This Policy on Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Discrimination ("Policy"), including all principles, and processes contained herein, shall exclusively govern any incident raising concerns of harassment and/or discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status and/or any violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, including sexual misconduct of any nature, gender-based discrimination, retaliation, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault where a student (from the time of acceptance of admission) is identified as a potential respondent. This Policy governs conduct both on and off La Salle University's campus, and also governs conduct that occurs while students are on a leave of absence or studying abroad. It also includes conduct that occurs when students are not officially enrolled during a particular term as long as they have a continuing relationship with the University. This Policy will apply to a student's behavior even if the student withdraws or graduates from the University while a disciplinary matter is pending. La Salle University reserves the right to investigate and adjudicate complaints under this Policy irrespective of actions taken (or not taken) by other institutions.
The procedures set forth in this Policy do not apply to faculty and staff. Any faculty and/or staff accused of violating the standards set forth in this Policy shall be subject to the procedures set forth in the University's Equal Opportunity and Anti-Harassment policy. If a student worker is accused of violating this Policy, the University will determine whether the alleged conduct occurred primarily in the student's capacity as a student or as a staff member, and proceed under the appropriate policy at LaSalle University's sole discretion. Non-La Salle University community members may report violations of this Policy and the report will be addressed in accordance with the procedures below. However, a non-La Salle University community member's role in the University's investigatory and disciplinary procedures may be limited. La Salle University's support resources are available only to members of the La Salle University community. If an individual's status with the University (i.e., student, staff, faculty member, non-community member) has changed from the time of the alleged policy violation to the time of complaint, the University will determine which policies will apply.
To the extent this Policy conflicts with any another University policy, principle, and/or process, this Policy shall govern.Back to Top
Sexual misconduct is an action or course of actions that violate the rights of others, and demonstrate flagrant disregard for the principles of this community. La Salle University seeks to prevent all forms of sexual misconduct, and desires to establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all members of the community through sexual misconduct prevention, education, support, and a fair adjudication process. The use of alcohol and/or other drugs does not minimize or excuse a person's responsibility for conduct that violates this Policy. Sexual misconduct may include sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or both. The definitions below are intended to provide clarity, and do not suggest that one behavior is more severe or violating than the other.
Sexual assault may be rape, fondling without consent, incest, statutory rape, or an attempt at any of them, as defined in the Clery Act and below:
- Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent (as defined below) of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law in the applicable jurisdiction.
- Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction.
Sexual assault can be committed by any person against any other person, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or past or current relationship status. Sexual assault may occur with or without physical resistance or violence.
Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that other person without that other person's consent. Examples of behavior that could constitute sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to the following:
- Intentional non-consensual contact with the private body parts of another person that does not meet the definition of behaviors prohibited under the definition of "Sexual Assault," above;
- Prostituting another person;
- Recording or capturing through any means images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity without that person's consent;
- Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person(s) depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and object(s) or would object to such disclosure; and/or
- Viewing another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person's consent, if the individual viewing the other person's or persons' sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity in such a place knows or should have known that the person(s) being viewed would object to that.
Coercion is defined as compelling someone to act by applying pressure, harassment, threats, intimidation, or other actions a reasonable person would consider to be coercive.
Consent means words or actions, freely and actively given by each party, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in agreed-upon sexual conduct. Consent is not present or valid when a person is incapable of giving consent because they are incapacitated by drugs and/or alcohol; when intimidation, threats, physical force, or other actions that a reasonable person in that person's circumstances would consider coercive are applied; when that person is placed in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury; when a physical or mental condition is present such that the person cannot knowingly or voluntarily give consent; or when a person is under the age of 16. Silence, non-communication, or a lack of resistance does not necessarily imply consent. Previous relationships or consent do not imply consent to future sexual conduct. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent can be rescinded at any time.
The use of alcohol and/or drugs does not minimize or excuse a person's responsibility for committing sexual misconduct, or that person's responsibility for determining whether another is capable of giving consent.
An objective standard will be used in determining whether a person is incapable of giving consent due to the person's incapacitation by the use or consumption of drugs and/or alcohol, or if a physical or mental condition as described above is present. That is, consent is not present or valid when:
- From the standpoint of a reasonable person, the respondent knew, or reasonably should have known, that the person was incapable of giving consent because the person was incapacitated by the person's use or consumption of drugs and/or alcohol such that the person could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, or that the person's physical or mental condition would prevent knowing and voluntary consent; and
- The person was, in fact, incapable of giving consent because the person was incapacitated by the person's use or consumption of drugs and/or alcohol such that the person could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, or the person was incapable of providing knowing or voluntary consent due to a physical or mental condition.
Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person subjected to the violence. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, if involving individuals who are or have been dating as defined here.
For the purposes of this definition, violence means conduct that involves the use or threatened use of physical force against a person, or creates a reasonable belief that physical force may be used against a person in the course of the conduct.
Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence stated below.
Discrimination is adverse conduct directed at an individual based on race, creed, color, place of birth, ancestry, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, genetic information, disability and/or any other status or characteristic protected by applicable law.
Domestic violence is violence committed by:
- a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the person subjected to the violence;
- a person with whom the person subjected to the violence shares a child in common;
- a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the person subjected to the violence as a spouse or intimate partner;
- a person similarly situated to a spouse of the person subjected to the violence under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred; or,
- any other person against an adult or youth who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred.
For the purposes of this definition, domestic violence includes but is not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, if involving individuals who are or have been in a domestic relationship as defined here.
For the purposes of this definition, violence means conduct that involves the use or threatened use of physical force against a person, or creates a reasonable belief that physical force may be used against a person in the course of the conduct.
Harassment is verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by an individual's actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, creed, color, place of birth, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or other characteristics as defined and protected by law that has the purpose or effect, from the point of view of a reasonable person, of objectively and substantially: (a) undermining and detracting from or interfering with an individual's educational or work performance or access to University resources; or (b) creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, work, or living environment. Harassment may include repeated slurs, or taunts in the guise of jokes, or disparaging references to others, use of epithets, stereotypes, comments, gestures, threats, graffiti, display or circulation of written or visual materials, taunts on manner of speech, and negative reference to customs when such conduct is based on or motivated by one or more of the protected characteristics identified above, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
For the purposes of this definition:
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the alleged stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person subjected to the stalking.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
- Examples of stalking behaviors or activities include, but are not limited to the following, if they occur in the context of stalking as defined above:
- Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, text messages, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are unwelcome.
- Use of online, electronic or digital technologies in connection with such communication, including but not limited to:
- Posting of pictures or text in chat rooms or on websites;
- Sending unwanted/unsolicited e-mail or talk requests;
- Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networks, and/or school bulletin boards;
- Installing spyware on a person's computer;
- Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or similar technology to monitor a person;
- Pursuing, following, waiting for, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the person;
- Surveillance or other types of observation including staring or "voyeurism";
- Non-consensual touching;
- Direct verbal or physical threats;
- Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, or co-workers;
- Accessing private information through unauthorized means
- Threats to harm self or others;
- Defamation and/or lying to others about the person; or
- Using a third party or parties to accomplish any of the above.
A complainant is usually an individual filing a complaint of a violation of this Policy. In some cases (such as, e.g., cases in which a person involved in an incident of alleged sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or misconduct, stalking, or related retaliation does not wish to participate in the process but La Salle University decides that the alleged misconduct needs to be investigated), La Salle University may pursue an investigation and adjudication under this Policy without a designated complainant. In these cases, La Salle University may extend some or all of the rights of a complainant as defined in this Policy to affected parties as deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator.
For the purpose of this definition, the term "complainant" is also used throughout this Policy to refer generally to an individual who was allegedly subjected to prohibited conduct as defined in this Policy.
A respondent is an individual whose alleged conduct is being investigated to determine if it is in violation of this Policy. For ease of reference, the term "respondent" is also used throughout this Policy to refer generally to an individual who allegedly engaged in prohibited conduct as defined in this Policy.
When a violation of this Policy has been reported, or when otherwise deemed appropriate under the circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate supervisory authority may issue No Contact Orders to the persons involved, whether or not disciplinary action is taken. A No Contact Order is used to restrict encounters and communications between individuals. While a No Contact Order in and of itself does not constitute discipline and will not appear in a student's disciplinary record, refusal to adhere to the order after written or verbal notification of its terms is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.
A No Trespass Notice prohibits the presence of an individual on La Salle property, or other properties on which La Salle University programs are occurring. Violating a No Trespass Notice is considered to be a violation of University policy. As No Trespass Notices are legally enforceable, a violation may lead to arrest and prosecution.
