Seton Hill University handles instances of sexual misconduct within its student body with particular severity. The University has a zero tolerance policy on sexual misconduct that is outlined within the pages of its Student Handbook. The policy also outlines what actions the University will take when enacting a disciplinary process on students who are alleged to have violated this policy. These processes are much more strict and potentially severe than those used for investigating and resolving incidents of standard misconduct.
Seton Hill University Sexual Misconduct Process
Once a sexual misconduct complaint is filed with the University, the University will begin determining what steps are appropriate for resolution. Throughout the process, the student who files the complaint will be known as the "complainant," while the student who faces the allegations will be known as "respondent." The University will employ either an informal resolution process or a formal complaint procedure for resolving incidents of sexual misconduct. Informal resolutions are mediative in nature, and will require both parties to agree to do so. The process will be overseen by the Title IX Coordinator and all aspects of the situation will be considered. Incidents of sexual violence or sexual assault will not be resolved informally, and instead automatically be elevated to a formal resolution. The University may also elect to subject the respondent to certain interim measures, such as temporary suspension, if it is believed that the student poses a threat to the University community or to the investigation.
Formal Resolution Process
Formal resolutions will feature an in-depth investigation into the matters headed by an individual chosen by the Title IX Coordinator. Investigations will consist of both parties engaging in separate meetings with investigators. Parties may suggest witnesses or evidence that they believe to be relevant to the case. The investigator will also be in contact with both parties as the Title IX investigation proceeds and give them time to respond to claims and information that arise during the disciplinary process. After enough information has been gathered as deemed appropriate by the University, the investigator will compile a final report, and make a finding. Decisions are made using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence." The Title IX Coordinator will also review the report prior to its finalization.
Throughout the investigation process, students are entitled to an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations carry the prospect of long-term negative consequences for a student's academic and professional careers, and a finding of responsibility can be life-altering. For this reason, students should choose an attorney when selecting an advisor. An attorney can help ensure a student's rights remain protected throughout the investigation, and can also assist students with any adverse consequences that may follow the initial reporting of the allegations at Seton Hill University.
Seton Hill Appeals Hearings
In the event of an unfavorable investigation outcome, students may request an appeals hearing for the case. This must be requested within five (5) business days. Hearings may be requested on the grounds of new information, procedural error, disproportionate sanctions, or an arbitrary finding.