Juniata College takes a firm stance against instances of sexual misconduct within its student body. The College's policy on sexual misconduct is outlined in the College's Standards of Conduct. The policy outlines what actions constitute sexual misconduct, and what actions the College will take against students who may have violated the policy. These processes are somewhat similar to those used for standard misconduct, however, additional measures will be taken by the College due to the nature of these incidents.
Juniata College Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Process
When a report of sexual misconduct is filed with a College official, the College will begin its process for addressing and resolving the incident. The Title IX Coordinator will select an individual to serve as the investigator for the case. Investigations will consist of separate meetings with the parties involved to gather information. In the process, the student who files the report will be known as the "reporting individual" while the student facing allegations will be known as the "responding individual." Under certain circumstances, the College may take certain measures to protect either the investigation or the reporting individual if it is believed that the responding individual poses any threat. These measures can include removal from residence, changes in classes, or even a no contact order or temporary suspension. As the investigation continues onward, the College may direct the matter to a Judicial Board Hearing.
Judicial Board Hearings
If a matter is to be directed to a hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will assemble a hearing board composed of members assigned to handling cases of sexual misconduct. At hearings, the chairperson of the board will begin by presenting the charges to the accused student. The accused student will have the opportunity to make an opening statement prior to the presentation of witnesses. Students are not permitted to directly question witnesses or other parties that appear at hearings and instead, must suggest their questions to the board in writing. The board will engage in the questioning of witnesses as they come forward. After all witnesses have been heard out, the accused student will have an opportunity to make a closing statement. The board will then close the hearing to deliberate. Decisions will be made on the standard of a "preponderance of evidence," instead of the "clear and convincing evidence" standard for cases of standard misconduct.
At Judicial Board hearings, students may be assisted by an advisor. Typically, this advisor must be from the college community, however, exceptions may be made in certain cases of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct allegations can have serious impacts on a student's academic and professional career. For this reason, it is critical that students obtain counsel from an attorney from either behind the scenes or by their side at a hearing. An attorney will have specialized knowledge of effective techniques of questioning that can greatly affect the outcome of a hearing. As importantly, an attorney can ensure the integrity of the Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceedings and can protect an accused student's interests throughout the process. In addition, should any adverse consequences follow the initial reporting of the allegations at Juniata College, an attorney can serve as a legal guide for a student.
Appeals at Juniata College
If a hearing results in an unfavorable outcome, students may make an appeal. Students are only given 48 hours from the conclusion of the hearing to submit an appeal. The appeal must be on the grounds of either new evidence, or a claim of improper procedure.