Kutztown University has a dedicated process for handling instances of sexual misconduct that occur within its student body that is outlined in the University's Sexual Misconduct Policy. The policy is upheld and enforced by the University's Office of Social Equity. The policies used to discipline students are separate from those involving standard misconduct and carry much more serious consequences.
Kutztown University Sexual Misconduct Policy
When a complaint of sexual misconduct is filed, the Title IX adjudication process will begin. The party that initiates that complaint will be known as "complainant" while the party who the complaint is filed against will be known as the "respondent." In the first stage after the filing of the initial complaint, the complainant will be asked to meet with a representative from the Office of Social Equity to speak about the process. The representative will decide if a formal complaint should be filed, and will do so if it is believed necessary. Once a formal complaint is filed, the Director of Social Equity will decide how to proceed with the complaint, whether or not the formal complaint should be pursued, and if there is sufficient evidence of sexual misconduct to engage in University action. The Director will also oversee any subsequent investigations. Throughout the process, if requested or believed necessary, the University will administer a no-contact directive against the respondent.
If a formal investigation is to take place, the respondent will have a meeting with the Office of Social Equity. At this meeting, the respondent can respond to the allegations and can provide any relevant and supporting witnesses and evidence at this meeting. After a brief review, the Office of Social Equity may try to resolve the situation through mediation, depending on the circumstances. For acts that constitute "sexual violence," however, the complaint will not be resolved through mediation. If the charges cannot be resolved through these means, the Office of Social Equity will investigate further, and reach a conclusion based on the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence." Following this, the Office of Social Equity will meet with the respondent once more to advise them of the outcome. If the student does not agree with the outcome, the final step in the process is the final disposition of the University President. The investigative report will be forwarded to the Office of the University President for a final decision on the matter.
Throughout cases involving sexual misconduct, respondents are entitled to the presence of an advocate at all investigative and administrative meetings. Because the University takes such a serious stance on sexual misconduct, when a student faces allegations, the stakes are incredibly high. Sexual misconduct allegations can have long-term negative effects on a student's academic and professional goals. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advocate during these proceedings. An attorney will be able to ensure that a student's rights are protected throughout the investigative process, in addition to helping students select proper evidence and arguments to present. Also, should any further consequences follow the initial allegations at Kutztown University, an attorney will also be able to provide further assistance.