The Title IX Coordinator, as used in this Policy, refers to Rose Lee Pauline, La Salle's Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Dawn Soufleris, or to either's designee. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, where appropriate in their discretion, may designate another university official to perform one or more Title IX-related functions.
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Confidential Reporting Option
There are options for individuals to confidentially report incidents reasonably believed to be in violation of this Policy. Confidential reporting options will not disclose any details of the report with anyone. At La Salle University, these confidential reporting options are: the Student Counseling Center; the Student Health Center; the Substance Abuse and Violence Education Center (SAVE); designated individuals in Ministry, Service, and Support; a designated Title IX Advocate/Educator (Confidential Resource); and a designated Respondent Advocate (Confidential Resource). Reports can also be made via the La Salle University Whistleblower Policy.
Sharing information with a Confidential Resource will not result in a report to La Salle University or investigatory or disciplinary action against a respondent. Statistical information about confidentially-reported incidents may still be included in the University's annual Clery Act reporting, but such statistical information will not include any identifying information about any student.
Reporting to a Responsible Employee
All La Salle University faculty and staff who are not listed above as Confidential Resources are Responsible Employees and are required by federal law to report information received relating to violations of this Policy ("Responsible Employees"). Faculty and staff receive annual notification and training regarding their duty and obligation to report knowledge of sexual misconduct involving a member(s) of the campus community and are instructed to report any such acts to the Title IX Coordinator, who has been specifically trained to receive and respond to allegations of violations of this Policy. Students who have experienced a violation of this Policy and would like La Salle University to respond by offering resources and/or investigating the incident should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator, who can be reached as follows:
Confidentiality and Privacy
Only Confidential Resources can offer confidentiality. However, even non-Confidential Resources (such as Responsible Employees) will maintain privacy to the greatest extent possible. Privacy is not confidentiality; if reported to a non-Confidential Resource, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed and there may be circumstances in which the University may need to investigate a report of a violation of this Policy and take appropriate actions to fulfill its legal obligations, even if the complainant wishes to maintain confidentiality or to not pursue an investigation and adjudication of an incident violating this Policy. The determination of when to proceed with an investigation or adjudication against the complainant's wishes shall be at the discretion of the University based on the facts and circumstances of the case, including, but not limited to, the health and safety of the complainant, the health and safety of others, the safety of the campus community, and the rights of the parties.
The information provided to a Responsible Employee will be shared only as necessary for an investigation and/or to seek resolution. To the extent practicable, Responsible Employees will inform a potential complainant of their responsibility to report any case of a potential violation of this Policy and the options for confidential reporting on campus. At that time, the potential complainant can decide to move forward and share the information with the Responsible Employee or choose to access a Confidential Resource.
The University will take prompt and appropriate steps to respond to complaints of a violation of this Policy.While there is no time limit for reporting a violation of this Policy, the complainant and other reporting individuals are encouraged to report any violation as soon as possible in order to maximize the University's ability to respond and investigate promptly and effectively.
The investigation generally will take no longer than 60 days; however, complex cases, the availability of witnesses and other exceptional circumstances may require additional time and/or the modification of the timeframes described herein. If there are delays in the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate individual will notify the parties of the delays and explain the circumstances causing the delays.
La Salle University will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin its own investigation and resolve complaints under this Policy. The University will, however, comply with valid requests by law enforcement in a criminal investigation. As such, La Salle University may need to delay temporarily an investigation under this Policy while law enforcement is in the process of gathering evidence. Once law enforcement has completed its gathering of evidence, the University will promptly resume and complete its investigation.
La Salle University addresses reports of a violation of this Policy using a preponderance of the evidence standard, meaning that the outcome will be based on a conclusion of what was more likely to have occurred than not. Formal rules of evidence do not apply to investigations or adjudications under this Policy.
The complainant's or respondent's past sexual history generally may not be referenced throughout the process described herein, except that either party (complainant or respondent) may reference a prior sexual relationship between the complainant and the respondent. Sexual history that relates to past complaints or findings of responsibility under this Policy may be considered when determining an appropriate sanction if a respondent if found responsible.
