Bloomsburg University takes instances of sexual misconduct very seriously. The University's Office of Civil Rights oversees and enforces the University's Sexual Misconduct Policy. Instances of sexual misconduct are handled through a dedicated procedure that has a higher degree of scrutiny and severity throughout the process.
Bloomsburg University Disciplinary Process
The University's Disciplinary Process begins when a report of Sexual Misconduct is filed with the Title IX Coordinator. The student that faces allegations will be known as the "accused" while the student who is presenting the charges will be known as the "complainant." Once the complaint is filed, an investigation will be launched to determine the facts necessary for the case. The University sets forth a policy against any forms of retaliation against the complainant, and because of this, certain interim measures may be taken against the accused if the University believes a problem may arise. Pending the outcome of the investigation, interim measures can include a no-contact order, an interim suspension, and so forth.
If the allegations do not meet a certain degree of seriousness, the University may offer an informal resolution process. These situations will be resolved without hearings and instead will reach resolution through meetings with the Dean of Students or another designated individual for an appropriate resolution. At any time during the informal process, however, the complainant may choose to elevate the case to a formal resolution.
Formal Hearings will be held by the Formal Hearing Board, and led by a chairperson. At hearings, the chairperson will begin with the introduction of all parties. Following the introduction phase, the chairperson will present the charges. The complainant may make an opening statement for their case at this time. Following this, a phase for questioning both the accused and the complainant will occur. The board conducts all questioning. The accused may not directly question the complainant, but can suggest questions to the board. Next, both parties will present their witnesses. First, the complainant will call witnesses and question them. The accused can suggest their appropriate cross-examination questions to the board. The accused will then have the same opportunity to present their own witnesses, with appropriate questioning being done by the board and indirect questioning from the complainant. Both parties can present their own closing statements before the closure of the hearing. Finally, the chairperson will close the hearing and retire the board to deliberate. Deliberations will be done using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence."
Students are entitled to an advisor at their hearings. Sexual misconduct allegations can have very drastic, long-term, negative consequences on nearly all aspects of student's professional and academic career. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor. An attorney will have dedicated knowledge related to evidence and argument that can be incredibly beneficial to students at their hearings. In addition, if a student faces additional consequences either prior to or following their hearings at Bloomsburg University, an attorney can serve as a student's guide.
Bloomsburg University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable hearing outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be made with three (3) business days of the outcome. Appeals must be on the grounds of new evidence, a claim that the disciplinary action was disproportionate, or a claim of a denial of the University's due process.