Shippensburg University takes cases of sexual misconduct within its student body very seriously. Incidents of alleged sexual misconduct are subject to the authority of the University's Title IX Coordinator. The University has a dedicated procedure for taking disciplinary action against students who violate the terms of its sexual misconduct policy, that is slightly different but much more severe than its procedures for standard behavioral misconduct.
Student Conduct Hearing Process at Shippensburg University
When a report is filed against a student for a sexual misconduct violation, the Title IX Coordinator will begin an Administrative Fact Finding process. The student who initiates the report will be known as the "complainant," while the student facing allegations will be known as the "respondent" through the University's proceedings. The investigation will typically involve individual interviews with the parties involved, along with any relevant witnesses. During this time period, the respondent may be subjected to certain interim measures from the University if the student presents an immediate threat to the complainant or the University community as a whole. These measures can include class rescheduling, temporary suspension, or removal from University housing.
Once the investigation phase has concluded, a summary report of the investigation will be delivered to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will make a decision on whether or not to hold a Judicial Hearing. This report will also be forwarded to the parties involved for the preparation of their case. Hearings will be held by the University's Disciplinary Board. The structure of the hearing will follow an order set forth by the Disciplinary Board. Parties will be given an opportunity to make opening statements. Following this the Disciplinary Board will allow for phases of evidence and witness presentation. Parties are prohibited from the direct questioning of one another, and instead must submit their questions to the Chair of the Disciplinary Board. After all witnesses and information have been presented and properly examined, both parties may make final closing statements to the board. The board will then enter a deliberations phase to determine responsibility. The standard for their decision will be "a preponderance of the evidence."
Students who face sexual misconduct allegations are entitled to the presence of an advisor at their hearings. When a student faces these sexual misconduct allegations, their entire future is jeopardized. An attorney will be able to assist students through their hearings. Attorneys can guide students to a favorable outcome by offering insight into courtroom techniques such as evidence presentation and proper questioning of witnesses. These skills can be invaluable in a University hearing and can make a strong difference in the outcome. In addition, an attorney will be able to guide a student through any adverse consequences that may follow the initial sexual misconduct reporting at Shippensburg University.
Shippensburg University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are entitled a chance at an appeal. Appeals must be made within 3 business days of the written notice of the outcome, and directed to the Vice President of Student Affairs. The grounds for appeal are procedural error, new evidence, inappropriate sanctioning, or a claim that the decision was contrary to the evidence presented.