Philadelphia University seeks to establish an academic environment free of any instances of sexual misconduct and will treat any instances within its student body with utmost seriousness. The University upholds a Sexual Misconduct Policy that outlines what is considered an act of sexual misconduct, and what steps the University will take to resolve these incidents when they arise. These processes are similar to those used for enacting discipline on acts of standard misconduct, however, the University will utilize special measures for cases involving sexual misconduct.
Philadelphia University Sexual Misconduct Process
When a complaint for sexual misconduct is filed with a University official, it will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator to see if action is appropriate under the University's Title IX policy. In addition to this initial consideration, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an investigator to gather facts and statements from the persons involved in the incident. Throughout the investigation and resolution process, students who filed the complaint will be known as "complainant," while students who face allegations will be known as the "respondent." In rare circumstances, it may be appropriate to resolve the incident through a mediative process, guided by an individual appointed by the Title IX Coordinator. Cases involving sexual violence or sexual assault are not eligible for resolution in this manner and will undergo the University's hearing process.
The Judicial Process
Once a case is to move forward to a hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will assemble a judicial board and chair for the hearing as deemed appropriate by the University. The hearing will proceed according to the direction of the chair, however, both parties involved in the hearing will, in theory, be granted certain rights throughout the process to ensure fairness and safety. Both complainant and respondent will have the ability to present their own evidence and witnesses, and to an extent determined appropriate by the board, cross-examine one another's witnesses as well. Parties will also have access to the investigation's information prior to a hearing in order to prepare. Once all significant information has been heard by the board, the hearing will close for deliberations. All decisions are made using the standard of a "preponderance of evidence."
At hearings, students may be accompanied by an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations can carry serious consequences that can affect a student's academic and professional career through life. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor throughout the investigation and hearing process. An attorney can ensure that a student's rights are protected throughout the investigation, and can advise a student during a hearing as well. In addition, should any adverse consequences stem from the initial reporting of the allegations at Philadelphia University, an attorney can serve as a student's legal guide.
Appeals at Philadelphia University
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students may file an appeal of the result. Appeals must be made within two (2) business days of the decision. In addition, appeals must be on the grounds of a procedural error, misinterpretation of policy, new evidence, improper sanctions, or a claim that the decision is unsupported by evidence.