Arcadia University takes extra care in resolving instances of sexual misconduct that arise within its student body. The University's Sexual Misconduct Policy is upheld and enforced by the Title IX Coordinator. Acts of sexual misconduct are treated with the utmost seriousness and have their own dedicated process for resolutions.
Arcadia University Disciplinary Process
When a violation is reported to the Office of the Title IX Coordinator, the Office launches an investigation and resolution process. When a student files a complaint, they will be known throughout all procedures as the "complainant," while the student who is the subject of the complaint will be known as the "respondent." Depending on the case and what the investigation uncovers, the University may deem it necessary to impose certain interim measures on a respondent, if it is believed that the respondent poses a threat to the complainant, the community, or the overall investigation. These interim measures can include a change in class scheduling, relocation from residence halls, temporary suspension, or even a University-wide no-contact directive. The first step that the Investigative Team will take is to have meetings with both the complainant and respondent, separately, to instruct them on the overall process.
First, both complainant and respondent will have to attend a pre-hearing meeting. These meetings are individual discussions with the Title IX Coordinator and the Dean of Students meant to educate both parties on the hearing process.
Hearings will either be an Administrative Hearing or a full Judicial Board hearing. Administrative hearings are used when both parties, as well as the Dean of Students, agree to resolve the matter in this manner. These hearings are less formal and are resolved by the decision of the Dean of Students using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence."
Judicial Board Hearings are more formal in nature. Hearings will be decided upon by the Judicial Board, and led by the Chair of the Board. Hearings begin with an Investigator presenting facts of the investigation, and all parties, including the Board members, may ask questions in response. Next, the complainant will make their case. This includes an opening statement and a summary of their view of the events. Following this, the respondent will have the same opportunity. Both parties will be able to question the other, however, the questioning must be done indirectly through the Chair. Afterward, the witnesses will be called. Both parties may submit their questions to the Chair, who will present the questions. Finally, the board, complainant, and respondent may pose final questions to the investigator, and present their own concluding statement. After this, the Board will deliberate and make a decision using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
At hearings, respondents are allowed to have the presence of an advisor. Sexual misconduct allegations are very serious charges, and the University will investigate with particular scrutiny. These allegations can also bring about serious negative consequences for a student's academic and career goals. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor at hearings and throughout the Title IX investigative process. Attorneys can provide insight into courtroom strategies and techniques that can strongly influence the outcome of a hearing. In addition, if any additional adverse circumstances accompany or follow the allegations at Arcadia University, attorneys will be able to guide students through them.
Appeals at Arcadia University
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are offered a chance at an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) business days of the outcome. The grounds for an appeal are either new evidence or procedural error.