Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania handles all allegations of sexual misconduct through its Student Code Of Conduct. While the procedure for sexual misconduct violations will follow relatively the same procedures as standard behavioral misconduct, the University will treat allegations of sexual misconduct with a much higher degree of scrutiny and seriousness.
Code of Conduct Procedures begin when a report is filed against student. Title IX violations are typically reported to any authority, but are treated with a much more grave level of care. Once a report it filed, the University authorities will begin an information gathering phase. During this time, the student facing allegations is prohibited from contacting the individual who initiated the report. Doing so may subject the student to further Code of Conduct violations. At times, the University may place a student under interim suspension if it is believed necessary.
Sexual misconduct cases are resolved through Campus Hearings. Hearings are ruled over by a University Hearing Board or a designated Administrative Officer for the case. The appropriate members chosen to serve on the board or as officer are selected by the Director of Student Conduct. At the hearing, students facing allegations can present evidence, argument, and witnesses in their favor. Students can also question opposing witnesses and evidence, but all questions must be asked through the Hearing Authority, who will determine the appropriateness of the questions. Students will also be asked questions by the Hearing Authority. If the student remains silent or chooses not to answer, the Hearing Authority is allowed to take negative inference from their silence. After all pertinent information is heard, the hearing authority will deliberate and make a decision. The standard for decision making used will be "a preponderance of evidence."
Students facing allegations of sexual misconduct are entitled to an advisor of their own choosing. Sexual misconduct allegations can carry grave consequences that have strong and long-lasting negative effects on a student's academic and professional career. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that student select an attorney to serve as advisor. An attorney will be able to strongly influence the outcome of a case by providing knowledge of argument, evidence, and questioning to a student facing a hearing. These courtroom tactics can prove invaluable, especially when a student's future is on the line. In addition, an attorney can assist and walk students through any potential consequences that may follow the University's investigation.
In the event of an unfavorable hearing outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be made within 5 business days, of the outcome, and are reviewed by an Appeals Board. The grounds for an appeal are: an argument for an unfair procedure, new evidence, arguments that university regulations were improperly interpreted, and claims of disproportionate sanctions.