Section 17. Identifying Concerning Behavior and Initial Procedures

Student Conduct Processes: The Student Conduct Process and the Special Examiner’s Process

Applicability: Formal and informal adjudication in support of a student (that is, any person enrolled in any academic program or course at Brandeis University, including Brandeis-sponsored distance or Internet-based courses, up to and including the student’s commencement day, or the last day of evaluation for non-degree students) may be implemented through the report of an alleged policy violation or concerning behavior to the Department of Student Rights and Community Standards (DSRCS). Reported behaviors will be vetted to determine whether the Student Conduct Process (SCP), the OEO Resolution Process, or the Dean of Students (DOS) Office will be the appropriate mechanism or venue for response.

Behavioral Intervention — The Care Team: Brandeis convenes a team of professionals to receive reports of concerning behavior and to make deliberate decisions about appropriate, individualized courses of action for supporting students of concern. The team may make referrals to a variety of resources. Some common interventions may be:

Reporting: When infractions of University standards and policies are alleged, reports regarding that conduct should be submitted to the DSRCS by the reporter in a timely manner through a Community Standards Report (CSR). A CSR must be submitted in order for an initiating party to be able to initiate a formal adjudication process through the Student Conduct Process (SCP). Any person may submit a CSR, and all CSRs will be reviewed and acted upon appropriately. However, only Brandeis community members (Brandeis students, staff, and faculty) may serve as an initiating party in a SCP. The CSR will be shared in its entirety with the responding party(s). The CSR is a web-based form.

Brandeis has the option to independently initiate a Student Conduct Process, called an Administrative Complaint. This type of complaint may be initiated in situations where the person(s) who experienced the alleged conduct is unable or uninterested in initiating the process or the conduct at issue poses a threat to campus safety (which includes but is not limited to the involvement of physical violence, the use of weapons, an ongoing threat, the involvement of minors or repeat offenders/multiple impacted parties). This type of complaint can also be initiated when the conduct is discovered by the University (rather than through a report). This option may be initiated when sufficient information is available regarding the incident to provide the responding party with adequate notice of the complaint.

When the alleged violations involve discrimination, harassment or sexual violence, that conduct may be reported directly to the Office of Equal Opportunity with or without a CSR. Brandeis community members (Brandeis students, staff, and faculty), former community members and in some cases non-affiliated parties may serve as an initiating party in an OEO Resolution Process. Please see the Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence for additional information regarding jurisdiction in the OEO Resolution Process.

Note: Any records or other evidence retained by the University may be subject to production by court order.

Initial Pre-Process Procedures: Two formal conduct processes adjudicate different portions of the code. The SCP adjudicates alleged violations of academic integrity and various other social policy violations unrelated to Harassment, discrimination, or sexual violence. The OEO Resolution Process adjudicates allegations of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence as outlined in Section 3. University Actions (Section 21.) may be taken to address behavior anywhere that aggrieves a person who is not a member of the Brandeis community.

Under the SCP, subsequent to the receipt of a CSR, the available facts shall be gathered from the reporter, and a careful evaluation of these facts shall be made. If there is sufficient information to believe that a violation may have occurred, the case may be forwarded to a formal adjudication process. The formal adjudication processes include the Student Conduct Process (SCP) and University Actions and Sanctions (Section 21.). The SSAO or designee may appoint, as needed, ad hoc conduct boards in addition to the boards described in Section 18.

The OEO Resolution Process will follow the procedures found in the Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence which is incorporated here by reference. That policy can be found on the OEO website.

Interim and Protective Measures are taken by the DOS Office as needed.

Privacy Policy: Brandeis considers student privacy to be of high importance. Adjudication processes provide participants with the opportunity to disclose sensitive, private, or otherwise protected information so as to enable the comprehensive consideration of factors that may influence findings. The Privacy policy exists to balance the University’s need to gather necessary information with its interest in protecting all participants in any conduct process from privacy violations.

Any Brandeis student who is involved in any informal or formal adjudication process (Informal Investigation, Restorative Justice, SCP, OEO Resolution Process, or University Sanctions), as a principal party or as a witness or Advisor, is required to respect the privacy of any person about whom information is learned during the process.

All information discussed or provided in a conduct process is considered private and therefore not shareable beyond a small number of people who may need to know it. “Need to know” means that the relationship between the student and the recipient of the information is familial, legal, or medical (the last referring to licensed physiological or psychological professionals, including the Prevention Advocacy and Resource Center). In addition, the student’s Advisor in a conduct process or members of the DOS Office or other senior administrators, including the Title IX Coordinator, are individuals with whom participants may discuss private information. The parties are also not restricted from discussing and sharing information obtained with any person serving as a witness for them in the conduct process.

Failure to adhere to this policy may subject the student participant to disciplinary action. Failure of people to whom information is disclosed to maintain privacy may also subject the Brandeis student participant, and any other Brandeis student discloser, to disciplinary action.

The policy extends to documents (paper or electronic) and other information related to a conduct process. This policy is in no way intended to prevent any person from discussing the personal experiences that led to the initiation of the conduct process. For example, an aggrieved person (initiating party) is not prevented from discussing facts, or personal opinions about those facts, as the student came to know them prior to initiating a conduct process. Only new information about those facts that is learned in a conduct process is not shareable.

This policy is not intended to discourage a Brandeis student from seeking advice regarding or redress from oversight or judicial entities external to Brandeis.

The University exercises careful discretion in sharing private information internally with professionals whose expertise or job function relates to the adjudication, or to the support of participants. Additionally, the University may share private information with other institutions in which a student participant is enrolled. Whenever private information is shared, it will be as minimal or redacted as possible in order to balance the need for sharing with the interest of maximizing privacy.

Brandeis is required by law to provide statistics and narrative information about certain private information. Personally identifiable information will be removed from such communications whenever possible.

Questions about this policy should be directed to the SSAO or to the Office of Equal Opportunity.