DeSales University's stance on sexual misconduct is outlined in the University's Sexual Offense Policy. The policy outlines the University's definitions of sexual misconduct offenses as well as the process for reporting and disciplining these incidents when necessary. These processes are similar to those utilized for enacting discipline on incidents of standard misconduct, however, the University will exercise special measures.
DeSales University Sexual Misconduct Process
When a notice of sexual misconduct allegations is presented to a University official, the University will begin its disciplinary process for resolving the incident. Students who report allegations will be known as the "complainant," while the student facing allegations will be known as the "student charged." When the allegations are received, the University may take certain measures to ensure the protection of the integrity of any investigation, as well as the complainant. These measures may include changes in class schedule, living arrangements, and possibly even campus no contact orders or temporary suspension. The University will launch an investigation into these matters to discern facts and witnesses pertaining to the events. Once enough information has been gathered to warrant pursuit of disciplinary action, the University will assemble the Title IX Judicial Board to hear the case.
Disciplinary hearings will be led by the chairperson of the Title IX Judicial Board. Hearings open with the chairperson presenting the allegations. The student charged will enter their plea of responsibility, and the hearing will begin. First, the investigator will present information from the investigation, including evidence and witnesses. Next, the student charged will present their evidence and witnesses. The hearing board will then question the parties involved. Following this, the complainant and the student charged will have an opportunity to question the parties and witnesses involved. In cases of sexual misconduct, it is unlikely students will have the chance to directly question one another, and the University may impose particular measures to ensure the protection of the complainant. Following each party's phase for questioning, both parties will be given a chance to make a closing statement, after which the board will close the hearing for deliberation. Decisions will be rendered based on the standard of a "preponderance of evidence."
At hearings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor of their own choice. When a student faces allegations of sexual misconduct, their academic and professional careers can be in serious jeopardy. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor in these hearings. An attorney will have courtroom-tested knowledge of methods of presenting evidence and argument that can strongly influence the outcome of a hearing. An attorney can also protect the integrity of the Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceedings and can protect an accused student's interests throughout the process. In addition, if a student faces additional consequences following the reporting of the initial complaint at DeSales University, an attorney can serve as a legal guide.
Appeals at DeSales University
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have the chance to make an appeal. Appeals are to be submitted within five (5) business days, with the possibility of a 24-hour extension if allowed by the Dean of Students. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, or a dispute of the appropriateness of the sanction assigned.