Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Policy on Sexual Misconduct/Violence (Title IX)

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 Title IX Coordinator Janet Masland, 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 OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov.

Sexual Misconduct/Discrimination/Harassment Policy

This policy is applicable when at least one of the parties is an F&M student. The policy applicable to non-student employees is on the HR website at  anti harassment policy.

Sexual misconduct is prohibited by the rules of Franklin & Marshall College and violates the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A student found responsible for violation of the F&M student code of conduct is subject to disciplinary action by the College. 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 court’s proceedings involving the same event.

According to the federal statute Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 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.

The College takes steps to ensure that the campus community is not subject to a hostile environment and to respond promptly and appropriately to allegations of harassment on the basis of sex, including sexual violence. The College promptly investigates incidents of harassment on the basis of sex, takes appropriate action (including disciplinary action) against students found to have violated this policy, and provides remedies as appropriate to complainants and the campus community. The College takes immediate action to end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of any hostile environment on affected members of the campus community.

All College employees, including student employees, are mandated reporters of sexual misconduct and discrimination. Mandated reporters must ensure that any sexual misconduct or discrimination that they become aware of is reported to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland, at 717-358-7178 or jmasland@fandm.edu. (See Section V of this policy below for more information on Mandated Reporters.) Reports may also be made to the College’s Department of Public Safety at 717-291-3939. This policy applies to all sexual misconduct, discrimination, or harassment regardless of the gender, gender identity or sexual orientation of the complainant or respondent. See below for a list of confidential reporting sources.

Table of Contents

I.    Where and How to File a Complaint or Confidential Report – or Receive Help Deciding What to Do:
  • Filing a complaint with the College
  • Filing a Criminal Complaint with the Police
  • Confidential places to report that do not put the College or Police on notice
II.    Definitions:
  • Consent to Sexual Activity
  • Coercion
  • Force
  • Capacity
  • Non-consensual sexual touching
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Domestic Violence
  • Dating Violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Retaliation
  • Confidentiality
III.    Warning Signs of Sexual Misconduct
IV.    College Amnesty Policy
V.    Mandated Reporters of Sexual Misconduct
VI.    Two Choices of Resolution Following a Formal Complaint of Sexual Misconduct
  1. Mediation
  2. Filing a Judicial Complaint
VII.    What Happens After You Decide to file a Judicial Complaint with the College
  1. Meeting with the Title IX Coordinator
  2. Writing the Complaint
  3. Informing the Respondent
  4. Remedies
  5. Investigation
  6. Conclusion of the Investigation and referral of the Complaint
  7. The Hearing procedure, step-by-step
VIII.    Appeals of Sexual Misconduct Panel Decisions
IX.    Additional Information Regarding the Policies and Procedures
  • Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel
  • Interim Measures/Remedies
  • Outcomes
  • Sanctioning
  • Outcome notification
  • Timeframe
  • Advisors
  • Investigative notes
  • Formal notice of the Hearing
  • Final witness lists
  • Recusing Panel members
  • Closed Hearing
  • Understanding how a Sexual Misconduct Hearing differs from a Court of Law
  • Record of proceedings
  • Record of appeal
  • Length of the Hearing
  • Updates to the Complainant and Respondent
  • Follow-up
  • Designees
  • Semi-annual report
  • Policy Amendment
X.    Sexual Misconduct: A Review of Resources
  • Franklin & Marshall resources
  • Filing with the Police
  • Off-campus resources
XI.    What To Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

Sexual Misconduct/Discrimination/Harassment Policy

I.  Where and How to File a Complaint or Confidential Report – Or Receive Help Deciding What to Do

A student has multiple options when considering what to do if he/she is a victim of sexual misconduct. The student may: (1) file a complaint with the College; (2) file a criminal complaint with the Police; or (3) make a confidential report that does not constitute notice to the College and speak confidentially with one of the designated confidential sources below to decide next steps. Each is described in detail below. Complaints with the College and Police may be filed concurrently.

Filing a Complaint with the College

All students wishing to file a complaint, or seek information about options for filing a complaint, of sexual misconduct, harassment or discrimination, including domestic violence, dating violence or stalking should contact the Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland, whose office is in the basement of the Appel Health Services building (717-358-7178, jmasland@fandm.edu, 717-392-8088).  These complaints directly to the Title IX Coordinator are considered private but not confidential reports: they invoke the requirements of Title IX and may initiate a College investigation and possible College judicial process.

The College makes every effort to respond to student requests for anonymity and his or her communicated preference to waive the judicial process unless the allegations indicate an ongoing or likely future threat to the safety of the complainant and/or other members of the campus community. Students should understand that a request for anonymity will limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator may inform the College’s General Counsel that an individual sought information regarding harassment or sexual misconduct; the identities of the involved parties will remain confidential and the information regarding the allegation will be shared on a need-to-know basis and treated with regard for the privacy of the parties involved. Complaints to the College of sexual misconduct need not be immediate; complainants have up to two years from the date of the incident to report a complaint that will in turn be investigated by the College.

