Student Rights & Responsibilities
Student Sexual Misconduct Policy & Complaint Procedure
The Pennsylvania College of Technology is committed to providing its students an educational environment free of sexual misconduct.
This policy applies to and prohibits sexual misconduct which includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, and sexual exploitation by students and against students. This policy extends to all activities on College property (e.g., educational, social, residential, or cultural), College-sanctioned educational activities at other locations (e.g., clinical sites), and College-related trips, meetings and social functions off campus.
Sexual misconduct by students towards other students, College employees, or other persons on College property or in any other venue to which this policy applies is strictly prohibited by the College and will not be tolerated. Students who violate this policy can be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the College.
Sexual misconduct against students by College employees on College property or in any other venue to which this policy applies is strictly prohibited by the College and will not be tolerated. Employees who violate this policy can be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the College.
Sexual misconduct against Penn College students in other environments or settings associated with authorized academic or extracurricular activities, such as off-campus clinical work, athletics, or club events, is also a violation of this policy. However, the College’s ability to remedy cases of sexual misconduct by persons who are not students or employees of the College may be more limited.
Behaviors That Can Constitute Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct includes, but it not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, and sexual exploitation.
These behaviors may include, but are not limited to:
- unwelcome sexual propositions or flirtations
- direct or subtle pressure or repeated requests for dates, sexual activities, or sexual favors
- sexually explicit or offensive jokes and innuendo
- verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- inappropriate use of sexually explicit or offensive language in discussions with or to describe an individual
- insulting or obscene comments or gestures, including leers and whistles
- workplace display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures
- sexually-based stalking, bullying and/or hazing
- violence between those in an intimate relationship with each other
- favored treatment (or offers of such) to any student as a result of engaging in or agreeing to engage in sexual conduct
- seeking in any way to make the performance of a student’s educational experience more difficult because of that student's sex or perceived gender or the refusal of that student to submit to sexual advances
- refusing to hire or promote an individual based on their sex or gender identity or expression
- limiting access to educational programs or activities based on sex or gender identity or expression
- requiring women to “look more feminine” or men to “act more masculine” in order have access or to continue involvement in an educational program or activity
Non-consensual sexual contact
- non-consensual intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals
- non-consensual touching another with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals
- non-consensually making another touch you or themselves with or on the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals
- any non-consensual, intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner with any part of the body other than the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals
Non-consensual sexual intercourse
- non-consensual vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, no matter how slight the penetration or contact
- non-consensual anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, no matter how slight the penetration or contact
- non-consensual oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact
- invasion of sexual privacy
- non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity
- going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex)
- engaging in voyeurism
- knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV
- exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances
- inducing another to expose their genitals
Reporting an Incident of Sexual Misconduct
A student who believes he or she has been the victim of any form of sexual misconduct should immediately report the matter to the Assistant Director of Counseling (Deputy Coordinator & Lead Investigator of Title VI, IX and Section 504 Student Issues) as specified in the Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure. If the complaint involves the Assistant Director of Counseling, the student should instead report the matter to the Chief Student Affairs Officer (Coordinator of Title VI, IX and Section 504).
In addition, depending upon the circumstances, the College encourages students who believe they are being subjected to any form of sexual misconduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and to request that it cease. However, the College recognizes that a student may not be comfortable doing this, and no student is ever required to do so. Whether or not the matter is discussed with the offender, it should be reported as outlined below and in the Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure.
Resolution of Sexual Misconduct Complaints
The College will investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct in a prompt, thorough, and impartial manner and will take appropriate corrective action when warranted and as possible.
If the complaint is made against a student, disciplinary action may involve sanctions as set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.
If the complaint is made against a College employee, the Assistant Vice President for Employee Relations (Deputy Coordinator & Lead Investigator of Title VII, IX and Section 504/ADA Employee Issues) will be contacted immediately so that a joint investigation can be conducted. If warranted, the employee will be subject to disciplinary action under the College’s personnel policies and procedures.
The parties involved in the complaint of harassment and/or discrimination will be notified of the investigation’s determination and when corrective measures are taken. Complainants will be notified of any sanctions or disciplinary action imposed on a student who has engaged in harassment and/or discrimination; however, the complainant is normally not informed of what sanctions or disciplinary action has been taken against an employee of the College who has violated this policy.
