Pennsylvania State University, (Penn State) provides in-person sexual assault prevention training that includes bystander intervention training. They have a clear definition of sexual assault that includes acts other than intercourse. The university also has an affirmative consent policy, but their definition of affirmative consent only partially matches EROC’s definition. Retaliation against complainants is defined and forbidden.
At Penn State, a single investigator prepares a final investigative packet that is reviewed by a Case Manager. The Case Manager makes a determination of responsibility and can recommend charges and sanctions to the Respondent. If the Respondent does not accept responsibility for the charges, the University can adjudicate through the use of a Title IX Decision Panel or a University Conduct Hearing. They state that cases involving allegations of nonconsensual sexual penetration or those involving the use of significant physical violence will typically be resolved through a Title IX Decision Panel process. It is unclear whether these panels make decisions by majority vote or whether findings must be unanimous. The university also does not clarify whether Title IX Decision Panels and University Conduct Hearings simply make findings of responsibility or whether they also decide on sanctions. A Student Conduct Appeals Officer will hear appeals in some cases while in other cases, the case can be referred back to a new hearing board. It is unclear whether sanctions are imposed immediately or if sanctions hold off until the end of the appeals process. Penn State does not provide sanctions for sexual assault specifically (only general sanctions for any type of sexual harassment), does not publicize the number of cases and sanctions, and does not specify whether complainants may have an attorney present during the investigation and adjudication process. They provide an investigation timeline of 60 days and do not specify whether mediation is forbidden in cases of sexual assault. Investigators are stated to have received training but are not explicitly stated to be trauma informed.
Penn State states that accommodations will be available to survivors outside of the investigation and adjudication process, but does not provide much information on what accommodations are available. There is a student health center that provides emergency contraception. While sexual assault survivors can undergo a medical exam, the health center does not have the capabilities to collect any evidence and refer survivors to a local hospital in order to have an evidentiary exam completed. The university has a campus hotline that is available 24/7 for survivors of sexual assault as well as information and resources on local rape crisis centers. Penn State does not specify whether campus police are trauma informed.
March 1, 2017
http://guru.psu.edu/policies/AD85.html http://www.psu.edu/dept/aaoffice/sexharass.htm https://guru.psu.edu/policies/ad85.html https://guru.psu.edu/policies/AD67.html http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/conduct/Procedures.shtml http://titleix.psu.edu/psu-title-ix-procedures/ http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling/ http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/services/clinicalServices/SAS.shtml http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/womenscenter/ https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/womenscenter/campusresources/csar_universitypark.html http://montalto.psu.edu/health/sexual-assault