The University also offers resources for both students and employees, whether as Complainants or Respondents, to provide support and guidance throughout the investigation and resolution of a report of Sexual Misconduct.
The procedures for student disciplinary proceedings in cases of alleged sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, or stalking are fully described in the University Student Judicial Policy and Sexual Misconduct, located at pages 80-84 of the Student Handbook.
The Title IX Coordinator and his/her designees are responsible for the enforcement of the University’s policies and regulations. Any member of the University community may file a complaint against another member of the University community alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. An incident report should be completed by a University Official (e.g., Public Safety or Residence Life) and directed to Title IX Coordinator to process. A complaint shall be submitted as soon as possible after the incident occurred, preferably within one week; however, the timeliness of the complaint shall be determined by the Title IX Coordinator based on facts and circumstances presented.
The university reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students' rights and personal safety.
Holy Family University is committed to supporting victims of the various forms of violence by providing the necessary safety and support services. Student, faculty and staff victims of sexual misconduct are entitled to reasonable and appropriate measures to protect the Complainant and the Complainant's access to Holy Family's employment or education programs and activities, which may include protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation. Such protective measures and accommodations, which may be temporary or permanent, may include:
- no-contact order;
- services of a victim advocate;
- change in an academic schedule;
- transportation modification;
- work modification;
- provision of alternative housing opportunities;
- the imposition of an interim suspension on the accused;
- provision of resources for medical and/or psychological support.
A Complainant may wish to seek an order of protection from a court of appropriate jurisdiction against the alleged perpetrator in some circumstances. A Complainant may also seek restriction of access to Holy Family University by non-students or non-employees in certain circumstances.
For assistance obtaining these safety accommodations, please contact the Director of Public Safety. If safety is an immediate concern, the complainant is encouraged to contact law enforcement (Philadelphia Police Department) for assistance as well.
Upon receipt of a complaint of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will institute an investigation, which may be conducted by a member of the University administration, a non-University individual appointed by the University, or a combination. The composition of the investigator(s) will be within the sole discretion of the University.
Both the Complainant and the Respondent have certain rights and responsibilities during the investigation, including:
- To be notified of the allegation made against him or her;
- To be interviewed;
- To proceed with the investigation even if a party chooses not to participate;
- To be provided an opportunity to provide a list of witnesses and to identify potential physical evidence.
At the completion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a report of findings, which will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator, who will determine if charges are warranted.
Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board
When it has been determined that an alleged violation may have occurred, the appropriate moderator shall notify the parties via a charge letter sent by University email. The process of the hearing will be outlined in the notice. The Complainant and Respondent will be provided a list of the witnesses, a summary of witness’ statements, and a description of relevant physical evidence and documents. While the Complainant and Respondent will not be permitted to ask direct questions during the hearing, they will have an opportunity to provide a list of questions to be asked at the hearing. The University has discretion as to which questions will be asked. It is an expectation that students attend their hearings.
The adjudication process is designed to encourage open discussion among the participants that promotes understanding of the facts, the individuals involved, the circumstances under which the incident occurred, and the nature of the student’s conduct. Both the Complainant and Respondent may be accompanied by an advisor or choice. The judicial process is not criminal or civil proceedings, but rather, internal administrative determinations of violations of institutional policy. The final determination shall be based upon the facts of the conduct alleged, applying a “preponderance of the evidence” standard (whether it is more likely than not that the student is responsible for the alleged violation(s)).
When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administration's attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. Sanctions for students include, but not limited to, reprimand, suspension, and expulsion.
A complete listing of university sanctions for violation of the university Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found on page 82 of the Student Handbook.
Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the University reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The University will consider the concerns and rights of both the Complainant and the Respondent. Appeals will be heard by the Associate Vice President for Student Life for students and the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources for employees.