Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy and Procedures
(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. Students may also use Gettysburg College Health Services, although Health Services does not have the ability to preserve physical evidence for later use in prosecution.
|Gettysburg Police Department||Gettysburg Hospital Emergency Room|
59 East High Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
717-337-4357 (Emergency Room)
|The Department of Public Safety (DPS)||Gettysburg College Counseling & Health Services|
51 West Stevens Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
|Health and Counseling Services is available |
M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.
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, and all other forms of sexual violence 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, sexual violence, 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.
Inquiries concerning the application of these policies may be referred to the Title IX Director or Intake/Investigative Offices or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education. For further information, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm
for the address and phone number of the U.S. Department of Education office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.
Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking
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 also encourages students to understand that the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation (PSVI) Act is available and provides victims of sexual violence or intimidation a civil remedy that requires the offender to stay away from the victim regardless of whether the victim seeks criminal prosecution. For more information see page 97 in this policy.
Survivors Inc. is a local organization providing a number of services around sexual assault and domestic violence including:
- 24 Hour Hotline that provides crisis counseling, safety planning, and arrangements for counseling, medical and legal accompaniment, and other referral services
- Supportive Individual Counseling
- Support Groups
- Emergency Shelter Services and Bridge Housing for those who are eligible
- Legal Advocacy
- Medical Accompaniment
- Bilingual and Bicultural Staff
- Systems Advocacy
- Community Education
- Mandated Reporter Training
For more information on Survivor’s Inc. visit the College Union Building (CUB) 220 or www.enddvsa.org.
Gettysburg College is committed to treating all members of the community with dignity, care, and respect. Any individual affected by sexual assault, sexual violence, 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 visit Health Services and to use all available resources, regardless of when or where the incident occurred.
717-337-6960 *Confidential Resource
717-337-6970 *Confidential Resource
717-337-6280 *Confidential Resource
Victim Services Advocate
717-253-8292 *Confidential Resource
Department of Public Safety
Dean of Students
Title IX Coordinator
Office of Multicultural Engagement
International Student Advising
LGBTQA Advocacy and Education
Sexual Misconduct Resource Site
Facilitated Anonymous Reporting
A student can go to Health or the Counseling Center to submit an anonymous report. The amount of detail provided in an anonymous report will determine the College’s ability to investigate or respond.
*Counseling and Pastoral Counseling will NOT release any information to the College or others unless the student asks them to do so. Counselors are encouraged by the College to inform persons they are counseling to report crimes to DPS for inclusion in the college’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report crime statistics. This can be done anonymously as outlined above. Health Services will not violate patient confidentiality as it relates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Health Services and the Victim Services Advocate are, however, required to report crimes that occur within the college’s geography to DPS on an annual basis for inclusion in the college’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report crime statistics. This reporting is done in a manner that does not disclose any personally identifying information of victims or Reporting Parties.
Importance of Preserving EvidenceVictims 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
Federal and State Definitions
While Gettysburg College has our own set of definitions for certain conduct, we follow federal and state definitions as well.
The Federal definition (from VAWA) of sexual assault:
Sexual Assault: An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Per the National Incident-Based Reporting System User Manual from the FBI UCR Program, A sex offense is “any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.”
- Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. This definition also includes attempts to commit rape.
- Fondling: The touching of the private parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Consent: The state of Pennsylvania defines ineffective consent as:
- Ineffective consent — Unless otherwise provided by this title or by the law defining the offense, assent does not constitute consent if:
- it is given by a person who is legally incapacitated to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense;
- it is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect or intoxication is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense;
- it is given by a person whose improvident consent is sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense; or
- it is induced by force, duress or deception of a kind sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense.
- Rape Offense defined—A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a Complainant: (1) By forcible compulsion. (2) By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution. (3) Who is unconscious or where the person knows that the Complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring. (4) Where the person has substantially impaired the Complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the Complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance. (5) Who suffers from a mental disability which renders the Complainant incapable of consent.
The state additionally provides descriptors commonly associated with consent as part of its full definition when describing the offense of Rape.
Further, under Clery and UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) definitions, the Pennsylvania Crimes Code sections relating to sexual assault (PA CS Title 18, Subsection 3124.1), involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (PA CS Title 18, Subsection 3123) and aggravated indecent assault (PA CS Title 18, Subsection 3125) are considered rape for the purposes of Clery and PA UCR reporting.
Other Sex offenses (except forcible rape, prostitution, and commercialized vice) ¿Statutory rape, offenses against chastity, common decency, morals, and the like. Attempts are included.
Relationship Violence is a violation of this policy and is defined as:
- Domestic Violence:
The Federal definition (from VAWA) of domestic violence.
A Felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed—
- By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
- By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
- By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
- By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
- By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
Definition of a Crime of Violence: According to Section 16 of Title 18 of the United States Code, the term “crime of violence” means:
- An offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or
- Any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
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.”
The Federal definition (from VAWA) of stalking:
“Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—
- Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
- Suffer substantial emotional distress.”
For the purposes of this definition—
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Pennsylvania law defines stalking when a person either:
- Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or
- Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicates to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.
Dating Violence is defined by the Federal Government (VAWA) as:
The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:
- Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
- The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s statement with consideration of:
- The length of the relationship;
- The type of relationship;
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
- Dating violence includes intimate partner violence, causing or attempting to cause physical or emotional harm, placing another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury, restraining another’s liberty or freedom of movement, 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.
Note: There is no Pennsylvania law for Dating Violence.
Gettysburg College Definitions
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
- 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. Sexual assault includes rape, fondling, incest, and statutory rape.
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 lewd or obscene including 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.
Dating Violence: Dating violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse.
Domestic Violence: Behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, LGBTQA; living together, separated or dating.
Intimate Partner Violence: Physical violence, sexual violence, and/or psychological abuse by a current or former intimate partner.
Stalking: “Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—
A) Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
B) Suffer substantial emotional distress.”
Adjudicator(s): The College administrative official who will be responsible for disposition and resolution of a Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence complaint. Typically, this will be a panel or the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students or designee, based on availability. The adjudicator has the discretion to consult with others as appropriate or refer to the appropriate 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) may not serve as Advisors. Additionally, the Title IX Director, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Department of Public Safety, and the Dean of Students, for example have an actual or perceived conflict of interest preventing them from serving in this role. 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 Responding Party are not obligated to accept the counsel of an Advisor.
Amnesty: The College will not pursue disciplinary action against any person for possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs when that possession or consumption is revealed in the course of a good faith report of sexual misconduct or relationship violence or other good faith statements made in connection with an investigation under this policy.
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.
Complaint: A written statement submitted by a third party, Responsible Reporter or the Complainant to the College for the purpose of initiating disciplinary proceedings under this Policy. This includes complaints submitted through the Community Concern Form.
Complainant: An individual who invokes the College’s processes to determine whether this Policy has been violated. The Complainant is normally the Victim. If a Victim chooses not to proceed with charges, the College may, at its discretion, serve as the Complainant.
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. The College encourages verbal consent to be present at all times at each step of 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 Title IX Director for the purpose of resolving the complaint.
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.
Responsible Reporters: Responsible Reporters are persons who, as a result of their profession, may be aware of cases of abuse or violence. At Gettysburg College, all faculty, administrators, staff, and student staff (with the exception of, psychological counselors and pastoral counselors while performing that role as their primary employment with the College) are designated as responsible reporters with regard to cases of suspected sexual assault/violence, sexual misconduct, and relationship violence. It is every person’s responsibility to keep our community safe and free from discrimination and 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. Pennsylvania recognizes matriculated students under the age of 18 as “children” for purposes of this law and, as such, the college is mandated to report a criminal complaint of abuse or sexual abuse involving anyone victim under the age of 18 immediately to ChildLine and the police having jurisdiction.
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 Title IX Director or 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.
Trauma Informed Training: This training is to help investigators and adjudicators understand, recognize, and respond to the effects of trauma. Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are deeply traumatic crimes that can cause severe damage to survivors’ emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being. Survivors can be harmed or retraumatized by insensitive, uninformed, or inadequate community and criminal justice system responses. Gettysburg College provides awareness training to incident responders, counselors, support personnel, and adjudicators on the impact trauma can have on the lives of survivors. Through the It’s On Us PA Grant received during the 2016 – 2017 year, a trauma informed approached training is available to faculty and staff through Human Resources and the Title IX Coordination. This training helps inform the college’s response to victim reports in a way that works to eliminate or significantly reduce the impact of retraumatization.
Victim: A person who has experienced sexual or relationship violence. A Victim may also be identified as a Survivor or as a Complainant when this person 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
An individual who reports sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence or stalking, whether the Complainant or a witness, can be assured that all reports will be taken seriously, and that each individual will be treated with dignity, respect, and in a non-judgmental manner from the initial report to final result. Similarly, a Respondent can expect to be treated fairly and respectfully from initial report to final result.
