Procedures for Reporting

Title IX: – Procedures for Reporting, Investigating, and Resolution of Sexual Misconduct at Bryn Athyn College

Reporting Sexual Misconduct 

Anonymous Reporting 

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual assault or harassment. An individual may report the incident without disclosing one’s name, identifying the respondent, or requesting any action. Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, anonymous reporting may impact the College’s ability to respond or take further action.

The College has created an online form for reporting. It is located on the Behavior Intervention Team link at http://www.brynathyn.edu/student-life/bit/. As with all other reports, all anonymous reports will go to public safety and the Title IX Coordinator for review and appropriate response and action. Where there is sufficient information, the College will ensure that anonymous reports are reviewed and included for compliance with the Clery Act.

Timeliness of Report, Location of Incident 

Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual assault and harassment as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. The College does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. If the respondent is no longer a student or employee, the College may not be able to take judicial action against the respondent, but it will still seek to meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

An incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the College. Off-campus conduct that
is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on any member of the Bryn Athyn College community or Bryn Athyn College may be covered under this policy.

Emergency Response for Complainant

What should you do if you have been sexually assaulted?
  1. Get to a safe place
  2. Reach out for support
  3. Seek medical attention
  4. Consider having evidence collected
  5. Consider reporting the assault to Bryn Athyn College’s Public Safety or the police.
  6. Consider reaching out to other campus resources at Bryn Athyn College
  7. Remember: It was NOT your fault

If you are the complainant of sexual assault, you are encouraged to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement as soon as possible. This is the best option to provide physical safety, emotional support, and medical care. It is also the best option to ensure preservation of evidence and to begin a timely investigative and remedial response. The College will escort any Bryn Athyn College community member to a safe place, provide transportation to the hospital, assist in coordination with law enforcement, and provide information about the College’s resources and complaint processes. Complaints may be filed with Title IX Coordinator.

If you bring forward a complaint within the College judicial process, you always have the option of pursuing civil or criminal action with law enforcement, the courts, or with the Office for Civil Rights.

Assistance is available from the College and local law enforcement 24 hours a day, year-round, by calling the Department of Public Safety and/or the Bryn Athyn Borough Police Department. Anyone can request that a member of the Department of Public Safety and/or Bryn Athyn Borough Police respond and take a report.

What is the purpose of the medical exam?

The medical exam obtained from a hospital or sexual assault response center has two goals: first, to diagnose and treat the full extent of any injury or physical effect (sexually transmitted infection or possibility of pregnancy) and, second, to properly collect and preserve evidence.

The exam may include testing and prophylactic treatment for HIV/AIDS, STIs, and pregnancy, a vaginal examination, collecting fingernail scrapings and/or clippings, examining for injuries, and a blood draw.

There is a limited window of time (typically 72 to 96 hours) following an incident of sexual assault to preserve physical and other forms of evidence. Taking the step to gather evidence immediately does not commit an individual to any course of action. The decision to seek medical attention and gather any evidence will preserve the full range of options to seek resolution through the College’s complaint processes or criminal action.

 

Procedures for Filing a Sexual Misconduct Complaint

An individual who wishes to make a report of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct is encouraged to make a report directly to the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students Office, or Safety Department.

To make an official non-confidential complaint, the complainant must complete a College Incident Report Form. Following receipt of a complaint and incident form, the Coordinator will, assign a College Conduct Hearing Panel Member to work as an advisor to the student who reports a sexual misconduct complaint. The advisor’s purpose is to provide guidance regarding the policies and procedures of a sexual misconduct complaint to any student who officially files a report. The advisor serves in an impartial role and will not serve as a voting member of hearing panel for the case in which he/she is advising. Complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation that are of a non-sexual nature, will not have an advisor assigned to the complainant. Advisors are only assigned to students making a sexual misconduct complaint and are not assigned to employees.

Normally, within five business days of receipt of the complaint, an initial assessment is made by the Coordinator or designee whether a Policy violation may have occurred and/or whether a judicial resolution might be appropriate. If the complaint does not appear to allege a Policy violation or if judicial resolution is not desired by the complainant, and appears appropriate given the nature of the alleged behavior, then the complaint does not proceed to investigation.

If a complaint be made against the Coordinator or the Coordinator is otherwise unavailable or unable to fulfill his/her duties, the Coordinator may designate another person to oversee the process below.

A full investigation will be pursued if there is evidence of a pattern of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct or a perceived threat of further harm to the college community. The College aims to complete all investigations within a 60 business day time period, which can be extended as necessary for reasonable cause by the Coordinator with notice to the parties. Delays may occur when the College is closed or during academic breaks.

