Bryn Mawr College handles instances of sexual misconduct that arise within its student body with a high degree of severity. The College outlines its policies and procedures for these matters within its Sexual Assault Policy, upheld by the College's Title IX Office. The processes used for disciplining acts of sexual misconduct is separate from those used for instances of standard misconduct, and are largely overseen by the the Title IX Coordinator.
Bryn Mawr College Sexual Misconduct Policies
When a student reports acts of sexual misconduct, the College will begin an investigation into the matter. Investigations will consist of separate interviews with the parties involved and any relevant witnesses. Throughout the process, the student who files the complaint will be known as "complainant," while the student who faces allegations will be known as the "respondent." The College will pursue disciplinary action in the form of either a full hearing or an administrative resolution, depending on what is appropriate to the situation.
Title IX Administrative Resolution
Administrative resolutions will take place after the investigation has concluded. The respondent and the complainant will be given access to the investigative report to review. After reviewing the report, the respondent is then given a chance to accept or deny responsibility, or enter no response. If the respondent accepts responsibility, then sanctions will be assigned. If the respondent enters no response or does not accept responsibility, the matter will move forward to a hearing.
Title IX Hearings
Hearings are held and decided upon by the Title IX Hearing Panel, which will consist of individuals selected by the Title IX Coordinator to decide sexual misconduct cases. Prior to a hearing, all parties, including the hearing panel are to have access to the investigative report. Hearings begin with a statement from the complainant, followed by the respondent's opening statement. Following this, both parties will be questioned by the hearing panel. Both parties may submit written questions for the opposing party and witnesses to the panel, but may not question one another directly. Afterwards, witnesses will come forward for testimony and questioning, followed by clarifications from the investigator. Finally, both complainant and respondent will present their closing statements, and the panel will close the hearing. Decisions will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
Bryn Mawr College does not explicitly state whether or not a student is permitted an advisor at their hearings, however, an attorney working from behind the scenes, at a minimum, can be of great assistance to a student. Attorneys have specialized knowledge in techniques of questioning and argument that can be incredibly beneficial in a hearing. Because of the incredibly serious consequences that can follow allegations of sexual misconduct, students should seek the help of an attorney with their case. Separate from the concerns regarding the potential consequences that can result from the College's actions against an accused student, a student's exposure to potential criminal and/or civil liability cannot be ignored. Because of this, an accused student should make sure their interests are protected throughout the College's Title IX investigation and disciplinary process, and this can be achieved through the advice, counsel, and as appropriate, advocacy, of an attorney experienced in such matters. In addition, if any additional consequences follow the initial reporting at Bryn Mawr College, an attorney will be able to provide representation for the student.
Bryn Mawr College Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal of their sanction or the decision. Appeals must be submitted within ten (10) days of receiving the outcome letter. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, or a dispute of the severity of the sanction.