Section G: After the Formal Process – Sanctions and Appeals

What types of sanctions are possible?

A full list of possible sanctions is listed in the Student Conduct Code, Section VI at https://policies.uoregon.edu/vol-3-administration-student-affairs/ch-1-conduct/student-conduct-code

Who decides the sanctions?

The Director of Student Conduct will assign the sanctions. The Director will consult with the Title IX Coordinator and the Administrator to determine the sanctions and to ensure that sanctions are consistent with other cases similar in nature, that bias was not present in the sanctioning process and to consider the factors discussed below.

Can I submit an impact or mitigation statement?

Both the Complainant and the Respondent may submit a brief written statement. The impact and mitigation statements may be taken into consideration by the Director in issuing sanctions.

  • An impact statement is a written statement from the Complainant describing the impact of the incident on the Complainant and expressing the Complainant’s preferences regarding appropriate sanctions or aggravating circumstances the Complainant wishes the Director to consider.
  • A mitigation statement is a written statement from the Respondent explaining any factors that the Respondent believes should mitigate or otherwise be considered in determining the sanctions imposed.

NOTE: The impact or mitigation statement must be submitted no later than three (3) business days after the Notice of Findings is issued.

Impact and mitigation statements will be made available to both Complainant and Respondent should they wish to view them and make a request to the Director.

What is considered during the sanctioning decision?

The Director of Student Conduct will assign sanctions and will consider the guidelines below. Sanctioning decisions are made on a case by case basis.

The sanctioning of students found responsible for prohibited discrimination and harassment, or sexual misconduct (sex and gender-based stalking, sex and gender-based harassment and bullying, dating violence, and domestic violence) is a complex task that must take into account protecting the safety of the community and holding students found responsible accountable for their actions. In order to meet these goals, an appropriate combination of sanctions shall be issued for each case.

Aggravating Factors Considered in Sanctioning

Factors that may be considered include but are not limited to:

  1. Whether the student has a prior history of being found responsible for student conduct violations;
  2. Whether the student has any history of violent behavior that has been adjudicated by the student conduct process;
  3. Whether the Respondent has a history of failing to comply with any University No Contact Order or Emergency Action, other University protective measures, and/or any judicial protective order;
  4. Whether the conduct at issue involved physical violence. “Physical violence” means exerting control over another person through the use of physical force (see (12) (b)). Examples of physical violence include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, choking and brandishing or using any weapon;
  5. Whether the conduct at issue reveals a pattern of Sexual Misconduct;
  6. Whether the conduct at issue was facilitated through the use of “date-rape” or similar drugs or intoxicants;
  7. Whether the conduct at issue occurred while the Complainant was unconscious, physically helpless or unaware that the Sexual Misconduct was occurring;
  8. Whether the Complainant is (or was at the time of the conduct at issue) a minor (under 18);
  9. Whether the Respondent failed to participate in University required trainings on prohibited discrimination and harassment including sexual harassment, sexual violence prevention or related trainings;
  10. Whether there were any other aggravating circumstances or signs of predatory behavior.

Mitigating Factors

Factors that may be considered include but are not limited to:

  1. Whether there is convincing evidence that the Respondent was provoked or pressured into the situation, even though the Respondent made a conscious choice to participate;
  2. Whether there is convincing evidence that the Respondent’s ability to think rationally at the time of the conduct at issue was impaired by serious personal circumstances. Note: the consumption of alcohol or other drugs by the Respondent at the time of the conduct at issue is not a mitigating circumstance;
  3. Whether the Respondent demonstrates a clear understanding of the impact that their behavior has had on the Complainant and the community;
  4. Whether the Respondent took immediate steps to remedy and/or address relevant underlying personal issues that may have contributed to the violation, including educating themselves on issues of sexual harassment, consent, or other issues directly related to the misconduct;
  5. Whether there is convincing evidence that the Respondent has demonstrated sincere remorse for the conduct at issue;
  6. Whether the Respondent clearly accepted responsibility for the conduct at issue;
  7. The Respondent's level of cooperation and compliance during the process.

