Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Policy on Sexual Misconduct/Violence (Title IX)

Title IX Notification

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits a college from discrimination based on sex, Franklin and Marshall College does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in its educational programs and activities.  

Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, David Proulx, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Old Main 201, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17604, telephone number 717-291-3993, email address .  The College has also designated a Deputy Coordinator for inquiries involving students: Janet Masland, Director of Sexual Misconduct Services, Appel Health Services, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17604, telephone number 717-358-7178, email address .  Inquiries or complaints may also be directed to the Office for Civil Rights, Philadelphia Office, U.S. Department of Education, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323, telephone number 215-656-8541, fax 215-656-8605, email address

Sexual Misconduct/Violence

Definition of prohibited conduct

Sexual misconduct is an act of violence. It is prohibited by the rules of Franklin & Marshall College. It is also against the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An offender is subject to disciplinary action by the college, including expulsion. An offender may also be prosecuted in criminal court, may be sued for money damages in civil court and may risk other serious personal and professional consequences. The college may proceed with its process concerning sexual misconduct before, during or after any criminal or civil courts proceedings involving the same event.

According to the Federal Statute Title IX, the sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, may also interfere with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination.  Discrimination is understood to occur when the conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program.  College officials involved in resolving cases of sexual harassment of students must ensure that the case is reported to College’s Title IX Coordinator, David Proulx, Vice President for Finance and Administration.  Students will normally report allegations of sexual harassment directly to Jan Masland, who serves as the College’s Deputy Coordinator for Title IX and oversees compliance with Title IX in cases where a complaint has been made against a student.

For more details about proscribed behavior, see the College Life Manual.

Choice of Actions in Response to Sexual Misconduct

Persons who desire to file a complaint about an act of sexual misconduct committed by a student have recourse through the procedures of the College established by this Policy. These procedures apply to complaints against a student (including but not limited to a complaint by a faculty member or professional staff) regarding incidents taking place either on or off College-owned property or during College-sponsored travel off campus. For all complaints of sexual misconduct by a student, the Senior Associate Dean of the College consults with the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Committee.

Complaints by a student against Faculty or College staff should be reported to the Senior Associate Dean of the College or the Dean of the College. The Sexual Misconduct Committee does not have jurisdiction when a student makes a complaint against a member of the Faculty or Professional Staff.

These complaints are resolved according to procedures detailed in College’s Sexual Harassment Policy.

The College also utilizes the procedures outlined below to investigate and resolve Title IX complaints where a student is alleged to have engaged in sexual harassment, including sexual violence.  When a student makes a Title IX complaint against a college employee, the College utilizes the procedures described in the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy.  Students should consult with Deputy Title IX Coordinator Jan Masland for assistance in filing a complaint against a college employee.

The Sexual Misconduct Committee stands ready to respond to complaints against a student in a variety of ways.  In addition to their role as hearing officers, members of the Panel are trained to serve as misconduct investigators as well as advisors to either the respondent or complainant. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator will assist the complainant and respondent in choosing an adviser from the Panel. The confidentiality of all parties to a complaint of harassment or sexual misconduct must be strictly observed by the Committee and by the appropriate College officers, except insofar as it interferes with the College’s obligation to investigate fully the allegations and to record statistics as required by law. Where confidentiality is not strictly observed, reports of sexual misconduct will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Health professionals in Health and Counseling Services, which include the members of the Sexual Assault Response Team and the College Chaplain are the only Franklin & Marshall College employees who can offer absolute legally protected confidentiality.

In extraordinary circumstances, college officials reserve the option of informing the parents or guardians of a student that the student is involved in a complaint of harassment or sexual misconduct, e.g., when significant medical, disciplinary, or academic issues are raised by the situation. The College prefers and strongly encourages students to inform parents or guardians of misconduct proceedings although it is not required. College officials will inform parents or guardians when requested in writing to do so by a student.

A person filing a complaint may request limitations be placed on a student regarding contact with the complainant while the complaint is being reviewed. The Dean of the College or designee also has the discretion to impose limitations. These limitations may include, but are not limited to, a separation of the working, living and/or academic arrangements of the student(s) involved in the complaint.

Complainant Options

A complainant has the option of requesting different levels of response by the Sexual Misconduct Committee, which are briefly described below.

1.  Information

Students seeking information about the options available to them for resolution of a complaint should contact Jan Masland, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator at 717-358-7178. Information about options available as well as possible outcomes will be discussed.  At this meeting the student is informed that a request for anonymity will limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the complaint.  A student seeking information will be informed that the College may be obligated under Title IX to investigate the matter but that the student is not required to file a formal complaint.  No written records will be kept. The Committee member will report to the Chair of the Committee or the Senior Associate Dean of the College only that someone sought information regarding harassment or sexual misconduct; the identities of the involved parties will remain confidential. If a threat or danger to the victim or community is apparent, however, the College has the obligation to investigate a report of an alleged violation of this policy.

2.  Mediation

In a case of sexual harassment a complainant may request a referral to a trained campus mediator who will try to facilitate understanding of the nature of the complaint by the respondent, clear up misunderstanding and resolve the complaint while maintaining confidentiality. Mediation is particularly appropriate when the complainant wants help in addressing the issue without pursuing formal action. The complainant, however, may terminate the informal resolution procedure at any time and pursue a formal complaint.  The College does not participate in mediation of allegations of nonconsensual sexual intercourse or sexual assault and advises against the use of mediation in this circumstance. A person who desires mediation should write a letter to the Chair and/or the Senior Associate Dean of the College outlining the complaint and requesting mediation. The Senior Associate Dean of the College responds, with the Chair of the Committee, to complaints brought by one student against another. The Chair and the Senior Associate Dean of the College meet with the complainant and refer the complaint to a trained campus mediator. A person seeking mediation must agree to be identified to the respondent. A campus mediator begins mediation efforts promptly and reports to the Chair that the mediation occurred. Complainants are encouraged not to discuss the complaint with other members of the community except as required by the need for psychological counseling. At the conclusion of a successful mediation, both parties sign a statement agreeing that the mediation was successful. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the complainant can proceed to a formal complaint and hearing, in a timely fashion, after the attempted mediation. A copy of the signed statement constitutes the record of the mediation.

3.  Formal Complaint

An individual may file a formal complaint by submitting to the Senior Associate Dean of the College a signed written statement, including at a minimum the time, place and nature of the alleged offense and the name of the respondent. The complainant will receive and sign a summary of any discussion of the complaint and subsequent plan of action. Submitting this statement activates the Sexual Misconduct Committee Procedures and involves the Chair of the Committee, the Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Hearing Panel of the Committee. The Senior Associate Dean of the College responds, with the Chair of the Committee, to complaints brought against a student. In addition to taking action within the College, a victim of sexual misconduct may also elect to file a complaint with the Lancaster City Police or the police in the jurisdiction where this conduct occurred.  The victim may choose an adviser from the trained members of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel.  The adviser and or the Director of Public Safety stand ready to assist students with contacting the Police. A student may also utilize the criminal complaint as a sole course of action; the College reserves the right to take action as well. 

4.  Title IX Complaint

An individual may also make a Title IX complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator, David Proulx, Vice President for Finance and Administration or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland.  When the behavior referenced in the complaint involves a student, the College will utilize the procedures described below to resolve the complaint.



The Sexual Misconduct Committee (the “Committee”) shall be composed of at least ten and no more than twenty-five professional staff members appointed by the Dean of the College. Every effort shall be made to maintain a gender balance on the Committee. The Dean of the College shall appoint the Chair. The Senior Associate Dean of the College and Chair shall arrange for the Committee members to receive training prior to assuming their responsibilities.

Hearing Panel

The Chair shall appoint a three person Hearing Panel composed of Committee members who have not served as investigators for this complaint. The Chair is a non-voting member of the hearing committee who presides over the hearing.  If the respondent accepts responsibility for a violation of policy, or if the Hearing Panel finds him or her responsible, various sanctions, ranging from Warning to Expulsion from the College, may be imposed. Individuals found to have violated the College policy on Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse should expect to be Suspended or Expelled from the College.

Investigation of Complaint

Franklin &Marshall College investigates complaints of sexual misconduct. The Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Committee appoints at least two members of the Committee to serve as the investigators. Parties and witnesses are interviewed and evidence collected by investigators. The respondent and complainant are expected to participate in all facets of the investigation and are expected to be forthcoming and to answer truthfully all of the questions posed during the investigation.  Both the complainant and the respondent may be accompanied by an adviser.

It is the responsibility of the investigators to take custody of and arrange safekeeping for any physical evidence to be used in making a determination subject to the qualification that evidence related to the commission of a crime should be handled by law enforcement authorities. At the conclusion of an investigation, the investigators issue a written report summarizing the information gathered.

The Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Committee review the report from the investigators. Upon review of the summary, the Senior Associate Dean of the College in consultation with the Chair may assign a sanction if violations of the Student Conduct Code are indicated. The Senior Associate Dean and the Chair may also decide to refer the complaint for a hearing. The Senior Associate Dean will normally refer the complaint for a hearing upon request by either the complainant or respondent.  In the case of a Title IX complaint, the Dean of the College or the Senior Associate Dean will review the process being used with the Title IX Coordinator in order to ensure that the process meets the standards of Title IX.

For more details about the role and composition of the Sexual Misconduct Committee, see the College Life Manual.


Using the “more likely than not” standard, the Panel determines first if the respondent is responsible for violation of the policy or policies identified in the complaint. Decisions are made by majority vote. If the Panel has found the respondent in violation of College policy, the Panel reviews any impact statements that have been submitted prior to determining its recommended sanction.

The Panel meets with the Senior Associate Dean of the College, and discusses its findings and the rationale for its recommended sanction(s). The Senior Associate Dean of the College makes the final decision on all sanctions.  The Senior Associate Dean of the College will consult with the College’s Title IX Coordinator before assigning the sanction.

Usually within 48 hours of meeting with the Panel, the Chair and the Senior Associate Dean of the College inform the parties and their advisers of the outcome and sanctions, if any, and explain appeal options, and how sanctions will be implemented. The Senior Associate Dean of the College will usually provide a written confirmation of the outcome and sanctions to the complainant and respondent within 5 working days of this meeting.    

The respondent or the complainant may appeal the Senior Associate Dean of the College’s decision in his or her case to the Dean of the College (or designee). The student must normally file this appeal in writing, with the grounds noted, within five (5) working days after the Senior Associate Dean of the College issues his or her written notification of her or his decision. The Dean of the College or designee has the discretion of extending this deadline. Appeals may be sought on the following two grounds:

  1. On a claim of error in the hearing procedure that affected the outcome of the hearing.
  2. On a claim of new evidence, information or material that was not available at the time of the hearing and is relevant to the case.

Before deciding whether or not to hear an appeal, the Dean of the College (or designee) meets with the Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Chair of the Hearing Panel to review the procedures that the Panel followed and the evidence that it considered. If the Dean of the College (or designee) considers it necessary, the Dean may meet with a number of Panel members or the Panel as a whole.

If the Dean of the College (or designee) refuses to hear an appeal, the student is informed in writing. The Dean is not expected to provide detailed reasons for the decision reached. In hearing the student’s appeal, the Dean of the College (or designee) observes the following procedural safeguards:

  1. Discussing the circumstances of the case and the appeal with both the appellant and appellee.
  2. Further discussing the case and the appeal with the Senior Associate Dean of the College, the Chair and or members of the Hearing Panel.
  3. Rendering a decision on the appeal within 30 working days from the time that the student files it, unless circumstances require delay in the appeal process. The decisions of the Dean of the College (or designee) are final.

The Dean of the College will review the process used with College’s Title IX Coordinator to ensure that the process meets the standards of Title IX.

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, the complainant and respondent are informed of the outcome and sanction in writing. In some instances, the College may also choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken. The names of individuals are not used in these announcements. Certain college administrators (e.g. the President of the College, Dean of the College and Director of Public Safety) may be informed of the names of individuals on a confidential need-to-know basis. The College will make every attempt to complete the investigation, hearing and decision within 60 days of the initial complaint. If extenuating circumstances will delay the proceedings the College will inform both the claimant and respondent of the circumstances.

For more details about procedures, see the College Life Manual.

Sexual Misconduct Resources at F&M and in Lancaster


•   Access 24 hours a day to F&M Counseling Services & Health Service professionals


•   Receive help exploring options

•   Calls to the Response Line do not commit the student to taking any disciplinary action

F&M’s Victims’ Advocate

•   Provides support for students through the entire process of coping with an assault

•   Can be accessed through the F&M Response Line 717-560-7311

Off-Campus Resources
  • Lancaster YWCA Sexual Assault Prevention & Counseling Center 24 hour Hotline: 717-392-7273
  • Lancaster City Police: Dial 911

What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

  • Get to a safe place immediately; call 911 for the Police and 291-3989 if you feel unsafe.
  • Contact someone who can help you: the F&M Sexual Assault Response Line at 717-560-7311, Department of Public Safety at 717-291-3939, or the Police (911).
  • Remember, sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Do not blame yourself.

The F&M Sexual Assault Response Line will help you think through your options regarding getting medical attention, getting counseling support and reporting the assault. This call is confidential and does not obligate you to take any further action.

  • The F&M Sexual Assault Line is a confidential service staffed by the College’s Health and Counseling Services and other trained professional staff.
  • When you call this line, you will speak with an off-campus answering service and be connected to the on-call professional. This person will listen and support you and will explain your options for receiving medical attention, counseling support and reporting the assault. You are in control of deciding what is best for you to do.
  • A call to the F&M Sexual Assault line does not obligate you to make a report to the College. All information discussed with the professional on this line is confidential and will not be released without your written permission.
  • Do not shower, drink, eat, douche, brush your teeth, brush your hair, or change your clothes. These activities destroy physical evidence that will be important if you decide to prosecute the assailant.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. You may have hidden injuries and should explore options for preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Consider going to Lancaster General Hospital for a forensic exam.
  • Write down everything that you remember about the event(s), with as much detail as possible. This step can help both with your own healing process and in any legal or disciplinary action you might decide to take.
  • Seek counseling or other sources of support. Talking with a trained mental health professional may help in coping with the aftermath of a sexual assault. Family and friends may also be a source of comfort and support. It is most important that you are comfortable with and trust the individuals in whom you choose to confide. Franklin & Marshall’s Counseling Services is available to meet with the student. Hours are Monday–Friday 8:30 until noon and again from 1– 4:30 p.m. There are also walk-in hours daily between 3 and 4 p.m. You can also call for an appointment at 717-291-4083.
  • Appel Health Services can provide emergency contraception and sexually transmitted infection evaluation and treatment for students who do not require or choose not to have a forensic examination. Hours of service are Monday –Friday 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.– noon, 717-291-4082. After hours access these confidential services through the Sexual Assault Response Line 717-560-7311.

Mandated Reporters

There are three federal laws that establish responsibilities for employees of colleges to report certain types of crimes and incidents, especially sexual misconduct—the Clery Act, Title VII and Title IX. The responsibilities established by these laws give rise to the term “mandatory or mandated reporter."

The College has defined all employees, both faculty and professional staff, as mandated reporters. Mandated reporters will make every effort to safeguard the privacy of the student who is reporting.

In compliance with Title IX, the only confidential resources on campus are Health Services, Counseling Services and the College Chaplain.

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form

Click here to submit an online report.

All submissions are forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Committee on Sexual Misconduct

Click here to view the Message to Students: explanation of mandated reporting video

Click here to view the Message to Student Employees video

Click here to view the Message to Faculty and Staff video