“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
At Cedar Crest College, the Title IX Office is part of the Dean of Student’s Office. The Title IX Coordinator is dedicated to ensuring equity on the basis of sex at Cedar Crest College, ensuring compliance with Title IX regulations and policies. The Title IX Coordinator can be reached by email or 610-606-4628 and can provide information about resources that are available on campus and in the local community, as well as provide information about college policies and processes as it relates to cases of sexual misconduct and violations of Title IX.
Cedar Crest College community members also have a right to report violations of Title IX to the Office of Civil Rights. They can be contacted at: 100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323, by phone at 215-656-8541 or by email.
Title IX also prohibits discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. If you would like more information regarding accommodations, frequently asked questions (for students, faculty, and employees), and additional resources please click here to visit our Pregnant and Parenting resource page or contact the Title IX Coordinator.
Reporting incidents of sexual misconduct or sex discrimination is important for not only complainants, but for also the overall campus climate. All reporting options are encouraged but before you report keep in mind the following:
- Complainants and witnesses of sexual misconduct will not be charged if drug and/or alcohol use is present before or during the incident.
- Anyone can file a report.
- False reports of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.
When it comes to reporting there are several options, and each is different in what they may offer you. Please read through the following options; if you have further questions on which option may be best for you, please contact the Title IX Coordinator by email or 610-606-4628.
At Cedar Crest College any form of sex discrimination, which includes all incidents of sexual misconduct, is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. If a complainant chooses to move forward with a Formal Complaint, the following options are available.
All students who attend Cedar Crest College are required to abide by the policies detailed in our Student Handbook. Sexual misconduct is a violation of the Student Handbook and therefore can be reported through email, phone call or reports submitted here. Students that file a Formal Complaint with the College will have the option of choosing an Informal Resolution Process or proceeding with a Title IX Investigation, both are outlined below.
Formal Complaint: Informal Resolution:
Both parties (complainant and respondent), through a written agreement, agree to resolve the matter informally through mediation or some other alternative means.
It is a voluntary process.
Can be initiated at any time prior to a finding of responsibility in a hearing, and can be terminated at any time prior to the final resolution.
Once a resolution is has been issued and both parties informed, the resolution cannot be appealed.
Formal Complaint: Title IX Investigations:
A trained investigator will be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator or their designee who will contact and interview the complaint(s), the respondent(s), and any witnesses, and will collect any relevant evidence (text messages, emails, social media posts, medical records, etc.). At the conclusion of the interviews, the investigator will prepare an investigative report which summarizes all statements and evidence as part of the investigation.
Both parties will be given the opportunity to review the Title IX Investigative Report and all evidence and will have the opportunity to respond to the report and evidence.
If the report supports the allegations, the case will be referred to a Hearing Officer.
During this process, both parties can request Supportive Measures which help ensure the safety of both parties. These include:
- Class changes
- Housing Changes
- Academic Support
- Counseling Support
- No Contact Directives
Those who want to press criminal charges can contact Cedar Crest College Campus Police or contact law enforcement in the area where the incident took place. Criminal charges may be filed against any respondent, including those not affiliated with Cedar Crest College. Criminal charges involving sexual misconduct are entirely separate from violations of the Student Handbook, which only applies to Cedar Crest College students. Anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct may choose to pursue both criminal prosecution and College disciplinary processes.
Cedar Crest College strongly encourages those who want to file a report on behalf of themselves or someone else to identify themselves by name, but we understand that sometimes reporters may not feel comfortable doing so. The College accepts anonymous reports from anyone with knowledge of a sexual misconduct violation.
Informal and anonymous reports are used to collect information on instances of sexual misconduct.
If you or someone you know may have experienced an incident of sexual misconduct, please know that help is available. Reaching out for support is a step towards healing. There are resources available that are prepared to sensitively work with survivors.
If you’d like to speak with a confidential professional immediately, please contact one of these 24/7 resources:
- Crime Victims’ Council of Lehigh Valley (CVC): 610-437-6611
- Turning Point of Lehigh Valley: 610-437-3369
- Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN): 1-800-656-4673
Types of Campus Resources for Students
When it comes to resources offered on campus, there are three types: Confidential and Privileged, Confidential, and Non-Confidential. Confidential and privileged resources will not report the incidents to the College unless asked by the reporter to do so. Confidential resources are resources that will not report identifiable information (names, exact locations, etc.) but are required to report basic information to the College (nature, general location, and date). Non-Confidential resources are required to report to the College.
While each resource has something different to offer survivors, it is important to keep in mind that there is no right or wrong choice. For further details about these resources and for other options please see below.
Confidential and Privileged Resource
On-campus Counseling Services: 610-606-4666 ext.: 4640
Student Health Services: 610-606-4666 ext.: 4640
Title IX Coordinator: 610-606-4628
If you discuss an act of sexual misconduct with a Cedar Crest employee such a Resident Assistant, Professor, or a Coach, they are required to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will then reach out to you to make sure you have resources and support.
Sexual misconduct affects more than just those with direct experience. As a parent, family member, roommate, friend and/or bystander your well-being is just as important to the healing process as is your support. Before you can provide support, please make sure that any and all of your mental and emotional needs are met. Trauma affects all of those involved and if you are a student you are entitled to resources provided by the College. Employees who have been impacted by sexual misconduct are encouraged to access resources through Preferred EAP at 610-433-8550. If you are not a student, there are community resources that are available to you.