Please note the following as well:

  • The Sexual Misconduct Panel does not have jurisdiction when a student makes a complaint against a member of the Faculty or Staff; however the initial report should be made to the Title IX Coordinator who will direct the complainant to the appropriate office(s) and assist in the coordination of the Title IX process. These complaints are resolved according to procedures detailed in the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy, which can be found online at www.fandm.edu/college-policies/article/anti-harassment-policy-and-title-ix-notification.
  • Complainants may be asked to confirm in writing that they decline, at the current time, to file a formal complaint with the College. This waiver does not preclude the right to file a complaint with the College at a later time. This waiver also does not preclude the College conducting an investigation as required by Title IX.
  • Complainants will be advised of their right to file a criminal complaint with the police department in whose jurisdiction the alleged incident occurred.
  • Once a complainant has filed a complaint, they may choose to resolve that complaint through mediation, if appropriate, or the filing of a formal Judicial Complaint with the College. Please see Section VI of this policy.

Filing a Criminal Complaint with the Police

Students may file a criminal complaint as follows:

  • Meeting with the Title IX Coordinator, who will accompany them to either the F&M Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the police department in whose jurisdiction the offense occurred. Contact: Jan Masland, Title IX Coordinator 717-358-7178, jmasland@fandm.edu.
  • Directly reporting to the F&M Department of Public Safety, who will contact the police department in whose jurisdiction the offense occurred. The DPS phone number is 717-291-3939. DPS is available at all times throughout the calendar year.
  • Contacting directly the Police department in whose jurisdiction the offense occurred. This is, in most cases, the Lancaster City Police, who can be reached by phoning 911.

The College does not discourage any student from filing a report with the Police. However, the College may be obligated to conduct its own investigation regardless of any criminal investigation. The College will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation; such cooperation may require the College to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of a Title IX investigation while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering evidence.

The College will promptly resume its Title IX investigation as soon as it is notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the evidence gathering process, which typically takes three to ten calendar days, although the delay in the College’s investigation may be longer in certain instances. The College will implement appropriate interim steps during the law enforcement agency’s investigation period to provide for the safety of the victim(s) and the campus community and the avoidance of retaliation. The College will pursue its investigation in a timely manner regardless of the progress of the criminal complaint, in which case the investigations may be simultaneous.

The victim is encouraged to choose an adviser from the trained members of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Panel to assist and support them while filing the criminal complaint. The adviser and/or the Director of Public Safety stand ready to assist students with contacting the Police. A student may choose to utilize the criminal complaint as a sole course of action; the College will, in compliance with Title IX, take appropriate action as well.

The respondent to the complaint will also be encouraged to choose a trained advisor when informed of the complaint against him/her. Each party has the right to choose an advisor who is not a trained member of the Misconduct Panel; but the advisor must be a member of the immediate F&M community acting in his or her capacity as an advisor.

Confidential Reports of Sexual Misconduct That Do Not Put the College or Police on Notice

Certain reports of sexual misconduct are not considered to be “filing a report with the College” and do not put the College or Police on notice regarding an event of sexual misconduct, discrimination, or harassment. These reports are titled for purposes of this policy as “confidential reports” to resources that can advise victims of their options. There are four resources for confidential reports:

  • Counseling Services at 717-291-4083
  • Appel Health Services at 717-291-4082
  • The Sexual Assault Response Line staffed by professionals from the Counseling, Health and Chaplain’s offices who, by law, have “protected communication” which is to say, confidentiality. This line is staffed 24/7 while the College is in session; 717-560-7311
  • The College Chaplain, Dr. Susan Minasian, at 717-358-5814 or susan.minasian@fandm.edu

The confidentiality extended to these offices extends to the support staff for each.

II.    Definitions

Consent to Sexual Activity

Consent must be freely, willingly and enthusiastically given. Consent has an expiration date; consent to one sexual activity does not imply consent to another or more sexual activity. Prior sexual activity with a partner does not imply future consent. Consent must be given with each sexual act. Silence without activity demonstrating permission cannot be construed as consent. An individual cannot be understood to consent to sex unless that individual has the capacity to understand the behavior (See below for an explanation of “Capacity”).

Coercion

Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear that he or she does not want sex, wants it to stop, or does not wish to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point is coercive. That pressure can be subtle and relentless. More obvious forms of coercion include: intimidating, shaming, harassing and embarrassing the victim. Examples include: calling the victim a prude, threatening the victim with exposure, threatening to spread rumors about the victim, or threatening to exclude the victim socially.

There is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coerced sexual activity violates this policy just as physically forced sex does. Coercion happens when someone unreasonably pressures someone else for sex. Seduction occurs when there is a clear and welcome willingness to be coaxed.

Force

The use of a weapon of any type is force. Force can exist without the use of a weapon. Use of disparate weight and size to detain a victim is force. Physically restraining a victim is force.

Capacity

Under-aged persons – those  under the age of 18 – are not considered legally capable of giving consent.

