(1) Any member of the college community may file a complaint against a student for possible violations of the student conduct code.
(2) Upon receipt, a student conduct officer, or designee, may review and investigate any complaint to determine whether it appears to state a violation of the student conduct code.
(a) Student on student sexual misconduct. The college's Title IX coordinator or designee shall investigate complaints or other reports of sexual misconduct by a student against a student.
(b) Sexual misconduct involving an employee. The college's human resource office or designee shall investigate complaints or other reports of sexual misconduct in which an employee is either the complainant or respondent.
(c) Investigations will be completed in a timely manner and the results of the investigation shall be referred to the student conduct officer for student disciplinary action.
(d) College personnel will honor requests to keep sexual misconduct complaints confidential to the extent this can be done in compliance with federal and state laws and without unreasonably risking the health, safety, and welfare of the complainant or other members of the college community.
(3) If a student conduct officer determines that a complaint appears to state a violation of the student conduct code, the student conduct officer will consider whether the matter might be resolved through agreement with the respondent or through alternative dispute resolution proceedings involving the complainant and the reporting party.
(a) Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual misconduct complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent.
(b) If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time.
(4) If the student conduct officer has determined that a complaint has merit and if the matter is not resolved through agreement or alternative dispute resolution, the student conduct officer may initiate disciplinary action against the respondent.
(a) Both the respondent and the complainant in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct shall be provided the same procedural rights to participate in student discipline matters, including the right to participate in the initial disciplinary decision-making process and to appeal any disciplinary decision.
(b) The student conduct officer, prior to initiating disciplinary action in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, will make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant to discuss the results of the investigation and possible disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions, if any, that may be imposed upon the respondent if the allegations of sexual misconduct are found to have merit.
(5) All disciplinary actions will be initiated by a student conduct officer. If that officer is the subject of a complaint initiated by the respondent or the complainant, the president shall, upon request and when feasible, designate another person to fulfill any such disciplinary responsibilities.
(6) A student conduct officer shall initiate disciplinary action by serving the respondent with written notice directing them to attend a disciplinary meeting.
(a) The notice shall briefly describe the factual allegations, the provision(s) of the student conduct code the respondent is reported to have violated, the range of possible sanctions for the reported violation(s), and it will specify the time and location of the meeting.
(b) At the disciplinary meeting, the student conduct officer will present the allegations to the respondent, and the respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain what occurred.
(c) If the respondent fails to attend the meeting, the student conduct officer may take disciplinary action based upon the available information.
(7) Within ten days of the initial disciplinary meeting and after considering the evidence in the case, including any facts or argument presented by the respondent, the student conduct officer shall serve the respondent with a written decision setting forth the facts and conclusions supporting the decision, the specific student conduct code provisions found to have been violated, the discipline imposed, if any, and a notice of any appeal rights with an explanation of the consequences of failing to file a timely appeal. This period may be extended if the student conduct officer, based on information presented at the disciplinary meeting, concludes that additional investigation is necessary. If the period is extended, the student conduct officer will notify the respondent, and the complainant in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, of this extension, the reason(s), and the anticipated extension time frame.
(8) A student conduct officer may take any of the following disciplinary actions:
(a) Exonerate the respondent and terminate the proceedings.
(b) Impose a disciplinary sanction(s), with or without condition(s), as described in WAC 132H-126-110
(c) Refer the matter directly to the student conduct committee for such disciplinary action as the committee deems appropriate. Such referral shall be in writing, to the attention of the chair of the student conduct committee, with a copy served on the respondent.
(9) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the student conduct officer, on the same date that a disciplinary decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice informing the complainant of the decision, the reasons for the decision, and any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions that may have been imposed upon the respondent, including disciplinary suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights. If protective sanctions and/or conditions are imposed, the student conduct officer shall make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant to ensure prompt notice of the protective disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions.