Sexual Assault Hearing and Appeals System

If the survivor was assaulted by another Northwestern student, s/he has the option of filing a complaint through the University's disciplinary system, the Sexual Assault Hearing and Appeals System (SAHAS). SAHAS can be used in addition to the criminal justice system or as an alternative. SAHAS offers a hearing process for pursuing disciplinary sanctions against a perpetrator.

In a hearing, five to seven specially trained students, staff, and faculty make up a hearing board. During a hearing, the board listens as both the complainant and respondent present their statements and cases, and then as a group the board decides if there is sufficient evidence to hold the respondent in violation of the University sexual assault policy. Complainant and respondent are each entitled to have support persons and witnesses. If the respondent is found to be in violation then the respondent faces sanctions up to and including suspension or exclusion. After a hearing, each party has the right to appeal the outcome.

In order to participate a hearing, the complainant must file a formal complaint with the Executive Secretary of SAHAS through the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Secretary presents the respondent with the complaint and promptly schedules a hearing.