Under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Someone who engages in sexual activity with someone whom they know to be – or  should know to be – mentally or physically incapacitated because of alcohol or other drug use has committed sexual misconduct. This prohibition also applies when an individual is incapacitated because of mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint or from the influence of incapacitating drugs such as “date rape” drugs or alcohol.

Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances (including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB and others having similar effect) is prohibited, and administering any of these drugs to another or administering alcohol for the purpose of incapacitation is a violation of this policy. Evidence of incapacity includes, but is not limited to, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, alcohol on the breath, poor equilibrium, vomiting, unusual behavior, unconsciousness, awareness of the observer that the person has ingested an excessive amount of alcohol or drugs or the knowledge of a witness that the person is incapacitated as a result of any of the above.
 
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

The College observes the legal definition of non-consensual sexual contact. However, the College holds students responsible for behavior that violates the College Code of Conduct, a potentially higher standard than the criminal standard. Behavior that is not criminal may, nonetheless, be a violation of the College Code of Conduct. Examples are listed below under the definition of Sexual Harassment.

Federal Bureau of Investigation definition of non-consensual sexual contact

“Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without consent. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent. Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.”

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is gender-based verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or that creates a humiliating, degrading, intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment. Sexually offensive language and activities in the College’s public spaces constitute harassment. Stalking, either electronically or in person constitutes harassment.

Examples would include: (1) “Catcalling,” e.g., making public, gendered and/or sexual remarks about a person within others’ hearing with or without the intended recipient’s consent. Students are responsible for public conduct that may offend or intimidate bystanders; (2) Publicly ranking a person’s sexual or physical attributes without their consent. These behaviors attempt to reduce the value of the person being rated to a one-dimensional stereotype that is antithetical to an atmosphere of inclusiveness. This behavior is inherently disrespectful to all those of the gender being ranked regardless of the response of any single victim; and (3) Intruding in private spaces such as shower stalls and locker rooms.

Other types of harassment include comments, questioning, innuendos or jokes of a sexual nature. Derogatory comments referencing gender or sex, unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, threats, requests or demands for sexual favors all constitute sexual harassment. Displaying, posting, advertising or distributing offensive, indecent or abusive material of a sexual nature; leering or making obscene gestures; constitutes sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature results in adverse educational or employment action, or the threat of such adverse action, or when submission is made a condition of educational or employment advancement.

Respect for all members of the campus community is expected at F&M. Although sexually offensive depictions may also be seen as sexual harassment, the College does not consider visual and/or aural demonstrations, depictions or conduct to be sexual harassment when there is a legitimate pedagogical context, such as material having an appropriate connection to course subject matter.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

Dating Violence

Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim.  Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type and frequency of interaction.

Stalking

Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his or other's safety or to suffer substantial emotional distress.  (Electronic stalking via phone, text, email or other web-based means is considered to be stalking. ) 

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute another form of sexual misconduct. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostitution, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual or other private activity, exceeding the boundaries of consent (e.g., permitting others to secretly observe consensual sexual activity, videotaping of a person using a bathroom), engaging in voyeurism, or engaging in consensual sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) and without informing the other person of such infection.

Retaliation

The College does not tolerate retaliation for complaints of harassment. Franklin & Marshall College views retaliatory harassment to be just as severe as the initial harassment itself. Examples of retaliation include ostracizing, spreading rumors, banning a student from clubs, social or living groups as a result of their having reported sexual harassment/misconduct. Complaints of retaliation will be investigated using the same process and standards outlined in this policy. Reports of retaliation should be directed to Jan Masland, Title IX Coordinator (717-358-7178, office in the basement of Appel Health Services, jmasland@fandm.edu).

Confidentiality

Please see Section I of this policy for a list of persons to whom a student may confidentially report an incident of sexual misconduct, discrimination, or harassment.

The confidentiality of all parties to a complaint of harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct must be strictly observed by the appropriate College officers and by those assigned to advise, investigate and adjudicate a complaint, 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 be controlled on a need-to-know basis and treated with the utmost respect for the privacy of all parties; complainant, respondent and witnesses. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted.

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 the College does not require students to do so. College officials will inform parents or guardians when requested to do so by a student. Parents who become aware of a sexual assault of any student should contact Jan Masland, Title IX Coordinator at 717-358-7178 or jmasland@fandm.edu.

III.    Warning Signs of Sexual Misconduct

There are warning signs or ”red flags” that indicate a risk of sexual misconduct. Students should be especially alert if the person you are with:

  • Ignores, interrupts, or makes fun of you
  • Sits or stands too close to you or stares at you
  • Drinks too much or uses drugs; tries to get you to use drugs or alcohol
  • Tries to touch or kiss you or gets into your "personal space" when you barely know him or her
  • Wants to be alone with you before getting to know you, or pressures you to be alone together
  • Does what he or she wants to do without asking what you want
  • Gets angry or sulks if he or she doesn't get what he or she wants
  • Pressures you to have sex, or tries to make you feel guilty for saying
IV. Amnesty Policy in relation to reporting of sexual misconduct

The College strongly encourages students to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct involving students. Therefore, students who report information about sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct involving students will not be disciplined by the College for any violation of the College’s drug or alcohol possession or consumption policies in which they might have been engaged in connection with the reported incident.

College Amnesty Policy

The following students will normally not be subject to the sanctions of the College’s alcohol policy:

  1. Students who are seeking medical assistance for another student.
  2. Students who are seeking medical assistance for themselves.
  3. Students for whom medical assistance has been sought by another student.

Regardless of circumstance, Health and Wellbeing Interventions may still be issued by the College.

The College’s Amnesty Policy does not apply for violations that carry the outcome of suspension (e.g., DUI, dealing or distributing illegal drugs, controlled substances, prescription drugs) or for acts that represent a danger to the community.

V.    Mandated Reporting of Sexual Misconduct

In compliance with the requirements of Title IX, Franklin & Marshall has a mandated reporter policy. All employees are required to report within 24 hours any act of sexual misconduct they become aware of to the Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland, 717-358-7178, office in basement of Appel Health Services, jmasland@fandm.edu. This includes student employees, who are required to report if they become aware of sexual misconduct while performing in their role as an employee. House Advisors (“HAs”) are the exception. HAs are considered to be in their employee roles at all times. The mandated reporter is required to give all names and information revealed to them; however, if possible, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the reporter before contacting the complainant in order to determine the best way to proceed to preserve the relationship of the reporter and the complainant. For more information and for the Mandated Reporter Reporting Form, please visit the F&M mandated reporter website at: http://www.fandm.edu/college-policies/article/mandated-reporters-policy. Mandated reporters may not use the anonymous Department of Public Safety reporting form to report sexual misconduct.

VI.    Two Choices For Resolution Following a Formal Complaint Made to the College

After filing a formal Complaint, a complainant has the option of requesting two different levels of response, which are briefly described below.

  1. Mediation: In a case of sexual harassment, a complainant may request a referral to a trained campus mediator who will facilitate understanding of the nature of the complaint by the respondent, attempt to address potential misunderstandings, if any, and resolve the complaint with respect for the privacy of the parties involved. 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 as described above should write a letter to the Title IX Coordinator outlining the complaint and requesting mediation. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant and respondent 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 within 10 business days and reports to the Title IX Coordinator that the mediation occurred. Complainants and respondents 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.
  2. Filing a formal Judicial Complaint: After initially discussing a misconduct complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, at which time an advisor is selected by the complainant from the list of trained members of the Sexual Misconduct Panel or from the F&M community at large, a student may file a formal Judicial 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. Submitting this statement activates the Sexual Misconduct Panel Procedures and involves the Title IX Coordinator, the Chair of the Hearing Panel Committee (who is the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Alison Hobbs ahobbs@fandm.edu 717-358-5988 or designee), the Senior Associate Dean of the College, the investigative team and the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel. As stated above in Section I, in addition to taking action within the College, a victim of sexual misconduct may also elect to file a criminal complaint with the Lancaster City Police or the police in the jurisdiction where the conduct occurred. Upon notice of the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator may recommend interim measures to stop the behavior, prevent it from recurring and to protect the complainant and College community. These are outlined below in the section titled Interim Measures.
VII.    What Happens After You Have Decided to File a Judicial Complaint with the College?

Persons who desire to file a Judicial complaint about an act of sexual misconduct committed by a student have recourse through the procedures of the College established by this Policy. After a Judicial complaint is filed, certain procedures are applied. These procedures apply to complaints of sex discrimination/misconduct by students or third parties against students, third parties, and all employees. These policies apply to incidents taking place either on or off College-owned property or during College-sponsored travel off campus. Conduct that occurs off campus can be the subject of a complaint or report, and will be evaluated to determine whether it violates this policy, e.g., if off-campus harassment has continuing effects that create a hostile environment on campus. Allegations of off-campus sexual misconduct are of particular concern and should be brought to the College’s attention. These policies also apply to F&M students when visiting other campuses.

The procedure is as follows:

1.    Upon notice to the College, the complainant will be directed to the Title IX Coordinator (if the original complaint was not filed with the Title IX Coordinator) within 24 hours to discuss the investigation process and possible outcomes. At this meeting the complainant will be advised to choose an advisor. Students will be given a list of names of trained members of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel from which they may select an advisor but the student is not restricted in their choice of an advisor and may choose someone who is not  from the F&M community.  It is not required that the parties choose an advisor. The complainant (and later the respondent) is given an information folder regarding the process at the meeting with the Title IX Coordinator. These folders are also available online and include:

The information folder for each contains:

Complainant:

  • What to do if you have been sexually assaulted” – guidance for victims
  • Sexual Assault Options for the Complainant
  • The Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights
  • Timeline for the investigation of an allegation of Sexual Misconduct
  • Rights of the Respondent and Complainant
  • Procedure for the Complainant and Respondent in Sexual Misconduct
  • Hearing Procedures
  • Investigation message for students

Respondent:

  • Rights of Respondent and Complainant
  • Timeline for an investigation of an allegation of Sexual Misconduct
  • Procedure for Complainant and Respondent in Sexual Misconduct
  • Hearing Procedures
  • Investigation message for students

2.    Writing the Complaint

The complainant will be assisted by their advisor in writing a formal complaint. This document is a description of the incident giving names of possible witnesses and details that will be helpful to the investigators.  