La Salle University's primary concern is ensuring that individuals feel comfortable reporting a complaint. The health and safety of every student at La Salle University is of the utmost importance. La Salle University recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that an alleged violation of this Policy occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The University strongly encourages students to report an alleged violation of this Policy to the appropriate La Salle University official. A bystander or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of an alleged violation of this Policy to a responsible employee or law enforcement will not be subject to La Salle University's code of conduct for violations of alcohol and/or drug policies (see Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy) occurring at or near the time of the commission of the alleged violation of this Policy.
The consumption of alcohol and/or use of other drugs, in and of itself, is not an excuse for a violation of this Policy, but may be considered as a factor in the adjudication of matters under this Policy.
To the extent permitted by law, the complainant and respondent will be afforded the same rights and opportunities throughout the investigation and adjudication process, including the opportunity to recommend witnesses, submit evidence, and appeal the outcome of any formal University disciplinary process.
The parties to a complaint and/or investigation conducted under this Policy are expected to cooperate fully with the resolution of the complaint and/or investigation by providing complete, accurate, and truthful information and any potentially relevant documentation in any format. In the event that the complainant chooses not to cooperate, the University may be obligated to continue with an investigation and adjudication. If the respondent chooses not to cooperate with the investigation or adjudication, the adjudication of the complaint will proceed without input or involvement from the respondent. The University will also cooperate with other colleges or universities if the respondent or complainant is from a university other than La Salle University.
All witnesses interviewed or contacted in the investigation are required to cooperate fully by providing complete, accurate, and truthful information. They may also be expected to sign statements or other materials documenting the information they provide, and may be asked to keep the substance of the interview confidential. In the event the witness cannot meet in person, the witness will be offered the option to either participate electronically via technology or submit a written statement containing all evidence relevant to the investigation of which the witness is aware. Failure to cooperate fully with the investigation may subject a witness to disciplinary action up to and including possible suspension or expulsion. Failure to cooperate includes, but is not limited to, providing false, misleading, or incomplete information, failure to provide requested documentation, whether in paper or electronic format, or intentional destruction of relevant or requested evidence.
Retaliating directly or indirectly against a person who has in good faith made a report under this Policy or participated in an investigation is prohibited. Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person's educational, living, or work environment, threatening, intimidating or coercing the person, or otherwise discriminating against any person for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this Policy. Depending on the circumstances, retaliation may also be unlawful. Retaliation under this Policy may be found whether or not the underlying complaint is ultimately found to have merit. In the event an individual believes that he or she has been retaliated against, an investigation will be conducted and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, if warranted. That investigation may be independent of or may be combined with the existing investigation, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
In cases where multiple allegations and/or multiple accused respondents or complainants arise out of the same event or series of related events, the University shall have the discretion to direct that a single investigation be conducted under procedures set forth in this Policy.
In the event that a respondent withdraws or seeks to transfer while an investigation is pending but unresolved, the University may elect to proceed with the investigation in the respondent's absence. In addition, in the University's sole discretion, an academic and/or financial hold may be placed on the respondent's account during the pendency of an investigation, with no degrees to be awarded or official transcripts to be provided until the investigation has resolved.
Both the complainant and the respondent may each be accompanied at any point in this process, including at a hearing or appeal, by one advisor of their choice (witnesses at the hearing may not be utilized as an advisor). Hearings will not be postponed due to the unavailability of the student's advisor of choice.
The complainant and the respondent are responsible for presenting their own information and therefore an advisor is limited to a supportive, non-participatory role and may not speak, write, record, or otherwise communicate on behalf of the complainant or the respondent at any point during this process, including by formulating questions for the party during proceedings. An advisor who fails to comply with these requirements, hinders this process or is otherwise disruptive, may be asked to leave during this process. In cases where the complainant or respondent have chosen legal counsel as advisors, the University reserves the right to have University counsel present as well. The University reserves the right to impose additional parameters on an advisor's role and acceptable conduct throughout this process at its discretion.
Should they so desire, the complainant and respondent may select a University-designated advocate to assist them through this process. All advocates are members of the University community who have been approved by the University to serve in their role as an advocate. The advocates will be available to meet with the complainant or respondent before and after a hearing, and will also assist in preparation. Advocates, as opposed to advisors, may assist the complainant or respondent during the formal hearing.
