(Gettysburg College may make changes to this policy on an as needed basis in order to ensure compliance with federal and/or state regulatory updates, changes, and/or modifications.)
Personal safety and well-being should be the first priority for any individual who is the victim or a survivor of sexual harassment, misconduct, or violence, including sexual assault. Victims should immediately seek assistance from 911, notify law enforcement, and/or seek immediate medical assistance at a medical facility. These options address concerns for the immediate safety and health of the assault victim. Additionally, these are the best options to ensure preservation of evidence, in order to prosecute now or at a later date.
Gettysburg Police Department
911 (emergency)p>717-334-1168 (non-emergency)
59 East High Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Gettysburg Hospital Emergency Room
717-337-4357 (Emergency Room)
147 Gettys Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
The Department of Public Safety (DPS)
51 West Stevens Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Gettysburg College Counseling & Health Services
Available 24 hours per day; 7 days per week
Health Services 717-337-6970
Counseling Services 717-337-6960
After Hours request through DPS 717-337-6911
Statement of Philosophy
Gettysburg College is committed to educating students in an environment recognizing the worth and dignity of all people and the limitless value of their potential. To achieve this goal, the College is committed to providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination in all forms, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, are antithetical to the values of Gettysburg College, violations of College policy, and, in some instances, violations of state and federal law. All members of the College community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others.
Purpose of Policy
This Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy has been developed to educate students on appropriate conduct and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (discrimination based on sex), 20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1681-1688 (West Supp. 2006), prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in programs and activities by colleges that receive federal financial assistance. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment (which includes sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct). The College complies with Title IX and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity, or gender expression in educational programs, admissions, or employment.
Gettysburg College will not tolerate sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, or sexually inappropriate conduct in any form. Other acts can also be forms of sex or gender-based discrimination and are also prohibited whether sexually based or not, including dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking
While Gettysburg College attempts to offer a number of on campus resources, we encourage students to go to the hospital for medical care, as the staff there is trained in evidence collection.
Health Services, Counseling Services, or DPS can assist a victim who is seeking out a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at the Gettysburg Hospital Emergency Department (GHED).
SANEs are trained to provide counseling, perform the examination to retrieve forensic evidence, and screen the victim for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI).
Other off-campus resources are also available as listed below.
Gettysburg College is committed to treating all members of the community with dignity, care, and respect. Any individual affected by sexual assault or harassment, whether as a Complainant, a Respondent, or a third party, will have appropriate access to support and counseling services through the College. Gettysburg College recognizes that deciding whether to make a report and choosing how to proceed can be difficult decisions. Gettysburg College encourages any individual who has questions or concerns to seek the support of campus and community resources. These professionals can provide information about available resources, and procedural options, and assistance to both parties in the event that a report and/or resolution under this policy are pursued. Individuals are encouraged to use all available resources, regardless of when or where the incident occurred.
717-337-6960 *Confidential Resource
Department of Public Safety
Dean of Students
Title IX Coordinator
Intercultural Resource Center
International Student Advising
LGBTQA Advocacy and Education
Sexual Misconduct Resource Site
Facilitated Anonymous Reporting
A student can go to Health or Counseling to submit an anonymous report. The amount of detail provided in an anonymous report will determine the College’s ability to investigate or respond.
Importance of Preserving Evidence
Victims of sexual assaults should take every precaution to preserve all evidence of the assault and abstain from tampering with any items at the scene, changing clothing, or washing any area of their body. Upon receiving a report of a sex-related crime, a public safety officer(s) and/or police officer will investigate the incident and assist the victim in obtaining support from the appropriate College and local resources. In cases of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, students should preserve all phone call logs, emails, text messages, and any other forms of communication.
The Department of Public Safety
51 West Stevens Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Gettysburg Police Department
59 East High Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Section I. Prohibited Conduct and Definitions
This Policy prohibits “Sexual Misconduct” and “Relationship Violence,” broad categories encompassing the conduct defined below. Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence can be committed by anyone and can occur between people of the same or of different gender. For purposes of this Policy, the various forms of prohibited Sexual Harassment are referred to as “Sexual Misconduct.”
Prohibited conduct includes:
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Harassment, Harm to Others, and Harassing Conduct
- Domestic Violence
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Dating Violence
Sexual Harassment can be a single, serious incident or a series of related, repeated incidents. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (verbal or physical conduct) when the conduct:
- is reasonably perceived as creating an intimidating or hostile work, learning or living environment,
- unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from any educational program and/or activities, and is
- is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation
In addition to the above, specific types of sexual harassment constituting violations of this Policy include:
Sexual Assault: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or oral sex, without Consent. Sexual intercourse means anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching or attempted sexual touching, without Consent.
Sexual Exploitation: An act attempted or committed by a person for sexual gratification, financial gain, or other advancement through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, non-consensual observation of individuals who are undressed or engaging in sexual acts, non-consensual audio- or video recording or streaming of sexual activity, prostituting another person, and allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or consent of all involved parties.
Coercion: The use or attempted use of pressure and/or oppressive behavior, including express or implied threats, intimidation, or physical force such that the application of pressure or oppression causes the recipient of the behavior to engage in unwanted sexual activity. Coercion includes administering or pressuring another to consume a drug, intoxicant, or similar substance with the intent to impair that person’s ability to consent prior to engaging in sexual activity.
Complicity: Assisting, facilitating, or encouraging the commission of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy.