Official Reporting Procedures
Students are encouraged to report incidents that they consider violations of this policy to the Dean of Students, Department of Public Safety, Title IX Director or Deputy (Intake/Investigative Offices). For purposes of this policy, the administrators in each of these areas are identified by the College as reporting authorities and will initiate the College's preliminary assessment process into an incident. All employees of the college, including student staff, (with the exception of counselors as identified below) are considered responsible 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 Director /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, or as mandated by State Law as outlined above. 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. Students reporting incidents of sexual violence to official and non-confidential campus resources will receive a Victims’ Rights Pamphlet that outlines on and off campus resources, confidential resources, reporting processes, etc. Students against whom an incident of sexual or relationship violence has been reported will receive a Respondent Resources Pamphlet that outlines on and off campus resources, confidential resources, process expectations, etc. Both the Complainant and the Respondent will receive notice of their rights and resources by the Title IX Director or designee, or the Department of Public Safety.
Confidential and Anonymous Reporting
Members of the Gettysburg College Counseling Services staff and pastoral counselors performing that role on behalf of the College are confidential resources and do not report incidents. In their capacity and function, they do not make identifiable reports of incidents to the Official On-Campus Resources unless the student specifically requests them to do so; however, the College encourages counselors to inform students to report incidents of crime to DPS, which can be done directly or anonymously. Students may request the 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’s crime statistics disclosure. The College does not provide anonymous reporting outside of these entities.
The amount of detail provided may enable 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.
During the 2016 — 2017 year, Gettysburg College was awarded under the “Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on Campus Program. The College has hired a Victim Services Advocate (VSA) funded by the DOJ/OVW grant. This position, held by Jessica Ritter, allows an advocate from Survivors Inc. to work at the college part time during the school year.
The VSA offers confidential crisis intervention, facilitates an on-campus support group, makes referrals as needed, help with accommodations, and provides accompaniment to medical and legal appointments as requested by students, staff, and faculty of Gettysburg College. The VSA will encourage students to report using the formal reporting process, can assist students with anonymous reporting, and can assist with contacting the local authorities. Adams County, PA, which includes the borough of Gettysburg and surrounding area, also 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.
Statement on Minors
In accordance with Pennsylvania State Law, it is the legal obligation of the College to report incidents involving victims of sexual assault and/or sexual violence/abuse under the age of 18 immediately to local law enforcement and the PA Department of Human Services ChildLine and Abuse registry. Law Enforcement authorities may notify the victim’s parents or guardians as stipulated by law.
Employees and/or matriculated students, in addition to youth camps, high-school overnight guests, other student juvenile guests, under the age of 18 are considered by State Law as “children.” As such, if a person under the age of 18 reports being the victim of sexual violence or abuse, the College will proceed with the reporting structure stated above.
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, pursue a formal or informal process, 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 Respondent 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 Privacy
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 privacy 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 must be given to protect the health or safety of the community, the College will maintain the privacy of the Victim or Respondent’s identities, understanding that in a small community a Campus Safety Alert may make members of the community feel known or singled out. For additional details on the college’s Campus Safety Alert process, please refer to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report at: (insert link)
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 privacy once the College is aware of alleged sexual violence:
Amanda Blaugher, Title IX Director or a trained designee
Section III. Organizational Behavior
Student groups are subject to the conduct expectations detailed throughout this policy. Any behavior, patterns of behavior, or information suggesting patterns of behavior that creates or contributes to the creation of hostile environment, retaliation, discrimination, or harassment will be investigated and could result in organizational and/or individual charges.
Any member of the College community may bring allegations against a student group/ organization for violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy. The College will conduct a preliminary investigation into an incident. For cases involving a social fraternity or sorority, the case may be referred to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and/or the Director of Greek Life and Student Activities.
An investigation will be conducted to determine if the allegations have merit and have met the threshold (defined below) to move forward with charges. The Title IX Director, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Director of Greek Life may confer with the student group/organization’s advisor(s), inter/national headquarters and/or other faculty and staff with a relationship to the student group/organization to solicit advice and recommendations regarding the case. Ultimately, the College is responsible for determining if the organization and/or individuals will be charged and the process for adjudication. All sections of this policy apply to groups and organizations. See Section IX for Organizational Sanctions.