At any time during the process described in this Policy, the University may take interim steps to provide for the safety of the complainant, the campus community, and the rights of the respondent. These may include, but are not limited to, interim suspension from the University and/or interim removal from housing, adjustments to academic classes or University residence assignments for the complainant or the respondent, access to University facilities, the issuance of no-contact orders, etc. Interim measures may be modified throughout this process, and may in some instances last beyond the investigation and adjudication of a complaint. Students wishing to access such services during or after the investigation should contact the Title IX Coordinator.
No Contact Order
When a violation of this Policy has been alleged, or when otherwise deemed appropriate under the circumstances, the University may issue No Contact Orders to the students involved, whether or not disciplinary action is taken. No-Contact Orders may also be issued as an interim measure while alleged violations of the Code of Conduct are investigated and adjudicated. A No Contact Order is used to restrict encounters and communications between individuals. While a No Contact Order in and of itself does not constitute discipline and will not appear on a student's disciplinary record, refusal to adhere to the order after written or verbal notification of its terms is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion. The University may also initiate a no-trespass/ persona non-grata (PNG) status, indicating that an individual is not welcome on University property and could face criminal arrest for trespassing.
Initiating the University's student conduct process does not preclude reporting the incident to the police. Students have the opportunity at all times, but are not required, to file criminal complaints and student conduct complaints simultaneously. Students who wish to make a police report may contact the Philadelphia Police directly, or may also contact La Salle University Public Safety or a designated University advocate to assist in making such a report.
The intentional reporting of false reports or complaints will not be tolerated and may subject the individual making the false report or complaint to disciplinary action and potential criminal and/or civil liability. A finding of not responsible in and of itself does not constitute a false complaint or report.
- In most cases, within five (5) business days of receiving the report of a violation of this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the complainant to set up a meeting to gather preliminary information about the report or complaint, inform the complainant of the contents of this Policy, provide information about on- and off-campus resources, discuss potential interim measures, provide the complainant with a link to this Policy, review the conduct process and other relevant procedures (including the University's prohibition against retaliation), provide a referral to the Complainant Advocate should the complainant so desire, and instruct complainant to refrain from any and all contact with respondent, including through third parties, excepting University officials, as a part of the process.
- As soon as practicable after the Title IX Coordinator's meeting with the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator shall make an initial assessment of whether, if the complainant's allegations are true, the allegations would constitute a violation of this Policy. If the complainant's allegations, even if true, would not constitute a violation of this Policy, then the Title IX Coordinator shall inform the Complainant of that decision and no formal or informal process will move forward. The complainant shall still be offered campus resources and may also be entitled to interim measures. Any doubt as to whether an investigation is warranted should be resolved in favor of proceeding with an investigation.
- If the Title IX Coordinator determines that interim measures are appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator will impose interim measures.
- If the Title IX Coordinator determines that an investigation is warranted, then following the initial meeting with the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the respondent as soon as practicable to gather preliminary information, review the contents of this Policy, provide information about on- and off-campus resources, discuss the interim measures as applicable, provide the respondent with a link to this Policy, review the conduct process and other relevant procedures (including the University's prohibition against retaliation), provide a referral to the Respondent Advocate should the respondent so desire, and instruct the respondent to refrain from any and all contact with complainant, including through third parties, excepting University officials, as a part of the process.
Determination of Informal or Formal Process
- Following the initial assessment meetings with the complainant and respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will prepare a written Preliminary Investigatory Report, which will include the name of the respondent, if available, a preliminary summary of the alleged violation, and a list of potential witnesses.
- Following the preparation of the Preliminary Investigatory Report, the Title IX Coordinator in his/her discretion will determine whether an informal resolution process is an option under the circumstances presented by the complaint. The informal resolution processes will not be used to investigate or resolve reports of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and/or sexual misconduct. Informal resolutions will generally not be appropriate for allegations that present significant disputed issues of fact or circumstances, or where the alleged conduct is of a nature that may warrant the imposition of a sanction of suspension or expulsion. Informal resolutions are not appealable.
- If it is determined that the informal resolution process may be used, the Title IX Coordinator will assign a trained staff member from the Division of Student Affairs to discuss the option of an informal resolution with the complainant. If the complainant agrees to move forward with an informal resolution, the staff member will attempt to facilitate an informal resolution with the respondent. An informal resolution will not be used unless both parties agree, and a party will not be required to meet face-to-face with the other party at any time in connection with the process of reaching an informal resolution unless both parties agree.