Harm to Others: Physical violence including (but not limited to) physical abuse, assault, threats of violence, striking, shoving or subjecting another person to unwanted physical contact.
Harassing Conduct: Intentionally or recklessly endangering, threatening, or causing emotional harm to any person. This may also include causing physical damage to their property.
Harassment: Harassment includes any written, verbal or physical acts (including electronically transmitted acts) that is reasonably perceived as creating an intimidating or hostile work, learning or living environment, particularly if questionable behavior is repeated and/or if it continues after the offending party is informed of the objectionable and/or inappropriate nature of the behavior. Harassment can be a single incident, or a series of repeated incidents.
Sexually Inappropriate Behavior: Conduct that is rude, obscene or sexually suggestive gestures or communication. Public masturbation, disrobing or exposure of one’s self to another person without that person’s consent is one example. This may be an isolated occurrence.
Relationship Violence is a violation of this policy and is defined as:
Domestic Violence: Knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, physical or sexual assault, abuse, placing another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, engaging in repetitive conduct toward a certain person that puts them in fear of bodily injury, restraining another’s liberty or freedom of movement, or stalking where such conduct is directed against the Complainant by an individual’s current or former spouse, household member, intimate partner or any other person from whom the Complainant is protected under federal or Pennsylvania law.
Pennsylvania law defines domestic abuse as knowingly, intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury of any kind, causing fear of bodily injury of any kind, assault (sexual or not sexual), rape, sexually abusing minor children, or knowingly engaging in a repetitive conduct toward a certain person that puts them in fear of bodily injury. These acts can take place between family or household members, sexual partners or those who share biological parenthood in order to qualify as domestic abuse.
Stalking: Repeated acts or communications directed toward another person, including following the other person without proper justification, which places the other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or causes substantial emotional distress.
For the purpose of this definition; course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, through third parties, or by any action causes substantial emotional stress. Stress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence: Causing or attempting to cause physical or emotional harm, sexual assault or abuse, placing another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, restraining another’s liberty or freedom of movement, or stalking, where such conduct is directed against the Complainant by someone with whom they have been in a romantic or intimate relationship. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction. Dating violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse.
Alleged Victim: Any individual who has allegedly experienced an act or acts of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence.
Alleged Offender: Any individual or authorized student organization that is alleged to have committed an act or acts of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence.
Adjudicator: The College administrative official who will be responsible for disposition and resolution of a Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence complaint. Typically, this will be the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students or their designee.
Advisor: Someone who acts as an advisor to the Complainant or Respondent involved in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding under this Policy. Once a complaint has been filed, the Complainant and Respondent may each select an Advisor of their choice. The Advisor is permitted to be a part of any meetings their student may have. College employees who provide confidential support services (Advocates, Counseling Services staff, Health Services staff, and pastoral counselors) or have an actual or perceived conflict of interest (the Title IX Coordinator, Department of Public Safety, and the Dean of Students, for example) may not serve as Advisors. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for any meetings because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.
The Advisor may not speak aloud during meetings involving the student and an investigator/adjudicator, but may confer quietly or by means of written notes with their advisee. The Student Conduct Administrator keeps a list of trained Advisors. Although the Parties are not required to select a trained Advisor, because knowledge of the disciplinary process is important to the Advisor’s role, it is highly recommended that they do so.
The Complainant and Respondent are not obligated to accept the counsel of an Advisor.
Appeals Board: A three-member board charged with hearing an appeal under this Policy. The Appeals Board is drawn from a pool of members of our community who will receive training regarding the purpose and implementation of this Policy as well as the disposition of Complaints in a manner that protects the safety and well-being of the Parties and promotes accountability. The Appeals Board typically is composed of one faculty member and two administrators.The Student Conduct Administrator has the discretion to make exceptions to this composition to ensure a timely appeal hearing. One member of the Appeals Board shall be appointed to serve as the Appeals Board Chair. All three members of the board are voting members.
Complainant: An individual who invokes the College’s processes to determine whether this Policy has been violated. The Complainant is normally the Alleged Victim. If an Alleged Victim chooses not to proceed with charges, the College may, at its discretion, serve as the Complainant.
Complaint: A written statement submitted by the Complainant to the College for the purpose of initiating disciplinary proceedings under this Policy. This includes complaints submitted through the Community Concern Form.
Consent: Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in, and continue to engage in, a specific sexual activity.
Consent must be informed and voluntary. To give Consent, a person must be awake, of legal age, and have the capacity to reasonably understand the nature of their actions. Individuals who are physically or mentally incapacitated cannot give Consent. Some indicators that an individual is incapacitated due to intoxication may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, unresponsiveness, inability to communicate coherently, inability to dress/undress without assistance, inability to walk without assistance, slurred speech, loss of coordination, or inability to perform other physical or cognitive tasks without assistance.
Silence, without actions evidencing permission, does not demonstrate Consent. Where force or coercion is alleged, the absence of resistance does not demonstrate Consent. The responsibility of obtaining Consent rests with the person initiating sexual activity.
Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by either person at any time. A previous or current dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute Consent. Once withdrawal of Consent has been expressed, the sexual activity must cease. Consent is automatically withdrawn by a person who is no longer capable of giving Consent (due to falling asleep or passing out into a state of unconsciousness, for example).
Investigator: The College administrative official who will be responsible for coordinating any investigations into an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy. Typically, this will be the Department of Public Safety or the Student Conduct Administrator; however, this may also be an external investigator. The Investigator will conduct a fact-finding inquiry, and prepare an Investigation Report for the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students for the purpose of resolving the complaint.
Mandatory Reporters: Mandatory Reporters are persons who, as a result of their profession, may be aware of cases of abuse or violence. At Gettysburg College, all professional and student staff (with the exception of professional health, counselors and pastoral counselors) are designated as mandatory reporters with regard to cases of suspected sexual assault/violence, sexual misconduct, and relationship violence. Suspected incidents need to be immediately reported to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). In the State of Pennsylvania, employees of institutions of higher learning who suspect incidents of child abuse (including incidents of suspected child sex abuse) must report such incidents to the Department of Public Welfare’s Child Line (800-932-0313), the police having jurisdiction, and to their supervisor.
Party or Parties: A term referring individually or collectively to the Complainant and/or Respondent.
Respondent: Any individual or authorized student organization alleged to have violated this Policy and against whom a Complaint has been submitted.
Retaliation: Acts or attempted acts to retaliate or seek retribution against anyone who has reported Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence or who has participated (or is expected to participate) in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy. Prohibited retaliatory acts include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination. Retaliation constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Student Conduct Administrator: College administrative official responsible for facilitating the adjudication of a Complaint filed under this policy including pre-hearing procedures. Normally, the Student Conduct Administrator will be the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Student Conduct Investigative Report: A report prepared by an Investigator and submitted to the Student Conduct Administrator for the purpose of resolving a Complaint.
Title IX: Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 32 C.F.R. Part 106, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, or gender expression in education programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Gettysburg College is required to comply with Title IX.
Threshold of Information: Determination as to whether the allegations would provide sufficient information upon which a hearing panel could find a violation of this policy.
Victim: A person who has experienced sexual misconduct or relationship violence. A Victim becomes a Complaint when the Victim invokes the formal College Hearing Process.
Witness: Any individual who has seen, heard, or otherwise knows or has information about a violation or attempted violation of this Policy. Witnesses are expected to provide a statement during a hearing. Witnesses are protected from retaliation, which includes retaliation from the Complaint, Respondent, or from another party or parties.
Section II. Reporting and Confidentiality
Official Reporting Procedures
Students should report incidents that they consider violations of this policy to the Dean of Students, Department of Public Safety or to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy. The staff and administrators in each of these areas are identified by the College as reporting authorities and will initiate the College's preliminary investigation process into an incident. All employees of the college, including student staff, (with the exception of counselors as identified below) are considered mandatory reporters with regard to incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct as defined by this policy. These employees are required to report an incident of sexual assault or sexual misconduct to the Department of Public Safety and/or a Title IX Officer/Deputy even if the victim elects not to or is unable to make an official report.
The preliminary investigation process into an incident includes the notification of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) if they were not the office who took the original report. DPS will help facilitate the reporting of a sexual assault to the Gettysburg police should the victim elect to pursue criminal charges. The police may be notified automatically by DPS or a College official in any incident of sexual assault where the alleged assailant is not known or otherwise identified or is perceived to be a continuing threat to the victim or larger campus community. Official reports can be made using the college’s on-line report concern form, by phone to a reporting entity, or in person to a reporting entity as outlined above.
Confidential and Anonymous Reporting
Members of the Health and Counseling Services staff and the pastoral counselor are confidential resources and do not investigate incidents. In their capacity and function as counselors, they do not make identifiable reports of incidents to the Official On-Campus Resources unless the student specifically requests them to do so. Students may request the Health and/or Counseling center to facilitate anonymous reporting using an internal form designed to capture general details about the incident (date, time, location, and brief description of the incident type) for inclusion in the college’s Annual Security and Fire Safety report. The amount of detail provided may cause the college to initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the report. Such an investigation may jeopardize the anonymity of the reporting person or Complainant. Students who become aware of sexual misconduct or relationship violence can make anonymous reports to the College via the Health and/or Counseling Centers only. The College does not provide confidential or anonymous reporting outside of these entities.
Adams County, PA, which includes the borough of Gettysburg and surrounding area, has established an anonymous reporting protocol for victims of sexual assault. The purpose of this protocol allows Adams County, PA to develop an alternative to standard reporting procedures for sexual assault victims. If a sexual assault victim does not currently wish to involve police, there is still an option to have the forensic evidence collected in a timely manner. By providing victims with the opportunity to gather information, solidify their support system, and establish rapport with first responders, the county hopes to create an environment that encourages reporting, even for those victims who initially feel unable, unwilling or unsure about doing so. Victims choosing to have evidence collected while anonymously reporting the sexual assault can do so during the forensic exam at the Gettysburg Hospital. The Adams County District Attorney’s Office manages the anonymous reporting protocol.
If the Victim does not wish to pursue Resolution
In all reported cases of sexual misconduct, the College will conduct a fact-finding investigation to the best of its ability. In cases where the Victim wishes to become a Complainant, this investigative report is provided to the Student Conduct Administrator for a threshold analysis.
In cases where the Victim does not wish to become a Complainant, the College has 2 (two) options:
- The College may attempt to resolve the complaint in a manner consistent with the Victim’s request. This may include holding the report for action at a later date.
- The College may pursue a judicial hearing against the Alleged Offender named in the investigation. Under these circumstances, the College would take into consideration the nature of the assault, the safety of the Victim and the campus community, as well as the previous disciplinary history and previous allegations of sexual misconduct.
Statement on Confidentiality
The College will protect the identity of persons who report having been victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking (to the fullest extent of the law). Additionally, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with any request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. However, its ability to do so may be limited based on the nature of the request by the Complainant.