In every report of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct, the College, through the coordinated efforts of the Office of Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, and/or the College Conduct Hearing Panel will conduct an initial assessment. At the conclusion of the assessment, the report will be referred to the Coordinator for an investigation to determine if there is sufficient information to proceed with judicial resolution. Judicial resolution is a sanctions-based approach that may involve discipline up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.

Request for Confidentiality

All College investigations will respect individual privacy concerns.

Information gathered during the investigation will be used to evaluate the responsibility of the respondent, provide for the safety of the individual and the College campus community, and impose reasonable remedies to address the effects of the alleged conduct. The investigative report will serve as the foundation for all related resolution processes.

If the complainant requests that his/her identity remain confidential or that the College not pursue an investigation, the College must balance this request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all College community members. The College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation, but its ability to investigate may be limited by the request for confidentiality. Under these circumstances, the College will weigh the request for confidentiality against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged harassment, any potential threats to community safety, the respective ages and positions of the complainant and the respondent, previous history of harassment complaints against the respondent, and the respondent’s right to receive information under applicable law.

At all times, the College will seek to respect the request of the complainant, and where it cannot do so, the College will consult with the complainant and keep him/her/them informed about the chosen course of action.

If a complainant prefers confidentiality, he/she may speak with one or more of the following confidential references: on-campus counselors, college health service providers, off-campus local rape crisis counselors, domestic violence resources, private agencies, and or members of the clergy/chaplains all of whom will maintain confidentiality except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor. Students may confidentially access the college counselors in College Health Services Center. These resources are available free of charge and can be seen on an emergency basis during normal business hours. See College Contact Resources Guide for detailed information.

Non-Confidential Reporting

Complainants are encouraged to speak to designated College officials, including the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students, Campus Safety, any responsible employee which include all faculty, staff members, and the Bryn Athyn Police Department to make reports of incidents of sexual misconduct. Only a limited group of officials who need to know will be told of an incident. Information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses and the accused student/respondent. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve a complainant’s rights and privacy.

Federal Timely Warning and/or Emergency Notification Obligations

Complainants of sexual misconduct should be aware that College administrators must issue timely warnings and/or emergency notifications for incidents reported to them that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the college community. When reporting, complainants may request that personally identifiable information be withheld. The College will make every effort to ensure that a complainant’s name and other personally identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make decisions in light of the potential danger.

Initial Assessment

Upon receipt of a discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct report, the College, will conduct an initial assessment. The first step of the assessment will usually be a preliminary meeting with the complainant and the Coordinator and a designee (Title IX team member or hearing panel member). The purpose of the preliminary meeting is to gain a basic understanding of the nature and circumstances of the report; it is not intended to be a full forensic interview. At this meeting, the complainant will be provided with information about resources, procedural options, and interim remedies.

This initial review will proceed to the point where a reasonable assessment of the safety of the individual and of the campus community can be made. Thereafter, the assessment may continue depending on a variety of factors, such as the complainant’s wish to pursue disciplinary action, the risk posed to any individual or the college community by not proceeding, and the nature of the allegation.

In the course of this assessment, the College will consider the interest of the complainant and the complainant’s expressed preference for the manner of resolution. Where possible and as warranted by an assessment of the facts and circumstances, the College will seek action consistent with the complainant’s request.

Where a complainant requests that a name or other identifiable information not be shared with the respondent or that no formal action be taken, the College will balance this request with its dual obligations to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all College community members and to afford a respondent fundamental fairness by providing notice and an opportunity to respond before action is taken against a respondent.

Conclusion of Title IX Assessment

Title IX team will determine appropriate manner of resolution and if appropriate, refer report for remedies-based resolution or investigation to determine if there is sufficient information to pursue judicial resolutions.

The determination as to how to proceed will be communicated to the complainant in writing. Depending on the circumstances and requested resolution, the respondent may or may not be notified of the report or resolution. A respondent will be notified when the College seeks action that would impact a respondent, such as protective measures that restrict the respondent’s movement on campus, the initiation of an investigation or the decision to involve the respondent in remedies-based resolution.

Even if judicial resolution is not pursued, the College will have the discretion to require the respondent to participate in remedial measures that ensure sufficient education and counseling of the College’s policies.

Interim Measures

Upon receipt of a discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct report, the College will provide interim support and reasonable protective measures to prevent further acts of misconduct, and to provide a safe educational and work environment. The College will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures. Even when a complainant or respondent does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the College may choose to impose interim measures on the respondent at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader College community or the integrity of the review process.

Employees and/or students seeking such assistance should speak with the Director of Human Resources, who will coordinate such requests on the behalf of the individual.

The College will maintain contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure.

The College may impose any remedy that can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of this policy, even if not specifically listed here. The range of interim measures may include a no contact order, emotional support and/or interim separation.

