The University of Nebraska – Lincoln provides sexual assault prevention training that is in-person and includes bystander intervention. There is a clear definition of sexual assault and they have an affirmative consent policy; however, their definition of affirmative consent only partially matches EROC’s definition. Retaliation is both defined and forbidden.
The investigation and adjudication process is unclear. Either the Conduct Officer or Title IX Coordinator conducts an investigation to determine if the allegations have merit. If they decide that the respondent is innocent, they dismiss the case. The complainant can pursue an administrative resolution, a formal hearing with a conduct officer, or a hearing before a conduct board in cases whether suspension or expulsion is sought. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not specify what these processes entail or who ultimately makes a finding of responsibility. They state that, if the complainant seeks suspension or expulsion and a respondent doesn’t agree to the sanction, a hearing is held by the conduct board to determine a sanction. If the complainant does not seek suspension or expulsion, a formal hearing is held before a Conduct Officer. They state that the Conduct Officer who is responsible for the investigation will not preside over a formal hearing. Conduct boards make decisions by a majority vote. They provide a sanctioning code with sanctions that range from a written warning to expulsion. Appeals are heard by an Appeals Officer and sanctions hold off until the end of appeals, unless the respondent constitutes an immediate harm. Both parties may have an attorney at their own expense and there is an investigation timeline of 60 days. The university forbids mediation in cases of sexual assault, but does not publicize the number of cases and sanctions and does not state whether investigators are trauma informed.
The University of Nebraska – Lincoln provides accommodations to survivors outside of the investigation and adjudication process. There is a student health center that provides emergency contraception. However, the student health center does not appear to have a sexual assault center and they refer survivors to a local hospital in order to have an evidentiary exam completed. The university has an on-campus advocacy center for survivors of sexual assault called Voices of Hope and has information and resources on local rape crisis centers. They do not specify whether campus police are trauma informed.
March 1, 2017