What Can Happen When I Report?
Liberty University strongly encourages students to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment or any sexual misconduct involving students. Therefore, students who provide information about sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking involving students will be treated as a “self-report” for disciplinary purposes for any violation of The Liberty Way Code of Conduct in connection with the reported incident.
Cooperating witnesses will be subject to Restorative Practices with Community Life for student development purposes. Accused parties that are not found responsible for the alleged conduct, may also be subject to Restorative Practices for violations of the Liberty Way Code of Conduct for student development purposes. Additionally, reporting parties can work with the Office of Equity & Compliance to participate in the most appropriate restorative measures based on the circumstances of the reported information.
Liberty University reserves the right to take necessary measures to respond to an allegation of harassment, discrimination, or assault in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, the issuance of a No Contact Agreement, modification of housing arrangements, class or employment schedules, or interim suspension or restrictions on campus pending a Conduct Officer Review Committee (CORC). Failure to adhere to these parameters or any protective order will be investigated as a Liberty Way Code of Conduct violation and will be referred to Community Life. Community Life will advise the complainants of the availability of protective orders, and of LUPD’s authority to investigate violations of protective orders. Complainants will also be advised of Community Life's authority to investigate protective order violations as violations of the Liberty Way Code of Conduct.
Title IX Initial Inquiry
When the Office of Equity & Compliance receives a report of information of gender-based discrimination, the Director of Title IX or a Title IX Investigator will inquire into the validity of the complaint to determine whether the alleged facts could rise to the level of prohibited conduct. This initial investigation will assist the Director of Title IX in making a determination of whether a formal investigation will result.
A formal investigation will commence once the Director of Title IX does an initial inquiry and determines that the facts could rise to the level of prohibited conduct. Once the determination is made, the Investigators on the case will deliver a letter to both the reporting party and the accused stating the commencement of the investigation. The letter will outline the conduct being investigated, the standard of proof, a brief outline of the process, and the resources available.
Following the institution records request protocol, Liberty University will disclose the report of the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution against the student who is the alleged offender of a violation of this policy. If a parent or legal guardian of the reporting party or alleged offender provides a FERPA pin, they will be treated as the alleged victim or alleged offender for purposes of report release.
Conduct Officer Review Committee
All formal investigations will go to a CORC for a decision on the outcome of the reported misconduct based on the investigation and recommendation of two or more Title IX Investigators delegated to the case. The evidentiary standard for a finding of responsibility is “preponderance of the evidence” (more likely than not). Both the reporting party and the accused will be notified of the commencement of a formal investigation, CORC, the outcome of the investigation and CORC, the procedures for appealing the outcome, any changes to the outcome, and when that outcome will become final.
Students who engage in sex-based discriminatory behavior are subject to disciplinary action which will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each particular situation, which could result in dismissal from Liberty University. Since Liberty University takes such reports seriously, where the results of an investigation reveal a complaint of sex-based discrimination or sexual misconduct to be frivolous or groundless, the individual having made such a complaint may be subject to disciplinary action. The sanctions include:
- Any student found responsible for violation of Liberty University’s Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Assault Policy will likely receive a recommended sanction which includes up to 30 points, community service, possible fines ranging up to $500, or administrative withdrawal—minimum two semesters out, and Transcript Notation as required by Virginia law.
- With the exception of cases involving sexual violence, a student can be subject to participation in Restorative Practices with a willing reporting party or a surrogate victim when appropriate.