Central Penn College houses a number of College Policies within is Student Handbook. The College Policies are meant to promote the College community's well-being, and to ensure that students have a safe learning environment. Students who are suspected of violating the College Policies will be subject to the College's Judicial Process. If a student is found to have committed a violation of College Policies, they will face sanctions to serve as punishment for their actions.
For most violations, the process begins with a referral. A referral is an official notice of violations submitted to Student Services by a member of the campus community. Any investigations done will be handled by the Student Services Department, and if there is sufficient information to believe that a violation has occurred, the student will be notified in writing.
Central Penn College Judiciary Hearings
Judiciary hearings will be conducted to resolve issues involving violations. They will normally make use of a Judiciary Committee, which will consist of 2 faculty or staff members and 1 student. The same procedures used for normal policy violations will also be used for sexual misconduct violations, though special precautions will be taken for victims and witnesses.
Informal mediation is a discussion between the two parties. The Dean of Students or the Director of Human Resources will facilitate the discussion, depending on the nature of the situation. Informal Resolution is never used in incidents of violence or non-consensual sexual misconduct. After the discussion, the Dean or Director will make a decision on what the outcome will be. If the parties are dissatisfied, then formal resolution can be pursued.
The primary use of Formal Resolution is for serious violations or sexual misconduct violations. During a formal resolution, the student suspected of misconduct will be known as "the respondent," while the student who initiated the referral will be known as "the complainant." Formal Resolutions will be heard by a Judiciary Committee. At hearings, students will have the right to present evidence supporting their case. In cases of sexual misconduct, witnesses and the complainant are entitled to special protections in how testimony is presented. After the case has been heard out, the Committee will go into deliberations. The standard for all discussion will be "more likely than not" that a violation was committed by the respondent.
The College restricts those in attendance to hearing to just those involved in the matter that requires adjudication, plus any witnesses. The College does allow students to have an advisor, though the advisor must be a member of the College's faculty or staff. An individual that works directly for the College pressing charges against a student is not likely to have that student's best interest in mind. With the odds already stacked against them, students will likely need help from an outside source. An attorney can help from behind the scenes. Attorneys can provide students with insight into tactics used in courtrooms, such as evidence presentation and witness questioning, that can strongly influence the outcome of a case.
If a student is found responsible for a violation, they will be assigned a sanction. Central Penn College makes use of point system to assign sanctions, and possibly even assigns additional ones as deemed appropriate.
Central Penn College Appeal
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have 2 business days from imposed sanction to make an appeal. The grounds for appeal are a claim that the student was deprived of rights, a claim that the facts were insufficient to establish guilt, or a claim that the sanctions ordered were not justified. Appeals may be brought to an Appeal Hearing with a new Judiciary Committee.
If you or your student is facing disciplinary action from Central Penn College, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.