A complainant or respondent (hereafter party/parties) is entitled to one advisor of his or her choosing to guide and accompany him/her throughout the grievance process including all meetings and hearings the party will attend. The party may choose to select an advisor at any point in the process but must have an advisor present during an Administrative Panel Hearing (hereafter APH).

The University maintains a pool of trained (non-attorney) advisors who are available to the parties if requested. The parties may choose advisors from outside the pool, or outside the campus community, but those advisors may not have the same level of insight and training on the campus process as do those trained by the University. The University will not train any advisors who are not part of the previously trained advisor pool.

If the party cannot find or is unwilling to choose an advisor, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an advisor of the coordinator’s choice to assist the party during an Administrative Panel Hearing.

Note: Witnesses cannot serve as an advisor.

Advisor and party expectations

The University expects advisors to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend university meetings when scheduled. The university does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advisor’s inability to attend. Advisors should help their advisees prepare for each meeting, and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity and in good faith.

All participants in interviews and APH are expected to conduct themselves in a civil and appropriate manner. A coordinator or investigator, during interviews, and the AHP Chair, during a APH, will take reasonable steps to maintain order. The interviewer or APH Chair is empowered to dismiss those who exhibit unruly, uncivil, or inappropriate behavior.

Attorneys as advisors

The University will not pay for or recommend any attorney to the parties. The university cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not, or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide one.

The role of an advisor

Advisors may confer quietly with their advisees as necessary, as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advisors should ask for breaks or step out of meetings to allow for private conversation.

If requested, advisors may be given the opportunity to meet in advance of any interview or hearing with the administrative officials conducting that interview meeting. This pre-meeting will allow advisors to clarify any questions they may have and allows the interviewer an opportunity to clarify the role that the advisor is expected to take. In investigative interviews, the parties are expected to respond to questions on their own behalf - the advisor should refrain from answering the question for the party.

Advising during an APH

The complainant and respondent may not question each other or any witness that appears in the hearing. Questioning must only be offered by each party’s advisors, members of the hearing panel, and the investigator. As mentioned above, advisors and advisee may confer quietly as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advisors may request, from the AHP Chair, a break for private conversation.

Changing an advisor

A party may elect to change advisors during the process and is not locked into using the same advisor throughout. The party must inform the Title IX Coordinator in writing before any meetings where the new advisor will be present.