Section IV. Investigation of Reports
The College will take prompt action to investigate and adjudicate the complaint. A written notice of investigation will be given to the Complainant and the Respondent informing them of the allegations, resources, and rights in the process at least three (3) business days prior to the investigation meeting. Investigations will include timely notice of meetings for both the Complainant and the Respondent throughout the process. During the investigative process, all parties will have an opportunity to review the draft investigative report prior to it going to the Title IX Director. The parties will have five (5) business days to review the draft of the investigative report and submit in writing comments about content, requests for additional meetings with the investigator to conduct further investigation or questions. The draft of the investigative report will be able to be reviewed, however the parties will not be able to take the draft of the investigative report with them during the draft period. This information will be included in the final documents that will be reviewed by the Title IX Director and adjudicator(s); if applicable. The parties may request one (1) extension that may be granted, if reasonable, at the discretion of the investigator. Any extension granted to one party will be granted to the other party. Failure to make submissions within five (5) business days or any approved extension will result in a forfeiture of the right to do so later. Both parties will be provided the final report, statements, and equal access to all evidence prior to the adjudication process.
If the student wishes to participate in a police investigation, the College may wait a reasonable amount of time (usually 7 to 10 business days but could be extended at the request of the Police Chief or District Attorney or their designee) to allow the police to conduct initial fact finding and the gathering of evidence in the criminal investigation. The Department of Public Safety Director or designee and the Police Chief or designee may regularly confer on the status of an active investigation to ensure compliance with federal requirements while maintaining the integrity of any active criminal process. The College has a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gettysburg Police Department regarding the criminal and administrative investigation of incidents of sexual violence and the distribution of timely warning notices or campus safety alerts and immediate or emergency notifications.
The College will conduct a prompt, fair, impartial investigation in a timely manner designed to provide all parties with resolution. 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. In every investigation conducted under this policy, the burden is on the College—not on the parties—to gather sufficient evidence to reach a fair, impartial determination as to whether sexual misconduct has occurred and, if so, whether a hostile environment has been created that must be redressed.
Investigations will be conducted by one or more of the following: the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Title IX Director, 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. All reasonable efforts will be made to keep information private during the College's investigation and adjudication of a complaint. Investigators receive annual training on the issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and on how to conduct an objective and impartial investigation and hearing processing that protects the safety of victims, promotes accountability, and ensures investigative techniques do not apply sex stereotypes and generalizations.
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, Title IX Director, 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 the scope of the reported incident, investigative findings and an assessment of reliability of the information.
Threshold of Information
The Title IX Director or their designee will review the investigation report to make a determination on the threshold of information. The Title IX Director 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 Title IX Director determines that this threshold has not been reached, the Complainant and Respondent will be notified in writing.
If it is determined that the threshold was not reached, 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 V. Interim Measures
During the investigation and prior to the final determination, the College may take appropriate Interim Measures to protect the parties involved; after a fair assessment to determine the need for such Interim Measures. Interim Measures will be individualized an appropriate based on the initial information gathered by the Title IX Director. 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. Interim measures will be individualized and appropriate based on the information gathered by the Title IX Director. 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. The Complainant and Respondent will be notified in writing of any or all Interim Measures.
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, fraternities and/or to the campus or other areas owned or controlled by the College. Interim Separation will not be placed on a student’s official, permanent academic record.
A student may be required to submit to an assessment before being considered for return from interim separation. In the event that a student refuses to cooperate with such an assessment or if an assessment cannot be completed within a reasonable amount of time, determination of eligibility for return will be based on readily available information, including indirect behavioral observations.
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 VI. Informal Resolution
A Complainant may elect to pursue an informal resolution to a sexual misconduct complaint. The Title IX Director or 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 (incidents that are not classified as fondling), sexual exploitation, and sexually inappropriate behaviors. Informal resolution will never be used in cases involving allegations of violent sexual assault (including rape, incest, or statutory rape). 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 VII. Formal Resolution
The college will ensure an investigation, process and proceeding that is balanced, impartial, and fair and provides a guarantee of fundamental fairness to all parties involved without a presumption of responsibility until the completion of an administrative process or hearing. This fairness includes advanced notification of the allegations and charges, notice of all rights and responsibilities under a proceeding, and advanced and equal access to all material evidence and information.
After the Student Conduct Administrator, usually the Title IX Director in such cases, 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 permitted to submit a written list of questions for consideration at the hearing. These questions must be submitted to the Student Conduct Administrator two (2) business days before the hearing. The Chair will approve all questions or topics that are relevant and that are not: 1) prohibited by these procedures or applicable laws, 2) unduly prejudicial, or 3) or questions previously answered by the investigative report. Questions around prior sexual history, mental health treatment and/or diagnosis, sensitive personal identifying information and medical records will not be permitted.