3.    Informing the Respondent

Within two business days of the Title IX Coordinator receiving the complaint, the respondent will meet with the Title IX Coordinator and Senior Associate Dean of the College and be notified of the allegation. The respondent may choose at any point to waive the hearing process by admitting responsibility. The respondent must submit in writing his or her decision to waive a hearing to the Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Title IX Coordinator. In such cases, the Senior Associate Dean in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator may determine an appropriate sanction.

If the respondent does not choose to admit responsibility, the respondent will be advised to choose an advisor.  The respondent will be given a list of names of trained members of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel from which he/she may select an advisor but the student is not restricted in the choice of an advisor and may choose someone who is not from the F&M community.  It is not required that the parties choose an advisor. The respondent will be given the information packet for respondents. The respondent will be asked to submit a list of witnesses to the Title IX Coordinator within two business days. 

4.    Remedies for the complainant will be determined

The purpose of remedies in this process is: (1) to stop the behavior that lead to the complaint; (2) to prevent the behavior from happening again; and (3) to restore the complainant as much as possible to their pre-incident state. There are numerous accommodations and resources available to insure that these remedies are accomplished. These will be determined in conversation with the complainant, the advisor to the complainant, and the appropriate College administrators. See “Interim Measures” in Section VIII of this policy. These measures and others may become permanent depending on the outcome.
 
5.    Investigation

The College investigates complaints of sexual misconduct in a prompt, impartial and thorough manner. Within three business days of the notification of the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator, in collaboration with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, will assign two investigators from the Sexual Misconduct Panel to begin the investigation of the complaint and collect any evidence. It is the responsibility of the investigators to take custody of and arrange safekeeping of any physical evidence to be used in making a determination subject to the qualification that law enforcement authorities should handle evidence related to the commission of a crime. Alternatively, in certain circumstances, the College may engage an outside professional investigator who will be assisted by a member of the Panel.

The investigation generally should be concluded within 10 business days however, in certain cases, depending on the complexity of the investigation or coordination with law enforcement, the investigation may take more than 10 business days. 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 their adviser when attending all interviews for the purpose of explaining the process and providing support. The respondent and complainant will have identified suggested witnesses and may present evidence. The investigators will add to the list of interviewees as the investigation progresses. It is the obligation of students called as witnesses to cooperate fully and truthfully with the investigation and subsequent hearing. Furthermore the respondent, complainant and witnesses will be informed of the following during the interview and asked to sign a statement that includes the following:

  • Any act of retaliation against the complainant, respondent, or witnesses is a violation of College policy and Title IX
  • All parties should hold information about the investigation, interviews and subsequent hearing in confidence
  • Any violation of confidentiality is a violation of Title IX and will be cause for sanctions by the College. Any incidents of retaliation should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
  • The statements given to the investigators will be shared with the complainant and respondent, the Panel Chair, the Panel members, the Title IX Coordinator and with the Senior Associate Dean of the College

6.    Conclusion of the Investigation and Referral of the Complaint to an Administrative Review, Judicial Hearing, or Dismissal of the Complaint

Within five business days of the conclusion of an investigation, the investigators submit a written report summarizing the information gathered to the Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Title IX Coordinator. The Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a hearing or an Administrative Review.

If upon review of the summary, the Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Title IX Coordinator determine that there is enough evidence of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, they may, through the process of an Administrative Review: (1) refer the complaint to the Dean of the College to assign a sanction or; (2) refer the summary to a Hearing Panel who may, by Administrative Review, make determination of responsibility and if a violation is found, make a recommendation to the Senior Associate Dean of the College for a sanction.

In most cases, the Senior Associate Dean of the College and the Title IX Coordinator will refer the complaint for a Sexual Misconduct Hearing. A complaint will also be referred for a hearing upon request by either the complainant or respondent.

In the event that a Complaint is dismissed, the complainant or respondent may request that the Senior Associate Dean of the College allow the accommodations and limitations originally placed during the investigation phase to persist.

If the Senior Associate Dean and the Title IX Coordinator find sufficient evidence to proceed, the respondent will have the opportunity to admit responsibility and waive a Hearing or Administrative Review.

7.    Hearing Procedures, Step-by-Step:

a.    The Chair/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Alison Hobbs ahobbs@fandm.edu 717-291-3989 or Title IX Coordinator shall appoint a three-person Hearing Panel composed of Sexual Misconduct Panel Committee members who have not served as investigators or advisors for this complaint. The Chair or designee is a non-voting member of the Hearing Panel who presides over the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator has the option of attending the Hearing proceeding as an observer.

b.    The Hearing Panel reviews all materials from the investigation. One member of the Panel will be appointed to schedule a preparatory meeting of the Panel, prior to the hearing.

c.    The Hearing Panel notes any questions they have based upon the investigation report and may seek more information or clarification before the hearing.

d.    The hearing is called to order with the complainant and respondent present with their advisors, separated by a screen so as to ensure privacy and comfort, or, if requested, connected remotely to the hearing via closed circuit television or internet connection. Witnesses are not present at this point and are kept sequestered outside the hearing room.

e.    Each participant introduces him or herself and states his or her role in the hearing. There will be identifying “table tents” for the purpose of identifying the participants to each other for all parties except witnesses.

f.    At the beginning of the hearing, the complainant and respondent will provide one copy each of their opening and closing statements and four copies of their impact statement to the Chair.

g.    The Chair asks if any of the participants have questions about Hearing procedures or his or her rights in the Hearing.

h.    All participants are reminded: (1) to be truthful; (2) to speak only when recognized by the Chair, who has full authority over the proceedings; (3) that the proceedings are confidential and should not be discussed outside of the hearing room; and (4) questioning about the complainant’s sexual history with anyone other than the respondent will generally not be permitted. Questions about relevant social histories are permissible. Each witness to be called into the hearing room is informed of the same expectations.

i.    The Chair introduces the formal statement of complaint and identifies the policies allegedly violated.

j.    The complainant or advisor is asked to make an opening statement. These comments should be directed to areas of agreement/disagreement with the investigation report.

k.    The respondent or advisor is asked to make an opening statement. These comments should be directed to areas of agreement/disagreement with the investigation report.

l.    The Hearing Panel may ask questions of complainant, respondent or the investigators (if the Chair has called the investigators to the Hearing). The respondent and complainant may not question each other.

m.    Witnesses are called in order as determined by the Chair of the Panel. The complainant, respondent and Panel may question the witnesses as called upon by the Chair. Character witnesses are not called in person. Each party may, however, submit a written statement from one character witness that will be read aloud to the Panel by the Chair at the completion of all questioning.  

n.    Any witnesses who need to be recalled and re-questioned are called and then excused.

o.    The complainant or advisor is given the opportunity to make a closing statement.

p.    The respondent or advisor is given the opportunity to make a closing statement.

q.    The Chair confirms that no questions remain unanswered.

r.     The hearing is adjourned. The Chair collects all notes, personal and investigative, from all parties. All participants other than the Hearing Panel members, Title IX Coordinator and Chair are asked to leave. The Chair will ask the complainant and respondent if they would like to hear the outcome, without sanction, of the hearing immediately after the Hearing Panel reaches it conclusion or if they would prefer to wait for a meeting with the Chair and Senior Associate Dean of the College. If the respondent and complainant choose to be notified immediately they will be notified by phone.

s.    Using the “more likely than not” standard, also known as a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the Hearing 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 of the Hearing Panel members only. The Chair and Title IX Coordinator do not vote.

There are three possible findings:

  • Responsible for a violation of College policy
  • Not responsible for a violation of College policy
  • Insufficient evidence for a finding of violation of College policy


t.     If the Hearing 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.

u.    The Chair consults with the Senior Associate Dean of the College or the Dean of the College and discusses the Panel’s findings and the rationale for its recommended sanction(s). The Title IX Coordinator may be included in these discussions. The Senior Associate Dean of the College or the Dean of the College may request a meeting with the Hearing Panel. The Senior Associate Dean of the College or the Dean of the College makes the final decision on all sanctions. The Senior Associate Dean of the College or the Dean of the College will consult with the College’s Title IX Coordinator before assigning the sanction.

v.    Typically within 48 hours of consulting with the Chair, the Chair and the Senior Associate Dean of the College or the 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. These meetings take place in person or via phone depending on the preference of the complainant or respondent. The meetings are separate for each party. The Senior Associate Dean of the College will usually provide a written confirmation of the outcome and sanctions concurrently to the complainant and respondent within 5 working days of the hearing.

VIII.    Appeals of Sexual Misconduct Panel Decisions

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 appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision-maker. The student must normally file this appeal in writing, with the grounds noted, within five (5) business 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:

a.    on a claim of error in the hearing procedure that affected the outcome of the hearing.

b.    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 (or designee) 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:

a.    In hearing the student’s appeal, the Dean of the College (or designee) has discretion to meet with any of the participants in the hearing and discuss with them the circumstances of the case, and to draw on other sources of relevant information.

b.    The decision on the appeal will normally be within 20 business days from the time that the student files, unless circumstances require a delay in the appeal process.

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

d.    The decisions of the Dean of the College (or designee) are final.

IX.    Additional Information Regarding Policies and Procedures

Sexual Misconduct Panel

The Sexual Misconduct Panel shall be composed of at least 15 and no more than 35 professional staff members appointed by the Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the Dean of the College. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator or designee of the Dean of the College will serve as Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel. The Title IX Coordinator and Chair of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel shall arrange for the Panel members to receive in-depth, on-going training prior to assuming their responsibilities. The training includes preparation for the roles of investigator, advisor, and Hearing Panel member.

