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Advisors

AN ADVISOR, GENERALLY, IS a person who may accompany an affected party, complainant, or respondent during any meeting or proceeding related to a report or formal complaint. An advisor may be any person of the party’s choosing, including an attorney or union representative for employees who are members of a union, as described in the applicable collective bargaining agreement. It is the responsibility of each party to coordinate scheduling with their advisor for any meetings. The University will not delay meetings or proceedings to accommodate an advisor’s availability. 

An advisor may not speak, write, or otherwise communicate on behalf of a party (with the limited exception of presenting the advisee’s proposed questions to other parties or witnesses during a Grievance Process hearing). Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of any records shared with them. Any complainant or respondent may request assistance from the Office for Equity & Compliance ("OEC") in identifying an available advisor, and an advisor will be provided.

Any STUDENT that is an affected party, complainant, or respondent is afforded the right to an advisor during any meeting, interview, or hearing with the OEC.

Any FACULTY or STAFF member that is a complainant or respondent in the Grievance Process is afforded the right to an advisor during applicable procedures. Faculty and staff are not afforded an advisor in the Equitable Resolution Procedures ("ERP"), except when provided for by other University policies or procedures or required by law.

Equitable Resolution Procedures ("ERP") Advisors

For students only, an Equitable Resolution Procedures ("ERP") advisor (referred to in this subsection only as “advisor”) is a person who may accompany a student or recognized student organization who is an affected party, complainant, or respondent during any meeting or proceeding related to a report or Equitable Resolution Procedures ("ERP") complaint. Advisors are strictly optional, and the choice of whether or not to utilize an advisor is up to each party.

Student complainants and respondents involved in the ERP may be accompanied by one advisor of their choice, provided that the selection of the advisor does not cause an undue delay of the ERP. It is the responsibility of each party to coordinate scheduling with their advisor for any meetings. The University will not delay meetings or proceedings to accommodate an advisor’s availability.

An advisor may not speak, write, or otherwise communicate on behalf of a party. Advisors may not engage in behavior or communications that harass, abuse, or intimidate any party, witness, or other individual involved in the matter. Advisors who do not abide by these guidelines may be removed from any meeting and excluded from serving in an advisor role, and the process may continue without an advisor present.

An advisor may be any person of the party’s choosing, including an attorney. When an advisor is also an attorney, this must be disclosed to the University, and the advisor is still limited to the supportive and non-representative role described above. An attorney of the University’s choosing may also attend any proceeding whenever an attorney serving as an advisor is present.

Any student party may request assistance from the Office for Equity & Compliance ("OEC") in identifying an available advisor (this is not available to parties who are faculty or staff employees). However, the University cannot ensure or guarantee the quality or availability of any University-provided advisor.

Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of any records shared with them. Such records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University, unless required by law. The University may restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the ERP or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.

Grievance Process Advisors

A Grievance Process advisor (referred to in this subsection only as “advisor”) is a person who may accompany an individual who is an affected party, complainant, or respondent during any meeting or proceeding related to a report or Grievance Process complaint. Advisors are strictly optional, with the exception of being required to present the advisee’s proposed questions during a hearing, and the choice of whether or not to utilize an advisor throughout the rest of the Grievance Process is up to each party.

All complainants and respondents involved in the Grievance Process may be accompanied by one advisor of their choice, provided that the selection of the advisor does not cause an undue delay of the Grievance Process. It is the responsibility of each party to coordinate scheduling with their advisor for any meetings. The University will not delay meetings or proceedings to accommodate an advisor’s availability.

An advisor may not speak, write, or otherwise communicate on behalf of a party, with the limited exception of presenting the advisee’s proposed questions to other parties or witnesses during the hearing. Advisors may not engage in behavior or communications that harass, abuse, or intimidate any party, witness, or other individual involved in the matter. Advisors who do not abide by these guidelines may be removed from any meeting and excluded from serving in an advisor role, to be replaced with another advisor of choice or, if needed, an advisor assigned by the University.

An advisor may be any person of the party’s choosing, including an attorney or union representative for employees who are members of a union, as described in the applicable collective bargaining agreement. When an advisor is also an attorney, this must be disclosed to the University, and the advisor is still limited to the supportive and non-representative role described above. An attorney of the University’s choosing may also attend any proceeding whenever an attorney serving as an advisor is present.

Any complainant or respondent may request assistance from the Office for Equity & Compliance ("OEC") in identifying an available advisor, and an advisor will be provided who is aligned with the party’s interests. However, the University cannot ensure or guarantee the quality of any University-provided advisor.

Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of any records shared with them. Such records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University, unless required by law. The University may restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the Grievance Process or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.

Cross-Examination by Advisors during a Grievance Process Hearing

During a Grievance Process hearing, immediately after direct questioning of a party or witness by the hearing administrators, the hearing administrators invite each party’s advisor to present any relevant questions not already asked by the hearing administrators and/or follow-up questions requested by the advisee, on the advisee’s behalf. Only relevant questions and follow-up questions presented by the advisor on behalf of their advisee are permitted (subject to the limitations set forth in Article 3, subsection VI(C) of the Comprehensive Policy) including those challenging credibility.

The protocol for presenting questions to a party by the other party’s advisor is as follows. Each question must first be proposed by the advisor to the hearing chairperson (or a designee), who will assess whether the question is relevant. If the question is relevant, the hearing chairperson will “affirm” the question and direct the questioned individual to respond. If the question is not relevant or is otherwise prohibited, the hearing chairperson will “exclude” the question, direct the questioned individual not to answer the question, and immediately and succinctly explain the grounds for the hearing chairperson’s decision to exclude the question. Parties and their advisors may not object to proposed questions; the hearing chairperson has sole discretion in affirming or excluding questions.

Such cross-examination is conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor and never by a party personally. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the University will provide – without fee or charge to the party – an advisor of the University’s choice, to perform the limited function of presenting the advisee’s questions to the other party and/or witnesses.

If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the hearing administrators must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.* The hearing administrators also may not make any inferences regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

*Where a party does not propose (through their advisor) any questions for the other party and/or witness, but the other party and/or witness has appeared/participated in the hearing, the other party/witness will be considered to have submitted to cross-examination; the hearing administrators may therefore still rely on the statements of the other party/witness.