Right to an Advisor

The parties may each have one Advisor of their choice present with them for all meetings, interviews, and hearings within the resolution process, if they so choose. The parties may select whoever they wish to serve as their Advisor as long as the Advisor is eligible and available.

Available means the party cannot insist on an Advisor who simply doesn’t have inclination, time, or availability. Also, the Advisor cannot have institutionally conflicting roles, such as being a Title IX administrator who has an active role in the matter, or a supervisor who must monitor and implement sanctions.

Choosing an Advisor who is also a witness in the process creates potential for bias and conflict-of-interest. A party who chooses an Advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that issues of potential bias will be explored by the Hearing Panel.

Iowa Wesleyan University may permit parties to have more than one Advisor upon special request to the Title IX Coordinator. The decision to grant this request is at the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator and will be granted equitably to all parties.

a. Who Can Serve as an Advisor

The Advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process. The parties may choose Advisors from inside or outside of the Iowa Wesleyan University community.

The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor to any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the pool available from the University, the Advisor will have been trained by the University and be familiar with the University’s resolution process.

If the parties choose an Advisor from outside the pool of those identified by the University, the Advisor may not have been trained by the University and may not be familiar with University’s policies and procedures.

Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing.

b. Advisor’s Role in Meetings and Interviews

The parties may be accompanied by their Advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and interviews. Advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith.

Iowa Wesleyan University cannot guarantee equal Advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an Advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide an attorney.

c. Advisors in Hearings/Iowa Wesleyan University-Appointed Advisors

Under U.S. Department of Education regulations for Title IX, a form of indirect questioning is required during the hearing, but must be conducted by the parties’ Advisors. The parties are not permitted to directly question each other or any witnesses. If a party does not have an Advisor for a hearing, Iowa Wesleyan University will appoint a trained Advisor for the limited purpose of conducting any questioning of the other party(ies) and witnesses.

A party may reject this appointment and choose their own Advisor, but they may not proceed without an Advisor. If the party’s Advisor will not conduct questioning, the University will appoint an Advisor who will do so, regardless of the participation or non-participation of the advised party in the hearing itself. Extensive questioning of the parties and witnesses may also be conducted by the Hearing Panel during the hearing.

d. Pre-Interview Meetings

Advisors may request to meet with the investigators conducting interviews/meetings in advance of these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows Advisors to clarify and understand their role and Iowa Wesleyan University’s policies and procedures.

e. Advisor Violations of Iowa Wesleyan University’s Policy

All Advisors are subject to the same University policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not, and whether they are selected by a party or assigned by the University. Advisors are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors should not address Iowa Wesleyan University officials or investigators in a meeting or interview unless invited to do so (e.g., asking procedural questions). The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent their advisee during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or Hearing Panel members, except during a hearing proceeding during questioning.

The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf throughout the investigation phase of the resolution process. Although the Advisor generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Advisor may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.

Any Advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Advisor role, the meeting/interview/hearing will be ended, or other appropriate measures implemented. Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Advisor’s non-compliance and future role.

f. Sharing Information with the Advisor

Iowa Wesleyan University expects that the parties may wish to have the University share documentation and evidence related to the allegations with their Advisors. Parties may share this information directly with their Advisor or other individuals if they wish. Doing so may help the parties participate more meaningfully in the resolution process.

The University will provide a consent form that authorizes the University to share such information directly with a party’s Advisor. The parties must either complete and submit this form to the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, or provide similar documentation demonstrating consent to a release of information to the Advisor before the University is able to share records with an Advisor.

If a party requests that all communication be made through their attorney Advisor, Iowa Wesleyan University will not comply with that request.

g. Privacy of Records Shared with Advisor

Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by Iowa Wesleyan University. Iowa Wesleyan University may seek to restrict the role of any Advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.

h. Expectations of an Advisor to Attend Meetings

Iowa Wesleyan University generally expects an Advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when planned, but Iowa Wesleyan may change scheduled meetings to accommodate an Advisor’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay.

The University may, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, make reasonable provisions to allow an Advisor who cannot be present in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.

i. Expectations of the Parties with Respect to Advisors

A party may elect to change Advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same Advisor throughout. The parties are expected to inform the Investigator(s) of the identity of their Advisor at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting with Investigators (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired).

The parties are expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX Coordinator if they change Advisors at any time. It is assumed that if a party changes Advisors, consent to share information with the previous Advisor is terminated, and a release for the new Advisor should be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the identity of their hearing Advisor at least two (2) business days before the hearing.

j. Assistance in Securing an Advisor

For representation, Respondents may wish to contact organizations such as:

Complainants may wish to contact organizations such as: