University of the Sciences in Philadelphia takes incidents of sexual misconduct very seriously within its student body. The University upholds a Sexual Misconduct Policy that is used to administer discipline and adjudicate cases of sexual misconduct. The procedures for pursuing University disciplinary action on instances of sexual misconduct mirror those used for standard misconduct but are held to a greater deal of scrutiny from the University.
University of the Sciences Sexual Misconduct Process
The process for disciplining acts of sexual misconduct begins once a report is filed with a University Official for sexual misconduct. The student filing the report is known as the "complainant," while the student who is facing misconduct charges will be known as the "respondent." Once a report is received, the University will begin a Title IX investigation into the matters to gather the facts. Both complainant and respondent will be given the opportunity to review the results of the investigation prior to a hearing. If it is believed that a respondent has the potential to interfere with the investigation, or otherwise poses a threat to the University community as a whole, there may be certain interim measures imposed. These can include rescheduling of classes, changes in housing, or even a temporary suspension until the investigation and hearing process has concluded and the situation is resolved. Once enough information has been gathered, the University will initiate the hearing process.
Hearings will be held and decided upon by the Student Conduct Committee. The Student Conduct Committee will be led by a Chair. Hearings do not follow a particular schedule but instead, proceed according to the will of the Chair. Although the Chair will decide the flow of a hearing, both parties are in theory granted certain rights that the Chair must allow them to exercise at hearings. Both parties will be allowed to have their own witnesses, provided that they are approved by the Chair. Parties are entitled to present their own version of events, as well as question witnesses and one another, but only as permitted by the Chair. The Chair may alter the general process of the hearing as necessary to protect the safety needs of the complainant. Once the Chair deems all relevant information has been heard, the hearing will close, and the Committee will deliberate. Decisions will be made using the standard of "more likely than not."
The University allows students to select a Conduct Advisor from the University community. Under certain circumstances, the advisor may be an attorney, however, students may also receive support from an attorney from behind the scenes. Sexual misconduct allegations are incredibly serious and can have lifetime consequences on a student's goals. For this reason, an attorney's counsel should be sought as soon as a student faces allegations. Attorneys can protect a student's interests and provide specialized knowledge that can assist a student in their hearings. In addition, should any adverse consequences follow the initial reporting of the allegations at University of the Sciences, an attorney can guide students through these circumstances.
University of the Sciences Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable hearing outcome, students may make an appeal of the result. Appeals must be submitted within ten (10) working days of the outcome notification. The grounds for appeal are new information, procedural error, findings against the evidence, or excessive sanctions.