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ScrantonCARE is committed to assisting you in navigating and understanding University policy and student life. This Q/A forum is not intended for the submission of complaints, but to offer a resource for clarification of questions related to Title IX, the University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, definitions of sexual misconduct and available student support.  Answers to your questions will be posted on our ScrantonCARE blog page.

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FAQ's Complainant

Q. What is Title IX?
A. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in all university programs and activities, including recruiting, admissions, financial aid, academic programs, employment at the university, treatment of pregnant or parenting students or employees, counseling and guidance, discipline, grading, recreation, athletics, housing, and study abroad programs.

Q. What happens when I report an incident of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct?
A. When a report is made to the Office of Equity and Diversity, a member of the Title IX team will contact you to set a meeting to learn more about what happened and your needs.  They will provide you with information on available resources; how to move forward with a formal or informal complaint process; and will answer any of your questions.  In most instances, the complainant* will decide whether to proceed and in which manner to proceed. 

*Complainant refers to an individual who experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct even if the person decides not to proceed with any formal or informal process.

Q. What if the incident of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct happened months or a couple of years ago, but I was not ready to report it when it happened?
A. OED encourages reports even if they happened months or years in the past because even if the Office does not have jurisdiction to proceed with a formal or informal process, OED is able to provide support and resources to the complainant.

Q. What happens if I want to move forward with a formal complaint?
A. You will be asked to provide a written complaint.  Once a written complaint is filed, a member of the OED staff will process the complaint as set forth in the policy, and if appropriate, open an investigation.  Once the investigation is completed, a decision making panel comprised of three trained panelists will hold a live hearing where the parties and witnesses may be cross examined by an advisor.

Q. Can I choose my own advisor?
A. A complainant and/or a respondent may select an advisor of their choice.  The advisor will be required to conduct cross examination.  If a complainant and/or respondent do not have an advisor during the live hearing stage, OED will assign a trained advisor to work with the party.

Q. What happens if I was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the incident occurred?
A. As explained in the policy, an individual who is incapacitated because of the use of drugs or alcohol cannot consent to sexual activity.  The use of drugs and alcohol will be considered during the investigation for the purpose of analyzing whether or not sexual activity was consensual. As explained in the policy, the University pursues a policy of offering reporting parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations related to the incident to encourage good faith reporting.

Q. What happens if the respondent was under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
A. The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish an individual’s responsibility for abstaining from violent behavior or their responsibility to obtain affirmative consent for sexual activity.

Q. Will my parents or family member be told?
A. No, not unless you tell them, however, university officials may disclose information if a life threatening health or safety concerns exists. Whether you are the complainant or respondent, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not the parent.

Q. Will I have to share my identity?
A. Yes, if you file a complaint and identify the respondent. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the complainant.

Q. Do I need to identify the respondent?
A. No, if you are reporting the misconduct for the purpose of accessing resources, to learn about your options, or for statistical crime and campus reporting purposes, then you do not have to name the respondent. However, when the respondent is not identified, the University may be limited in its ability to respond comprehensively. Or,
A. Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator.

Q: Can I move from my residence?
A: The University may be able to provide emergency housing on campus, depending on availability.  You should contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students for more information.  Administrative Orders for No Contact can be imposed and room changes can usually be arranged quickly.

Q: What are sexual assault forensic exams (SAFE)?
A:The purpose of SAFE is to preserve physical evidence of a sexual assault that can be helpful in a criminal prosecution and is also helpful for campus disciplinary action. The exam is designed to collect physical and forensic evidence. The medical provider begins SAFE by having the survivor undress and trace evidence is collected from clothing worn by the survivor. Oral evidence is collected by swabbing the survivor’s saliva. Hair (head and public) samples are taken. A special lamp is used to examine for the presence of fluids on the body. It also includes an examination for fluids by a vaginal and cervical swabbing. Additional evidence from rectum is collect when appropriate and notes are taken of any bruising, bite marks, hickeys, etc.
This exam can be very lengthy and invasive, which may be uncomfortable. It is also important for the survivor to remember that SAFE is a medical exam necessary to procure evidence of the sexual assault.

Q: What hospitals in Scranton perform SAFE exams?
A. The areas three hospitals perform SAFE exams.  Geisinger Community Medication Center; however, has a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on staff.
  • Geisinger Community Medical Center, 1800 Mulberry St., Scranton, PA 18510-(570) 703-8000
  • The Regional Hospital of Scranton, 746 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510-(570) 770-3000
  • Moses Taylor Hospital, 700 Quincy Ave., Scranton, PA 18510-(570) 770-5000
Q: Do I have to pay anything if I go to the hospital?

A. The cost of the SAFE exam may be covered if the individual completes a Forensic Rape Examination (FRE) Claim Form.  Costs beyond the exam, including any additional tests, treatments, etc. may be covered by the PA Victims Compensation Assistance Program by completing the Victims Compensation Assistance Program Short Form.; however, certain rules apply for coverage. There is no guarantee that the cost will be covered by the State.

