Lafayette College is committed to providing a learning and working environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community. Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Harassment are contrary to this principle. Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment interfere with the expectation that all individuals at the College will learn and work in an environment that is free from discrimination. Such Harassment threatens the safety, well-being, educational experience, and career of students, faculty, and staff. It will not be tolerated in any form.
Lafayette College is also committed to freedom of thought, discourse, and speech and the attainment of the highest quality of academic and educational pursuits. Consistent with the College’s Policy on Academic Freedom (Faculty Handbook, Appendix A), this Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Prohibited Conduct (hereinafter, the “Policy”) is not meant to prohibit or inhibit educational content or discussions that include controversial or sensitive subject matters. In articulating this Policy, the College affirms its adherence to the principle of academic freedom as well as its commitment to providing a learning and working environment free of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment.
The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities, and it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. The College also maintains a separate Sexual Misconduct Policy, which prohibits conduct that may also constitute a form of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment. When reported conduct involves a potential violation of both this Policy and the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the procedures set forth in the latter Policy will apply.
The College will provide a prompt and equitable response to reports or notice it receives about Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment. That response will include measures designed to stop the behavior, prevent its recurrence, and address adverse effects of such conduct in College-related programs or activities. Through processes that address both prevention and remedies, this Policy aims to maintain a campus environment that is free of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment.
This Policy also prohibits Retaliation against individuals for reporting Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, or participating in the processes outlined in this Policy. The College will take disciplinary action against persons who retaliate or attempt such Retaliation, even if the underlying allegations of prohibited conduct are not established by a preponderance of the evidence.
The College intends to maintain, consistent with this Policy: (1) Processes sensitive to both the Reporting Party and Responding Party in responding to reports of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, which consist of informing the parties of available resources including counseling and support services and available alternative remedies; (2) prompt and equitable processes and procedures for determining violations of this Policy which assure fairness to the Reporting Party and the Responding Party; (3) College disciplinary sanctions for those who are found responsible for violating this Policy; (4) individual and community remedies to address the effects of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment; and (5) an ongoing Presidential Oversight Committee to review the effectiveness of the College’s Policy, and relevant programs and procedures.
Reporting Party: Reporting Party refers to the individual reportedly subjected to Sexual and/or Gender Based Harassment.
Responding Party: Reporting Party refers to the individual reported to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this Policy.
Third-Party Reporter: Third-Party Reporter refers to the individual reporting to the College an incident of Sexual and/or Gender-Based Harassment that happened to someone else.
Definitions: Terms and Prohibited Conduct
Gender-Based Harassment is verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostile conduct based on sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation or gender identity, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s education or work programs or activities.
For example, persistent disparagement of a person based on a perceived lack of stereotypical masculinity or femininity or exclusion from an activity based on sexual orientation or gender identity may violate this Policy.
As described in the Statement of Purpose (Section I), the normal activities of teaching, learning, or producing or consuming artistic or scholarly work will not be construed as harassment merely by virtue of the representation or consideration of gender-specific matters in the course of these activities.
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
a) Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, instruction, academic standing, or status or participation in a course, program, activity or benefit or is otherwise used as a basis for (an) employment-related, educational, or other decision(s) affecting evaluation, grades, or advancement; or
b) Such conduct creates a Hostile Environment, as defined below.
Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome if it is not solicited or invited and the recipient considers it undesirable or offensive.
Examples of behavior that might be considered conduct of a sexual nature include, but are not limited to:
• Unwelcome sexual attention, propositions, touching, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature;
• Unwelcome sexual innuendo or jokes; humor about sex- specific traits; sexual slurs or derogatory language directed at another person’s sexuality;
• Unwelcome oral, written, or electronic communications of a sexual nature;
• Written graffiti or the display or distribution of sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials; sexual rumors or ratings of sexual activity or performance; and
• Implied or overt threats of punitive action, as a result of rejection of sexual advance.
As described in the Statement of Purpose (Section I), the normal activities of teaching, learning, or producing or consuming artistic or scholarly work will not be construed as “conduct of a sexual nature” merely by virtue of the representation or consideration of sexual matters in the course of these activities.
Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature creates a Hostile Environment when it: (a) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to limit one’s ability to participate in or benefit from employment or an education program or creates a hostile or abusive educational or work environment; or (b) explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
In order to constitute a policy violation, the Hostile Environment must be subjectively perceived by the Complainant, and that perception must be reasonable for a person in the Complainant’s position. Whether the conduct creates a Hostile Environment depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: the degree to which the conduct affected one or more person’s education or employment; the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; the relationship between the parties; the number of people involved; and the context in which the conduct occurred. Sexual Harassment may be at issue even in relationships that began as welcome.
Retaliation is an intentional behavior taken against an individual or group of individuals involved in a protected activity. Protected activity includes: (1) making a good faith report under this Policy; (2) opposing in a reasonable manner and consistent with College policy an action reasonably believed to constitute a violation of this Policy; (3) filing an external complaint about conduct prohibited by this Policy; or (4) participating in proceedings under this Policy.