Students who file a complaint under this Policy retain their right to file complaints or charges of sexual misconduct with appropriate federal and/or state agencies or to bring a private action against the accused. However, many federal and state procedural regulations require that complaints be filed within an established number of days of the alleged violation; filing a complaint with the College does not postpone any deadlines for filing complaints with outside agencies or courts.
In some situations, the College may take remedial action prior to the conclusion of an investigation. These actions can be taken immediately in order to promptly and effectively remedy any potential or existing issues related to the claim of sexual misconduct.
Examples of remedies include, but are not limited to:
- providing an escort to ensure that the complainant can move safely between classes and activities;
- ensuring that the complainant and alleged perpetrator do not attend the same classes; and/or
- moving the complainant or alleged perpetrator to a different residence hall.
Retaliation in any form against an individual for reporting sexual misconduct or exercising his/her right to make a complaint under this Policy or for participating in an investigation of a report of sexual misconduct is a serious violation of this policy and, like the sexual misconduct itself, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the College. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately in accordance with this Policy and will be promptly investigated and addressed.
The College strives to provide a community in which students and applicants for admission can interact and learn together in an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct. All forms of sexual misconduct are demeaning to all persons involved, and it subverts the mission of the College. It is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated.
The College will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all students are familiar with this policy and aware that any complaint of a violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately. Efforts to educate students will include, but not be limited to, notification of the existence of this policy during the orientation process, periodic distribution of this policy, and training programs that educate students on the topic of sexual misconduct.
Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure
- A student who believes he/she has been a victim of any form of sexual misconduct, should report the incident to the Dr. Kathy Zakarian, Assistant Director of Counseling and Deputy Coordinator & Lead Investigator of Title VI, IX and Section 504 Student Issues, in the Bush Campus Center, Room 204, who will advise the student of appropriate reporting procedures.
- If, after reporting the incident, the student wishes to submit a formal complaint, he/she should do so in writing to the Deputy Coordinator. The complaint should contain the complainant’s name, address, contact information, and a description of the allegations of harassment and/or discrimination. In general, the complaint should be filed as soon as possible.
- If, after reporting the incident, the student does not submit a formal complaint, the Deputy Coordinator will still conduct an informal investigation into the allegation of sexual misconduct. However, it should be noted that the ability to investigate and respond to the incident may be limited.
- The Deputy Coordinator will investigate and attempt to resolve the complaints promptly and fairly, with due regard to the interests of both the complainant and the alleged offender. Every reasonable effort will be made to conduct all proceedings in the most confidential manner possible.
- If necessary, the Deputy Coordinator may recommend, and the Coordinator will impose, any needed actions to promptly and effectively remedy any potential or existing issues related to the claim of sexual misconduct.
- If it has been determined that sexual misconduct has occurred, the perpetrator and the complainant will be informed in writing of the determination and of any sanctions imposed (the victim is normally not informed of what sanctions or disciplinary action has been taken against an employee of the College).
- If it has been determined that sexual misconduct has not occurred, the alleged perpetrator and the complainant will be informed in writing.
- The complainant or the (alleged) perpetrator can request a reconsideration of the findings if dissatisfied with the determination of the Deputy Coordinator.
- The request for reconsideration shall be made within 7 business days of the receipt of the written determination and shall be submitted to the Mr. Elliott Strickland, Chief Student Affairs Officer and Coordinator of Title VI, IX and Section 504, in the SASC, Room 3003, in writing.
- The Coordinator will make a final determination and inform the parties in writing within 7 business days of the receipt of the request for reconsideration.
- In extenuating circumstances, the Coordinator has the right to extend this deadline and will so notify the parties.
- This level of review will be considered as a final level of internal appeal.
- The Deputy Coordinator will inform the complainant of the right to file complaints or charges with the appropriate state or federal agency.
- Retaliation in any form against an individual for reporting sexual misconduct or for participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct is a serious violation and, like the sexual misconduct itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately.
Reference: College Policy and Procedure 4.07