DeSales University is committed to an ethical, value-centric, campus culture that protects everyone from sexual offenses. We continuously seek to implement best practices in community protection that are characterized by accountability, openness, transparency, and credibility. In the tradition of St. Francis de Sales, we seek to help all community members to live well.
The Office of University Police and the Office of Student Conduct lead the University’s effort to identify and manage risks. This function and the continuous assessment of compliance with appropriate laws and regulations is conducted by the Community Oriented Protection and Problem Solving Task Force. The task force is an inter-departmental, inter-disciplinary team that models collaboration in defeating threats to the well-being of community members.
Sexual offenses are violations of an individual’s person: body and soul. Sexual offenses are a matter of particular concern in an academic community in which students, faculty, and staff are related by bonds of interdependence and trust. This policy applies to students and University employees. All members of the University community share responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment which promotes the safety and dignity of each individual. Sexual offenses threaten that goal.
Sexual assault is the most reprehensible of sexual offenses and won’t be tolerated. Sexual assault violates state and federal law as well as University policy. Offenders may face criminal prosecution and/or disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal from the University.
DeSales University is committed to providing immediate care and support for all victims of sexual offenses. When a sexual offense occurs, the University’s concern is for the safety, health, and well-being of those impacted. To support and assist students, the University provides a range of services and resources. Please refer to the information herein on resources for medical, counseling and pastoral care.
Clery Act and Title IX in the Context of Sexual Offenses
Members of the Office of University Police form the Clery Act compliance team. General questions about Clery Act implementation, especially as it relates to sexual offenses, may be referred to the chief of police at ext. 1837 or email@example.com, or the Clery coordinator at ext. 1740, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034.
Questions regarding the remediation of bias or discrimination within the University’s programs under Title IX can be referred to the associate vice president for administration at ext. 1332, email@example.com, or 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034.
Employees seeking remediation of bias or discrimination in the work-place should work through their department’s chain-of-responsibility, but they may also contact the director of human resources at ext. 1485.
If you see something, say something. If you suspect that misconduct is occurring, has occurred, or might occur, report your concerns to the University Police at ext. 1250.
• Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse by any person upon another without consent. It includes oral, anal, and vaginal penetration, to any degree, with any object. It is referred to as sexual assault in this policy.
• Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching with any object, by any person upon another without consent. Sexual touching is contact of a sexual nature, however slight.
• Other sexual offenses include, but are not limited to:
° Sexual exhibitionism (e.g. exposing oneself)
° Sex-based cyber-harassment
° Prostitution or the solicitation of a prostitute
° Peeping or other voyeurism
° Going beyond the boundaries of consent. For example, allowing others to view consensual sex or the non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity
Consent means informed, freely given agreement—communicated by clearly understandable words or actions—to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. By definition, there is no consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological. A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist the aggressor; the lack of informed, freely given consent to sexual contact constitutes sexual misconduct.
A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption or who is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise physically impaired, is incapable of giving consent. Intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent.
A complete listing of sexual offenses can be found under Title 18, Crimes and Offenses, of the Consolidated Statutes of Pennsylvania at www.legis.state.pa.us. In addition to fines and restitution, penalties range from up to 2 to 20 years imprisonment.
If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
• Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
• Get medical attention as soon as possible.
• Try to preserve all physical evidence.
• Contact the police. (This does not mean you have to decide to press charges.)
• Talk with an advocate or counselor who will maintain confidentiality.
• Contact someone you trust to be with you.
If you are a victim, your first priority is to get to a place of safety. If you are sexually assaulted, seek immediate medical attention. University police can assist you in obtaining medical care.
Although sexual offenses often make victims want to wash or get rid of anything that reminds them of the trauma, it is important to preserve evidence. Do not wash, use the toilet, or change your clothing or any bed linens. Prompt reporting will assist police in collecting and preserving evidence. It is important to have the evidence collected because, although you may not want to pursue criminal action, you may change your mind in the future.
Lehigh Valley Health Network has Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) on duty 24/7. For medical treatment and evidence collection, report to any Lehigh Valley Health Network Emergency Department.
Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest
Cedar Crest Boulevard and I-78
Lehigh Valley Hospital – 17th Street
17th and Chew Street
Lehigh Valley Hospital – Muhlenberg
Route 22 and Schoenersville Road
St. Luke’s Hospital also has a sexual assault nurse examiner program located at:
St. Luke’s Hospital
810 Ostrum Street
At your request, a rape counselor or advocate can accompany you during the examination and give you support. Requests can be made 24/7 by contacting Crime Victims Council of Lehigh Valley at 610.437.6611.
