial report is made, there are options for the complainant. Those options are the following:
- Wishes to remain confidential and does not want a hearing/resolution: As stated in the section above about confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator and University Officials will do their best to respect that request, however, due to Title IX the University must do at least a preliminary investigation and take prompt and reasonable steps given the information of which it is aware. The University can never ensure complete confidentiality and must consider the safety of all in the community.
- Interest to move forward with a hearing/resolution: is interested in moving forward with a hearing/resolution, the complainant reports the incident including the name of the accused student to the investigator for them to move forward with an investigation. The investigator will usually meet with that individual to let them know what they are being accused of and give them an understanding of the policies and allegations. If the respondent accepts responsibility for the actions, then there may be an informal resolution handled by the Vice President for Student Life, Assistant Vice President for Student Life and/or Director of Student Conduct. If the respondent does not accept responsibility for the allegations, a formal hearing will take place as a priority hearing, usually within approximately 10 days of the complainant’s decision to move forward with a formal hearing.
A formal hearing can be set up with the complainant and respondent in separate rooms and voices can be masked. The set up of a formal hearing varies on the comfort level of the complainant and alleged for each case. A formal hearing consists of a panel of student and faculty justices that are members of the Priority Hearing Board. The hearing panel will be comprised of 2 senior student Justices, the more senior of which will serve as the hearing chair, and 2 faculty or staff Justices and 1 Security Supervisor. Each Justice has a voice and vote in the decision-making process. The investigating officer will serve as the hearing officer. All members of the Priority Hearing Board receive annual training regarding the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
When preparing for the formal hearing, equal access and resources are given to both the complainant and respondent. They will each be notified of the hearing in a formal letter outlining the date, time and location of the hearing as well as the policy that was violated. If either party does not appear, as stated in the notification letter the SGA Judicial Vice President in conjunction with University officials may determine to postpone the proceedings or direct that the hearing continue and make a determination based on the evidence available. For violations of sexual misconduct, both the complainant and respondent may have advisers present to support them during this process. Advisers may not ask direct questions to any party at the hearing but may consult with the student he or she is assisting. If an adviser’s presence infringes on the process, an adviser may be asked to leave.
For violations of the sexual misconduct policy the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has interpreted Title IX to require schools to evaluate evidence and witness testimony under a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the information needs to show that it is “more likely than not” that a violation of the policy occurred.
If found responsible for a violation of the High Point University Sexual Misconduct Policy, sanctions may include fines, disciplinary probation, mandated counseling, reassignment or removal of university housing and/ or suspension or expulsion from the University. The adjudicating body may include additional sanctions dependent on the nature of the violation. Both complainant and respondent are informed of the outcome of the hearing at the conclusion of the hearing and in writing. Both parties may also appeal the outcome of the formal hearing to the Executive Committee by completing the Appeal link: https://publicdocs.maxient.com/reportingform.php?HighPointUniv&layout_id=8 within 5 days of the Priority Hearing.
If appealed, no resolutions by the original hearing panel go into effect until the outcome of the appeal to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will convene and meet with the party that filed the appeal. The outcome of the Executive Committee will be made in writing to both the complainant and alleged. The decision of the Executive Committee is final. In all cases, no matter which choice the complainant makes the University representative handling the case will take reasonable and practical steps to protect the complainant and respondent equally as outlined by Title IX. These steps could vary depending on the complaint from a “no contact” between the individuals to further steps such as separating them in housing, academic, and employment situations. Violations of these directives and protective actions may lead to additional disciplinary actions.