If the Victim requests anonymity or that the College not pursue an investigation, the College must balance this request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe environment for all College community members. In cases where the College cannot respect the wishes of the Victim, the College will consult with the Victim and keep them informed about the College’s course of action.
If the report of misconduct discloses an immediate threat to the College campus community, where timely notice (see Section IX) must be given to protect the health or safety of the community, the College may not be able to maintain the confidentiality of the Alleged Victim or Alleged Offender’s identities.
The College will assess any barriers to proceeding, including retaliation, and in cases where informal or formal resolution will take place, the College will inform the Respondent that Title IX prohibits retaliation and the College will take strong responsive action to protect the Complainant.
The College has designated the following individual(s) to evaluate requests for confidentiality once the College is aware of alleged sexual violence:
Jeff Foster, Senior Associate Dean of College Life
Section III. Investigation of Reports
The College will take prompt action to investigate and adjudicate the complaint. The College’s goal is to complete the investigation within 60 days. However, there may be times where the process may take longer and the College will communicate on an on-going basis with the parties a realistic timeline, and the circumstances regarding the same.
Investigations will be conducted by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), an external investigator, or other investigator designated by the Dean of Students. This designee may be an employee of the College, an external investigator, or both. Investigation by the College will begin promptly and may be coordinated with any investigation by the Gettysburg Police. All reasonable efforts will be made to keep information private during the College's investigation and adjudication of a complaint.
The investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable gathering of the facts. The investigation will be thorough, impartial, and fair. The DPS staff members who are responsible for these investigations have been trained on investigation, Title IX, and LGBTQA concerns, trauma informed training and are aware of this policy. As described in the confidentiality section of this Policy, the investigation will be conducted in a manner that is respectful of individual privacy concerns.
The investigation is a process that involves obtaining and evaluating information given by persons having personal knowledge of the events or circumstances concerning the reported incident. This may include the collection of all statements (both oral and written), pertinent facts, and/or evidence. This process will be exhaustive and is likely to include the interviewing and re-interviewing of involved parties so as to ensure as much clarity around conflicting or differing statements as may be possible. The Dean of Students, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or their designees may refer an investigative report back to DPS for further follow-up pending the availability of new information, for additional clarity regarding conflicting or inconsistent information/reports, or for any other reason necessary to ensure further clarity or strengthen the final report.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a report setting forth the facts gathered. The report will provide an assessment of credibility and a recommended finding of responsibility.
Threshold of Information
The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will review the investigation report to make a determination on the threshold of information. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities may determine that there is sufficient information to proceed.
If it is determined that the threshold has been reached, a notice of charge will be issued to begin the formal or informal conduct resolution process. If the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities determines that this threshold has not been reached, the Complainant and Respondent will be notified in writing.
The Complainant will have the opportunity to seek review by the Dean of Students by filing a written request for review within two (2) business days. The Respondent will be notified in writing of this request. The Dean of Students may affirm the threshold finding, reverse the finding, or request additional investigation, as warranted. If the Dean of Students agrees that a case does not reach the threshold for formal resolution, educational sanctions or informal resolution may still be implemented. This decision of the Dean of Students is final.
Section IV. Interim Measures
During the investigation and prior to the final determination, the College may take appropriate Interim Measures to protect the parties involved. A Complainant or Respondent may request an Interim Measure or other protection or the College may impose Interim Measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the College community, and/or the integrity of the process. These actions are not a presumption of responsibility for violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy. Interim measures may be imposed whether or not formal disciplinary action is sought by the Complainant or the College.
Interim Measures may prevent a student from attending class and other College activities. College Life will communicate with Academic Advising and a student’s faculty instructors and/or advisors at the request of the student in order to determine if alternate arrangements can be made to support a student’s completion of academic assignments.
The College will try to provide academic support where necessary. Academic support means that College Life will communicate with Academic Advising or faculty on a student’s behalf. Faculty, however, work at their own discretion and therefore, College Life can make no guarantees that student will receive the support they may desire.
Types of Interim Measures
Interim Separation In certain circumstances the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, or designee, may impose an Interim Separation from the College at any point after a complaint has been filed. Interim Separation may be imposed:
- During the investigatory stage to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property;
- To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or,
- If the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College, or the investigation.
During the Interim Separation, a student shall be denied access to the residence halls and/or to the campus. Interim Separation will not be placed on a student’s official, permanent academic record.
The Interim Separation does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a hearing, if required. However, the student should be notified in writing of this action and the reasons for the separation. The student will also be notified of the time, date, and place of a subsequent Student Conduct Review Board or Sexual Misconduct hearing, if applicable.
Interim residential separation or residential relocation. A student may be separated temporarily from College housing or temporarily reassigned to another residential location on campus. Their original housing location will be held until the process is over. It can be determined that residential relocation is a sanction when appropriate, and at that time the student will move permanently into a location determined by Residence Life.
Class schedule changes. Changes to a student’s class schedule may be made on a temporary basis in the event it is deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students or her/his designee. Students may be sanctioned to a permanent change(s) through the normal adjudication process.
Restrictions from College activities and/or facilities. A student may be denied, on a temporary basis, participation in a college activity or privilege for which they may be otherwise eligible as the Dean of Students or their designee determine to be appropriate. Students may also be prohibited from certain facilities including, but not limited to, academic buildings, fraternities, athletic facilities and/or practice and competition spaces, and transportation services. Students may be sanctioned to a permanent restriction(s) through the normal adjudication process.