Many sexual offenders use alcohol and other drugs to make it easier for them to control their victims. It is important to understand that any drug can be used as a rape drug. The following list of drugs are most commonly used to facilitate a sexual assault.
• GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate)
• Special K
• Roofies (Rohypnol)
Symptoms of being dosed with rape drugs include:
• Rapid intoxication
• Slurred speech
• Poor motor control
• Decreased sexual inhibitions
• Periods of amnesia or blackouts
If you think you or someone you know has been dosed with a rape drug, it is extremely important to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Overdoses are life threatening and medical attention is life-saving.
It is important to visit the hospital as soon as possible to get tested if you or someone you know may have been dosed with a rape drug. Rape drugs dissipate from the body quickly. You must specifically ask for a drug test because it may not be part of normal protocol. This evidence will aid in criminal prosecution if charges are filed.
Most importantly, watch out for each other. If you are out with friends and one of them becomes intoxicated in an unusually short period of time, this is a warning sign. Perpetrators will often play the part of the rescuer in these situations and offer care of your friends so you “don’t have to ruin your night.” If you allow your friend to leave with someone else, the results could be catastrophic.
While an offense should be reported immediately, it can be reported at any time. Reporting an incident is an important contribution to the safety, security, and health of everyone. Offenses to be reported include those perpetrated by other students, faculty, staff, other members or non-members of the University community. Both men and women may be complainants of sexual offenses.
To report any sexual offense, call the DeSales University police at 610.282.1100, ext. 1250. Reports may also be made in person at the DeSales University Police Department located in Lawless Center.
If the incident occurred on University property, the DeSales University Police Department—a duly empowered criminal justice agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—is the appropriate agency with which to file a report. A complainant may also choose to contact the Upper Saucon Township Police Department via Lehigh County 911 at 610.437.5252 or by dialing 911. Off-campus incidents may fall in the jurisdiction of other local police departments. University Police can assist with determining and contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency to report the incident.
Reporting an incident is not the same as prosecuting a person. After reporting an incident you are not obliged to cooperate in a criminal investigation. Even if you do not want to press charges, the University encourages you to report the assault to law enforcement authorities. All Lehigh County criminal justice agencies are required to notify the District Attorney’s Office of any sexual offenses which are alleged to have occurred in the county.
You have the option to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue a complaint through the University disciplinary process, or to pursue both or neither processes. No action of the University shall be construed to limit complainants’ rights to initiate civil or criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrator. Regardless of the option chosen, the University must initiate an administrative investigation in accordance with Title IX requirements to ensure that it is providing a safe environment for all students. The University will follow-up, where appropriate, in those instances where a report of a sexual offense is received from another law enforcement agency. Information obtained through administrative investigation may be used in the University disciplinary process, with or without the cooperation of the complainant.
If you have concerns about talking to the police, the offices listed under Education and Services can help you in the process and discuss your concerns about prosecution. All reports will be handled in a manner consistent with legal requirements and customary law enforcement practices of confidentiality.
Privacy and Confidentiality
In all instances and to the extent possible, the University will protect the privacy of all parties in reports of a sexual offense. That said, under federal law, campus officials (with the exceptions referenced below) receiving a report of sexual assault, whether from a student involved or a third party, must share that information with the appropriate University authorities for investigation and follow-up. Under the law, the University is obligated to conduct an administrative investigation regardless of the complainant’s requests; to take action to eliminate sexual offenses; to prevent recurrence; and address its effects. In the course of the administrative investigation, information will be shared as necessary with people who need to know such as investigators, witnesses, and the accused. The University response may be hindered by complainants’ requests for anonymity or inaction.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) (amended 1992, 1998, 2000, 2008) requires institutions to report “specified on-campus crimes that were reported to local police agencies or to any official of the institution with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.” The number of these reports is then included in the federally mandated Clery Report which is distributed annually. When an imminent threat to the campus community exists, timely warnings are issued. These campus crime alerts do not identify the victim. If the University is found non-compliant with any aspect of the Clery Act, it can be fined and risks losing federal funding.
This Clery Act designates certain University personnel as Campus Security Authorities (CSA). The intent of including non-law enforcement personnel as CSAs is to acknowledge that many victims, students in particular, are hesitant about reporting crimes to the police but may be more inclined to report incidents to other University officials.