In the event of a hearing, the Chair/Deputy Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Coordinator shall appoint a three-person Hearing Panel composed of Sexual Misconduct Panel members who have not served as investigators or advisors for this complaint. The Chair or designee is a non-voting member of the Hearing Panel who presides over the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator has the option of attending the Hearing proceeding as an observer.

Interim Measure/Remedies

Upon becoming aware of a complaint of misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator may recommend to the Senior Associate Dean of the College or to the Dean of the College that interim measures be taken to protect the complainant. These measures may be put in place before a formal complaint has been filed. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Change in living situation
  • No contact order
  • Assuring that the complaint and respondent do not attend the same classes
  • Providing an escort to ensure that the complainant can move safely between classes
  • Counseling and Health Care services
  • Providing academic support services such as tutoring
  • Arrange for the complainant to re-take a class or withdraw from a class without penalty, including ensuring that any changes do not adversely affect the complainant’s academic record, andReviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the complainant to see if there is a causal relation between the harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in the complainant being disciplined.

Outcomes

There are three findings available to the Hearing Panel:

  • The respondent is found not responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct
  • There is insufficient evidence for a finding of responsibility
  • The respondent is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct

Sanctioning

If the respondent accepts responsibility for a violation of policy, or if the Hearing Panel finds him or her responsible, various sanctions, including but not limited to Reprimand, Warning, Suspension or Expulsion from the College, may be recommended by the Hearing Panel and implemented by the Senior Associate Dean of the College. Individuals found to have violated the College policy on non-consensual sexual intercourse should expect to be suspended or expelled from the College.

Outcome Notification

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, whether the decision is reached by the Administrative Review as described above or by decision of the Hearing Panel, the complainant and respondent are informed concurrently (but not together) of the outcome and sanction in writing. In rare 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 Dean of the College and Director of Public Safety) may be informed of the names of individuals on a confidential need-to-know basis. Clery notifications will also be made by the Department of Public Safety.

Timeframe

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 complainant and respondent of the circumstances. Either the complainant or respondent may request an exception to any of the time frames stated in these polices from the Title IX Coordinator or Dean of the College. Either the Title IX Coordinator or Dean of the College may grant an exception.

Advisors

As noted above, the complainant and respondent are informed of the right to choose and be assisted in the hearing by an adviser, who may be chosen from the members of the Sexual Misconduct Panel. Members of the Sexual Misconduct Panel have also been trained as advisers. The complainant and respondent must choose separate advisors. The complainant and respondent may choose advisors who are not members of the Sexual Misconduct Panel; but advisors must be members of the F&M community. If the complainant and respondent have no preference for their advisors the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will assign advisors from the members of the Sexual Misconduct Panel. The advisors may be present at the hearing and are given copies of pre-hearing documents that are given to the complainant and respondent. An advisor may assist a student in preparing for the hearing, which will include preparation of a closing, opening and impact statement. Both students will prepare an impact statement describing the impact that the initial event and subsequent related events have had on their lives. The impact statement will be reviewed by the Hearing Panel only in the event of a finding of responsibility. An advisor may also consult with the student during the hearing. It is highly recommended that the advisor meet with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy prior to the hearing. The Hearing Panel has the discretion to authorize other advisors or participants in a hearing. Advisors may not address the Hearing Panel or other persons at the hearing unless granted permission to do so by the Chair with the exception that the complainant or respondent may ask the advisor to make either an opening or closing statement on behalf and instead of the complainant or respondent.

Investigation Notes

The investigation statements and summary will be shared concurrently with the Title IX Coordinator, respondent, complainant, Hearing Panel members and Chair at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of the hearing.

Formal Notice of the Hearing

The Panel, complainant, and respondent are informed in writing of the charges at least five (5) working days before the scheduled hearing date in order to insure opportunity to prepare for the hearing. At this time the respondent and claimant are informed that it is his or her responsibility to present his or her information before the Hearing Panel. The Chair gives formal notice to the complainant, respondent and Panel specifying the time, place and details of the hearing at least 72 hours before the hearing. The Panel, respondent and complainant must notify the Chair of their final request for witnesses at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.

Final Witness Lists

The Chair of the Hearing Panel shall have discretion to determine which proposed witnesses and evidence the Hearing Panel will hear to provide for a fair hearing. The Chair shall also have authority to call expert sources of information, as necessary. The Chair will then share the names of all approved witnesses, including expert sources of information, with the complainant, respondent, their advisors, the Title IX Coordinator and the Hearing Panel 48 hours before the Hearing. Counselors, Psychiatrists and Psychologists are not permitted as in-person witnesses unless they have substantive testimony to provide regarding the facts of the case. Complainant and respondent may submit one written statement from one Counselor, Psychiatrist or Psychologist. Admission of the statement will be at the discretion of the Chair. The respondent and complainant may submit a written statement from one character witness. The statement will be read by the Chair at the end of the Hearing.