Work or job assignment changes: Changes to a student’s work or job assignment (including internships) may be made on a temporary basis in the event it is deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
No-Contact Directive. The College may impose a No-Contact Directive in cases where an agreement cannot be reached or is not applicable. Generally, No Contact is defined as having no direct or indirect contact with another party or parties at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, communication that is written, verbal, or physical. Written communication is understood to include all electronic means of communication; including, but not limited to, email, instant messaging text messaging, and all forms of social media. Verbal communication is understood to include phone calls and voice mail messages. A No-Contact Directive may include additional restrictions and terms. Violations of the No-Contact Directive will result in disciplinary action.
Section V. Informal Resolution
A Complainant may elect to pursue an informal resolution to a sexual misconduct complaint. The Student Conduct Administrator, usually the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, has the discretion to determine if it would be appropriate to resolve a complaint under this Policy through informal resolution. An informal resolution is designed to officially resolve complaints promptly, and with mutual approval of all parties involved.
Informal resolutions include, but are not limited to, on-line education courses, counseling sessions, other educational remedies or mediation of the complaint conducted by the Student Conduct Administrator and/or an Associate Dean of College Life. Informal resolution may be used in certain cases involving sexual misconduct; such as non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, and sexually inappropriate behaviors. Informal resolution will never be used in cases involving allegations of sexual assault. Both the Complainant and Respondent must agree to engage in informal resolution. Either party can end the informal resolution process at any time, for any reason, and begin the formal resolution process. Formal Resolution may not be initiated after the conclusion of Informal Resolution.
Outcomes of Informal Resolution
At the conclusion of Informal Resolution, the Student Conduct Administrator or designated College administrator may propose a sanction agreed upon by the parties or may impose or continue a no contact directive based on information derived from the Informal Resolution proceedings, taken together with any other relevant information known to the College at the time of the Informal Resolution. Actions imposed by the Student Conduct Administrator and designated College administrator may include accommodations to living, academic courses or employment; limitations of contact between the parties; and recommendation to counseling for the Respondent.
Election of Formal Resolution
Except in cases where a Formal Resolution hearing has already been denied for not meeting the threshold, as set forth in Section III, above, the College, Complainant, or the Respondent may, at any time prior to the conclusion of the Informal Resolution, elect to end such proceedings and initiate Formal Resolution instead. In such cases, statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution may be considered in the subsequent Formal Resolution.
Section VI. Formal Resolution
After the Student Conduct Administrator, usually the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities charges a student with a potential violation of policy:
- The Student Conduct Administrator, will contact the Complainant and Respondent where applicable, to go over details of the case and answer any questions concerning the process.
- The Complainant and Respondent will be asked to provide the Student Conduct Administrator with a list of witnesses (if there are any). Those witnesses will be asked to provide statements to DPS. Character witnesses are not permitted as part of the hearing process.
- The Student Conduct Administrator will request the names of the Complainant’s and Respondent’s advisors. The advisors will be contacted by the Student Conduct Administrator to be certain that they understand their role in the hearing process. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with the advisor and to provide the advisor with hearing materials if they so desire.
- The Student Conduct Administrator will be available to speak with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the Complainant and Respondent to answer any questions about the process. It is the student’s responsibility to provide parent(s)/guardian(s) with copies of hearing materials if they desire. This information will not be provided by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Department of Public Safety.
- The Student Conduct Administrator will produce written charges to be delivered to the Respondent. The charge letter should indicate the elements of this policy that are alleged to have been violated. In addition to the formal charge letter, the Respondent will receive copies of written statements provided by witnesses during the inquiry process. The Complainant and Respondent will have 5 (five) calendar days from receipt of the charge letter and statements to submit a response to the Student Conduct Administrator to be shared with the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students.
- Violence Policy will be conducted by the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students. The Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students may select a designee if the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students chooses to do so. The Student Conduct Administrator will prepare a written report of the investigation for the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students or their designee (from here on referred to as Adjudicator).
- The Adjudicator will base its decision on the information available in the written report, interviews with the Complainant, Respondent, witnesses, and any other information that is deemed relevant and pertinent to the case. In the event the Adjudicator wishes to meet with the Respondent or Complainant, the Respondent and Complainant will not be in the same place at the same time. Additional investigation may be conducted at the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator at the request of the Adjudicator.
- The standard of proof that the Adjudicator will utilize is preponderance of information. The preponderance standard means that the Adjudicator finds it is more likely than not the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for a violation of this policy based on the information presented to the Adjudicator.
- The Respondent and Complainant will be notified in writing of the decision made by the Adjudicator within five (5) business days of the hearing. This notification to both Respondent and Complainant(s) will be done at the same time or as close to the same time as possible. If the Complainant is deceased, the next of kin will receive results of disciplinary proceedings.
- A student found responsible for violating this policy may be assigned sanctions that include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, or probation. For a full list of sanctions, see Section VIII.
The imposition of sanctions will take effect immediately and will not be delayed pending the resolution of the appeal.
Reasons for appeal
The Respondent or Complainant may appeal a decision in a case for the following reasons:
a. Unreasonable Sanction: To determine whether the magnitude of the sanction(s) imposed was unreasonable for the violation of policy for which the student was found responsible;
b. Procedural Error: To determine procedural error or absence of conformity with prescribed procedures during the investigative stage or any stage of the process (including an error during the hearing) preventing either the Complainant or Respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present information to the investigator; and
c. New Information: To determine new information is discovered which was not available at the time of the investigative process and could have affected the outcome of the case.