- If the Title IX Coordinator determines that a formal investigation should be conducted, or if either party requests a formal investigation and the Title IX Coordinator determines that a formal investigation is appropriate, the investigation and adjudication thereof shall be conducted pursuant to the process described immediately below.
- The University's investigation and adjudication process under this Policy is not a legal proceeding. The University's investigation and adjudication process provides a fundamentally fair process as defined and described by the procedures set forth below. This process does not provide for direct contact (including cross-examination) between the parties, but, as described below, does allow the parties to provide information that they consider relevant to the case.
- If the Title IX Coordinator determines a formal investigation is to be conducted, an investigator will be selected by the Title IX Coordinator to conduct the formal investigation either on his/her own or in conjunction with the Title IX Coordinator (the "Investigator(s)"). In the event that the alleged conduct involves the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator is deemed to have a material conflict with investigating the case, or the Title IX Coordinator is otherwise unavailable to participate in the formal investigation, the Vice President for Student Affairs will select the Investigator(s) to conduct the formal investigation.
- Following the appointment of the Investigator(s), the complainant will be contacted to schedule a meeting with the Investigator(s). The Investigator(s) will also schedule an appointment to meet with the respondent.
- At their respective meetings, the Investigator(s) will notify the complainant and the respondent that they may each submit a written statement to the Investigator(s), addressing the allegations presented in the Preliminary Investigatory Report and provide a list of potential witnesses that each party would like the Investigator(s) to interview. The complainant and the respondent may also provide the Investigator(s) with any other relevant evidence they would like the Investigator(s) to consider and may provide the Investigator(s) with lists of specific questions to be asked of the witnesses and/or each another. It is within the sole discretion of the Investigator(s) to determine the evidence to consider and the witnesses to interview; the Investigator(s) is not required to consider the evidence identified by the parties or to interview any particular witness, even if identified by one of the parties, nor to ask any or all of the questions provided by either party.
- At any time during the investigation, at his/her discretion, the Investigator(s) may contact those witnesses the Investigator(s) believe may possess relevant evidence. The selected individuals may or may not be those witnesses identified on the lists provided by the complainant and the respondent.
- Within a reasonable amount of time following the above steps, the Investigator(s) shall generate a Draft Final Investigatory Report. While copies of the Draft Final Investigatory Report will not be provided, both complainant and respondent will be afforded the opportunity to make an appointment with the Investigator(s) to review the Draft Final Investigatory Report within approximately five (5) business days of its completion. The Draft Final Investigatory Report should contain: (1) a summary of the factual allegations against the respondent; (2) the policy provision the alleged conduct, if true, would violate; (3) summaries of the information obtained by the Investigator(s) from the parties and witnesses; and (4) copies of other relevant information obtained by the Investigator(s). Where, in his/her discretion, a summary of material points in agreement and points of disagreement would be of assistance to the fact finder, the Investigator(s) may also include such a summary in the Draft Investigative Report. The complainant and the respondent shall have seventy-two (72) hours after reviewing the Draft Final Investigatory Report to provide their written responses, if any.
- The Investigator(s) will review the complainant's and the respondent's written responses, if any, and determine, within his/her sole discretion, if any additional investigation is warranted and/or whether revisions to the Draft Final Investigatory Report are warranted based on information provided in the parties' responses.
- Once the Draft Final Report has been finalized by the Investigator(s) following the parties' written responses, the Final Investigatory Report, along with all other relevant evidence shall be forwarded to the Director of Student Conduct and made available to the complainant and the respondent consistent with all applicable federal and state regulations and La Salle policies.
Formal Adjudication Procedure
- Following receipt of the Final Investigatory Report, the Director of Student Conduct shall provide notice to the complainant and respondent referencing the specific provision of this Policy alleged to have been violated and the possible outcomes, as well as the date, time, and location of the scheduled hearing.
- The hearing shall be presided over by the Director of Student Conduct and an additional one or two co-hearers (selected from a pool of trained hearing officers). In the event that a material conflict of interest is deemed to exist, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall designate an alternate(s) to preside over the hearing.
