Muhlenberg College takes incidents of sexual misconduct within its student body very seriously. The College upholds a policy against sexual misconduct that both defines what actions are considered sexual misconduct, as well as outlines what actions the College takes against students who are in violation of this policy. The processes are similar to those used in the College's Social Code, however, the College will apply certain special measures in these cases, due to their serious nature.
Sexual Misconduct at Muhlenberg College
When a student is accused of committing a violation of the sexual misconduct policy, the College will begin its process for investigation and resolution of the incident. Students who are alleged to have violated the policy will be known throughout all procedures as the "accused," while students who initiate the complaint will be known as "complainant." If the alleged acts meet the College's definition of sexual misconduct, the accused will receive a notice of the charges and the College will begin determining what method is appropriate for resolving the misconduct. Due to the serious nature of sexual misconduct allegations, the College will assemble a hearing board a majority of the time.
Hearing Board Procedures
A hearing officer and board deemed appropriate by the College for resolving sexual misconduct issues will be assigned to hear and decide upon the case. Prior to a hearing, the accused will be given access to the investigation file in order to prepare for the case. Hearings will not follow a specific order, and will instead proceed according to the will of the hearing officer. Regardless of how the order of the hearing will proceed, both complainant and respondent will, in theory, be guaranteed certain rights throughout the process. Both parties will have the ability to question the witnesses at the hearing, and present evidence and witnesses to support their respective cases. Both parties are also subject to questioning from members of the hearing board. After enough information has been presented, the hearing will close to allow board deliberation, and a decision will be made.
At hearings for sexual misconduct, students may be accompanied by an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations can have serious, long-term consequences that can greatly affect a student in life and in their career. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor in these matters. Attorneys can help students select valuable evidence to present, and can assist students with effective methods of questioning witnesses. An attorney can protect a student's rights and interests throughout the process and can make sure that the integrity of the Title IX investigation and any meetings or hearings is upheld. In addition, should any adverse consequences result from facing the initial allegations at Muhlenberg College, an attorney can serve as a legal guide.
Appeals at Muhlenberg College
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are entitled to a chance to make an appeal. Appeals are to be submitted within five (5) business days of the written notification. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, or disproportionate sanctions.