Sexual Misconduct Policy and Reporting Procedures
The York College of Pennsylvania Sexual Misconduct Policy has been developed to ensure that consistent procedures and coordination of College and community resources are available to students affected by sexual misconduct. This publication is in compliance with The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 and 1998, which require Colleges to take initiatives to prevent, report, and investigate sex offenses that allegedly occur on campus. According to The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 and 1998, a sex offense is defined as “either a forcible or non-forcible sexual act directed against another person, against that person’s will, or where the survivor is incapable of giving consent and may include rape or acquaintance rape.” The following policy and procedures have been established and are in concert with the standards advanced by The American College Personnel Association and The Association of Student Judicial Affairs.
Sexual misconduct is a serious violation of the College’s code of conduct. Sexual misconduct includes any sex crime including but not limited to sexual assault, rape/acquaintance rape, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual coercion, and sexual exposure.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT is defined by York College of Pennsylvania, as threats of or deliberate physical contact and/or other conduct of a sexual nature, which is against another person’s will or without consent. Effective CONSENT is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not effective if it results from incapacitation, the use of physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion. To have sexual contact with someone who you know to be or should know to be incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about a sexual situation is INCAPACITATED sexual behavior. Even if an incapacitated person says, “yes,” by word or action, valid consent for sexual conduct has not been given. Incapacitation can apply to someone who has been drinking; consuming legal or illegal drugs, has been drugged, or is mentally or physically impaired. COERCION exists when a sexual initiator engages in sexually pressuring and/or oppressive behavior beyond reason that causes the victim of the behavior to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. SEXUAL HARASSMENT can be verbal, non-verbal, and/or physical and is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, stalking, requests for sexual favors, and/or other conduct of a sexual nature. SEXUAL EXPLOITATION happens when a student takes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited. If a student reports sexual misconduct the College can file a disciplinary referral, resulting in an investigation and hearing coordinated by the College disciplinary system. The College recognizes that in cases of sexual misconduct, physical and/or emotional consequences may occur for all parties. Medical and mental health resources and preventive education are available free of charge to provide assistance.
Any person becoming aware of sexual misconduct should:
Encourage a person reporting sexual assault to seek medical attention and preserve any physical evidence. The person reporting should be referred to York Hospital 717.851.2345 if an alleged sexual assault occurred within the last seventy-two hours. The hospital has the facilities and expertise to conduct medical-legal examinations at no charge. This step is important so that he or she receives proper assessment and treatment of any physical injuries sustained in the assault. Furthermore, it is important to determine the report’s risk of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy and take preventive measures. This step is also necessary to gather information and preserve evidence pertaining to the case even if the person reporting prefers not to prosecute. The person reporting can change her/his mind at any time.
Inform the person reporting that advocates are available on campus. On-campus advocates are faculty/staff that are trained in the process of facilitating a person reporting sexual misconduct through available treatment and hearing processes. To reach the advocate coordinator and obtain a confidential, on-campus advocate, call 717.815.1468 and request an advocate.
Encourage the person reporting to seek emotional support services. Counseling Services at York College can be reached at 717.815.6437. Health Services at York College of Pennsylvania can be reached at 717.815.1615. Clergy at York College of Pennsylvania can be reached at 717.815.1446. The Victims Assistance Center is located off-campus and can be reached at 717.854.3131. These resources are available at no charge for confidential intervention and guidance. Ask the person reporting if there is someone he or she would like to contact or would like for you to contact, a close friend or someone they trust and can provide support during this traumatic time.
Encourage the person reporting to contact The Office of Student Affairs and/or Campus Safety at 717.815.1461 or 717.815.1314. These offices will assist the student in reporting the misconduct and refer him/her to the appropriate offices for follow-up regarding the College investigation, disciplinary system and/or legal system including contacting local law enforcement. In addition, they will inform students about available resources such as counseling, health services and mental health services. In cases requiring urgent measures, persons reporting should contact the local emergency operations center at 9.1.1. Make sure the person reporting is in a safe and secure environment. Encourage the person reporting to preserve all physical evidence.
Changing Academic or Living Arrangements and Interim Protective Measures:
Academic Schedules – Any student who has been affected by sexual misconduct who wishes to change his/her classroom or academic situation may discuss various options with the Office of Academic Affairs at 717.815.1231 or the Office of Academic Advising at 717.815.1531. Options include total College withdrawal, discrete course withdrawal or change of section.
Interim Protective Measures – The College may take interim steps to protect the complainant as necessary before the final outcome of an investigation. Measure including, but not limited to no contact agreements, interim suspension, and temporary removal from College housing may be taken if deemed appropriate. Any reported retaliatory harassment will be addressed immediately by the Campus Safety and/or Student Affairs.
OFFICIAL REPORTS SHOULD BE MADE TO THE OFFICE OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AND/OR CAMPUS SAFETY. When contacting these offices, students may choose to report misconduct that occurred on or off campus: for on-campus judicial action only, off-campus to local law enforcement for criminal prosecution, or they may choose to file a confidential report (see confidential reporting procedures). Campus officials will encourage the person reporting to actively participate in both campus hearing actions and the legal system off-campus. In a situation where the person accused of sexual misconduct is not a member of the York College community, the reporter is only able to pursue charges through the legal system and off-campus law enforcement.
Campus Safety will immediately begin a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct when the victim consents (or if under 18 the parents consent) to the investigation. If the victim requests confidentiality, the College will honor that request and file a confidential report while explaining its ability to respond may be limited. If the victim wishes that the incident not be pursued, the College will weigh the request against its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students. Factors such as whether or not there have been other complaints about the accused and the seriousness of the alleged conduct will be considered. Campus Safety will inform the victim if the incident must be pursued further and/or if confidentiality cannot be ensured.
- If the victim wishes to pursue criminal charges, Campus Safety will assist the victim in contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency and assist that department as needed, but will conduct its own separate investigation in order to meet the College’s obligation to protect the student in the educational setting and to meet all requirements under federal law. The College will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or criminal proceeding to begin a campus investigation. Campus Safety will conduct the investigation in a timely manner and complete a report containing all information gathered regarding the incident. This report will be forwarded to Judicial Affairs and the Dean of Student Affairs.
- Campus Hearing Board
A hearing board consisting of a minimum of three specially trained faculty/staff members will hear reports of sexual misconduct. The person reporting is encouraged to take an active role in the hearing proceedings but is not required to be present with the accused during the hearing. The person reporting may bring an advocate to serve as support during any hearing proceeding. The accused and the person reporting are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a hearing. Both parties will have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence.
The board members use the preponderance of evidence standard to determine, by a majority vote, whether or not the accused student violated the sexual misconduct policy.
The hearing is concluded by the board chairperson reporting the outcome reached by the board to the accused student in person. A sanction is issued if appropriate. Possible disciplinary sanctions for sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to, removal from College housing, suspension and/or expulsion from the College. Sanctions go into effect the moment of issuance and are non-negotiable between the accused and hearing board. The Dean of Student Affairs is notified of the outcome immediately after the proceeding. The Dean of Student Affairs or other designees may review and alter the sanction(s) imposed by the hearing board. The complainant and accused are notified in writing of the outcome, including any sanctions, within two business days once the proceeding concludes.
The complainant and/or accused have the right to request an appeal of the decision to the Dean of Student Affairs (or to the President if the Dean has been involved in the hearing proceeding). Such an appeal must be made in writing and submitted within two business days of the time the sanction was issued (please see Judicial Hearing Process section in the Student Handbook for full disclosure regarding the appeals process). Should the outcome of the hearing change based on a written appeal, both the complainant and accused will receive written notification of the change in outcome. The appeal decision is the final step in the College disciplinary proceeding. For more information regarding this or any policy, call the Residence Life/Judicial Affairs Office at 717.815.1281 or the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs at 717.815.1461.
