APPEAL PROCESS

Either the Respondent or the Complainant or both may appeal the determination of the hearing panel and/or the sanction(s). Appeals are decided by an appellate panel consisting of three (3) Deans of schools: the Dean of the Respondent’s school, the Dean of the Complainant’s school and a Dean from another school. Should the Complainant and the Respondent attend the same school, two (2) deans will be added from other schools. Should a party be a student of a graduate or professional school, Deans from graduate or professional schools will comprise the panel. Should one party be an undergraduate student and another party a graduate student, the appellate panel will consist of the Dean of the Respondent’s school, the Dean of the Complainant’s school, and a Dean of School from the academic level of the Respondent. All Deans will receive relevant training at least once a year on how the adjudicatory and appeal process works and the sensitive issues in reviewing gender-based misconduct cases. The three (3) grounds for appeal are:
  • Procedural error: An appeal based on procedural error must identify with specificity each alleged error(s) within the investigative and/or hearing process and the ways in which the specified error(s) substantially affected the fairness of the process;
  • New information: An appeal based on new information must explain why this information was not available or not provided to the Investigative Team in a timely manner, and how this information would substantially alter the decision by the hearing panel; and/or
  • Excessiveness or insufficiency of the sanction: An appeal based on the imposed sanction must explain why this sanction is inappropriate based on the weight of the information provided during the investigation, hearing and/or sanction.
Disagreement with the finding or sanction is not, by itself, a ground for appeal. Moreover, the purpose of an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact.

Both the Complainant and/or the Respondent may appeal the determination and/or sanction within seven (7) days after receipt of the finding and sanctioning notice (if applicable), by filing the appeal in writing to the Gender-Based Misconduct Office. Attached to their appeal, the student may provide a written submission for the appellate panel to review, no longer than, including attachments, five (5) single-spaced typed pages, using 12-point Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins.

If either the Complainant or the Respondent submits an appeal, the Office will notify the other party within three (3) days after receipt. The Office will provide the non-appealing party an opportunity to review the submission and submit a written response. This response must be written by the student, no more than five (5) single-spaced typed pages, using 12-point Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins, and submitted within five (5) days after a notice of appeal is issued. If both the Complainant and the Respondent appeal, the appeals will be considered concurrently and both parties will have the opportunity to review and respond to the other party’s appeal. In making a determination, the appellate panel will have access to and the ability to review the complete file, including all exhibits, prior student submissions and a recording of the hearing (if applicable).

If the appellate panel concludes that a change in the hearing panel’s determination and/or the sanction is warranted, the appellate panel may enter a revised determination, reconvene the hearing panel to reconsider the determination, or return the matter for additional investigation. The appellate panel can also change the sanction.

The appellate panel will notify the Complainant and the Respondent of the final decision in writing. Appeal decisions will be rendered within fifteen (15) days after the receipt of the written appeal. All appeal decisions are final.

SUBMIT A REQUEST FOR APPEAL

Back to Top

Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students


LOOKING FOR OTHER RESOURCES?

  • Sexual Violence Response
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Title IX Offices
  • Ombuds Office
  • Columbia University Public Safety
  • Teacher's College Public Safety
  • Barnard College Public Safety

Click for other on-campus and off-campus resources.