Your Rights

Throughout an investigation and the adjudication process at Columbia, both complainants and respondents have a right to respect, dignity, sensitivity and support, along with information and accommodations as appropriate. Columbia University students may choose to have an attorney-advisor; if requested, the University will arrange for an attorney-advisor at no cost to the student (see the PDF Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students and the excerpt below). 

See also: New York State Students Bill of Rights.

Excerpt from the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students:

The University disciplinary process provides accessible, prompt, and fair methods of addressing reports of student gender-based misconduct. Both the New York State Students’ Bill of Rights (Appendix A) and the University’s process give the Complainant and the Respondent the following rights, explained in the subsequent sections:

  • To respect, dignity, and sensitivity;
  • To appropriate support from the University;
  • To privacy to the extent possible consistent with applicable law and University policy;
  • To information about the University’s Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students;
  • To the presence of an advisor throughout the process;
  • To participate or to decline to participate in the disciplinary process (however, a decision not to participate in the process either wholly or in part may not prevent the process from proceeding with the information available);
  • To a prompt and thorough review of the allegations;
  • To adequate time to review documents following an investigation;
  • To adequate time to prepare for a hearing;
  • To an opportunity to challenge Investigator(s) or Hearing/Appellate Panel member(s) for a possible conflict of interest in cases involving an investigation and Hearing/Appellate Panel;
  • To refrain from making self-incriminating statements;
  • To an appeal of the decision made by the Hearing Panel and of any sanctions imposed by the Sanctioning Officer in cases involving an investigation and Hearing Panel;
  • To notification, in writing, of the case resolution, including the outcome of any appeal, where applicable;
  • To report the incident to law enforcement at any time; and
  • To understand that information collected in the process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings.