MACU’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking reports may involve a number of individuals and agencies (e.g., Title IX Coordinator, Student Life Administrator, Police). In addition, for cases involving campus community members, there is a timely, campus-based investigation which is private and protects individual rights and process. The complainant is presented with options about how s/he may pursue the complaint.
The appropriate University judiciary avenue is determined by the status of the respondent. Anyone to whom this policy applies may choose to bring forward a complaint within the University instead of, or in addition to, seeking redress outside the institution in the legal system.
Someone with a complaint of sexual assault may also opt to pursue his or her case via the legal system without engaging the University’s judiciary process, although, in the interest of community safety, the University may be obliged to investigate and/or prosecute an alleged sexual assault through internal judiciary procedures.
The University does not impose a time limit after which the University will not consider formal complaints of sexual assault. However, a timely judiciary process can take advantage of the most recent recollections and evidence and can facilitate more prompt resolution to what is often a traumatic and painful situation for the victim.
If the complainant/respondent is a student, the complaint should be addressed to the Vice President for Student Services (student Title IX Coordinator). If the accused is an employee, the complaint should be addressed to the Vice President of Finance (employee Title IX Coordinator), who oversees Mid-Atlantic Christian University’s Human Resources policies.
In each of the venues, the University is committed to initiating a prompt and thorough investigation. Such an investigation may occur alongside, rather than in lieu of, an independent law enforcement investigation.
The primary purpose of this process is the protection of the University community and the maintenance of an environment that is conducive to learning.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University has two primary methods of addressing misconduct.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University utilizes a two-level approach to misconduct adjudication in Category One Cases.
University Judiciary Committee
The University President appoints members of the UJC. The UJC oversees the MACU judiciary process for complaints and allegations of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The Committee is comprised of no less than seven(7) officials, appropriate training to deal with allegations of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The make-up of the committee is as follows:
University Judiciary Committee Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of the University Judiciary Committee shall be limited to cases arising out of the allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on gender or sex, including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking
The Comittee shall have jurisdiction over University students and employees (full time staff, part staff, faculty, adjuncts and administrators.)
Level I - University Level
The University may determine that circumstances warrant initiating an investigation even if a Complaint has not been filed and independent of the intent or wishes of the Complainant.
Filing a Complaint
The Complainant shall submit a written Complaint to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator. The date of receipt shall be deemed to be the Complaint filing date. The Title IX Coordinator shall offer reasonable accommodations to Complainants who are unable to submit a written complaint because of Disability.
Timeline for filing a Complaint
Complainants are strongly encouraged to file a Complaint as soon as possible. To be timely, a Complaint should be filed within 60 Calendar Days after the most recent alleged act of Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation occurred, or 30 Calendar Days after the end of the academic term (semester/quarter) in which the most recent alleged act of Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation occurred (whichever comes later)
The Complainant should complete the attached “Complaint Form” or, in the alternative, submit a written signed statement containing the following information:
The appropriate Title IX Coordinator shall meet with the Complainant as soon as possible, but no later than 5 Working Days after the Complaint was received. The Complainant shall make him/herself available for this meeting.
Information regarding the Complaint shall be shared with other University personnel and law enforcement exclusively on a “need to know” basis. University employees and students shall endeavor to honor any Complainant's or victim’s request for confidentiality; however, the University shall also weigh requests for confidentiality against its duty to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the Campus community. Confidentiality, therefore, cannot be ensured. Except as otherwise noted, in cases involving Sexual Violence, victim requests for complete confidentiality are to be referred to the Vice President for Finance, who will then determine whether the request for complete confidentiality can be honored under the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
The University Judiciary Committee shall promptly investigate the Complaint. The UJC shall receive annual training regarding such issues as the investigatory process; and the laws governing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation. Training ensures that all investigations and reviews shall be conducted impartially and in good faith.
The Complainant and the Respondent shall have equal opportunities to present relevant witnesses and evidence in connection with the investigation.
The Complainant and the Respondent will be given a minimum of 24 hours of notice of Committee meeting that they are both requested to attend.
The investigation shall be completed no later than 30 Working Days after the intake interview, unless the timeline has been extended. The timeline should not be extended for a period longer than an additional 15 Working Days from the original due date. Upon inquiry, the Complainant and Respondent shall be advised of the status of the investigation.
