Guide for University Discipline Panels on Sexual Violence

Drawing extensively from the National Judicial Education Program’s publication Judges Tell: What I Wish I Had Known Before I Presided in an Adult Victim Sexual Assault Case , the University of Pennsylvania developed a guide titled Sexual Misconduct Complaints:  17 Tips for Student Discipline Adjudicators, intended for adaptation by individual academic institutions.  The guide  provides some of the “training . . . in handling complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence” that the U.S. Department of Education Office on Civil Rights Dear Colleague Letter of April 4, 2011 recommended fact-finders and decision-makers in sexual violence cases receive.  Another major source for this guide is a 2000 report from the United States Department of Justice: “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” which provides statistical snapshots of the frequency of campus sexual assault, the relationships between complainants and alleged assailants, and other matters.  As noted above, Sexual Misconduct Complaints:  17 Tips for Student Discipline Adjudicators is offered as a template for nonprofit colleges and universities.  If your school adapts it,  please leave the first footnote in the guide intact, as it credits the work of the University of Pennsylvania and the National Judicial Education Program.