The College is committed to providing programming to students to increase awareness and encourage behaviors that reduce the risk of sexual misconduct. The following offices work collaboratively to offer educational programming to the College community: Campus Safety and Student Affairs, which includes Counseling Services, Residential Programs & Campus Wellness, Housing Services, Student Activities and Health Services. All incoming freshmen are required to attend a mandatory one-hour Sexual Assault Awareness program as part of the new student orientation program. Please contact one of the above offices for current information on dates and times for these programs.
In addition, Campus Safety conducts an annual safety orientation for all new students. Students are informed about the College’s sexual misconduct policies and are encouraged to report misconduct. Other courses such as the R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) class may be offered throughout the academic year.
York College is committed to complying with regulations and guidelines established under Act 1988-73, the College and University Security Information Act, and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998. Students or employees who wish to file questions or complaints related to institutional compliance with the acts should address them to the Director of Campus Safety, York College of Pennsylvania, 439 Country Club Road, York, PA 17405-7199.
An Additional Note Regarding: Sexual Harassment and Title IX Compliance
York College is an equal opportunity employer and institution of higher education. We support legislation that protects College personnel and students against unlawful discrimination of any kind, including sexual harassment, and affirm the commitment of York College to ensure a fair, humane, and respectful environment for all employees and students.
Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is illegal, sex-based discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. It is against the policy of York College for any person (faculty, administrator, staff member or student), male or female, to engage in sexual harassment of another person (faculty, administrator, staff member or student). Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can be verbal (sexual innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, threats), non-verbal (sexually suggestive objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, obscene gestures), and/or physical (unwanted physical contact including touching, pinching, brushing the body, coerced sexual intercourse, assault). This conduct constitutes sexual harassment in the following circumstances:
- When it is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an employee's employment, or a student's academic assessment, or progress, or participation in college activities
- When submission to or a rejection of such conduct is made the basis for employment decisions or decisions affecting academic assessment, progress or status, or participation in other college activities
- When such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment
All personnel including faculty, administrators, staff members and students will be expected to comply with this policy and take appropriate measures to ensure that sexual harassment does not occur. Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion, will be taken against anyone who violates this policy in accord with relevant York College disciplinary procedures for that person's cohort group (faculty, administrators, staff members or students).
York College has a designated a Title IX coordinator who is responsible for overseeing all Title IX complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systematic problems that arise during the review of such complaints. The Title IX coordinator is available to meet with students and employees as needed.
York College Title IX Coordinator: Ken Martin, Ph.D., Dean of Campus Operations. Phone: 717.815.1548. Office Location: Miller Administration Building, 2nd floor. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
York College's policy on sexual harassment includes prohibition of consensual romantic or sexual relationships between York College employees (faculty, staff, or administration) and any traditional undergraduate student and/or any supervisee. Further, such relationships are prohibited between said employees and any nontraditional student (over 25 years of age) or graduate student for whom the employee has or is likely to have an evaluative or supervisory responsibility.
If a situation is potentially in violation of this policy, the employee is required to disclose it to his/her supervisor, who will seek guidance on assessing the matter from the relevant senior administrator. Anyone subjected to acts of sexual harassment should immediately report it to his/her supervisor. Student workers or students in the classroom
Sex Offender Registration Information
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2000 is a federal law that provides for the tracking of convicted sex offenders enrolled at, or employed by, institutions of higher education. The Act is an amendment to the Jacob Wetterling Crimes against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act. The federal law requires state law enforcement agencies to provide York College with a list of registered sex offenders who have indicated that they are enrolled, employed or carrying on a vocation at York College.
In accordance with Pennsylvania State Law, known sex offenders must register in the community in which they reside. York College also requires that the student or employee register with Campus Safety. Failure to register may result in immediate expulsion or dismissal from the College. York College reserves the right to dismiss a student or employee if it is deemed necessary in the interests of public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Campus Safety will maintain this list and make it available in its office in the Manor Northeast lobby. In addition, a list of all registered sex offenders in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania State Police at http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) to clarify that nothing in the Act can prohibit an educational institution from disclosing information provided to the institution concerning registered sex offenders.
Note: Campus Safety reserves the right to change or cancel – without notice – policies, regulations, procedures or any of the following information, based on the needs of the York College community and new compliance standards enacted by the Department of Education for the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act.