Process Advisors and Support Persons
If you have experienced sexual misconduct, the Office of Equity provides information about supportive measures, reporting options, and the investigation process. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Equity at 435-797-1266.
In the sexual misconduct grievance process conducted pursuant to interim USU policies and procedures 339, 339A, and 339B, the parties may each be accompanied at any meetings, interviews or hearings by a process advisor of their choice, who may be, but does not need to be an attorney. If a party does not have a process advisor or requests a university-appointed process advisor, the university will provide, without fee or charge to that party, a process advisor of the university's choice to conduct questioning and cross examination on behalf of that party at the live hearing.
The following are important things to know about a process advisor:
- A party must complete a release of information for the process advisor.
- Once a release of information is complete, a process advisor may be cc’d on communications to the party from the Office of Equity. However, the party needs to communicate directly with the Office of Equity and/or hearing panel and must actively participate in the process.
- A process advisor may also accompany the party to all meetings with the Office of Equity.
- A process advisor cannot speak on behalf of the party in any email, meeting, or interview. The Office of Equity will direct communications to the party and not the process advisor.
- A party may change their process advisor, but must complete a release of information for a new process advisor.
- If the process advisor is a witness in the case or if their presence poses a conflict of interest, a party may request another process advisor. The process advisor cannot be another individual involved in the same case either as a respondent, witness, or other person involved.
- The role of a process advisor at the live hearing is for the sole purpose of conducting questioning and cross-examination of the party, the other party, any witnesses, and any others who have provided information as part of the hearing process. The process advisor is not allowed to answer questions on behalf of the party. The process advisor can also, at the request of the party, provide the opening and/or closing statement. A party utilizing a university-appointed process advisor is responsible for working with the process advisor to formulate questions asked at the hearing. The process advisor cannot be disruptive, abusive, or threatening during the hearing.
- A process advisor must direct the party's questions for cross-examination to the hearing chair at the live hearing. The hearing panel chair will determine the relevance of the question and whether it is asked in the hearing.
- For more specific information related to the sexual misconduct grievance process, please review interim USU policies and procedures 339, 339A, and 339B.
In addition to a process advisor, parties may also have a support person to assist them through the Office of Equity grievance process.
The following are important things to know about a support person:
- Both parties (claimant and respondent) have the right to a support person throughout the entire Office of Equity process. The support person can be a friend, parent, family member, attorney, or any other person the party chooses.
- A support person is a single individual that is chosen by the party to attend meetings and be included on communications from the Office of Equity.
- Parties will need to sign a release of information form for the support person to be present at any meeting. The form allows Office of Equity staff to speak freely about the party's case when the support person is present. A party can revoke the release form in writing if they choose to no longer have the individual serve as their support person.
- The support person serves as emotional support for the party but cannot speak for the party. The party is solely responsible for presenting their case and speaking with the Office of Equity directly regarding their case.
- If the support person is a witness in the case or if their presence poses a conflict of interest, a party may request another support person. The support person cannot be another individual involved in the same case either as a respondent, witness, or other person involved.
- The support person can attend the live hearing but is not allowed to speak on behalf of the party at the live hearing.