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Key Terminology

Key terms that are important to understanding and navigating the Comprehensive Policy:

Administrative resolution is a general term used to describe the various processes by which the University resolves a substantiated formal complaint under the Equitable Resolution Procedures (after a finding of responsibility has been made following investigation and/or admission). Administrative resolution processes may be governed by the Community Standards, Faculty Handbook, collective bargaining agreement, and/or Employee Staff Handbook, depending on whether the complaint is against a student, faculty employee, or staff employee, respectively. An administrative resolution officer (“ARO”) is a general term to describe trained and qualified individuals who have a role in these processes.

An affected party is a member of the University community (student, faculty employee, or staff employee) who reports having experienced (or has been reported by another to have experienced) prohibited conduct under the Comprehensive Policy. Affected parties are eligible to request supportive measures and/or file a formal complaint under either the Equitable Resolution Procedures or Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Process (“Grievance Process”), as applicable.

A complainant is an affected party who has chosen to file a formal complaint against a respondent or otherwise chosen to participate in the Equitable Resolution Procedures or the Grievance Process.

Comprehensive Policy Administrator (“CPA”) describes an employee of the University with a professional role in the administration of the policies and procedures of the Comprehensive Policy.

Education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the conduct of a respondent and the context in which the conduct is alleged to have occurred. This also includes any building owned or controlled by a recognized student organization.

Equitable Resolution Procedures (“ERP”) refers to the steps by which the University resolves formal complaints of alleged misconduct under the Comprehensive Policy, excluding allegations that meet the specific definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment.

A finding is a determination made at the conclusion of an investigation (ERP) or hearing (Grievance Process) as to whether or not the alleged violation has been substantiated under a preponderance of the evidence standard. A finding of either “responsible” or “not responsible” is assigned to each alleged policy violation individually. In cases involving multiple complainants and/or multiple allegations of the same violation, a respondent may be found “responsible” for multiple violations of the same policy.

A formal complaint (or “complaint”) is a physical or electronic document submitted in writing by a complainant or by the EDEC, alleging one or more violations of the Comprehensive Policy by a respondent, and officially requesting that the University intervene and investigate and/or adjudicate the matter under either the ERP or the Grievance Process (or informal resolution options, if applicable). ERP complaints and Grievance Process complaints are distinguished as follows:

  • ERP complaints are formal complaints of any alleged discrimination, sexual misconduct, retaliation, or other related offenses under the Comprehensive Policy, except for allegations that meet the definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment.
  • Grievance Process complaints are formal complaints of alleged misconduct that meets the definitional and jurisdictional requirements of Title IX sexual harassment.

Heightened risk factors is a term used to describe elements that, if suggested in a report of alleged misconduct, may warrant the University initiating a formal complaint irrespective of the wishes and/or participation of the affected party. Heightened risk factors may include, without limitation, the presence or involvement of (a) predation, threat, violence, weapons, minors, and/or pattern (e.g., the University has actual knowledge of reports by multiple individuals alleging similar misconduct by the same respondent), and/or (b) a potential threat to the safety of the University community.

Informal resolution options include non-disciplinary processes such as conflict resolution (mediation, restorative justice), directed discussions, or other negotiated resolution, and constitute one set of procedural options that may be available for the resolution of some formal complaints.

A preliminary review is an initial review of a report conducted by the University to assess (a) whether the reported behavior may fall under the Comprehensive Policy, and (b) the level of threat that may be present to the University community.

A preponderance of the evidence is the evidentiary standard used at Loyola to determine whether a respondent is responsible for violating the Comprehensive Policy. This standard requires that the totality of the evidence, considered impartially, must indicate that it is more likely than not that the Comprehensive Policy was violated.

Protected classes are categories of individuals who share an identity such that they qualify for protections against discrimination under the law (and under the Comprehensive Policy). Protected classes at Loyola include race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, parental status, military/veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

A report is a disclosure or other communication to the Office for Equity & Compliance or to another University official with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University that directly notifies the University of an allegation of prohibited conduct under the Comprehensive Policy. A report may be made by any individual (including third parties) or may be anonymous, and is distinct from a formal complaint.

A reporter is an individual who informs the University of an alleged incident and/or violation of the Comprehensive Policy. The reporter may be the same as the affected party (the person who experienced the alleged misconduct) or may be a third party.

A respondent is an individual who has allegedly engaged in prohibited conduct that could constitute a violation of the Comprehensive Policy. For the purposes of reports and ERP complaints only (i.e., not applicable to Grievance Process complaints), a respondent may also be an organization, such as a recognized student organization or a department of the University.

Sanctions (also known as “assigned outcomes” under the Community Standards applicable to students) are individual consequences assigned to a respondent after a finding of responsibility under either the ERP or the Grievance Process, as applicable.

Title IX sexual harassment refers to sexual harassment or other offenses that meet the definitional and jurisdictional requirements under Title IX.

Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Process (“Grievance Process”) describes a specific set of procedures set forth in Article 3 and used to resolve allegations of Title IX sexual harassment.