FAQs

Who is the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator?

Currently, sexual misconduct is handled by the Acting Associate Director, Residential Education, who is part of the Campus Life team. More details about this role as it relates to the disciplinary process is located here. The Sexual Misconduct Coordinator is also responsible for leading the prevention and outreach efforts on campus, and coordinating with the Student Support Team. Students who want to get engaged in these issues can reach out directly to the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator.

Who is the Investigator? How are they trained?

There are multiple investigators that can be appointed to work on sexual misconduct cases. An Investigator will be assigned to each case based on availability and lack of potential conflicts of interests. Investigators undergo a training programme facilitated by the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator. The programme includes training on how to question students in a sensitive and supportive manner, understanding the disciplinary process and understanding the requirements of an Investigator’s report.

Who is the Chairperson? How are they trained?

There are multiple chairpersons that can be appointed to work on sexual misconduct cases. A Chairperson will be assigned to each case based on availability and lack of potential conflicts of interest. Chairpersons undergo a day-long training program facilitated by the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator. The program includes training on how to run a disciplinary hearing, how the sexual misconduct policies and disciplinary procedures work, as well as information on how to approach the issue of sexual misconduct with sensitivity and tact.

Why is confidentiality so important?

Confidentiality is extremely important in matters as sensitive as allegations of sexual misconduct. Confidentiality is also especially important given that Yale-NUS is a small institution with a well-connected student body. Students involved in disciplinary matters related to sexual misconduct will already be under considerable stress and should not be further subject to gossip, harassment or retaliatory acts.

What happens if I believe confidentiality has been broken?

You should share this information directly with the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator or your advisor. We take confidentiality extremely seriously and will follow up with the parties involved. Follow-up action can take the form of disciplinary proceedings.

If I know information about a case, but am not involved, how can I share it?

Any students who want to talk about issues of sexual misconduct on campus can approach the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator. However, the College will not be able to discuss any particular case with a student who is not a reporting or responding party or a witness called for the case.

Would filing a sexual misconduct complaint affect my ability to participate in Yale-NUS campus life in any way (including accessing resources, CIPE programmes, etc)?

No. Filing a sexual misconduct case will not impact the reporting party’s ability to engage in campus life in any way. Other offices around campus are also not informed about sexual misconduct cases unless an office is affected by a sanction which has been imposed (i.e. the student is unable to go for study abroad), in which case only the outcome of the disciplinary hearing will be shared with that office.

What are case documents and why are case documents shared with both sides?

Case documents are any pieces of evidence which have been made available to the Investigator, Sexual Misconduct Coordinator, hearing panel and/or Chairperson. This includes the Reporting Letter, the Statement of Issues, the Response Letter, the Investigator’s report and witness statements.

Case documents are shared with both the reporting and responding parties because it is important that each party is informed of the perspectives that the other parties will bring into the hearing. This allows the reporting and responding parties to come to the hearing fully prepared and with full knowledge of the issues in the case.

Who can I pick as my advisor?

You can pick any staff or faculty member to serve as your advisor. You cannot select off-campus advisors. You are encouraged to select a member of the Student Support Team, as they have been trained. However, this is not a requirement. You may also choose to switch advisors, even after the disciplinary process has been initiated, if you feel that your current advisor is not providing adequate support.

Why might the deadline for the Investigator to submit their report be extended?

The deadline for the Investigator to submit their report may be extended if, for example, a large number of students are involved and the Investigator requires more time to conduct interviews and gather evidence.

What if I have new information to share?

You should make an effort to get all relevant information to the Investigator before their report is submitted.

If new information emerges at a later stage of the disciplinary process, you may still request permission to submit the new information to the hearing panel for its consideration, but you must provide good reasons why that information was not or could not be obtained earlier.

The Chairperson has full discretion to admit or reject any new information. For example, if admitting the new information would disrupt the disciplinary process or be unfair to the other party, the new information may be rejected.

What is a preponderance of evidence and why is a preponderance of evidence used as the standard of proof?

A preponderance of evidence means that the available evidence must show that it is more likely than not that the alleged sexual misconduct has happened. This standard of proof is used extensively in college campuses. This is also the standard of proof recommended by other leading higher education organisations.

What kind of evidence is relevant for proving or disproving a sexual misconduct allegation?

As a general rule, evidence of the reporting and responding parties’ sexual histories is irrelevant in proving or disproving a sexual misconduct allegation. Evidence of prior consensual sexual activity between the reporting and responding parties also will not constitute proof of consent. Evidence of parties’ prior circumstances such as mental health, substance abuse or counselling records is also generally irrelevant to the reporting or responding party’s state of mind at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct.