Retaliation can take many forms, including, but not limited to, adverse action or violence, threats, and intimidation by or on behalf of an individual that would discourage a reasonable person (under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the individual allegedly retaliated against) from engaging in protected activity.
Actions in response to a good faith report or response under this Policy are considered retaliatory if they have a materially adverse effect on the working, academic, or College-controlled living environment of an individual or if they hinder or prevent the individual from effectively carrying out their College responsibilities. All individuals and groups of individuals are prohibited from engaging in retaliation and will be held accountable under this Policy. An individual may be found responsible for retaliation even if the underlying allegations of prohibited conduct have not been established by a preponderance of the evidence.
Scope and Jurisdiction
Sexual and Gender-based Harassment violate the standards of conduct expected of every member of and visitor within the College community. Some forms of Sexual and Gender-based Harassment may also violate state and federal laws, and criminal prosecution may occur independently of any disciplinary action imposed by the College.
This Policy applies to the conduct of all community members, including students, employees, volunteers, and other third parties (including vendors, independent contractors, visitors and guests). All community members have a responsibility to adhere to College policies, as well as local, state, and federal laws. An individual found to have violated this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the procedures set forth below. Disciplinary action may include expulsion (for a student), termination (for an employee), or limits on access to the College or campus (for a third party).
This Policy applies to conduct occurring: on Lafayette College property; in the context of any College-related or sanctioned education program or activity, regardless of the location (including travel, research, or internship programs); through the use of College-owned or provided technology resources; or that otherwise creates a Hostile Environment on campus or in the context of any College-related or sanctioned education program or activity. This Policy also applies to all other off campus conduct by a
Lafayette student, consistent with the Student Code of Conduct.
The prohibited conduct defined in this Policy can be committed by or occur between individuals of any gender identity or expression.
General Rule Prohibiting Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment
Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment are forms of discrimination that violate the standards of conduct expected of every member of the College community and are strictly prohibited. Sexual and/or Gender-Based Harassment will not be tolerated in any context or position whether it be between faculty and students, faculty and other faculty, coaches and athletes, supervisors and employees, staff and students, students and other students, workers and coworkers, or others. This general rule prohibiting Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment applies equally regardless of the relative status or position of the individuals involved.
Other Prohibited Conduct
There are risks inherent in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions. Although such relationships may not constitute harassment, they may compromise the integrity of the educational or employment process. The special relationship between students and teachers, coaches, advisers, or other staff members who counsel them, and employees and their supervisors, requires that special additional rules apply as addressed below.
Prohibited Relationships between Faculty/Staff Members and Students
Students of a Particular Instructor/Staff Member
While a student is a student of a particular instructor/staff member, the instructor/staff member is prohibited from engaging in or pursuing a romantic and/or sexual relationship with that student. This rule applies even if the romantic advance or sexual relationship is welcome.
A student is a “student of a particular instructor/staff member” when:
• The student is currently enrolled in a course taught by the instructor and/or has not yet received a final grade;
• The student is assigned to be advised by a particular instructor/staff member;
• The student is an athlete coached by a particular intercollegiate athletic coach or trainer;
• The student is advised by a professional advisory committee member, honors committee member, or member of a comparable committee; and
• At other times when an instructor/staff member has a relationship with a student such that a student’s activities at the College are being supervised or evaluated by the instructor/staff member.
Unless prohibited above, if a welcome sexual and/or romantic relationship develops between a student and an instructor/staff member, the instructor/staff member must not thereafter take part in any activity that involves evaluation of the student’s work or performance. If a student later becomes a “student of a particular instructor/staff member,” the instructor/staff member shall disclose the existence of such a relationship to the Provost or Vice President of Human Resources, as appropriate, who shall make alternative arrangements for the evaluative process.
Prohibited Relationships between Supervisors and Subordinates
Any person (a) who has power, either individually or collectively with others, to dispense or influence rewards or punishments regarding another person, (b) who evaluates the work performance of another person, or (c) to whom another person reports regarding work assignments, may not subject such other person to any unwelcome sexual conduct such as an unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favors, regardless of whether submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a basis for a decision affecting such person or whether such conduct creates a hostile environment.
If a welcome sexual and/or romantic relationship develops between a supervisor and a subordinate, or between faculty in the same department or program, the more senior employee must not thereafter take part in any activity that involves evaluation of the other’s work. Under such circumstances, the more senior employee shall disclose the existence of such a relationship to the Provost or the Vice President of Human Resources and the Title IX Coordinator as appropriate, who shall make alternative arrangements for the evaluative process.
Seeking Assistance, Reporting Options, and Resources
Seeking Assistance from Either Confidential or Private Resources
An individual who has experienced Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment has a variety of available options and resources for support. Individuals are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their options and responsibilities when deciding whether to disclose a potential violation of this Policy to a College employee, as College employees have different reporting responsibilities based on their role.