- Both the complainant and the respondent shall have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony during the hearing. A list of potential witnesses, as well as any additional information either party plans to present, must be submitted to the Director of Student Conduct no less than five (5) business days in advance of the hearing. Whether a proposed witness is permitted to present evidence at the hearing is in the sole discretion of the Director of Student Conduct. It is the responsibility of the parties to inform their witnesses of the date and time of the hearing. The Director of Student Conduct may elect to rely upon the statements of witnesses contained in the Final Investigatory Report if such witnesses are unavailable to attend the hearing.
- The hearing will be private and audio recorded.
- The complainant and respondent do not have to be in the same room at the same time if they do not wish to be. The Director of Student Conduct may make other arrangements (such as use of a wall partition or phone/video conferencing) to allow the testimony while not depriving either party of access to the evidence and participation in the hearing.
- Only the Director of Student Conduct and the co-hearer(s) may question the individual parties and any witnesses. Both the complainant and respondent may submit a list of questions to the Director of Student Conduct in advance of the hearing that they would like the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) to consider asking the other party. These questions will be asked at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s), who may choose in their sole discretion to reframe questions or omit questions that are deemed to be irrelevant or redundant. The Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) may also permit additional questions to be asked during the course of the hearing. If the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) determine that unresolved issues exist that would be clarified by the presentation of additional information and/or speaking to any party, the Director of Student Conduct may postpone the hearing and reconvene it in a timely manner to receive such additional information.
- Both the complainant and the respondent shall have the option not to participate in the hearing; however, the exercise of that option will not preclude the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) from proceeding and making final determinations with respect to the complaint on the basis of the Final Investigatory Report and other available information.
- Both the complainant and the respondent shall have the opportunity to make an impact statement prior to the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s)'s determination of the hearing outcome and corresponding sanction if applicable.
- The Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) will then make a decision as to whether by a preponderance of the evidence that this Policy was violated. The decision will be communicated to both the complainant and the respondent in written, electronic notification concurrently, within five (5) business days after the hearing has concluded, barring any exigent circumstances that may cause reasonable delays. To the extent permitted by law, the Notice of Outcome will include:
- The name of the respondent;
- The alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct and the finding of responsibility;
- The sanction(s) imposed, if any;
- The factual findings supporting the determination; and,
- Information regarding the appeal process.
- Both the complainant and the respondent will be informed of the outcome of the hearing and the outcome of any appeal without a commitment to protect the confidentiality of the information. It shall be the decision of the complainant or the respondent to disclose or discuss the outcome of the hearing.
- If a finding of responsibility is made, the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) will consider, as part of their deliberations, whether a sanction will:
- Bring an end to the violation in question;
- Reasonably prevent a recurrence of a similar violation; and
- Remedy the effects of the violation on the complainant and La Salle University Community.
- In determining an appropriate sanction, the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) may consider any record of past violations of the Code of Conduct, as well as the nature and severity of such past violation(s). Any sanction imposed will be explained and supported by factual findings in the written rationale of the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s).
- The range of sanctions that may be imposed for a violation of this Policy include reprimand, probationary status, letter of official discipline, suspension or expulsion, or any additional sanction deemed appropriate by the Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s).
- In cases when a respondent is found responsible for committing sexual assault, suspension or expulsion is the likely outcome. If suspension is assigned, its duration will be determined in part by the complainant's needs, and reinstatement or readmission criteria may include but are not limited to evidence of satisfactory progress by the respondent on relevant educational components to the sanction, such as counseling and training.
- The conditions of reinstatement or readmission will be communicated to both parties. If the respondent's return will coincide with the complainant's presence at La Salle University, additional accommodations for the complainant and/or conditions on the respondent to preserve the right of the complainant to a safe environment may be assigned, including but not limited to room assignment consideration, class changes, No Contact Order adjustments, and/or building or extracurricular activity restrictions.
- Long-term remedies may also be offered or provided to the complainant following sanctioning, which may include: providing an escort on campus; assistance with academics including rescheduling exams and assignments; facilitating a classroom change; housing assignment relocation; restriction of campus access for the respondent (restricted from specific buildings, areas, etc.); no-contact orders; campus employment reassignment; and counseling referrals.
- Upon the conclusion of the hearing, both the complainant and the respondent shall have access to the recording of the hearing by scheduling a time to listen to the hearing by contacting the Director of Student Conduct. The audio recording is the property of La Salle University. No transcripts will be made of the hearing, nor any copies of the audio recording be provided to the complainant or respondent.
