Holy Family University takes particular care when adjudicating matters of sexual misconduct that may occur within its student body. These instances are handled through a dedicated disciplinary process, outlined in the University's Student Handbook. The University's Title IX coordinator is responsible for overseeing and enacting this process.
Sexual Misconduct Process at Holy Family University
The process for investigating and adjudicating allegations of sexual misconduct begins when a student reports an incident to a University Official. The student who makes the complaint is known as the "complainant," while the student facing the allegations will be known as the "respondent." If the University has any reason to believe that a respondent may interfere with any investigation, or otherwise cause harm to the complainant or community as a whole, the respondent may face the imposition of certain interim measures. These measures can include changes to class schedules, alternative housing, and even an interim suspension. When a complaint is reviewed, it will be investigated by the Title IX Coordinator. Investigations will typically consist of separate interview sessions with both the complainant and respondent. Witnesses may also be interviewed or suggested by either party as well. After the investigation has concluded, the Title IX Coordinator will decide whether or not to move the case forward.
Hearings will be held and decided upon by a Judicial Hearing Board. The Hearing Board will consist of members dedicated to handling Sexual Misconduct cases. Hearings do not have a set agenda or schedule, and instead will be a more discussion and conversation-oriented inquiry. Both complainant and respondent will, in theory, be guaranteed certain rights. Prior to a hearing, both parties will have access to a list of witnesses and a summary of the evidence. They may also propose their questions at this time as well. The Judicial Board will decide what questions will be asked, and may not approve all questions suggested. At hearings, students may be able to present additional information as well. Once the discussions have concluded, the Judicial Hearing Board will close the hearing and deliberate to reach a finding. Decisions will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence."
At hearings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor. Hearings for sexual misconduct allegations are treated with utmost seriousness, and students will be facing severe sanctions more often than not. Sexual misconduct allegations can have long-term negative impacts on a student's goals, both academic and professional. For this reason, an attorney should serve as a student's advisor at hearings. Attorneys have specialized skills and knowledge they may impart to students at their hearings to bolster a strong defense. In addition, attorneys can help ensure that a student's rights are properly protected throughout the process. Finally, if any additional adverse consequences arise from the initial reporting at Holy Family University, an attorney can act as a guide to a student through these circumstances.
Holy Family University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) business days of the outcome. The letter of appeal must demonstrate a material failure to follow procedures.