- The Complainant and Respondent will be asked to provide the Student Conduct Administrator with a list of witnesses (if there are any). Character witnesses are not permitted as part of the hearing process. Anonymous 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, College Life, or Department of Public Safety.
- The Student Conduct Administrator will produce written charges to be delivered to the Complainant and 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 Complainant and Respondent will receive copies of written statements provided by witnesses during the inquiry process (these may be received after the charge letter). The Complainant and Respondent will have 7 (seven) calendar days from receipt of the charge letter and statements to submit a response to the Student Conduct Administrator to be shared with the panel or the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students .
- Adjudication of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy will be conducted by a panel or the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students based on availability. The Student Conduct Administrator will prepare a written report of the investigation for the panel or the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students (from here on referred to as Adjudicator).
- The Adjudicator will base their decision on the information available in the written report. If the Adjudicator has insufficient information, they may follow-up with the investigator to get additional information from the Complainant, Respondent, witnesses, and any other information that is deemed relevant and pertinent to the case.
- 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. 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 IX.
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 proscribed 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. If students indicate one basis for appeal which would send the case back to the original adjudicator and another ground for appeal which involves an Appeals Board, then both conditions for appeal would be heard by the Appeals Board. If both or all students appeal and any ground for appeal involve an appeal of sanction, then all grounds for appeal would be heard by the Appeals Board. In all cases that go back to the Adjudicator, the Adjudicator's decision is then final.
Appeals based on unreasonable sanctions or conditions noted above would be heard by the Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students or an Appeals Board. The Appeals Board will consist of one voting faculty member and two voting administrators. Members of the panel will be appointed for one to three 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 Title IX Director or Title IX Deputy shall determine if the grounds for appeal were met. If grounds are not met, the appeal will not move forward to the Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students or an Appeals Board. Common reasons why an appeal may be rejected, or not accepted for consideration, include the following:
- Where a remedy has been requested that is not available through the appeal
- Where the appeal does not fit within the definition of any of the relevant grounds for appeal
If the Respondent or Complainant submits an appeal and the appeal is granted, both parties will be informed by the Title IX Director 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.
- If being heard by the Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students: the original appeal letter and any response will be submitted to the Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students.
- If being heard by an Appeals Board: 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.
Appeals with Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students
- The Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students will have access to reports, statements made by the Complainant, Respondent, witness and any other materials gathered during the investigation.
- The Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students will determine whether or not the original sanction(s) should be amended. Amendment of the sanctions may include an increase or decrease in severity.
- The Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students may, in their sole discretion, meet with the Complainant, Respondent, other 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 Vice President of College Life and Deans of Students will not revisit the entire matter, but limit their discussion to whether the sanction is unreasonable as previously identified.
- The decision of the Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students is final, except in cases of expulsion.
Appeals Board Process
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 Title IX Director 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 Appeals 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 will determine whether the appeal should be granted. This decision is final.
Section VIII: 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 identifiers are removed from electronic disciplinary records. However, the College maintains numeric identifiers which are discoverable if the College receives a subpoena or search warrant.
- Disciplinary records of students involved in a pending College disciplinary proceeding, criminal matter, or civil matter related to a Clery Act specific crime (Rape, Fondling, Statutory Rape, Incest, Stalking, Domestic Violence or Dating Violence) requiring retention of the record may be retained for seven years from the date of the initial report to the College.
- 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 those found responsible for a violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence policy, specifically, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment 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, specifically for students found responsible for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment, 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. Personal identifiers will be removed from all records in accordance to the disciplinary records retention policy. These cases are discoverable by search warrant, subpoena or federal audit.
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.
F. Regarding students who withdraw from Gettysburg with outstanding charges of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relation Violence Policy: Upon receiving the appropriate release of information form signed by the student or former student, institutions and agencies (e.g. Common Application) inquiring as to a student’s conduct record and/or eligibility to return or re-enroll at Gettysburg College may be provided with information regarding the outstanding charges.
Section IX: Sanctions
Below is a list of all sanctions that may be assigned by a Student Conduct Administrator, Student Conduct Review Board, Adjudicator, Appeals Officers, Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board, Sexual Misconduct Appeals Board, or the Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students. 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. 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.
