Dickinson College does not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct within its student body. The College upholds a Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy that outlines what behaviors constitute sexual misconduct, and what actions are taken to resolve these incidents. Separate processes are utilized for disciplining acts of sexual misconduct than those utilized for instances of standard misconduct. The process relies on investigation and a closed review.
Dickinson College Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Process
Once a complaint is filed with the College, the process for resolving the incident will begin. The first step is a brief Title IX assessment of the complaint to see if the incident warrants pursuit of Title IX charges instead of standard misconduct charges. Throughout the process, the student that initiates the complaint will be known as "complainant," while the student facing the allegations will be known as the "respondent." The College may seek to impose certain interim measures on the respondent in response to the allegations, if it is determined necessary. These measures can range anywhere from a change in residence or class scheduling to no-contact directives and even temporary suspensions. The College will also initiate an investigation of the incident to determine the facts. Investigations will be done by an investigative team appointed by the Title IX Coordinator, and will consist of separate interview-oriented meetings with the complainant and respondent. The investigative team will also try to gather any physical evidence, and speak with any relevant witnesses that are identified by both parties. Once enough information has been gathered, both parties will be given an opportunity to review the information once more and respond to any inconsistencies. Finally, the team will generate a final investigative report.
The final investigative report will be reviewed by a review panel assembled by the Title IX Coordinator. The review panel is responsible for determining the fairness of the investigation, whether the information is sufficient, and ultimately making a decision on whether or not a violation has occurred. The decision will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
At all meetings with the investigative team, students may be accompanied by an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations can entail very serious potential consequences for students who are under investigation. These consequences can trail a student's academic and professional careers and affect them in the long-term. For these reasons, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor throughout the investigation. An attorney can work with a student to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the process. In addition, if the student faces any additional consequences from the reporting of the allegations at Dickinson College, an attorney can serve as a legal guide.
Appeals at Dickinson College
In the event of an unfavorable outcome form the investigation, students are entitled to make an appeal. Appeals must be made within five (5) days of the date on the outcome letter. The grounds for appeal are new information, deviation from college policy, and inappropriate sanctioning.