Chestnut Hill College handles cases of sexual misconduct that arise within its student body with severity. The College upholds a policy on sexual misconduct that outlines what constitutes sexual misconduct and what resolutions will be taken when the need arises. These procedures are separate from the actions that the College will take for instances of standard misconduct.
Sexual Misconduct Response at Chestnut Hill College
When a person wishes to file a complaint of sexual misconduct they must provide an initial statement to the College. Once the statement is provided, the College will begin the process to resolve incidents of sexual misconduct. Throughout the process, the student that initiates the report will be known as the "complainant," while the student facing the allegations will be known as the "respondent." After the College begins its investigation, a designated investigator will take a statement from the respondent, and provide it to the complainant. The investigator will thereafter take a statement from the respondent and provide it the complainant. If there is little to no discrepancy within the two accounts, the College may make a decision and appropriate judgment outright. During the investigation, the respondent may face interim measures; these can include temporary suspension, no contact orders, or rescheduling of classes.
Hearings will be held by an appropriate hearing panel depending on the severity of the situation. The hearing will not have a set agenda or process, and will instead flow according to the authority responsible for deciding the hearing. Both parties will, in theory, be guaranteed the right to present supporting information. The panel will conduct all questioning relevant to the investigation. After all information has been heard, the panel will retire for deliberation. When making a decision, the standard of "a preponderance of evidence" will be used.
Students are entitled to an advisor throughout the process, unfortunately, there is a limitation. This advisor must be from the College community. Sexual misconduct violations can carry very serious and long-lasting consequences. Allegations alone can place a student's goals and career, both academic and professional, in serious jeopardy. For this reason, among others, it can be incredibly helpful to retain the assistance of an attorney who can help an accused student from behind the scenes of the investigation and hearing. Attorneys will be able to provide valuable insight into matters of evidence and argument that a student can use to their advantage at a hearing. In addition to this, an attorney can ensure a student's rights remain intact throughout the process, and can also act as a legal guide for a student facing any additional adverse consequences from the allegations at Chestnut Hill College.
Appeals at Chestnut Hill College
If the process results in an unfavorable outcome, students are entitled to make an appeal. Appeals must be made within three (3) business days of the outcome. The basis necessary to make an appeal must be evidence of bias, procedural failures, or a claim of a disproportionate penalty.