Saint Vincent College pledges itself to upholding an environment free of any sexual misconduct. The University upholds a policy against sexual misconduct in all of its forms. The University's policy outlines what behavior is considered sexual misconduct, as well as what actions will be utilized for enacting discipline on students who are accused of committing sexual misconduct. This process is separate from disciplinary processes used for acts of standard misconduct, and alleged acts of sexual misconduct are treated with greater scrutiny.
Saint Vincent College Sexual Misconduct Process
The College will begin its process for investigation and resolution of sexual misconduct incidents once a report is received by a College official. The College offers two different processes for resolution, informal and formal. Throughout either resolution process, the student who files the complaint will be known as "complainant," while the student who faces the allegations will be known as the "respondent." Once a complaint is filed, it will be subject to an initial review to see if it necessitates action under the sexual misconduct policy. Informal resolutions will utilize a mediation based process, with a mediator selected by the Title IX Coordinator. In order for mediation to be used, both parties involved in the incident must agree to resolution through these means. Mediation may not be used for cases involving sexual assault or sexual violence. In addition, during the course of the College's initial review, if it is determined by the College that the accused student poses a threat to the complainant or the College community, interim measures may be imposed upon the accused student; such measures can include a no-contact order or a temporary suspension from the College for example.
Formal Complaint Resolution Process
After an initial review warrants formal action, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint one or two formal investigators to gather facts surrounding the case. Investigations will consist of separate interviews with both the complainant and respondent. At these interviews, both parties may present their own supporting evidence, information, and witnesses to be taken into account in the investigation. After investigations have concluded, the investigators will review the information and compose a final investigative report. The report will also contain a decision on whether or not a student had violated the sexual misconduct policy. Decisions are made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
Throughout the investigation, students may be accompanied by an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations are incredibly serious in nature, and can potentially threaten a student's future goals in academia or the professional realm. For this reason, students should seek legal counsel from an attorney when facing these allegations. An attorney can ensure that a student's rights are protected and interests are properly defended during the investigation. In addition, if any unforeseen adverse consequences stem from the initial reporting of the allegations at Saint Vincent College, an attorney can serve as a student's legal guide.
Appeals at Saint Vincent College
Should a hearing result in an unfavorable outcome, students will have the opportunity to make an appeal. Appeals are to be submitted within five (5) days after the written outcome. The grounds for appeal must be a claim that a violation of investigative procedures has occurred, or the presence of new information that may influence a hearing.