Franklin & Marshall College will handle instances of sexual misconduct within its student body with particular diligence. The College outlines what behavior constitutes sexual misconduct within its Sexual Misconduct Policy. The policy is upheld and overseen by the College's Title IX Coordinator. The processes used for disciplining any incidents of sexual misconduct are separate and subject to greater scrutiny than those used for instances of standard misconduct.
Franklin & Marshall College Sexual Misconduct Process
The College will begin the process for adjudication of sexual misconduct instances when a complaint is filed. The student who files a complaint will be known as the complainant, while the individual facing allegations will be known as the respondent. Once a complaint is filed and reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator, the process for resolving the complaint will be chosen. At times, the situation may be eligible for resolution through mediation. Mediation may be used if both parties agree, and if the incident did not involve sexual assault. In all other cases, the College will proceed further with an investigation into the matters. Investigations will consist of collection of evidence, and accounts from complainant, respondent, and any suggested witnesses. Following the investigation, a report will generated and the Title IX Coordinator will decide on a type of hearing to pursue the complaint.
The Title IX Coordinator will decide whether a hearing should be decided by a panel, or a chosen administrator. At hearings, both parties will be asked to attend and either the panel chair or the administrator will lead the hearing. The hearing authority will begin by reading the complaint. After the complaint is read, the complainant and respondent will be able to make opening statements. Following the opening statements, the hearing authority will question the complainant, respondent, and investigators. The complainant and respondent may submit questions to the panel for indirect questioning during this phase. After said questioning of the complainant and respondent, witnesses are called, and all parties, including the panel, will question them. Then both complainant and respondent will present closing statements. Finally, the hearing authority will close the hearing for deliberations. The decision will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
Franklin & Marshall College allows students facing allegations of sexual misconduct to have the presence of an advisor at their hearings. Sexual misconduct allegations can carry very serious consequences for students that can follow them throughout their lives. For this reason, an attorney should be selected to serve as a student's advisor. An attorney's presence alone can have a profound impact at a hearing, in addition to the fact that Franklin & Marshall College allows an advisor to make opening and closing statements at these hearings. An attorney can also provide a student with time-tested methods of evidence presentation, cross examination, and argument that can greatly influence the outcome. In addition, should any adverse circumstances arise from the reporting of the allegations at Franklin & Marshall College, an attorney can guide a student through any related concerns.
Appeals at Franklin & Marshall College
Should a hearing result in an unfavorable outcome, students are given a chance to make an appeal. An appeal must be submitted within five (5) business days after the written notification of the decision is issued. There are only two grounds for appeals: an error in procedure, or a claim of new evidence.