In evaluating reporting options, it is important to understand the difference between privacy and confidentiality. While they are closely related, the concepts of privacy and confidentiality are distinct terms that are defined below and have an impact on how information may be shared within the College.
Confidentiality and Confidential Resources
Confidentiality refers to the protection from disclosure of information shared with professional, licensed mental health counselors and ordained clergy whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling or pastoral care to members of the College community (the College’s “Confidential Resources”).
Seeking Assistance from Confidential Resources
Confidential Resources are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without a Reporting Party’s permission. In limited circumstances, Confidential Resources may have ethical or legal obligations that compel them to reveal certain information. For example, an otherwise Confidential Resource may disclose information if it concerns suspected abuse or neglect of a minor.
The following is the contact information for those who serve as the College’s Confidential Resources:
The Counseling Center
Bailey Health Center, 2nd Floor
After hours crisis telephone support available.
Drop-in Consultation Clinic during the academic year:
Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Rev. Alex Hendrickson
Available during regular business hours. Call to schedule an appointment.
Privacy and Private Resources
Privacy refers to the discretion that will be exercised by the College in the course of any report, investigation, or disciplinary processes under this Policy. When the College has notice of a potential violation of this Policy, every effort will be made to protect the privacy interests of all individuals involved in a manner consistent with the need for a thorough review of the reported conduct. Information related to a report of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment will only be shared with a limited number of College employees who need to know in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report and related issues. In all such proceedings, the College will take into consideration the privacy of the parties to the extent reasonably possible. The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Seeking Assistance from a Private Resource (Limited Confidentiality)
Some College employees, designated as Private Resources, while not meeting the definition of Confidential Resource, are able to talk to a Reporting Party without being required to disclose personally identifiable information about the Reporting Party or witnesses to the Title IX Coordinator.
Instead, in order to foster increased reporting and access to resources, these employees are only required to share a limited report to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the date, time, general location, and nature of the allegations.
Because of the limited information that is shared, the Title IX Coordinator’s ability to respond may be limited. In addition, unlike Confidential Resources, who have statutorily-protected legal confidentiality, records maintained by Private Resources may be subject to release by court order, search warrant or subpoena.
The following is contact information for those who serve as the College’s Private Resources:
Bailey Health Center (Medical)
607 High St.
(S.W. Corner of High & McCartney Sts.)
SMART Team Members
Read more about the SMART team here: https://sash.lafayette.edu/get-help/talk-with-someone/smart/
PASA Adviser: The faculty or staff adviser of the student group Pards Against Sexual Assault (PASA) is designated a Private Resource when acting in the capacity of PASA Adviser.
A Reporting Party, Third-Party Reporter, or witness may choose to:
• Report incidents of conduct that may violate state law to the College’s Department of Public Safety or the appropriate law enforcement agency (see B.220.127.116.11 below);
• Report incidents of conduct prohibited under this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee of the College (see B.18.104.22.168.1 and B.22.214.171.124.2 below);
• Make an anonymous report (see B.126.96.36.199.3 below);
• Seek assistance from a Confidential Resource (see B.188.8.131.52.2 above). Note that a request for assistance from a Confidential Resource does not constitute a report to the College, and no further action will be taken unless requested by the Reporting Party; and/or
• Seek assistance from a Private Resource (see B.184.108.40.206.2 above). Note that this does not constitute a report to the College, but instead means that the Private Resource will share non- identifying information about the report with the Title IX Coordinator.
An individual may make a report to the Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee of the College, to law enforcement (the Department of Public Safety or Easton Police Department), to neither, or to both. Campus internal processes and law enforcement investigations operate independently of one another, although the College will coordinate with law enforcement. An individual may pursue some or all of these steps at the same time (e.g., one may simultaneously pursue a Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment report under this Policy and a criminal complaint).
The College recognizes that deciding among these options can be difficult and is a personal decision. Reporting Parties and witnesses are encouraged to seek assistance from resources and to explore all potential reporting and support options.
In addition, it is important to understand the different responsibilities of Lafayette College employees. Employees may be designated as a Responsible Employee, a Confidential Resource, or a Private Resource, as defined in this Policy. A Reporting Party who is unsure of a College employee’s reporting obligations and ability to maintain confidentiality may ask about the employee’s responsibilities, and an inquiry into an individual’s reporting obligations will not, by itself, trigger an investigation.
Reporting to Law Enforcement and Seeking Emergency Medical Assistance
Emergency medical assistance and campus safety/law enforcement assistance are available both on and off campus. Individuals are encouraged to contact law enforcement and seek medical treatment as soon as possible following an incident that may pose a threat to safety or physical well-being or following a potential criminal offense.