 

Q: Will the hospital bill my insurance company?

A:  Your medical insurance company may be billed, but you can, however, request to opt in to HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health), by telling the hospital you want the visit billed confidentially through HITECH.

 

Q: Will I get tested and treated for possible STD’s?
A: You may get tested and receive prophylactic treatment for STD’s.


Q: Who can I talk to about what happened confidentially?
A. We highly recommend that you seek support. The University provides multiple options for support including counseling through:
Confidential
  • The University of Scranton Counseling Center (570) 941-7620, located on the 6th floor O’Hara Hall, at the corner of Linden St. and Jefferson Ave.,
  • Student Health Services (570) 941-7667, located at the corner of North Webster Avenue and Mulberry Street in the Roche Wellness Center, provides confidential medical support and assistance to University students.
  • Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County (570) 346-4671 is a confidential, community-based agency serving those who have experienced sexual assault or other sexual misconduct.
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) is a free, confidential national resource available 24 hours a day by calling or online.rainn.org
  • Employee Assistance Program: (1-800-327-2255) NexGenEAP, offers professional counselor services, including confidential counseling in-person or over the phone for a variety of stressful issues including sexual harassment and misconduct.

Q. Who else can I talk to?
A. Private but Not Confidential
  • Campus Ministries (570) 941-7419, located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 200, offers pastoral support.
  • The Jane Kopas Women’s Center (570) 941-6194, located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 205.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, Elizabeth Garcia, (570) 941-6645 is in the Office of Equity and Diversity located in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine, Suite 315.
  • The Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Rivera, (570) 941-7680, located in the DeNaples Student Center, Suite 201,
University personnel on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality, depending on their roles. An employee’s duty to report may vary based on the law, the situation and the employee’s role.

FAQ's Respondent

Q. What do I do if I am accused of sexual harassment or misconduct?
A. It is important that you do not contact the complainant.  In cases of sexual misconduct, you may want to contact someone who can act as your advisor. Anyone may serve as your advisor. Individuals accused of discrimination or sexual misconduct have rights under the Policy. Read the University Policy carefully so you are informed about your rights. The Title IX Coordinator is also available to explain the University’s procedures for addressing discrimination and sexual misconduct complaints and to answer any questions you may have.

Supportive measures, depending on the circumstances, may be available to you during the course of an investigation. You are also encouraged to notify the Title IX Coordinator of any concerns that arise as a result of the investigation, such as with your class schedule, university activities, coursework or housing arrangements.

It is important that you save any information you believe is relevant to disputing the allegations, such as text messages or social media messages. You will also have the opportunity to respond to the allegations, which may include presenting relevant information and requesting that the investigator speak with witnesses.

Emotional and confidential support is available to you on campus and in the community. See the Resources tab for more information. 

Q. Will my parents or family members be told?
A. No, not unless you tell them, however, university officials may disclose information if a life threatening health or safety concern exists. Whether you are the complainant or the respondent, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent.

 

Q. Can I choose my own advisor?
A. A complainant and/or a respondent may select an advisor of their choice.  The advisor will be required to conduct cross examination.  If a complainant and/or respondent do not have an advisor during the live hearing stage, OED will assign a trained advisor to work with the party.

Q. What happens if I was under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
A. The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish an individual’s responsibility for abstaining from violent behavior or their responsibility to obtain affirmative consent for sexual activity. For instance, an individual’s responsibility is not diminished if they caused harm to another driver after driving while intoxicated.

Q. Can I get support and counseling?
A. Yes. We highly recommend that you seek support. The University provides multiple options for support including counseling through:
Confidential
  • The University of Scranton Counseling Center (570) 941-7620, located on the 6th floor O’Hara Hall, at the corner of Linden St. and Jefferson Ave.,
  • Student Health Services (570) 941-7667, located at the corner of North Webster Avenue and Mulberry Street in the Roche Wellness Center, provides confidential medical support and assistance to University students.
  • Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County (570) 346-4671 is a confidential, community-based agency serving those who have experienced sexual assault or other sexual misconduct.
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) is a free, confidential national resource available 24 hours a day by calling or online.rainn.org
  • Employee Assistance Program: (1-800-327-2255) NexGenEAP, offers professional counselor services, including confidential counseling in-person or over the phone for a variety of stressful issues including sexual harassment and misconduct.

Q. Who else can I talk to?
A. Private but Not Confidential
  • Campus Ministries (570) 941-7419, located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 200, offers pastoral support.
  • The Jane Kopas Women’s Center (570) 941-6194, located in the DeNaples Center, Suite 205.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, Elizabeth Garcia, (570) 941-6645 is in the Office of Equity and Diversity located in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine, Suite 315.
  • The Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Rivera, (570) 941-7680, located in the DeNaples Student Center, Suite 201,
University personnel on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality, depending on their roles. An employee’s duty to report may vary based on the law, the situation and the employee’s role.