Delaware Valley University will handle cases of sexual misconduct within its student body with utmost seriousness. The University holds a Sexual Misconduct Policy which is utilized to both outline what behaviors constitute sexual misconduct, and what actions are taken by the University to enforce the policy. These processes are similar to those used for standard misconduct, however the University will often take special measures due to the nature of these types of allegations.
Delaware Valley University Sexual Misconduct Cases
The resolution process for sexual misconduct cases begins when a formal report is sent to a University official. The University will first conduct an initial evaluation of the matters to determine if it warrants pursuit under the Title IX sexual misconduct policy. The University will also consider if there are to be any immediate measures to be taken against the individual facing allegations, such as temporary suspension, class rescheduling, or possible no-contact orders. The University will use an investigation and resolution process to resolve and decide these cases. Throughout the process, the student who files the report will be known as the "complainant," while the student facing the allegations will be known as the "respondent." Title IX investigations will consist of separate meetings with complainant and respondent, along with any other witnesses that may have been suggested. After the investigation has concluded, a special board for handling sexual misconduct cases will be assembled for a hearing.
Hearings are held by the Student Conduct Board, and led by a chair. Hearings do not follow any specific schedule and will instead proceed according to the will of the board. However, despite any lack of set agenda, both complainant and respondent will in theory be guaranteed certain rights throughout the hearing process. Both parties may present information against one another and question one another, however, all questioning must be done indirectly through means of presenting the question in writing to the hearing board. Once enough information has been heard by the board, the board will close the hearing for deliberations. Decisions for cases will be made using the standard of a "preponderance of the evidence."
At hearings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations are extremely serious and can have long lasting consequences on individuals facing them. Students may feel the consequences of these hearings throughout their entire academic and professional career. For these reasons, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor in these matters. Attorneys can offer legal expertise, such as methods of questioning witnesses and constructing arguments, that can translate into success in a hearing. An attorney can also make certain an accused student's procedural rights and interests are protected through the Title IX investigation and disciplinary process. In addition, should any adverse consequences follow the initial reporting of these claims at Delaware Valley University, students may look to their attorney as a guide.
Appeals at Delaware Valley University
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals should be submitted within five (5) business days from the date of the outcome letter. The grounds for appeal are a a procedural error, new information, or a claim of excessive sanctions.