Note: Appeals granted for “Unreasonable Sanction” will be referred to an Appeals Board. Appeals granted for reasons “Procedural Error” or “New Information” will go back to the original Adjudicator, unless an error during the hearing influenced the outcome. The Complainant would have the right to appeal in the case that the Respondent was found “Not Responsible”, if there were a procedural error or if new information has been discovered. In all cases that go back to the Adjudicator, the Adjudicator's decision is then final.
Appeals based on Unreasonable Sanction will be heard by an Appeals Board. The panel will consist of one voting faculty member who will serve as chairperson; and two voting administrators. Members of the panel will be appointed for one to two year terms and will be trained on issues related to the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence policy and process.
Students wishing to appeal should submit their written appeal to the College Life Office within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the decision by the Adjudicator. Appeals are due by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day following the original decision. The Student Conduct Administrator or Title IX Deputy shall determine if the grounds for appeal were met.
If the Respondent or Complainant submits an appeal and the appeal is granted, both parties will be informed by the Student Conduct Administrator that an appeal has been granted.
- Once all parties have been notified that an appeal has been granted, the Complainant or Respondent will have the option to submit a response to the appeal in writing. This response must be received by 5:00pm on the third calendar day following the receipt of the appeal notification.
- Once a board has been convened, the original appeal letter and any responses will be submitted to the Appeals Board. This board will be chaired by one of the voting members of the Appeals Board.
The Respondent or Complainant may request the removal of a member of the Appeals Board, if the student has reason to believe that the member may not be fair or impartial. This request, including rationale, must be submitted to the College Life Office in writing at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. The final decision to remove a member of the board is at the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator or Title IX Deputy.
- The Appeals Board will have access to reports, statements by the Complainant, Respondent, witnesses and any other materials gathered during the investigation.
- The Appeal Board will vote on whether or not the original sanction(s) should be amended. Amendment of the sanctions may include an increase or decrease in severity.
- The Appeals Board may, in its sole discretion, meet with the Complainant, Respondent, others involved in the process, or the Adjudicator in order to determine whether the original sanction(s) should be amended. During any meeting with the Complainant, Respondent and/or other individuals, the Appeals Board will not revisit the entire matter, but will limit its discussion to whether the sanction is unreasonable as previously identified.
- The decision of the Board is final, except in cases of expulsion.
In Cases of Expulsion
In cases where appeals have resulted in expulsion, the Respondent will have the opportunity to submit an appeal to the President of Gettysburg College. This appeal must meet one of the criteria listed above in reasons for appeal. The Respondent will have three (3) calendar days to submit the appeal in writing to the President’s Office. The President or their designee, who may be external to the College, will determine whether the appeal should be granted. This decision is final.
Section VII: Records
All resolution proceedings, whether informal or formal, are conducted in compliance with the requirements of FERPA and College policy. No information shall be released from such proceedings except as required or permitted by law and College policy.
A. Other than College expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record:
- Disciplinary records are maintained by the Dean of Students’ Office.
- Within 45 days of graduation, all hard copies of student disciplinary records shall be destroyed for students involved in disciplinary matters resulting in sanctions other than College suspension or College expulsion. Personal identifies are removed from electronic disciplinary records. However, the College maintains numeric identifiers which are discoverable if the College receives a subpoena.
- Disciplinary records of students involved in a pending College disciplinary proceeding, criminal matter, or civil matter requiring retention of the record may be retained for up to seven years after final resolution of the College disciplinary matter, criminal matter, and/or civil matter.
- Disciplinary records of students who have been suspended will be retained for no fewer than seven years after graduation or withdrawal. “Suspension” will be noted on the transcript for the duration of the suspension.
- Disciplinary records of students who have been expelled will be retained indefinitely in addition to a permanent notation on the student’s transcript.
- Disciplinary records of students who have withdrawn from the College and have not been suspended, expelled, involved in a pending criminal matter, or violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy will be retained for no fewer than seven years after the date of the incident.
B. Information and disciplinary records are generally not released to third parties without the student’s permission. There are two main areas of exception:
- The College may release information to parents without student consent when deemed appropriate and is not otherwise prohibited by FERPA or other applicable laws. The College’s complete FERPA policy may be found in the Student Handbook.
- Information and/or records may be produced in response to a subpoena, warrant, or court order.
C. In situations involving both a Respondent(s) and a student Complainant who is the victim or target of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, shall be considered to be the records of the Respondent and Complainant students.
D. For cases involving a report, complaint, investigation, or informal conduct resolution, or formal conduct resolution under the purview of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy, the Dean of Students Office will retain a record of the report, complaint, investigation, informal, and/or formal conduct resolution for a period of no less than seven years after graduation or withdrawal.
Affirmative findings of responsibility in matters resolved through formal conduct resolution are part of a student’s conduct record. Such records shall be used in reviewing any further conduct or in developing sanctions and shall remain a part of a student’s conduct record until graduation.
E. Students seeking transfer to other schools or participation in off-campus study programs may also be requested or required to release their disciplinary records. Graduate schools, medical schools, law schools and some governmental agencies may also request disclosure of student disciplinary records.
