Lock Haven University takes instances of sexual misconduct that arise within its student body very seriously. The University upholds and enforces a University-wide Sexual Harassment Policy. The policy covers interactions between both students and employees and includes all acts of sexual violence within its contents as well. The process for enforcing sexual misconduct procedures is conducted by the University's Title IX coordinator and the Office of Human Resources and Social Equity.
Sexual Misconduct Procedures at Lock Haven University
The disciplinary process for instances of sexual misconduct begins when a student initiates a complaint against another student. The student who files the complaint is known as the "complainant" while the student facing allegations will be known as the "respondent." The University upholds a non-retaliation policy when a student files allegations of sexual misconduct against another student. This means that the University may take measures to ensure that a complainant is not disturbed or harassed by the respondent. If an instance of retaliation is discovered, the respondent or retaliator, if the retaliation was not committed by the respondent themselves, may face additional consequences from the University. After the filing of a complaint, the University will launch a brief inquiry into the matter to determine if an informal or formal resolution is necessary. In cases of sexual assault allegations, an informal resolution is not an option, and a full investigation will be conducted.
Investigation and Resolution Process
If a complaint cannot be resolved informally, it will be forwarded to the Office of the President. The President or a designee will then begin an investigation and disposition process. The investigation phases will begin with separate interviews with the complainant and respondent, as well as any pertinent witnesses. The complainant and respondent are both welcome to suggest further witnesses and evidence at these hearings. After the investigation has concluded, a full report and summary of the investigation will be forwarded to the Office of the President, who will determine if any action is to take place. The President's decision is the final authority on the matter, however, at times the decision may be altered, based on upon any bargaining done during the investigative process.
At any meetings with the investigator, respondents are entitled to the presence of an advisor. Sexual misconduct allegations are of the utmost seriousness. These allegations can have long-lasting and drastic negative impacts on a student's future professional and academic goals. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor in these matters. An attorney will be able to ensure that a student has their rights protected throughout the investigative process, and will also be able to provide a student with a wealth of courtroom techniques. Techniques such as evidence suggestion and defensive argumentation can have a strong impact on the results of the investigation. In addition to this, an attorney will also be able to guide a student through any potential adverse consequences that may arise from the initial reporting on the allegations at Lock Haven University.