B. 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.
C. 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.
D. 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.
E. 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.
F. 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.
G. 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.
H. Restitution – compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
I. 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.
J. 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. Students found responsible for violation of the no contact may face sanctions that result in immediate removal from campus, suspension, or expulsion.
K. 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.
L. 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.
Organizational Sanctions may also include but are not limited to:
M. Organizational Expulsion. Permanent loss of privileges, including College recognition. When a College organization fails to fulfill the College’s expectations of previously imposed conduct probation or has what a reasonable person would consider an egregious violation of College policy, the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students may decide to permanently terminate the recognition of the organization. This could include actions taken by unauthorized/unrecognized members, or violations by individuals acting on behalf of the group while suspended from campus. The Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students may consult with the Student Conduct Review Board on the question of expulsion of the College organization, if The Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students so chooses.
N. Organizational Suspension. Loss of all privileges, including College recognition, for a specified period of time. When a College organization fails to fulfill the College’s expectations or violates the terms of previously imposed conduct probation, the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students may decide to terminate the recognition of or suspend the organization. The Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students may consult with the Student Conduct Review Board on the question of suspension of a College organization, or the termination of the recognition of a College organization, if The Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students so chooses.
O. Social Probation. A loss of privilege to host social events on campus, in fraternity chapter houses or off-campus for a specified period of time. Social probation may include all events or only social events with alcohol.
P. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
Section X: Additional Information
Amanda Blaugher, Title IX Director
Second Floor, College Union Building, email@example.com, 717-337-6907
Mike Mattia, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation
Second Floor, Wright Building, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-337-6530
Department of Public Safety:
Bill Lafferty, Executive Director of Public Safety
Public Safety Office, 51 West Stevens Street, email@example.com, 717-337-6912
Regina Campo, Co-Director of Human Resources and Risk Manager
First Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-337-6207
Jen Lucas, Co-Director of Human Resources
First Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, email@example.com, 717-337-6211
Jack Ryan, Vice Provost
Third Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-337-6822
Student Rights & Responsibilities:
Ron Wiafe, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities
Second Floor, College Union Building, email@example.com, 717-337-6907
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.
Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act
The Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation (PSVI) Act provides victims of sexual violence or intimidation a civil remedy that requires the offender to stay away from the victim regardless of whether the victim seeks criminal prosecution. 42 Pa. C.S. §§ 62A01(5)-(6). Victims of sexual violence and intimidation are eligible for relief who do not have a family or household member relationship with the defendant, i.e., who ARE NOT spouses, ex-spouses, living or lived as spouses, parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood. Victims of sexual violence and intimidation who have a family or household relationship with a defendant would instead be eligible for civil relief under the Protection from Abuse Act. For more information please contact DPS. DPS will help put victims who are interested in pursuing a PSVI in contact with local courts/District Attorney’s Office.
Reporting to the Police
DPS will help facilitate the reporting of incidents of sexual assault and relationship violence to the Gettysburg Police Department (or law enforcement agency with jurisdiction) 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 or if the victim is under the age of 18.
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, promotes accountability, and how to conduct processes being fair and impartial. 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 Prevention and Awareness Campaigns
The College provides an annual educational campaign for all students and employees designed to provide on-going education and programming around issues of sexual violence – including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Campaign strategies employed include face-to-face presentations, online training programs, printed materials, self-defense programming, and related lectures.
The following are examples of annual programs currently offered (for a full list of programming, reference the Annual Security Report which can be found on the Department of Public Safety’s website https://www.gettysburg.edu/offices/public-safety/):
Haven and Haven Plus, through EverFi, are online courses required of all students to learn effective ways to prevent and report sexual assault on our campus. Employees also receive online education through LawRoom.
Incoming first year students participate in a 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.
Extended Orientation Programming
Incoming first year students choose between a workshop on self-defense, bystander intervention training, or consent education session. These two (2) hour trainings are designed to give students an interactive educational experience geared at giving them the personal tools to reduce and prevent violence.
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.
Peer Education Monologues are performed by students during first-year orientation. Performances focus on alcohol and other drugs, in addition to educating on sexual violence and bystander intervention.
Green Dot College Strategy and Bystander Intervention Workshops Both Green Dot Bystander Intervention Presentations help people understand what stops us from intervening in potentially harmful situations and provides tools to intervene. Green Dot covers ways to end power-based personal violence. Bystander Intervention workshops cover bystander effect and ways to decide to act when we see someone in need. Participants leave with practical tips to intervene.
Healthy Relationships Discussion Group (iLove) iLove 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.