Lafayette College takes instances of sexual misconduct that arise on its campus and student body with utmost seriousness. The College defines acts of sexual misconduct in its Sexual Misconduct Policy. The policy also contains what disciplinary actions the College will take against students who alleged to have committed violations. The process used for disciplining sexual misconduct acts will mirror that used for disciplining standard acts of misconduct, however, special measures and greater scrutiny will apply in these cases.
Lafayette College Sexual Misconduct Process
The process for resolving incidents of sexual misconduct begins when a student has a report filed against them for sexual misconduct. Throughout the process, the student who files the complaint is known as the "complainant" while the student that faces the allegations will be known as the "respondent." Complaints of potential sexual misconduct will be investigated by the Office of Public Safety. The Office of Public Safety, along with the Title IX Coordinator, may make a decision of whether or not certain interim measures should be imposed. Interim measures may include changes to classes, work-study, or housing arrangements. In addition, the College may also suspend the respondent pending the resolution, or help the complainant to obtain a protection from abuse order from the State of Pennsylvania; specifically, from the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas in most instances.
When the disciplinary process begins, the Title IX Coordinator will select College staff members to serve as committee members for a hearing. Hearings will flow according to the direction of the committee. In most cases, the College may choose to serve as complainant once the hearing process begins. While there is no set agenda to a hearing, respondents are in theory guaranteed certain rights throughout the hearing. Respondents may challenge any information presented against them, and may also question any witnesses at the hearing as well. The College may make special considerations for the complainant or alleged victim of the misconduct.
At hearings, students are entitled to the presence of an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations can seriously affect a student's future goals. The reporting of these allegations may have long-term impacts on a student's academic and professional careers. For this reason, students should choose an attorney to serve as advisor not only at their hearings but throughout the Title IX investigation and disciplinary process. An attorney will have specialized knowledge of effective argument and methods of cross-examination that can be critical in a hearing. An attorney can also make sure the integrity of the Title IX disciplinary process is upheld and can protect a student's rights and interests. In addition, if the student faces any additional consequences following the reporting of the allegations at Lafayette College, an attorney can serve as a legal guide.
Appeals at Lafayette College
In the event of an unfavorable hearing outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted by 5 PM on the third business day after outcome letter is sent. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new information, or inappropriate sanctions.