Central Penn College takes any instances of sexual misconduct that arise in its student body very seriously. The College upholds its sexual misconduct policy within its annual security report, which is generated by the College's office of Public Safety. The policy outlines what is considered an act of sexual misconduct. The policy also contains provisions for what actions the College will take in an effort to resolve acts of sexual misconduct. These processes are similar to those used for instances of standard misconduct, but are characterized by a higher degree of scrutiny and potential severity.
Central Penn College Sexual Misconduct
The process for investigating and resolving sexual misconduct begins once a complaint for sexual misconduct is filed with a College official. The student who files the complaint will be known as the "complainant," while the student who faces allegations will be known as "respondent." The College makes use of an investigative process, wherein both parties meet with an appointed investigator to discuss the events that prompted the complaint. Both parties may submit their own information and evidence to the investigator and suggest any witnesses that they feel are necessary. Throughout the investigation, the respondent may have certain interim measures imposed upon them if the College believes it necessary for the safety of the complainant or the College community. These measures may include relocation of housing, change in class schedule, no contact orders, or a temporary suspension. At times, and only when deemed otherwise appropriate, these incidents may be resolved through an informal resolution process, involving remedial measures imposed by College officials. Most Title IX complaints are not resolved through informal means, however, and this is also the also at Central Penn College.
The investigation into the matter will often necessitate that the College's formal method of adjudication be invoked. In such instances, a Judiciary Committee will be convened which will be responsible for determining an accused student's responsibility. As part of the College's Title IX disciplinary process, specific staff will be chosen for the Judiciary Committee to handle incidents of sexual misconduct. At hearings, both parties are to present their own evidence to support their respective cases. There is no set agenda, and the hearing will instead proceed according to the will of the committee chairperson. Both parties will in theory be granted the opportunity to present and/or defend their cases and respond to the opposition. For sexual misconduct cases in particular, certain measures may be taken, such as preventing both parties from direct interaction with one another. When all information has been presented and heard, the committee will make a decision using the "preponderance of evidence" standard.
Students are permitted the aid of an advisor at their hearings, however, the advisor must be a member of the College faculty or staff. Sexual misconduct allegations can result in extremely serious consequences that can follow a student throughout the rest of their careers; both academic and professional. For this reason, accused students must take all possible precautions to try to ensure a favorable outcome. Enlisting an attorney to aid from behind the scenes can greatly help in achieving success both before and at a Judiciary Committee hearing. An attorney will have specialized knowledge of how to present evidence, necessary witnesses, and make compelling arguments. These skills can be extremely helpful when passed on to a student during the Title IX investigation, and who may be later summoned to an hearing on the matter. In addition, an attorney can help ensure that a student's rights remain protected throughout an investigation, and through any adverse consequences that may result from the initial reporting at Central Penn College.
Appeals at Central Penn College
If a hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, students can request an appeal. Appeals are to be made within two (2) business days of the initial outcome. The grounds for appeal are a claim of a deprivation of student rights, a claim that facts are insufficient to establish guilt, or that sanctions are disproportionate to the offense.