Swarthmore College: How It Handles Incidents of Sexual Misconduct
Swarthmore College is a higher education institution located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The college is known for its academic rigor, unique coursework, and diverse student body. However, just like every other college and university in the United States, sexual misconduct remains a concern for students attending Swarthmore. To ensure that the campus is safe and free from any form of sexual harassment or assault, Swarthmore College has set up policies and processes to handle incidents of sexual misconduct within its student body with swiftness and potential severity.
Sexual Assault & Harassment Policy at Swarthmore
The College upholds a Sexual Assault & Harassment Policy that outlines what is deemed as sexual misconduct under Title IX regulations. The policy states clearly how incidents of sexual misconduct will be discipline by the College if such allegations are brought forth. Students must know that the process used for disciplining acts of sexual misconduct differs vastly from what the College uses for incidents of standard misconduct.
The Process Used For Disciplining Acts of Sexual Misconduct
When there is a complaint about sexual misconduct filed with a College official, it will be referred to and assessed by the Title IX Coordinator. Throughout this process, the student who files the complaint will be known as the “complainant,” while the student facing allegations will be known as the “respondent.” A brief assessment meeting with the complainant will happen to determine whether it falls under Title IX regulations or not.
If an incident does not fall within Title IX regulations but still violates some standard behavior expected on campus, it may refer to another disciplinary process through Swarthmore’s Student Conduct Process rather than through Title IX.
Interim Measures That May Be Put In Place Before Investigation Results
The respondent may face certain interim measures if the College deems they pose a potential threat to the investigative process or safety for either the complainant or the College community. These measures can include temporary suspension and an administrative no-contact directive to ensure safety.
College Investigation Process
The College will launch an investigation into sexual misconduct matters once there is a report made. Title IX investigative staffs are appointed by the Title IX coordinator to handle investigations from beginning to end, which includes interviews with both parties and any witnesses recommended by them.
Final Report and Decision Making By The Title IX Coordinator
After the investigation has concluded, a final report will be created and forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator who will decide what method for resolution is appropriate. There are two types of resolutions that the Title IX Coordinator may suggest, depending on circumstances: Administrative Hearing or external adjudicator resolved hearing.
Title IX Resolution Pathway – Administrative Hearing
An Administrative Hearing is when hearings are held by the College’s student conduct administrator. Both parties must agree to resolution in this manner. Typically, these hearings utilize when a respondent has admitted to sexual misconduct already.
Hearing Resolved By An External Adjudicator
The other type of hearing is one resolved by an external adjudicator through mediation and alternative dispute resolution methods outside of courtroom litigation. These solutions are decided upon by a neutral person with specialized skills outside of the College who will then sit as judge or mediator at hearing.
Process Of Handling Sexual Misconduct Allegations At Hearing
Respondents ought to have their advisor present during hearings. Before any formal hearing begins, each party involved may get access to a copy of any official investigative report prepared for use during proceedings so that they can prepare adequately beforehand.
At hearing sessions, all questioning will be done indirectly through the adjudicator who oversees it all directly. The investigator usually summarizes detailed steps taken during an investigation before both parties present opening statements followed by questions aimed at clarifying points from either side. Once summaries and questions conclude, phase two will begin where evidence presentation happens with results subject to follow-up questioning from either party or the external adjudicator.
Impact of Sexual Misconduct Allegations On Students Involved
Sexual misconduct allegations are taken seriously, with students entitled to the presence of an advisor. Given the serious consequences that can follow sexual misconduct allegations, those accused may select an attorney to serve as their advisor. Attorneys do have specialized knowledge relevant to court process and procedures which puts them in a unique place to guide students through hearing proceedings and ensure that student rights always remain protected throughout the Title IX investigation process.
Swarthmore College Appeals
If a student feels they have been unfairly targeted, they always reserve right to appeal within three (3) business days from the outcome. The grounds for appeal include infractions or oversights on due legal process, new evidence presented post-trail conclusion time limit, or unfair disproportionate sanctions awarded rather than deserved ones.
Conclusively, if you or your student is currently facing sexual misconduct allegations requiring Title IX coordination and disciplinary action at Swarthmore College, contact attorney Todd Spodek now. Mr Spodek possesses extensive legal experience in this area and he is more than happy to assist you navigate through all available options during this difficult period.