A Reporting Party or Third-Party Reporter has the right to report, or decline to report, potential criminal conduct to law enforcement or campus authorities, and the College will assist a Reporting Party or Third-Party Reporter in contacting law enforcement at any time.
Under limited circumstances posing a threat to health or safety of any College community member, the College may independently notify law enforcement.
The Department of Public Safety is available 24 hours a day to receive reports. The Department of Public Safety may be reached at (610) 330-4444 (emergency), or (610) 330-5330 (non-emergency).
Reporting to the College
Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the College’s response to reports of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment. The College strongly encourages all individuals to report a potential violation of this Policy directly to the Title IX Coordinator or to one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators:
Director of Educational Equity
202 Feather House
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Director of Human Resources-Employment
12 Markle Hall
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Dean of Students
205 Feather House
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Director of Residence Life
114 Kirby House
Reports may be made in person, by telephone, by email, or through the College’s online reporting tool. In-person reports can be made during regular business hours. Appointments are encouraged.
As noted, individuals may also report to the Title IX Coordinator through the reporting tool located at http://sash.lafayette.edu or by using the Universal Reporting form at http://onepard.lafayette.edu. The reporting tool is only monitored during regular business hours and should not be used in emergencies or situations where an immediate response is required. In such situations call Public Safety at (610) 330-4444 (emergency), or (610) 330-5330 (non-emergency).
Reporting to Responsible Employees at the College
A Responsible Employee is a College employee who has the authority to redress Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, who has the duty to report Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, or who a student or employee could reasonably identify as having this authority or duty.
Lafayette College has designated all faculty (including visiting faculty) and all full time administrators as Responsible Employees. Examples of Responsible Employees include:
• The President
• Directors and Deans in all Departments
• Public Safety Officers or other Campus Security Personnel,
• Residence Life Staff including Resident Advisors,
• All Campus Life Staff, including Athletic Coaches and Trainers.
For more information about Responsible Employees, visit http://sash.lafayette.edu.
Any time a Responsible Employee is told or becomes aware of any information related to alleged Sexual or Gender- Based Harassment, the Responsible Employee must promptly share all relevant information about the reported incident with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The Responsible Employee is only responsible for sharing what was disclosed and will not attempt to investigate the allegations. To the extent possible, information reported to a Responsible Employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College’s response to the report.
Anyone can make an anonymous report of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment by going to https://sash.lafayette.edu/ and clicking on “Report Sexual Misconduct” or by going to https://onepard.lafayette.edu and filling out the Universal Reporting Form. Based on the nature of the information submitted, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited.
Timeframe for Reporting
Reporting Parties are encouraged to report any violation of this Policy as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. However, the College does not limit the timeframe for reporting. Reports under this Policy may be made at any time without regard to how much time has elapsed since the incident(s) in question.
Depending on the length of the delay, however, the College’s ability to respond effectively may be limited. For example, if the Responding Party is no longer a student or employee at the time of the report, the College may not be able to take disciplinary action against the Responding Party. The College will still seek to meet its obligations by providing support for the Reporting Party (and, in appropriate circumstances, the Third-Party Reporter) and taking any available steps to end the prohibited behavior, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. The College may also assist the Reporting Party in identifying and contacting law enforcement and/or other external enforcement agencies.
College Action following a Report: Initial Assessment, Interim Measures & Requests for Anonymity
Overview of Resolution Options at the College
The College is committed to providing a prompt, thorough, equitable, and impartial resolution of all reported violations of this Policy. The College uses two processes to resolve reports of prohibited conduct under this Policy:
a) Formal Resolution, which involves an investigation, possible initiation of a hearing process, and, if appropriate, the imposition of sanctions; and
b) Informal Resolution, which includes informal or restorative options for resolving reports and does not involve disciplinary action against a Responding Party.
Note: It is possible to report an incident of Sexual Harassment, Gender-Based Harassment or Other Prohibited Conduct without pursuing either of these options. (See above.)
Notice Received by the Title IX Coordinator
Prior to deciding whether formal or informal resolution may be appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, after receiving information about a potential violation of this Policy, will conduct an initial assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to determine whether the conduct reported, if true, could constitute a violation of this Policy.
The first step of this assessment will usually be a meeting between the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, and the Reporting Party (or, in appropriate circumstances, the Third-Party Reporter). The Title IX Coordinator may also invite appropriate College administrators to participate throughout the assessment process on a need-to-know basis.
As part of the initial assessment, the College will:
• Assess the nature of the report;
• Address immediate needs of the Reporting Party, Responding Party, and any other pertinent individual;
• Discuss available procedural options and determine the Reporting Party’s preference for resolution;
• Provide the Reporting Party with information about resources both on and off campus, including informing the Reporting Party of the right to notify law enforcement and the right to seek medical treatment;
• Assess for patterns or other similar conduct by the Responding Party;
• Enter non-identifying information about the report into the College’s crime log, if the conduct is criminal in nature.