On occasion, a criminal investigation may be initiated by a law enforcement agency over the same allegations that are reported in a Complaint filed. A pending police investigation is a separate investigation and it does not relieve the University of its responsibility to handle complaints. Thus, a University may not wait until the conclusion of a police investigation to commence its own investigation. Although it may be necessary to temporarily delay the fact-finding portion of an investigation while the police are gathering evidence, once notified that the police have completed the fact gathering portion of their investigation, the University must promptly resume and complete its own investigation.
Complainants and respondents have the right to have an advisor of their choice present throughout the entirety of the judiciary process. The complainant, respondent, and their advisors are given equal access to information concerning the allegation.
During the hearing(s):
If a respondent refuses to appear before the Judiciary Committee, the Committee will render a judgment in absence of the respondent.
Standard of Proof
The standard of proof that exists for university judiciary proceedings is preponderance of evidence (i.e., more likely than not the event(s) occurred). A student’s privacy concerns are weighed against the needs of MACU to respond to certain incidents and crimes. To the greatest extent possible, all reports will remain private. However, information may be shared with appropriate departments and agencies under a need-to-know basis when it pertains to investigative needs and safety concerns of the university community. In accordance with VAWA, these necessary disclosures do not violate section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
Within the investigation period stated above, the UJC will prepare an investigative report. The report shall include a summary of the allegations, the investigative process, the Preponderance of the Evidence standard, the evidence considered and appropriate findings. The report shall be promptly provided to the Vice President for Finance.
Notice of Investigation Outcome
The UJC shall notify the Complainant and Respondent in writing of the investigation outcome within 5 Working Days of completing the report.
Written notice of the investigation outcome shall include a summary of the allegations, the investigative process, the Preponderance of the Evidence standard, the evidence considered, the findings of fact, any remedies to be afforded to the Complainant (such as an order that the Respondent not contact the Complainant). The notice will inform the Complainant of his/her right to file an appeal. At the Complainant’s request, a copy of the notice shall also be provided to his or her Advisor, if any.
A separate written notice shall be provided to the Respondent indicating whether or not the allegations at Level I were substantiated. The notice will inform the Respondent of his/her right to file an appeal. At the Respondent’s request, a copy of the notice shall also be provided to his or her Advisor, if any.
Written notice will be delivered to the Respondent and Complainant simultaneously.
The University Judiciary Committee, in search of the goal of a safe and secure campus, may impose the following sanctions following a final determination of an institutional disciplinary procedure regarding rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking:
The Vice President for Student Services has the final authority to recommend the suspension or expulsion of a student.
Timing for Appeal to the President
Any Complainant who is not satisfied with a Level I determination may file a Level II appeal with the Office of the President no later than 14 Calendar Days after receipt of the written notice of the Level I outcome.
Level II appeals shall be addressed to:
Office of the President
715 N Poindexter St.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
The President shall provide prompt written notice to the Respondent and the UJC
The appeal shall be in writing and shall:
The President review shall be limited in scope to determining:
The review will not involve a new investigation and will not consider evidence that the Complainant did not introduce at Level I. If the President’s review determines that evidence introduced for the first time at Level II could have affected the Level I determination, the Complaint shall be returned to the University so that the Level I investigation may be completed and the findings revised, if necessary, within a specified timeframe. Under these circumstances, the Complainant and Respondent shall be informed that the investigation has been reopened and the timeline established shall be extended.
The President’s designee shall respond to the appeal no later than 15 Working Days after receipt of the Level II appeal, unless the timeline has been extended. The response shall include a summary of the issues raised on appeal, a summary of the evidence considered, the Preponderance of the Evidence standard, a determination of the two issues listed in Section C above, and a final decision. A copy shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Finance. At the Complainant’s request, a copy of the President’s Response shall also be provided to his or her Advisor. The University shall determine whether any remedies shall be afforded to the Complainant and provide prompt written notice to the Complainant of any remedies to be provided to him/her. The President’s designee shall provide a separate notice to the Respondent and, if requested by the Respondent, to his or her Advisor, indicating the appeal outcome.
The President’ Response and decision are final and conclude the MACU Complaint process.
General Provisions for Investigation/Review of Complaints
Sanctions During the Appeal Process
Grounds The President may impose an interim suspension where there is reasonable cause to believe that separation of an Complainant is necessary to protect the personal safety of persons within the University community or University Property, and to ensure the maintenance of order.