No Contact Order 

A complainant or respondent may request, or the College may impose, communication and contact restrictions to prevent further potentially harmful interaction. These communication and contact restrictions generally preclude in person, telephone, electronic or third party communications. In some cases, an individual may also wish to consider an Abuse Prevention Order or a Harassment Prevention Order from the local courts. This is a civil proceeding independent of the College. If a court order is issued the College will, to the extent possible, assist the protected person in benefiting from the restrictions imposed by the court and will also facilitate on campus compliance with the order. The College may also limit an individual or organization’s access to certain College facilities or activities as part of the no contact order.

Academic, Employment or Residence Modifications: A Complainant or Respondent may request or the college may impose an academic or employment accommodation or a change in residence after a report of sexual misconduct. An individual who requests assistance in changing their academic or living situation after an incident of sexual misconduct will receive appropriate and reasonably available accommodations. These may include:

Academic accommodations

including a change in class schedule, taking an incomplete, dropping a course without penalty, attending a class via Skype or other alternative means, providing an academic tutor, or extending deadlines for assignments; Change of dormitory assignment; Restriction of visitation to other party’s residence; Change in work assignment or schedule; Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities.

Emotional Support

The College will provide counseling services through the Counseling Center or will assist in providing a referral to off campus agencies as detailed in the Campus and Community Resources section of this policy. Counseling and emotional support is available to any member of the campus community.

Interim Separation

If either the President or the dean of students decides at any point that the well-being of a student or of any member of the College community is at stake, an interim suspension may be imposed on a student who is suspected of violating the Student Code of Conduct (as outlined in the Student Handbook), any rules, regulations, or procedures of the College, or otherwise poses a risk of safety to the campus, until the time judicial resolution, disciplinary action, or a hearing can be completed. This action assumes no determination of guilt and the hearing will be held as soon as possible.

Similarly, the College may impose leave for any employee. Such leave will be structured at the College’s discretion.

Procedures for Investigation & Resolution 

The procedure for review, investigation and resolution of discrimination, harassment, retaliation or sexual misconduct complaints (“Procedure”) provides information applicable to students, faculty, staff, administration, visitors and others who may be on the College premises regarding the process for resolving complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation or sexual misconduct. If you have any questions regarding this policy, call or email the Interim Title IX Coordinator at 267-502-2551 or [email protected]

The Policy is comprised of the following components:

  • Complaints of possible violations of the Policy may be made to the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students or the Safety Department by Completing a College Incident Report Form
  • An Advisor is assigned to a complainant and respondent only in instances of complaints of sexual misconduct. Advisors are assigned only to students and not employees
  • An initial assessment of the complaint is made by the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator or designee within five (5) business days of receipt of the complaints
  • A full investigation follows if there is sufficient evidence of a pattern of violation of this policy
  • An investigation is completed within approximately sixty (60) days, subject to reasonable delays (for example, end of term breaks or holidays)
  • The investigative report will assist the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator to determine if the matter should proceed to a hearing for judicial resolution
  • The College cannot insure the confidentiality of any complaint, but will engage in best efforts to comply with the wishes of a complainant. Additionally, College counselors, pastors and others listed in this Policy are required by law to maintain confidentiality
  • Following receipt of a complaint, the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator will determine whether interim measures are appropriate while the investigation is ongoing
  • Interim measures may also be used where the investigation of a complaint concludes that interim measures are proper to resolve the complaint
  • An investigative report is reviewed by the College Conduct Hearing Panel, the Title IX team and/or the Dean of Students (if students of the College are involved) with the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator to determine if there is sufficient information upon which a hearing panel might find a violation of the policy
  • Depending on the allegations involved, judicial resolutions of Policy violations may be achieved without a hearing or via an informal hearing
  • Only formal hearings involve the College Conduct Hearing Panel
  • When a formal hearing process is necessary, there are pre-hearing procedures and pre-hearing review of documents
  • The formal hearing procedures are set forth in the policy
  • Following deliberation and decision of the external adjudicator or the formal hearing panel, the notice of outcome and sanctions are sent to both the complainant and respondent
  • A complainant or respondent may desire to withdraw from the College prior to completion of the investigation and hearing process. If a complainant withdraws, depending on an assessment of the fact involved, the College may continue with the investigation and hearing process. If a respondent withdraws prior to completion of the investigation and hearing process, the process will proceed. Transcripts may be held and notated if a withdrawal occurs.
  • An appeal to the President is permitted

Definitions

Judicial Resolution – When a respondent admits to the violation of the Policy, an informal hearing occurs for less serious violations of the Policy. A formal hearing is conducted by the College Conduct Hearing Panel for more serious violations of the Policy.

External Adjudicator – In lieu of a hearing before the College Conduct Hearing Panel, the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator may retain an external adjudicator in lieu of the hearing panel.