Section VIII: Sanctions
Below is a list of all sanctions that may be assigned by a Student Conduct Administrator, Student Conduct Review Board, Adjudicator, Appeals Officers, or the Sexual Misconduct Appeals Board. If a student is found responsible for a violation of policy, the following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code. When determining the appropriate sanctions, the conduct administrator or board may take into account any previous violations or sanctions imposed in a prior conduct proceeding. The conduct administrator or board may issue one or a combination of the following or similar types of sanctions:
A. Warning -- a notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
B. Conduct Probation -- a written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions, such as suspension or expulsion, if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. A letter will be sent to parents or guardians notifying them of this sanction. Students on probation are normally not permitted to live off-campus, join a Greek letter social organization, or study off-campus.
C. Loss of Privileges -- denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time. This includes, but is not limited to, loss of position in club or organization, suspension from athletic team or performing group, loss of privileges to use specified facilities, prohibition from participation in co-curricular activities, loss of privilege to have car on campus, loss of privilege to live in residence hall or lottery system, loss of privilege to join a fraternity or sorority, restricted access to a fraternity chapter house.
D. Fines -- previously established and published fines may be imposed.
E. Restitution -- compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
F. Discretionary Sanctions -- work assignments, essays, behavioral contracts, alcohol and drug assessment or substance use advising, service to the College, community service, or other related discretionary assignments.
G. No contact -- the College may work with students to develop a "no contact" agreement when appropriate. A "no contact" may be developed in order to facilitate any College inquiry into an incident and/or be developed as a sanction. Generally, "no contact" is defined as having no direct or indirect contact between two or more students at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, communication that is written, verbal, or physical. Written communication is understood to include all electronic means of communication; including, but not limited to, email, instant messaging and text messaging. Verbal communication is understood to include phone calls and voice mail messages. A "no contact" agreement may include additional restrictions and terms.
H. No contact directive -- the College may impose a "no contact" directive in cases where an agreement cannot be reached or is not applicable. Generally, "no contact" is defined as having no direct or indirect contact at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, communication that is written, verbal, or physical. Written communication is understood to include all electronic means of communication; including, but not limited to, email, instant messaging and text messaging. Verbal communication is understood to include phone calls and voice mail messages. A "no contact" directive may include additional restrictions and terms. Violation of the no contact may lead to additional charges or sanctions.
I. Residence Hall Relocation -- students may be assigned to a different residential space on campus if they violate policy or demonstrate an inability to continue living in their current community or room.
J. Residence Hall Separation -- separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which they student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission to the residence halls may be specified.
K. College Suspension -- separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Students who are suspended forfeit all fees that have been paid to the College; and are ineligible to visit the campus (including fraternity chapter houses) unless permission is granted by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities. In addition, a “suspension” notation is placed on their College transcript until the term of suspension has expired (notation changed to “withdrew” after suspension ends). Students must seek readmission as outlined in the Academic Procedures section of the Handbook. A letter will be sent to parents or guardians notifying them of this sanction.
L. College Expulsion -- permanent separation of the student from the College. A letter will be sent to parents or guardian notifying them of this sanction. Records will be permanently maintained by the College, and the transcript will note the expulsion.
M. Revocation of Admission – Applicants and admitted students are expected to abide by the same code of conduct as Gettysburg College students and are covered by the same Code of Conduct. Gettysburg College reserves the right to revoke admission to admitted or deposited students for fraud, misrepresentation, violation of College standards, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to enrolling at Gettysburg.
N. Withholding and/or Revocation of Degree -- Gettysburg College reserves the right to withhold or revoke a degree awarded from the College for sexual assault and other violations of sexual misconduct.
O. Withholding Diploma -- the College may withhold a student’s diploma for a specified period of time. The student may also be denied participation in commencement exercises while charges are pending or as a sanction.
In addition, the College may withhold a student’s transcript if the student has judicial charges pending or the student was found responsible for violating Policy.
Section IX: Additional Information
Title IX Information
Sexual Misconduct is a violation of Title IX, and Gettysburg College takes its responsibilities under Title IX seriously. Therefore, those who have questions about Title IX or wish to file a complaint under Title IX may contact one of our Title IX coordinators.
Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators (Names, Locations, Emails, phone #s)
Jane North, Executive Vice President and Title IX Coordinator, Third Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, email@example.com, 717-337-6011
Jen Lucas, Co-Director of Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, First Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-337-6211
Regina Campo, Co-Director of Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Coordinator , First Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, email@example.com, 717-337-6207
Jack Ryan, Vice Provost and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Third Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-337-6822
Jennifer McCary, Assistant Dean of College Life/Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Deputy Title IX Coordinator , Second Floor, College Union Building, email@example.com, 717-337-6998.
Bill Lafferty, Assistant Dean of College Life/Executive Director of Public Safety, Second Floor, College Union Building, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-337-6321
David Wright, Assistant Vice President for Athletics and Development Officer, Second Floor, Wright Building, email@example.com, 717-337-6530.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) incorporated with the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE) requires crimes of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking incidents to be reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies.
Timely Warning Reporting Obligations
The College must, in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes, provide information to the campus community about Clery Act crimes that have been reported to campus security authorities or state or local police that are considered to represent a serious or continuing threat to the College community. These warnings, which the Department of Public Safety issues as “Campus Safety Alerts”, shall be issued in accordance with established institutional procedures. The alerts are generally written and distributed to the campus community by the Executive Director of Public Safety or a designee and they are reviewed and approved by the Dean of Students or a designee.