Can my prior circumstances, such as my mental health records, be used as evidence in the disciplinary procedure?

Any information on your prior circumstances such as mental health, substance abuse or counselling records can only emerge from your self-disclosure. No panel member, Chairperson or Investigator will request for such information from the Counselling Centre. Any information disclosed to the Counselling Centre in confidence will remain strictly confidential.

What does the schedule of a disciplinary hearing typically look like?

A sample hearing schedule is as follows:

  1. The Investigator presents their findings to the committee (students not present).
  2. The reporting party and their supporting witnesses present their evidence.
  3. The responding party and their supporting witnesses present their evidence.
  4. The reporting party may submit questions for the responding party and their supporting witnesses.
  5. The responding party may submit questions for the reporting party and their supporting witnesses.
  6. The Chairperson may recall any individual who has already given their evidence to share additional information and/or answer additional questions.

The Chairperson declares that the hearing is concluded.

What happens if I am a Dual Degree Programme (DDP) student?

DDP students will be heard by a committee that jointly consists of representatives from Yale-NUS and the NUS Faculty of Law.

Why might a hearing be re-scheduled or adjourned?

The Chairperson of the disciplinary hearing may depart from the hearing schedule or adjourn the hearing to accommodate unexpected scheduling needs. The Chairperson will conduct the hearing as they consider appropriate, taking into account the interest of all parties involved.

What do I do if I feel that the process is taking too long?

Please report any issues with timing to the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator. They will be able to follow up with the Chairperson and Investigator to get more information about the cause of the delay. Please note the general timeline for a case, stated here.

What will the panel take into account when determining sanctions?

The panel may take into account any factor which it deems relevant. Relevant factors may include:

  1. the severity and frequency of the offence;
  2. the responding party’s level of cooperation and honesty during the investigation;
  3. the responding party’s general behaviour with regards to upholding the policies outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and the Sexual Misconduct Code; and
  4. Previous instances in which the responding party has been found responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct policy.

If I am found responsible for sexual misconduct, what will show up on my transcript?

If you are suspended from the College as a result of a sexual misconduct case, the note “suspension” will appear on your transcript during your suspension period. After your suspension period, the semester will appear as blank with the semester date as the heading. If you are dismissed, your “Programme Status” on your transcript will read “Dismissed from University on [date dismissed].”

What happens if a student is suspended?

A student who is suspended needs to leave campus immediately. The suspended student will be escorted by their advisor or Assistant Dean, or by Security, to retrieve any essential belongings from their room. From there, the suspended student can coordinate with their Assistant Dean or advisor on a time to return to campus to pack up their room.

Suspended students are not permitted to (a) engage in any Yale-NUS activities (either on or off campus); (b) access campus resources; or (c) be physically present on campus, even to visit friends during the period of suspension.

On what grounds can I bring an appeal?

You can bring an appeal if you have any cause for disagreeing with the disciplinary panel’s decision. Your grounds for appeal would be the reasons why you disagree with the disciplinary panel’s decision. Some examples of grounds on which an appeal may be brought include:

  1. procedural error in the disciplinary hearing process;
  2. new evidence coming to light;
  3. to contest the severity of the sanctions; or

What records are kept of the case?

Records relating to the allegation and the disciplinary hearing include the Reporting Letter, the Response Letter, the Investigator’s report and the Outcome Letter. As hearings are recorded, a copy of the recording is also kept.

Who will have access to the records of the case?

Case records are only accessed under very specific circumstances.  Only the following people may gain access to the records of a case: (1) the Sexual Misconduct Coordinator, (2) the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs (if an appeal is filed), (3) an executive in the Dean of Students’ office who will keep the records uploaded and password-protected, (4) the Chairpersons of any future disciplinary hearings that involve the same responding party, and (5) the Dean of Students.

Lastly, the recording of the case is solely for record-keeping purposes. Students are not able to receive access to the recording.

Where, and for how long, will the case records be kept?

Data and records from the case will be kept on the College’s Sharepoint database. Folders in Sharepoint can be configured to grant specific access to individuals who are permitted to access the records of a case.

If the hearing panel finds the responding party not responsible for violating the sexual misconduct policy, all records associated with the allegation and the disciplinary hearing shall be maintained for the duration of the responding party’s enrolment at Yale-NUS College, but shall be destroyed upon their departure from the College either by graduation or permanent cessation of study.

If the hearing panel determines that the responding party is responsible for violating the sexual misconduct policy, all records associated with the allegation and the disciplinary hearing shall be maintained on file for 7 years by the Dean of Students Office, which accords with best practices at peer institutions. Information on the accessibility of those files is stated above.