Cedar Crest College takes a firm stance against any and all acts of sexual misconduct that arise within its student body or occur on its campus. The College defines acts that are considered sexual misconduct within the Sexual Misconduct Policy located in the College's Student Handbook. The College also outlines what procedures it will utilize in disciplining students that are alleged to have committed acts of sexual misconduct. These processes are similar to those used for standard misconduct, however, certain measures will apply due to the nature of the allegations.
Cedar Crest College Sexual Misconduct Process
When a student files a complaint regarding acts of potential sexual misconduct, the College will begin its resolution process to address the allegations and administer discipline if there is finding of responsibility. Throughout the resolution process, the student facing allegations will be referred to as "respondent," while the student who initiated the complaint process will be known as "complainant." Complaints may be filed informally or through formal means, however, the College will fully investigate all complaints regardless of the filing method. In addition, the College may find it necessary to pursue certain interim measures against the respondent, if it is believed that the respondent poses a threat to the procedure or to the College community as a whole. This can include a no-contact order, rescheduling of classes, or even temporary suspension from the College.
Sexual misconduct cases will be resolved through the use of an administrative hearing. The hearing will be held and decided upon by a hearing officer designated by the Title IX Coordinator. The hearing officer will review information presented by both the complainant and respondent, and will consider the information obtained during the investigation. Both parties may be present during the hearing, however, neither party is able to directly question the other. Witnesses and other individuals may be questioned, and information may be responded to throughout the hearing. After all relevant information has been presented and heard, the hearing officer will close the meeting to make a decision. The hearing officer's decision will be made using the standard of "more likely than not."
At hearings, students are entitled to the accompaniment of an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations are extremely serious in nature, and will be treated as such by the College. Consequences of these allegations can follow a student's career throughout their entire life. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor throughout these matters. An attorney can provide students with insight into specialized knowledge of evidence and argument that can greatly affect the outcome of a hearing. An attorney can also make certain that a student's interests are protected throughout the Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceedings. In addition, should any adverse consequences accompany the initial allegations at Cedar Crest College, attorneys may serve as a student's guide.
Appeals At Cedar Crest College
If the hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal within three (3) days after the date of the written decision. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, or improper sanctions.