Tips for Supporting a Loved One
Listen: survivors need someone who will listen. Throughout this process, survivors have to process emotions like anger, depression, and anxiety while, in some cases, dealing with legal actions like reporting. Listening to your loved one will bring a sense of comfort and may give survivors an escape from an unsettling process. Please remember that while silence may be uncomfortable, it may be exactly what a survivor needs. Do not be afraid of the silence, embrace it.
Remind them that it’s not their fault: it is key to remind your loved one that what happened was in no way their fault. Let them know that they are respected for all decisions made before, during and after an incident of sexual misconduct.
Let them know you care: survivors of sexual misconduct are vulnerable and need to be supported in the most positive way possible. Letting someone know you are means something different to each survivor. For some it may mean a lot of attention and for some it may mean just offering support once in a while to remind them that they are loved. Ensure you allow them the space to both ask for help and speak for themselves. To be sure that you are supporting them in the best way possible, ask them. Gently remind them that you have their best interest in mind and that you want to support them in a way that makes them comfortable.
Educate yourself: to best support a loved one, do your best to educate yourself on policies and resources at Cedar Crest College and in the immediate area.
Question validity: it is key to accept all information coming from your loved one. Questioning the validity of an incident may not only loosen your ties with the individual but may also hinder any changes of them seeking further support.
Minimize or maximize the incident: regardless of how you think your loved one should react; you don’t get to decide. Trauma affects everyone differently, validate all reactions both big and small. Do not attempt to sway your loved one’s opinion; only they can determine what occurred.
Share any disclosed information: your loved one came to you with this incident because they trust you, don’t discredit that trust.
Parents and Families
We understand how difficult it may be for parents and family members to hear that a loved one has experienced an act of sexual misconduct. With that in mind, you can imagine how difficult it could have been for them to share that with you. Some conversations may make you uncomfortable as discussions regarding sexual activity will arise but please do your best to remain receptive to all and any conversations. If your student seems to be opening up to friends or other individuals more, do not take this personality and remain prepared to discuss the incident as they feel necessary.
Friends and Roommates
It is important for friends and roommates to be open to offer support in a variety of ways. Sometimes this may mean doing a leisure activity to help take their mind off things. In some cases it may mean walking them to counseling. And for some friends, it may mean just offering a shoulder to lean on. Use your best judgement based on the relationship you have with your friend/roommate in deciding how they would want you to react.
In some cases the accused may be a mutual friend of yours. In situations like these it is key to remember that the survivor has also thought of that. If they have come forward to share their story it means that they feel comfortable sharing with you. Do your best to respect the wishes of the survivor regarding your contact with the accused. Changing dynamics within groups of friends can wear on all members of the group. Remember that your well-being is just as important as the survivor’s and that all campus resources are available to you as well.
If you witness an act of sexual misconduct or are the first person to interact with either the victim or accused, the most important thing is to ensure your safety and the safety of the victim. Intervene only in situations where it is safe to do so. If you have been injured, seek medical attention. Regardless of your ability to intervene, you are strongly encouraged to call Campus Police 610-437-4471 for assistance. To the extent that you are able, direct the victim to medical care and other support services.
If you have witnessed an act of sexual misconduct we encourage you to fill out our sexual misconduct report form.
Faculty & Staff
Depending on your role on campus, you may experience a sexual misconduct disclosure by a student or colleague. To best support those who have disclosed to you, familiarize yourself with campus resources and policies, as well as your Title IX reporting obligations.
An important part in supporting a student survivor is to let the know about policies (like Title IX) that may require you to report the incident. Remember the policies that you need to abide by and be as open with the student as possible. It maybe difficult for you to report as you feel you’re disregarding the wishes of the survivor but please remember that the policies are there for the well-being of the student and the overall campus climate.
Although conversations regarding sexual misconduct may be uncomfortable between you and a student or a colleague, be supportive and respect their willingness to open up to you. Let your student or colleague know about the resources offered on and off campus and encourage them to take care of both their mental and physical well-being.
Prevention & Training
The Dean of Student’s Office in collaboration with campus and community partners provide campus wide violence prevention initiatives designed to engage all members of the College community.
If you have experienced sexual misconduct or think you have, help is available. This is not your fault and there are resources available both on and off campus to help you.
What is Sexual Misconduct?
Anyone can be a victim regardless of their gender, age, or sexual orientation. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following prohibited behaviors:
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Dating Violence
- Domestic Violence
Steps to Consider
Seek medical attention: We strongly advice that an individual who experiences an act of sexual misconduct follow through with seeking medical attention. Seeking medical attention does not mean that you will follow through with reporting, but rather allows you to get the attention you may need. If you wish to seek post-assault forensic evidence collection, Health Services can help you locate a medical provider who offers this service. Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s Hospitals have SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) nurses within their staff.
Seek support: While you may feel uncomfortable sharing your story with someone else, seeking support is highly recommended. There are resources available on campus and in the local community to help during this difficult time.
While you may not be ready to share your experience or use the above resources, please remember that seeking support is an important part of the healing process. You may consider reaching out to a trusted friend or family member if professional support is not attained. If you do not feel comfortable sharing with individuals on campus- please consider contacting one of our community resources.
Incidents of sexual misconduct are unwarranted, traumatic, and can alter academic and social progress. During this difficult time, you may be experiencing a variety of emotions. Many survivors experience fear, anxiety, depression, and self-blame. These emotions can be exhibited both emotionally and/or physically. Difficulty sleeping and concentrating, social withdraw, nightmares, and flashbacks are all common responses. If you are experiencing and of these reactions, you are not alone.