Expectations & Rights - University of Houston
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Expectations & Rights

All members of the UHS community are afforded the rights outlined in th Sexual Misconduct Policy. However, complainants and respondents participating in this process may also expect the following:

Respect for Privacy

Information regarding sexual misconduct reports, and any investigation or review of those reports, including any sanctioning determinations, will be shared among University employees with a legitimate educational interest or with external individuals or entities only on a need-to-know basis and only as permitted under the Sexual Misconduct Policy and applicable law.

Information and Choice on Participation

Complainants, Respondents, or students serving as Reporters or witnesses may choose to participate or decline to participate in the process. However, even if a Complainant or Respondent declines to participate, as described in this policy, the University may continue to investigate the matter and issue findings based on available information.

Access to Confidential Assistance and Resources

Before, during, or after any review or investigation process, students may find it helpful to consult with a counselor or seek other forms of assistance. Students who wish to seek information or support in a confidential manner may contact the following campus and community resources. All information shared with these offices will remain confidential to the extent permitted by law and Sexual Misconduct Policy. Discussions with representatives of these offices will not be considered a report to the University regarding the problematic behavior and therefore will not, without additional action by the Complainant or a Reporter, result in further action by the University.

Protection from Retaliation and Assurance of Fair Treatment

The University will take appropriate steps to ensure that a person who in good faith reports, complains about, or participates in a sexual misconduct investigation will not be subjected to retaliation by the Respondent or by others with knowledge of the underlying report. Anyone who believes they are experiencing retaliation is strongly encouraged to report that concern using the same procedure for reporting possible sexual misconduct under this policy. A retaliation concern will be reviewed as a separate offense under this policy; that is, a person can be found responsible for retaliation even if not found to be responsible for the underlying reported sexual misconduct.

The University also will take appropriate steps to ensure that Respondents accused of sexual misconduct or retaliation are treated fairly throughout the University’s review.

Timeliness of Process

Upon receipt of a report, the University strives to complete its review of that report within sixty (60) calendar days, its sanction or intervention process within fifteen (15) calendar days after the University’s findings are shared with the participating Complainant and Respondent, and its appellate process within fifteen (15) days of the Appeals Board’s receipt of the appeal. There are, however, many factors that may affect the length of time needed to complete various portions of the resolution process fairly and equitably. As such, some matters will be resolved before the designated time frames and some may be resolved afterward.

Coordination with Concurrent Legal Proceedings

Members of the UHS community may engage criminal prosecution procedures and/or civil litigation in connection with the same behavior that forms the basis of a sexual misconduct report under this policy. In such cases, the University is committed to appropriate coordination with your campus police department and local law enforcement and may, if requested and appropriate, share information with those agencies. The University will fulfill its legal and ethical obligation to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate possible sexual misconduct, even if there are other external processes or procedures pending in connection with that same sexual misconduct report. Similarly, if the University finds sexual misconduct has occurred, the University will take effective steps to end it, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, regardless of what external proceedings may also be pending.

Standards for criminal investigations are different than the standards for a violation of this policy, and therefore the University will not base its decisions under this policy solely on law enforcement reports and/or actions. Accordingly, the University will not normally wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or other proceedings before implementing its review of reported sexual misconduct under this policy.