This assessment weighs multiple factors (no single factor is necessarily determinative of the decision to move forward or not move forward with an investigation). At the conclusion of the initial assessment, the College will proceed with one of the following options:
a) Proceed with an investigation under the Formal Resolution process. This will occur when the reported conduct, if true, could constitute a policy violation, and
1) A Reporting Party requests an investigation;
2) The Title IX Coordinator determines that an investigation must be pursued even when a Reporting Party requests that no investigation be pursued; or
3) Where Informal Resolution is not appropriate or available.
b) Proceed with Informal Resolution. This will always require the consent of all parties.
c) Proceed with neither Formal nor Informal Resolution when:
1) After evaluating a request from the Reporting Party not to move forward, and weighing all other factors, including the safety of the community, the Title IX Coordinator determines that it is appropriate to not move forward with any Resolution process; or
2) The College may choose this option due to lack of information.
Note: Even if the Formal or Informal Resolution processes outlined herein are not initiated, the College may proceed with other educational initiatives to address environmental and/or cultural issues (see B.2.5 below). Certain individuals and/or groups identified by the College as needing further education surrounding Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment prevention may be required to participate in educational opportunities.
d) In the event of a report in which, after an initial assessment, it has been determined that any conduct does not fall within the scope of this Policy, the College may refer the matter to the appropriate office or department for resolution under the relevant policy.
Request for Anonymity
If the Reporting Party or Third-Party Reporter requests anonymity or asks that a report not be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will consider this request in the context of the College’s responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the College community.
In reaching a determination on whether the request can be honored, the Title IX Coordinator will balance the Reporting Party/Third Party Reporter’s request with various factors including, but not limited to, the following:
• The nature and scope of the alleged conduct, including whether the reported behavior involves the use of a weapon;
• The risk posed to any individual or to the campus community by not proceeding, including the risk of additional violence;
• Whether there have been other reports of prohibited conduct or other misconduct by the Responding Party; and
• The College’s obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment.
The Title IX Coordinator will consider what steps may be possible or appropriate when a Responding Party is unknown or the Reporting Party/Third-Party Reporter requests anonymity, and what other measures or remedies might be considered to address any effects of the reported behavior on the campus community. The Title IX Coordinator will make a determination regarding the appropriate manner of resolution under the Policy. The College will seek resolution consistent with the Reporting Party/Third-Party Reporter’s request, if it is possible to do so, based upon the facts and circumstances, while also protecting the health and safety of the Reporting Party and the College community.
When the Title IX Coordinator determines that a Reporting Party/Third-Party Reporter’s request(s) for anonymity can be honored, the College may nevertheless take other appropriate steps to eliminate the reported conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the Reporting Party and the College community. Those steps may include offering reasonable and appropriate interim measures to the Reporting Party, providing targeted training and prevention programs, and/or providing or imposing other remedies. The Title IX Coordinator may also request that a report be re-opened and pursued under this Policy if any new or additional information becomes available, and/or if the Reporting Party decides that they would like a Formal Resolution to occur.
In those instances when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the College must proceed with an investigation despite the Reporting Party’s request that it not occur, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Reporting Party that the College intends to initiate an investigation.
The College’s ability to investigate and respond fully to a report may be limited if the Reporting Party/Third-Party Reporter requests anonymity or declines to participate in an investigation or in any resulting adjudicatory process. The College will, however, pursue other steps to limit the effects of the potential prohibited conduct and prevent its recurrence. In all cases, the final decision on whether, how, and to what extent the College will conduct an investigation and whether other interim remedial or protective measures will be taken in connection with a report of prohibited conduct will be made in a manner consistent with this Policy.
Upon receipt of a report of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, the College will provide reasonable and appropriate interim measures designed to preserve the Reporting and Responding Parties’ educational experiences; protect the Reporting and Responding Parties during an investigation; address safety concerns for the broader College community; maintain the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process; and deter retaliation. These measures may be designed to maintain continued access to educational opportunities or involve a restrictive action.
Interim measures may include:
Access and/or referals to counseling and medical services;
• Assistance in rescheduling exams and assignments and arranging extensions of deadlines;
• Academic support;
• Assistance in requesting long-term academic accommodations;
• Change in class schedule, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course;
• Change in College work schedule or job assignment;
• Change in campus housing;
• Assistance navigating off-campus housing concerns;
• Escort and other safety planning steps;
• Imposition of a “no contact directive,” an administrative remedy designed to curtail contact and communications between two or more individuals;
• Voluntary leave of absence;
• Referral to resources which can assist in obtaining a protective order under Pennsylvania law;
• Referral to resources which can assist with any financial aid, visa, or immigration concerns;
• Any other remedial measure that can be used to achieve the goals of this Policy.
In addition to the above, a Responding Party may be suspended on an interim basis to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the Lafayette community or preservation of College property; or if the Responding Party poses an ongoing threat of disruption, or interference with, the normal operations of the College. The decision to impose interim suspension may be made at any point in the process, but only after an individualized assessment of the propriety of such a suspension by an appropriate College official. If the college imposes an interim suspension the Responding Party shall have the right to immediately appeal this decision. To appeal, the Responding Party must make that appeal in writing to the Vice President of Campus Life within 24 hours of receiving notice.
Interim measures may be available to the Reporting Party regardless of whether the Reporting Party pursues an investigation or seeks formal disciplinary action.
The availability of interim measures will be determined by the specific circumstances of each report. Requests for interim measures may be made to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, is responsible for ensuring the implementation of interim measures and coordinating the College’s response with the appropriate offices on campus. The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, has the discretion to impose and/or modify reasonably available interim measures in a manner consistent with other College policies. The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will consider a number of factors in determining which measures to take, including the needs of the student or employee seeking remedial and/or protective measures; the severity or pervasiveness of the alleged conduct; any continuing effects on the Reporting Party and the Responding Party; whether the parties share the same residence hall, academic course(s), or job location(s); and whether judicial measures have been taken to protect the Reporting Party (e.g., protective orders). The College will work in good faith to implement the requirements of judicially-issued protective orders and similar orders, to the extent that doing so is within its authority.
The College will provide reasonable interim measures to third parties as appropriate and available, taking into account the role of the third party and the nature of any contractual relationship with the College.
The Title IX Coordinator is available to meet with a Reporting or Responding Party to address any concerns about the provision of interim measures. The College will maintain the privacy of any interim measures provided under this Policy to the extent practicable and will promptly address any violation of interim measure.
All individuals are encouraged to report to the Title IX Coordinator any concerns about the failure of another to abide by any restrictions imposed through interim measure. In the event of an immediate health or safety concern, individuals should contact 911 or the Department of Public Safety immediately. The College will take immediate action to enforce a previously implemented measure, and disciplinary penalties can be imposed for failing to abide by a College-imposed interim measure.
College as Reporting Party
For purposes of this Policy, if the individual alleged to have been subjected to Sexual and/or Gender-Based Harassment is a Third Party (that is, the individual is not a student or employee of the College), they will not be considered an “Reporting Party,” but rather will be considered a “Third-Party Reporter.” In these situations, the College reserves the right to step into the role of the Reporting Party and move the process forward.
Following the initial assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will discuss available resolution options, including informal resolution, with the Reporting Party. Upon determining that the informal resolution process may be appropriate, and if the Reporting Party consents, the Title IX Coordinator will consult with the Responding Party to determine whether they also agree to participate in the informal resolution process. Informal resolution will be pursued only with the consent of both parties after they receive full disclosure of the allegations against the Responding Party; details about the informal resolution process, including the effect of any agreement reached as a result of the process; and the options for formal resolution.
The informal resolution process does not involve a formal investigation or adjudication, but rather is an educational approach that is intended to raise awareness, facilitate understanding between the parties, and reach mutually agreed-upon resolution. The informal resolution process may include facilitated conversation, training and education for individuals or groups, and/or any other individual or community remedies designed to maintain the Reporting Party’s access to the educational, extracurricular, and employment activities at the College and to eliminate a potential hostile environment or that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this Policy.
At any time before a resolution is reached, both the Reporting and Responding Parties have the right to end the informal resolution process and begin the formal resolution process. If the informal process results in a resolution, both parties will receive written outcome notification that the process has concluded and the case will be closed. Agreements for resolution reached via the informal resolution process shall be final and binding. Once the informal resolution agreement is finalized, formal resolution is no longer an option.
If the parties are unable to reach a resolution in a timely manner (normally within 45 business days), or if either party requests to terminate the informal resolution process, the formal process may proceed upon the request of one or both parties. The use of the informal resolution process is not a prerequisite to initiating formal resolution procedures.
Anyone who has an inquiry or who is requesting an informal resolution may bring an adviser of choice to meetings with the Title IX Coordinator and/or designee.
The Title IX Coordinator will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for informal resolution, including a copy of any final agreement for resolution.
Timeframe for Investigation and Resolution
Though the College strives to resolve all cases in a timely manner, the typical timeline for a case varies based on the circumstances of the case. The College will attempt to complete the investigation within 60 business days after providing notice of the investigation to the parties, and will attempt to complete the disciplinary process promptly after the conclusion of the investigation, typically within 30 business days; however, the College may extend any timeframe in this Policy for good cause to ensure the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation; to comply with a request by law enforcement; in response to the unavailability of the parties or witnesses; or for other legitimate reasons, such as intervening breaks in the College calendar, College finals periods, the complexity of the investigation, and the severity and extent of the alleged misconduct. Investigations will proceed according to the timeframes in this Policy to the extent possible during the summer and at other times when classes at the College are not in session. These timeframes are contingent on reasonably prompt responses from all parties involved.