Denial of Presence on Campus
During the period of an interim suspension, the Complainant charged may not, without prior written permission from the President, enter any Campus of the Mid-Atlantic Christian University other than to attend the hearing regarding the merits of his or her interim suspension. The president may also restrict the Complainant's participation in University-related activities on a case-by-case basis, such as attending off-Campus activities and/or participating in on-line classes. Violation of any condition of interim suspension shall be grounds for expulsion.
Termination of Employment
If the UJC determines that termination of an employee is required, the UJC will submit a recommendation to the President for approval. The President reserves the right to review all termination request.
Incidents and allegations that are not related to discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on gender or sex, including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking should be immediately reported to a University administrator. If a Complainant believes that a crime has been committed, he/she should report the incident to local law enforcement as soon as possible. The University judiciary process is not a replacement or meant in any way to impede law enforcement personnel from conducting investigations.
Incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis. If deemed necessary, the case may be heard by the Leadership Team or the University President.
Information regarding the Complaint shall be shared with other University employees and law enforcement exclusively on a “need to know” basis. University employees shall endeavor to honor any Complainant or victim’s request for confidentiality; however, the University shall also weigh requests for confidentiality against its duty to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the Campus community. Confidentiality, therefore, cannot be ensured. Except as otherwise noted, in cases involving Sexual Violence, victim requests for complete confidentiality are to be referred to the Vice President for Finance, who will then determine whether the request for complete confidentiality can be honored under the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
The University administrator or Leadership Team shall promptly investigate the Complaint. If necessary, the President will notify local law enforcement.
An action that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the Complainant's ability to participate in a University program or activity free from Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation, as those terms are defined below. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset a Complainant does not constitute an Adverse Action.
The Complainant and the Respondent may each elect to be accompanied by an Advisor to any meeting or interview regarding the allegations. The Advisor may be anyone, provided the Advisor is not a person with information relevant to the allegations who may be interviewed by the UJC during the investigation. The Advisor may not answer questions regarding the subject matter of the investigation for the Complainant or the Respondent.
Defined as Monday through Sunday and includes official holidays.
A written communication alleging Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation against the University, an employee, another Employee, a currently enrolled student, or a Third Party.
An individual who is eligible to, and does, file a Complaint to report Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation. It also includes an alleged victim of Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation in cases where some other person has made a report on that person’s behalf.
Shall be offered to a victim prior to the conclusion of an investigation in order to immediately stop the alleged wrongdoing and/or reduce or eliminate negative impact, when appropriate. Victims of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking must be provided reasonable Interim Remedies, if requested by the victim, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the conduct to the University or local law enforcement. Examples may include offering the victim the option of psychological counseling services, changes to academic or living situations, completing a course and/or courses on-line (if otherwise appropriate), academic tutoring, arranging for the re-taking of a class or withdrawal from a class without penalty, and/or any measure as appropriate to stop further alleged Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation until an investigation is concluded or an informal resolution is reached (except in cases of Sexual Violence where informal resolution is not appropriate). Vice President for Finance shall assist and provide the victim with reasonable remedies as requested by the victim throughout the reporting, investigative, and disciplinary processes, and thereafter.
An individual who meets both of the following qualifications:
University Judiciary Committee
The Committee tasked with investigating a Category One Complaints at Level I. All Committee members shall receive annual training regarding such issues as the laws governing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation; Title IX and VAWA/Campus SaVE Act (as defined below); as well as other related state and federal laws prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation based on Gender or Sex, including Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking; Employee and witness privacy rights; and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). For matters involving Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, the Committee shall also receive annual training on how to conduct an investigation process that protects the safety of the Complainant. The Committee members shall not be within the administrative control or authority of any Respondent.
Preponderance of the Evidence
The greater weight of the evidence; i.e., that the evidence on one side outweighs, preponderates over, or is more than, the evidence on the other side. The Preponderance of the Evidence is the applicable standard for demonstrating facts in an investigation conducted.
Actions taken to correct a violation of the prohibitions against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation.
Adverse Action taken against an Employee or student because he/she has or is believed to have:
The person or persons accused by a Complainant of alleged misconduct or crime.
Actions taken to correct a violation of the prohibitions against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation.
Title IX Coordinator
Vice President for Student Services - (252) 334-2019 - Students
Vice President for Finance - (252) 334-2007 - Employees
Monday through Friday, excluding all official holidays or Campus closures at the Campus where the Complaint originated or at the President’s Office where the Complaint Level II Appeal is reviewed.