- All appeal submissions and appeals will be considered and heard by a three (3) member University Appeals Board ("University Appeals Board"). One member of the University Appeals Board shall be the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, who shall also chair the University Appeals Board and select the other two members.
- In order for an appeal to be heard the complainant or respondent must demonstrate to the University Appeals Board through his/her written appeal submission one or more of the following:
- Information that was not available at the time of the hearing is now available, and could reasonably be expected to have altered the outcome of the case; or
- The University disciplinary procedures were violated in a way that is more likely than not to have adversely affected the outcome of the case.
- The complainant and the respondent shall have three (3) business days from the date the Notice of Outcome is sent to submit, in writing, an appeal on one or more of the grounds as listed above and include specific details as to why an appeal should be granted. This letter is to be submitted to the Chair of the University Appeals Board.
- Once an appeal is filed, the parties involved will receive written, electronic notification of such filing. This notice will state that the case is under appeal consideration and if deemed by the University Appeals Board to potentially meet the above standards, will be scheduled in most cases for an appeals hearing within five (5) business days. If the University Appeals Board deems that the written appeal could not satisfy the above standards, written notice of the appeal denial shall be sent to both complainant and respondent following such determination.
- The party who appeals ("Appealing Party") must attend the scheduled hearing or forfeit the right to appeal.
- Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, the University Appeals Board will limit its review to the process and outcome of the initial hearing (if applicable), together with any supporting documents. Witnesses will not be permitted to appear on appeal except to the extent that witnesses may provide testimony related solely to new evidence or information that the Appealing Party demonstrates was not known or available for the original hearing.
- The Appealing Party will appear for the scheduled hearing in front of the University Appeals Board and present the basis for the appeal. The counterparty student who did not file the appeal ("Appellee Party") will have the option to either appear at the appeal hearing or submit a written response for the University Appeals Board's consideration. There will be a time limit of twenty (20) minutes for each and any student presentation at the scheduled hearing. The Appealing Party and Appellee Party have the right to bring either an advisor of choice or a University-designated advocate, subject to the rules regarding advisors stated herein.
- The Director of Student Conduct and co-hearer(s) will be available to respond to the appeal and give the rationale for the determination made at the original hearing.
- After presentation of the appeal and before the parties are dismissed, the University Appeals Board may, at its discretion, ask questions of the parties present. A hearing is considered closed after all testimony and evidence has been submitted by the parties and the chair of the University Appeals Board has concluded the appeal.
- Following the close of the hearing, the University Appeals Board may:
- Reverse, reduce, dismiss, uphold, or otherwise modify the original determination and/or status and conditions imposed; or,
- Remand the case for rehearing for resolving any procedural processes that the University Appeals Board determines was more likely than not to have impacted the outcome of the original hearing.
- The decision of the University Appeals Board will be sent electronically to the parties within three (3) business days of the hearing in most cases. The determination rendered by the University Appeals Board is final and may not be appealed further in any forum, although the University reserves the right to modify an appeal or hearing decision as appropriate and at its discretion.
- All written notices to the complainant or respondent referred to herein may be delivered at the University's discretion to any e-mail or mailing address on file with the University. All written notices will be deemed received when sent.
Whenever an official University title or office is named throughout this Policy, the official's or office's designee may act in the official's or office's role.
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Title IX Advocate/Educator
Student Counseling Center
Student Health Center
Alcohol and Other Drug Education Center
Ordained Priest in Ministry, Service and Support
Residence Life and Community Development
La Salle Public Safety
215.951.1300 or 215.991.2111
PA Sexual Assault Response Center: SVU
300 E. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Call Public Safety (215.951.1300) for free transport.
1200 Old York Road
Abington, PA 1900
24 Hour Hotlines
Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR)
Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (Women Against Abuse)
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Congreso de Latinos Unidos
Bilingual Domestic Violence Project (24-hour bilingual domestic violence hotline)
Services for Lesbian and Bisexual Women
Women in Transition Hotline
State Resources for Sexual Assault
Pennsylvania Commission on Human Relations
Philadelphia Special Victims Unit
Resources for Respondents (Male or Female)
Men's Resource Center
John J. Peter's Institute
Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s), the Title IX Coordinator, or to the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Philadelphia Office, U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323, Telephone 215.656.8541, Fax 215.656.8605, Email
Copyright 2017 La Salle University. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Effective Date: August 21, 2017