While requests for delays by the parties may be considered, the College cannot unduly or unreasonably delay the prompt resolution of a report under this Policy. The College will not typically entertain requests for delays due to an Adviser’s unavailability. The College will notify the parties in writing of any extension of the timeframes for good cause and the reason for the extension.
Initiating an Investigation
When the decision is made to initiate an investigation, the College will appoint an investigator or team of investigators to conduct a prompt, thorough, fair, and impartial investigation. The investigator may be a College employee and/or an experienced external investigator. Any investigator used by the College will receive annual training on the issues related to Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and on how to conduct an investigation that is fair and impartial, provides parties with notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. The investigator will be impartial and free from conflict of interest or actual bias for or against the Reporting Party or Responding Party.
Oversight of the internal investigation process varies depending on whether the Responding Party is a student, faculty member, or staff member. The designated “College Official”, as outlined below, will oversee the investigation process (outlined in Sections 3–10 below) and communicate with both the Reporting and Responding Parties throughout the investigation process:
a) If the Responding Party is a student: The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will oversee the investigative process.
b) If the Responding Party is a faculty member: The Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter to the Provost. The Provost will oversee the investigative process.
c) If the Responding Party is a staff member: The Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter to the College’s Human Resources office. The Human Resources office will oversee the investigative process.
Notice of Investigation
If an investigation consistent with formal resolution is going to take place, the designated College Official will issue a notice, in writing, to both the Reporting and Responding Parties, which shall include the following:
a) The names of the Reporting Party and the Responding Party;
b) The date, time (if known), location, and nature of the reported conduct;
c) The possible Policy violation(s);
d) The name(s) of the investigator(s);
e) Information about the parties’ respective rights and responsibilities;
f) A reminder about the prohibition against Retaliation;
g) The importance of preserving any potentially relevant evidence in any format;
h) How to challenge participation by the investigator on the basis of a conflict of interest or bias; and
i) A copy of this Policy.
If the investigation reveals the existence of additional or different potential policy violations, the investigator or College Official overseeing the investigative process will issue a supplemental written notice to both parties.
Overview of Investigation
During an investigation, the investigator will seek to meet separately with the Reporting party, Responding Party, Third-Party Reporter (if different from the Reporting party), and any other relevant witnesses. Witnesses are individuals who may have information relevant to the incident, including individuals who may have observed the acts in question, may be able to provide contextual information, or may have other information related to the incident, the disclosure, or related matters. Witnesses may not participate solely to speak about an individual’s character and character evidence will not be considered. Where witnesses are interviewed as part of the investigation, the name of the witness and the information gathered in the interviews will be shared with the parties at the conclusion of the investigation. The investigator will also endeavor to gather other relevant information or evidence, including documents, photographs, communications between the parties, medical records (subject to the consent of the applicable person), and other electronic records as appropriate.
The investigator, not the parties, is responsible for gathering relevant evidence to the extent reasonably possible. The Reporting Party and the Responding Party will be asked to identify witnesses and provide other relevant information, such as documents, communications, photographs, and other evidence. Both persons are encouraged to provide all relevant information as promptly as possible to facilitate prompt resolution. The College cannot unduly delay an investigation if a party declines voluntarily to provide information in a timely fashion. In the event that a party declines voluntarily to provide material information, the College’s ability to conduct a prompt, thorough, and equitable investigation may be impacted.
The investigator may also consider relevant information publicly available from social media or other online sources that comes to the attention of investigator. The College does not actively monitor social media or online sources; however, and as with all potentially relevant information, the Reporting Party, Responding Party, or witness should bring online information to the attention of the investigator.
The investigator may visit relevant sites or locations and record observations through written, photographic, or other means. In some cases, the investigator may consult medical, forensic, technological, or other experts when expertise on a topic is needed in order to achieve a fuller understanding of the issues under investigation. The College will not consider polygraph results or any expert testimony provided by the parties or witnesses. In general, a person’s medical and counseling records are confidential and not accessible to the investigator unless the person voluntarily chooses to share those records with the investigator. In those instances, the relevant information from the records that will be reviewed by any decision maker must be shared with the other party.
The investigator will review all information identified or provided by the parties and will determine the appropriateness, relevance, and credibility of the information developed or received during the investigation. In general, the investigator will not consider statements of personal opinion or statements as to any party’s general reputation for any character trait, as these generally do not produce relevant information. All information considered relevant by the investigator will be provided to the parties for their review and comment, as described in this Policy.
The Parties will be provided periodic updates about the status of the investigation, including notice, if applicable, that the investigation timeline must be extended for good cause.
Coordination with Other Policies/Consolidation of Investigation
The Title IX Coordinator or designated College Official has the discretion to consolidate multiple reports into a single investigation if evidence relevant to one incident might be relevant to the others. Consolidation might involve multiple Reporting Parties and a single Responding Party, multiple Responding Parties, or conduct that is temporally or logically connected.