 Recusing Panel Members

A member of the Hearing Panel who feels he or she cannot be impartial or who has an immediate interest in a particular case may not sit in judgment or be present during the proceedings. Either the respondent or complainant may question the impartiality of a member of the Hearing Panel prior to the hearing. The concerns must be stated in writing to the Chair. The Chair then consults with the member in question. The final decision about participation rests with the Chair.

Closed Hearing

All Hearings are closed but the Chair may authorize the attendance of any person who may serve a legitimate purpose in the hearing process. Parents and attorneys for the complainant or respondent are not permitted in the Hearing Room but may be present in the separate private rooms provided for the complainant and respondent during the Hearing.

Understanding how the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Differs from a Court of Law

The Student Code of Conduct, available in the College Life Manual, is neither a criminal nor a civil code and does not operate like one. The College’s expectations for its community members are of a different standard of conduct than what is required by law. Because the purposes of the Code are different from the purposes of law, the procedures by which the Code is implemented are, by design, more informal and less adversarial than those of a court. If there is a concurrent criminal investigation, the College may allow attorneys to participate in a non-advocacy role at the Hearing. If attorneys are permitted to participate in this capacity, both the complainant and the respondent will be given an equal opportunity to have attorneys present.

Record of proceedings

At the conclusion of the Hearing, the Chair will collect all materials, including personal notes, from the Panel members and advisors. A recorded record shall be kept of the hearing proceedings by the Title IX Coordinator for a period of six years from the date of the filing of the formal complaint. In addition, preparatory notes, witness statements and summary, one copy of all written statements of the complainant and respondent, the investigation notes and record of the finding, sanctions and other actions taken will be maintained for the same time period. The Hearing is recorded; the discussions and deliberations of the Hearing Panel are not recorded. The recorded record is an internal record owned by the College to be made available to the appeals officer. A student preparing an appeal may also be allowed to listen to the recording, under the supervision of a designee of the Senior Associate Dean of the College. The record of the Hearing is the property of the College.

The Record of an Appeal

The record of an appeal consists of the letter of appeal; the written statements from the parties and Dean/Officer and Chair; the written decision whether to hear the appeal and the outcome of the appeal. This record is appended to the written record of the original decision and maintained with it.

Length of the Hearing

A Hearing Panel hearing normally consists of a single session that typically takes between four and six hours; but the Hearing Panel may decide to continue the hearing in its sole discretion.

Updates to Complainant and Respondent

Both the complainant and respondent will be given periodic updates regarding the status of the investigation by their chosen adviser or, if none has been chosen, by the Senior Associate Dean of the College, the Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Follow-up

The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will follow up with all complainants and respondents after completion of the investigation or hearing process to determine if there has been any retaliation or further incidents.

Designees

It is understood that circumstances may require the substitution of administrators for alternate roles within this process. The Dean of the College or the Senior Associate Dean of the College may always choose to appoint and empower a designee.

Policy Amendment

Concerns, questions and suggestions for amendments to this policy, from any member of the College community, should be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland at 717-358-7178 or jmasland@fandm.edu.

X.    SEXUAL MISCONDUCT - A REVIEW OF RESOURCES:

AT F&M AND IN LANCASTER CITY

F&M’s Sexual Assault Response Line: 717-560-7311

  • Access 24 hours a day to F&M Counseling Services & Health Service professionals
  • CONFIDENTIAL AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE NOTICE TO THE COLLEGE
  • Receive help exploring options
  • Calls to the Response Line do not commit the student to taking any disciplinary actio
  • To file a complaint, the student should contact the Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland (717-358-7178), jmasland@fandm.edu. Although the Title IX Coordinator will treat this conversation with the utmost privacy, this is not a confidential reporting resource.

OFF CAMPUS RESOURCES:

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

For information about your Clery Act rights, please see the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights: clerycenter.org/federal-campus-sexual-assault-victims%E2%80%99-bill-rights.

XI.    WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
  • Get to a safe place immediately; call 911 or the Lancaster City Police or 717-291-3939 (Public Safety) if you feel unsafe.
  • Once you are safe, 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, does not constitute notice to the College or Police, and does not obligate you to take any further action.

The F&M Sexual Assault Response Line is a confidential service staffed by the College’s Health and Counseling Services and College Chaplain, all of whom have the ability to offer confidentiality.

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 Response Line does not obligate you to make a report to the College, and will not be taken as a report to the College that places the College on notice. All information discussed with the professional on this line is confidential and will not be released without your written permission.

While the victim has the choice of delaying a report to the College, such delay may negatively affect the quality of the evidence and investigation. 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.

Other steps

  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. You may have hidden injuries and should explore options regarding pregnancy and the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Consider going to Lancaster General Hospital for a forensic exam. Take a change of clothing with you, as your clothing may be kept as evidence.
  • 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 free of charge to meet with students. 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 free 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 8:30 a.m.–5:00 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.

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form for non-mandatory reporters only.

Click here to submit an online report.

All submissions are forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator.
 

Committee on Sexual Misconduct

Click here to view the Message to Student Employees video

Click here to view the Message to Faculty and Staff video