Prevention of Sexual Misconduct at Washington & Jefferson College: A Comprehensive Guide
Washington & Jefferson College maintains a no-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based discrimination are not condoned within the campus or student body. To accomplish this goal, the college has created specific policies, including Title IX, aimed at preventing sexual misconduct and disciplining students who violate these codes.
Types of Sexual Misconduct
Washington & Jefferson College defines several forms of sexual misconduct:
1. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: unwanted touching or non-consensual sexual contact
2. Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration: any form of forced penetration including vaginal, anal, or oral sex
3. Sexual Exploitation: intentionally using another person’s sexuality for personal advantage or gain
4. Stalking: unwanted and obsessive behaviors that cause alarm or distress
5. Hostile Environment Harassment: conduct motivated by sex where norms make a hostile educational environment
If a student commits any of these offenses with intent or knowledge that they’re in violation of college standards can lead to a formal investigation.
The reporting process at Washington & Jefferson College starts once an incident is reported to the Title IX Coordinator (T9C). It’s important to understand the T9C does not act like law enforcement but functions similarly as a mediator between both complainant and respondent.
After an incident report is conducted with the T9C, he/she will determine whether action under school policies is necessary. If disciplinary actions are needed, both parties must undergo an investigation before reach trial takes place.
During investigations following formal complaints against accused respondents (or even during internal proceedings to subsequent police action), there may be interim measures implemented.
These measures could include classroom scheduling adjustments, housing changes, temporary restraining orders/no-contact restrictions/limitations placed on contact in-person/digital meeting mediums… or even the stoppage of a respondent’s college enrollment.
When it comes to sexual misconduct claims, and once an investigation begins, there are two outcomes: informal or formal. It’s important to note that informal investigations can only happen when both parties agree to them. Further, these processes are not available for respondents facing allegations of assault or violence sexual in nature.
If a formal trial is underway after an incident report, then an investigator will be appointed by the T9C as soon as possible to conduct interviews/meetings with complainants, respondents, and their respective witnesses.
Throughout this time period – which can be expanded- the investigator needs to allow students representing themselves during presentation periods any necessary legal representation (attorneys). While morale obligations in law require both those accusing and accused of crimes receiving adequate aid and counsel from lawyers if they so choose; for many defendants dealing with serious allegations on their own, it may not suffice having an attorney present who understands student policy-oriented issues specific school discipline matters which often differ significantly from typical courtrooms.
If all information gathering is complete (and parties understand the departments eventual independent evaluative findings required under Title IX compliance standards), at this point investigators reach their governing decision-based upon preponderance of evidence guidelines – informing sanctionary reprisal should judicial opinions rule punitive towards identified wrongs committed.
If sanctions are imposed against either party in a case based on specific academic misconduct grounds or sex crime defenses viewed unfavorably at time of original filed report proceedings; due process includes right to file appeals petition pursuant attempts made within 5 business days.
Grounds for appeals: sanctions deemed unwarranted regarding sentencing timeframe; new pieces of evidence discovered post-commitment appeal procedures initiated (including previous overlooked info/gaps); ‘if alleged violations committed independence’ existsent (due review determined).
Sexual misconduct results could complicate students’ personal lives now and in the future. Subsequently, once sexual misconduct allegations arise, students should seek legal representation to ensure that their rights are being protected throughout the investigation and disciplinary process. If you or your student at Washington & Jefferson College is facing any situation akin to the above matters raised, get in touch with attorney Todd Spodek today for immediate legal aid upon on request.