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Officials merge UI judicial policies

BY JANET LAWLER | AUGUST 18, 2011 7:20 AM

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As of this week, students charged with violating the University of Iowa Code of Student Life and Sexual Misconduct will go through the same judicial procedure.

UI Dean of Students David Grady said the change responds to advice from a consultant who analyzed the procedure in January 2011, as well as guidelines from the Department of Education.

The procedure is a restructured policy combining the two, formerly separate, judicial procedures.
"It's easier to understand, easier to administrate, and if students find themselves in this situation they can understand their situation and rights better," said Grady.

Monique DiCarlo, the UI compliance specialist and sexual-assault coordinator, said the changes were also influenced as a result of feedback from former confidential resources, victims, and defendants.

"It's important that the changes communicate to the campus that the dean and the administration are paying attention and responding to the students," DiCarlo said. "It communicates that sexual misconduct is taken seriously and encourages people to come forward with any concern."

The UI was previously criticized for its handling of sexual assaults after a 2007 incident in which two former Hawkeye football players were charged with sexually assaulting a female athlete in a Hillcrest dorm room.

A third party hired to investigate later determined the case was mishandled, which led to the termination of former General Counsel Marcus Mills and former UI Vice President of Student Services Phillip Jones. Both have since filed separate lawsuits against the UI, UI President Sally Mason, and the state Board of Regents alleging defamation and wrongful termination.

DiCarlo said the revised procedure clarifies the investigation process of sexual misconduct and provides better information for all parties involved prior to the hearing.

The new policy also allows telephonic and video conferencing, a trend among other states, said Greg Bal, the supervising attorney for Student Legal Services.

One of the biggest changes addressed the cross-examination process, which will now allow both the victim and the accused to suggest questions to be asked of each other.

Bal said these types of hearings are purely fact-finding, and the adjudicator could filter any unnecessary questions. The procedure merger will require hearing proceedings for all types of violations will be handled the same, he said.

"Having one procedure makes it more uniform," he said. "Regardless of violation, students will all be treated similarly, which will make it run smoother in that aspect."


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