Gannon University upholds a Sexual Misconduct Policy for resolving any incidents of sexual misconduct that arise within the University's student body. The University enforces this policy through a separate disciplinary process from the one utilized for standard behavioral misconduct.
Gannon University Sexual Misconduct Policy
The Sexual Misconduct Process begins when a complaint is filed with a University official. When a student files a complaint, throughout the process they will be referred to as "complainant," while the student facing the allegations will be known as the "respondent." The first step is the determination of whether or not informal procedures will be used to resolve the case. Informal procedures may only be used when both complainant and respondent agree to resolve the manner in this manner. In addition, the University may also elect to change the resolution method to a formal procedure at any time. Informal procedures are not used when allegations involve sexual assault.
For formal procedures, the University will conduct an investigation into the incident. An Investigative Team will be assembled, and meetings will be held with both the complainant and the respondent. After the initial interviews, the team will assemble an investigative report. Once the report is assembled, the team will meet once more to review its contents with both parties, separately. At this meeting, either party can add new information, clarify statements, or suggest new witnesses to be considered in the report. Once the report is finalized, a hearing will be scheduled.
Hearings will be led and decided upon by the Sexual Misconduct Committee. Hearings begin with a brief introductory phase, led by the committee Chair. The Investigative Team opens the informational phases with a summary of the investigative report. After this, both parties will present their statements to the committee. The committee will question both students. Following this, the students will have an opportunity to indirectly question one another through the committee Chair. The committee will follow with a final round of questioning and close the hearing for deliberations. Decisions are made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
At hearings and throughout investigative meetings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor. Sexual misconduct allegations can have far-reaching negative consequences on a student's academic and professional goals. Because of this, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor. An attorney will be able to ensure that a student's rights are protected throughout the process, and can also provide insight into methods of argument and cross-examination that can prove invaluable in a University hearing setting. In addition, if additional adverse consequences result from the reporting of the allegations at Gannon University, an attorney can serve as a student's guide.
Gannon University Appeals Process
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have a chance to make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) business days of the hearing's outcome. The grounds for an appeal are procedural error or new evidence for consideration.