Duquesne University Rules for Advisors under TAP 61

Under TAP 61 and the process described in the TAP, Complainants and Respondents ("Party" or "Parties") may have an Advisor of choice during the process.  The University developed these rules and requirements in order to promote fairness, remain true to the University's educational mission, and maintain the integrity and equity of the process.

What is an Advisor?

An Advisor is an individual who provides advice and counsel to a Party.  Parties are permitted to be accompanied by an Advisor at all times in during the Grievance Procedures described in TAP 61.

Who can serve as an Advisor?

An Advisor may be a faculty or staff member, a friend, a parent, an attorney, or any other person of the Party's choosing.

What is the role of an Advisor before a hearing? 

During initial meetings before a Formal Complaint is filed and/or during the investigation phase of the Formal Grievance Process, an Advisor's role is limited to being present with the Party during meetings and interviews, supporting the Party, consulting with and advising the Party, suggesting questions for the Party to ask, and reviewing evidence.  During meetings or interviews, an Advisor may quietly converse with or write notes to a Party.  Advisors should be mindful that communication with the Party does not disrupt the meeting or interview.  Advisors may not act as participants, speak for or on behalf of a Party, present information, ask questions, or make statements.

What is the role of an Advisor during a hearing?

During a hearing, if applicable, the hearing Decision-Maker will permit each Party's Advisor to ask the other Party and any witnesses, but not their own Party (Parties speak for themselves), all relevant questions and follow-up questions.  An Advisor may not otherwise speak for or on behalf of a Party, including, but not limited to, by presenting opening or closing statements and/or by objecting to questions asked by the other Party's Advisor.  Additionally, Advisors may not argue about relevancy determinations made at the hearing; disrupt, unreasonably delay, or interfere with the hearing; act disrespectfully towards others in the hearing by engaging in interrupting, badgering, or harassing behavior; use raised voices or profanity; and/or make threatening or abusive physical gestures.

What is the role of an Advisor if an appeal is filed?

Appeals will proceed on the record only; Parties and witnesses will not be interviewed by the Appeal Decision-Maker. The record will include the written determination, the Investigative Report, the recording of the underlying hearing, new evidence as applicable, and any written statement submitted by the Parties in connection with the Appeal.  The role of an Advisor during an appeal is to provide the Party advice on that Party's written statement and new evidence, as applicable.

What happens if an Advisor does not follow these Rules?

If at any time during the process an Advisor does not act in accordance with these rules, the Title IX Coordinator and/or the hearing Decision-Maker has the authority to enforce these rules. The Advisor will be warned that if noncompliance persists, the Advisor will be required to leave.  If the conduct continues, the Advisor will be required to leave. Under such circumstances, the Party will be provided with a brief period of time to secure a replacement advisor, or the University will appoint one if necessary.