Generally, students found responsible for unwanted sexual penetration or other acts of sexual violence involving force, including dating or domestic violence will be sanctioned to a suspension of at least 2 years or more, or will face expulsion.

**An individual must be a student in good standing in order to graduate from the University. Therefore, a degree will not be awarded to a student who is expelled prior to degree conferral. A degree will also not be conferred during a period of suspension.

A full list of possible sanctions is listed in the Student Conduct Code, Section VI at https://policies.uoregon.edu/vol-3-administration-student-affairs/ch-1-conduct/student-conduct-code

When are sanctions implemented?

Sanctions are typically implemented as of the date of the Sanction Decision. This can be delayed if the Director finds good cause to grant a request to delay the sanction decision pending the outcome of an appeal.

The Director will issue a written Sanction Decision to both parties five (5) business days after the Notice of Findings has been issued which will include information regarding appeals.

When and how can I file an appeal of the final decision?

Either Complainant or Respondent can appeal a final decision within 14 calendar days of the final decision.

If the finding is “Not Responsible”, the final decision is the Notice of Findings and the 14-calendar-day timeline starts to run on the date the Notice of Findings is issued.

If the finding is “Responsible”, the final decision is both the Notice of Findings and the Director’s written Sanction Decision. The 14-calendar-day timeline will start to run on the date the Sanction Decision is issued.

The Complainant or Respondent can appeal a final decision by delivering a written copy of the appeal to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or by e-mailing the appeal to conductappeals@uoregon.edu .

Learn more information regarding the appeals process by visiting the Appeals SOPs at http://dos.uoregon.edu/appeals

Can I ask for sanctions to be delayed during the appeal?

As stated in the Appeals SOPs, in general, sanctions imposed will remain in effect through the University’s appeals process. A student found responsible for misconduct can request the Director of Student Conduct for a delay in sanctioning during the hearing of the Appeal.

To do so, the student must submit a request (called a Petition to Stay Sanctions) to conductappeals@uoregon.edu within 10 calendar days of appeal submission including a brief statement of why immediate implementation of the sanctions would cause irreparable harm to the student.

Generally, it will not be considered significant harm that the student may lose credit for courses in progress. If an appeal were to change the sanction or remand the decision for new process, the University would work with the student to remedy any interim effects of the sanctions.

If a stay is granted, sanctions will be implemented once a decision is issued, if an appeal upholds the lower decision.

What are the reasons that I can appeal?

Parties to a student conduct proceeding may appeal a decision for four reasons:

  1. To determine if the process was followed and was fair and free of bias;
  2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the Respondent was based on substantial information;
  3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were commensurate with violation;
  4. To consider new information sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing only if such information or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the hearing.

An appeal is not a chance at a brand new decision, but rather a review of whether the process and outcome were fair, consistent with the process, and whether the information when viewed as a whole would permit a reasonable person to make that finding.

Who decides the appeals?

If the case involves allegations of sexual harassment or other forms of sexual misconduct, the appeal will be heard by an appeals officer appointed by the Vice President for Student Life, or designee. Parties will be notified when an appeals officer has been assigned. For all other appeals, the appeal will be assigned to the University Appeals Board.

Appeals officers are faculty and staff tasked to review final outcomes from sexual misconduct student conduct processes on the procedural grounds specified in the Student Conduct Code and Standard Operating Procedures for Prohibited Discrimination or Harassment Appeals. Appeal officers serve on a voluntary basis and receive training on Title IX, sexual harassment and sexual violence, procedural due process, and administrative review. For a list of current Appeals Officers, visit the Deputy Coordinators and Appellate Officers page.

The University Appeals Board consists of both faculty and students who have been appointed by the President. For more information about the appeals board, please review the Student Conduct Code.

The officer or body hearing the appeal reviews student conduct cases to determine whether procedural error affecting the outcome of the case has occurred, whether the facts on which the determination was based were supported by substantial information, and whether there was a logical connection between those facts and the Administrator’s conclusion. If a party presents material facts that were not previously known and could not reasonably have been known, officer or body hearing the appeal shall consider those facts in their review.