Campus Safety Alerts are usually distributed for the following crimes that occur on or in campus owned, controlled, leased, rented, or otherwise recognized property: arson, criminal homicide, and robbery. Incidents of aggravated assault and sex offenses are considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts of the case and whether there is a continuing danger to the campus community. For example, if an aggravated assault occurs between two students who have a disagreement, there may be no on-going threat to other Gettysburg College community members and a Campus Safety Alert would not be distributed.
Campus officials not subject to the timely reporting requirement are those with official counseling responsibilities who were providing confidential assistance to a crime victim, such as pastoral counselors and professional counselors.
Assistance for Victims: Rights & Options
Regardless of whether a victim elects to pursue a criminal complaint, the college will assist victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and will provide each victim with a written explanation of their rights. In Pennsylvania, a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking has the right to file a petition with the courts requesting a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) which could include the following:
- An order restraining the abuser from further acts of abuse;
- An order directing the abuser to leave your household/place of residence;
- An order directing the abuser to refrain from stalking or harassing you or other designated persons;
- Other protections based on issues related to cohabitation, residency, employment, and child custody.
DPS will help put victims who are interested in pursuing a PFA in contact with local courts. Any student who obtains a PFA from Pennsylvania or any reciprocal State should provide a copy to DPS and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. A Complainant may then meet with DPS to develop a Safety Action Plan, which is a plan for DPS and the victim to reduce risk of harm while on campus or coming and going from campus. This plan may include, but is not limited to: escorts, special parking arrangements, providing a temporary cellphone, changing classroom location or working with Academic Advising on alternative class possibilities, allowing a student to complete assignments from home, etc. DPS will help facilitate the reporting of PFA violations to the local police.
While not the same as the PFA, the College can issue a No Contact Directive. This includes, but is not limited to, communication that is written, verbal, or physical. Written communication is understood to include all electronic means of communication; including, but not limited to, email, instant messaging and text messaging. Verbal communication is understood to include phone calls and voice mail messages. A "no contact" directive may include additional restrictions and terms.
Reporting to the Police: DPS will help facilitate the reporting of incidents of sexual assault and relationship violence to the Gettysburg Police Department should the Complainant desire to pursue potential criminal charges. The police may be notified directly of an incident of sexual assault or relationship violence if the assailant is not known or otherwise identified or should the circumstances surrounding the incident pose a continuing threat to the Complainant or larger campus community.
Training and On-Going Education by College Officials Conducting Institutional Disciplinary Proceedings:
College Officials conducting institutional disciplinary proceedings must receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This training includes how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Local Survivors, Inc., representatives from the Adams County District Attorney’s Office, and other trained college personnel will deliver this training to DPS officers, student conduct personnel, and student conduct review board members.
Education and Primary Prevention Programs
The College engages in comprehensive educational programming to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Educational programming consists of primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees and ongoing awareness and prevention campaigns for students and faculty that:
- Identifies domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking as prohibited conduct;
- Defines what behavior constitutes domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
- Defines what behavior and actions constitute consent to sexual activity;
- Provides safe and positive options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against a person other than the bystander;
- Provides information on risk reduction so that students and employees may recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks.
- Provides an overview of information contained in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report in compliance with the Clery Act.
The College has an annual educational campaign that distributes of educational materials to new students, new employee and faculty, and educational programs throughout the year as outlined below.
Ongoing Education and Awareness Programing
The College offers programs and activists to raise awareness about Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking to educating communities and individuals on how to prevent victimization on our campus. The following are a examples of annual programs currently offered:
Online Education: Haven, through EverFi and Lasting Choices through United Educators, are online courses required of all students to learn effective ways to prevent and report sexual assault on our campus.
Orientation Programing: Incoming first year students participate ina series of information sessions about the Clery Act and Title IX information, in addition to learning about the Sexual Misconduct Policy, bystander intervention, and resources.
DPS Liaison Programming: DPS officers are assigned liaison activities with students for the purpose of concentrated crime prevention and security awareness programming. In addition to general crime prevention programming, DPS officers provide sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking awareness programs for these students.
CHEERS: This student peer organization focuses on alcohol and other drugs, in addition to educating on sexual violence and bystander intervention. One of their most well-known programs is the “Not On Our Campus” skit during first-year orientation.
Group Motivational Enhancements (GME): Evidence supports the effectiveness of interventions that (1) use survey data to counter students’ misconceptions about their fellow students' attitudes towards excessive drinking, (2) concurrently address alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors, and (3) increase students' motivation to change their drinking habits (Larimer & Cronce, 2002). Programs that combine these three empirically validated approaches are the most effective in reducing problem drinking. Additionally, this program focuses on avoiding harmful situations, such as sexual assault and other instances of violence. This program is primarily done with Greek Lettered Organizations and Athletic teams.
Bystander Intervention Workshops: Bystander Intervention Presentations help people understand what stops us from intervening in potentially harmful situations. Participants discuss bystander effect and ways to decide to act when we see someone in need. This covers bias, sexual assaults, and other harmful behaviors. Participants leave with practical tips to intervene.
Healthy Relationships Discussion Group (HRDG): The HRDG functions on a series of discussions about relationships: with others (intimate partnerships, dating) and with the self (knowing boundaries, finding one’s voice to set boundaries, discerning what is appropriate for the individual, etc.).
14 Days to end Sexual Violence: Is a series of programs that take place over 14 days led by the Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) organization. All programs are to help raise awareness and offer support in an attempt to end sexual violence.
For a full list of programming, reference the Annual Security Report which can be found on the Department of Public Safety’s website http://www.gettysburg.edu/about/offices/college_life/safety.