When reported conduct involves the potential violation of both this Policy and another College policy, the College may choose to investigate other potential misconduct under the procedures set forth in this Policy, provided that it does not unduly delay a prompt or equitable resolution of the report.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a final investigative report. The final investigative report will be referred to the designated College Official for further handling and resolution consistent with the applicable Procedures Following Investigation (see below).
Procedures following Investigation
The final investigative report will be provided to the College Official with authority over the Responding Party. The College Official with authority over (i) students is the Vice President of Campus LIfe or a designee; (ii) faculty is the Provost or designee; and (iii) staff members is the Associate Vice President of Human Resources or designee.
The responsible College Official will inform the Reporting Party and the Responding Party of the applicable policies and procedures that will be followed after the completion of the investigation:
• If the Responding Party is a student, the responsible College Official will take steps in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. For procedures involving a student Responding Party, see the Student Handbook.
• If the Responding Party is a faculty member, the responsible College Official will take steps in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook. For procedures involving a faculty Responding Party, see Appendix B of the Faculty Handbook.
• If the Responding Party is a staff member, the responsible College Official will take steps in accordance with the procedures outlined in either the Salaried/Exempt Employee Handbook or Hourly/Non-Exempt Employee Handbook, as appropriate. For procedures involving a staff member Responding Party, see “Staff Disciplinary Procedures Applicable to Alleged Violations of the College’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct and Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Prohibited Conduct.”
Discipline and Sanctions
If, as a result of Procedures in Section B above, there is a finding of responsibility for a policy violation, discipline and/or sanctions may be imposed as follows:
• Students who are determined to have violated this Policy are subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion from the College. Potential sanctions include Formal Warning, Warning Probation, Disciplinary Probation Level I, Disciplinary Probation Level II, Suspension and Expulsion. A complete list of sanctions and detailed descriptions of each sanction that may be imposed are set forth in the College’s Student Code of Conduct.
• Faculty members who are determined to have violated this Policy are subject to sanctions up to and including separation from the College. A complete list of sanctions and detailed descriptions of each sanction that may be imposed on faculty are set forth in the Faculty Handbook.
• Staff members who are determined to have violated this Policy are subject to sanctions up to and including separation from the College. A complete list of sanctions and detailed descriptions of each sanction that may be imposed on staff members are set forth in the College’s Salaried/Exempt Employee Handbook or Hourly/Non-Exempt Employee Handbook, as appropriate.
• For members of a College affiliated group or organization determined to have violated this Policy, the group or organization is subject to sanctions up to and including revocation of the College’s recognition of or affiliation with the group or organization. A complete list of sanctions that may be imposed is set forth in the College’s Student Code of Conduct.
The process for an appeal, if any, is set forth in the relevant procedures noted above applicable to the particular category of Responding Party (student, faculty or employee) (see B.2.6.2).
Expectations for the Parties
During the investigation and disciplinary proceedings, both parties (Reporting Party and Responding Party) have equal rights, including to receive a written notice of investigation; to participate in the investigation; to review and present information and evidence; to receive timely and equal access to information that will be used in applicable disciplinary proceedings that could lead to a sanction; to timely notice of meetings at which their presence will be requested or required; and to simultaneous written notice of the outcome, sanction, and rationale.
Grievances about this Policy or Related Procedures
Questions about this Policy or Related Procedures
Questions about this Policy or the relevant procedures may be addressed to one of the following individuals:
• The Title IX Coordinator; or
• The Vice President for Campus Life (for students); or
• The Associate Vice President of Human Resources (for staff); or
• The Provost (for faculty).
If an individual feels that this Policy or the relevant procedures are not compliant with the law, or that the College has not appropriately carried out its duties as outlined in this Policy, they may submit a grievance.
Grievances about the College’s application of this policy should be presented, in writing, to the Title IX Coordinator.
If the grievance involves the Title IX Coordinator, the grievance should be directed to one of the following designated officials:
• The Vice President for Campus Life;
• The Associate Vice President of Human Resources; or
• The Provost.
The Title IX Coordinator, or other designated official, will review the grievance and attempt to resolve it to the satisfaction of all concerned. If an individual believes that a grievance has not been fairly resolved by the Title IX Coordinator or other designated official, they may appeal the grievance to the President of the College within 20 days of the proposed resolution.
Concerns about the College’s application of Title IX may also be addressed to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (address below):
Office for Civil Rights
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
Telephone: (215) 656-8541
Fax: (215) 656-8605
For general information about Title IX, visit the Department of Education’s website:
Policy Distribution and Review
This Policy will be widely distributed on campus to all students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of each academic year so that all community members are informed of College policies, procedures and resources. The most current version of this Policy can be found online at sash.lafayette.edu.
The Title IX Coordinator and the Presidential Oversight Committee on Sexual Misconduct will review this Policy and related procedures on a periodic basis in order to capture evolving legal requirements, align with best practices, and improve the delivery of services.