Employees in this category include, but are not limited to, the president and members of the president’s staff, all student affairs administrators, residence life staff, including all resident advisors (RAs), all student or campus activity advisors, all University police and public safety officers, the athletic director and all athletic coaches, and the director of human resources. Certain individuals who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities are exempt from disclosing information including pastoral or mental health counselors.
If a student wishes the details of an incident to be kept confidential, she or he can speak with counselors at the University counseling and health centers, campus ministers, or off-campus crisis resources such as the Crime Victims Council of Lehigh Valley. These individuals will honor confidentiality unless there is an imminent danger to the student or to others.
Amnesty for Other Potential Policy Violations
At times, students are hesitant to report the occurrence of a sexual offense to officials because they are concerned that they themselves, or witnesses to the misconduct, may be charged with other policy violations, e.g., alcohol or visitation violations. These behaviors are not condoned by the University, but the importance of dealing with alleged sexual offenses outweighs the University’s interest in addressing lesser violations. Accordingly, in these cases, the University will not pursue disciplinary action against students who make a sexual offense complaint or who are named as witnesses to the incident.
Intimidation or Retaliation
The University strongly encourages students to report any incident of a sexual offense and takes such reports very seriously. Any actual or threatened retaliation or any act of intimidation to prevent or otherwise obstruct the reporting of a sexual offense or participation in proceedings relating to a sexual offense by an accused individual or third party is itself prohibited and will result in disciplinary sanctions or criminal complaint. A complainant or witness who is threatened in any way should immediately report these concerns to University police or any University official.
No Contact Orders
Upon receipt of a report of an alleged sexual offense in which the accused is a current DeSales University student, an administrative directive for no contact may be issued to the complainant and accused. An administrative directive is a written notification for a student to have no direct and/or indirect contact (including contact through friends, family, acquaintances, etc.) by physical, verbal, electronic, or written means with another student. Failure to comply with an administrative directive will result in a disciplinary sanction and may result in criminal charges. The University reserves the right to issue an administrative directive in situations deemed appropriate by the vice-president of student life or his/her designee.
Once the University has received notice of an alleged sexual offense, the following protections shall take effect.
1. Victims will be treated with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, and understanding.
2. Immediate medical assistance for the victim will be made available. If appropriate, transportation to a hospital will be arranged or provided. Victims may also choose to be accompanied by a University official.
3. University police will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the incident in cooperation with the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office or other law enforcement agencies. When appropriate, criminal charges will be filed with the approval of the District Attorney’s Office and in cooperation with the victim.
4. University police will answer a victim‘s questions at any time and will explain the criminal justice process, informing the victim of services available both on and off campus.
5. Student victims have the option to change their academic and/or on-campus living arrangements after an alleged sexual assault if such changes are reasonably available.
6. Similarly, an accused student will also be provided support, information, and assistance.
7. Mental health and pastoral counseling services will immediately be made available.
If a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the University will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality. A complainant may choose to file a Jane/John Doe (anonymous) report with the University. These reports provide the victim with the opportunity to document the sexual offense without necessarily leading to a criminal investigation or formal disciplinary action against the accused. The University includes the number of these reports in the mandated annual crime statistics. When an imminent threat to the campus community exists, a timely warning will be issued. These campus crime alerts do not identify the victim.
If a complainant continues to ask that their identity not be revealed, the University will evaluate that request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. Thus, the University weighs the request for confidentiality against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged offense; the complainant’s age; whether there have been other complaints about the same alleged perpetrator; and the accused person’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the school as an education record under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The University shall inform the complainant if it cannot ensure confidentiality.
When the alleged offender is a University employee, reports should be made to the University police who will then notify the offices of academic affairs or human resources. When the alleged offender is a student, the offense may be reported to the dean of students and processed within the University disciplinary system.
Where there is probable cause to believe that regulations prohibiting sexual offenses have been violated, the University may pursue disciplinary action through its quasi-judicial system. The University’s disciplinary system uses a preponderance of evidence to determine the final disposition of any alleged offense. The University reserves the right to take action under this policy for off-campus violations.
Even if the criminal justice authorities do not prosecute, the University may choose to pursue disciplinary action and may use information from any credible source and, subsequently, apply any mechanism within its power to support the victim or ensure the rights of the accused. Conversely, the University makes no attempt to shield members of its community from the law, nor does it intervene in legal proceedings against any individual. The University supports the larger civil community’s judicial processes.
In cases that are being handled through the criminal justice system, the University reserves the right to interim suspend a student if the vice-president of student life or the dean of students judges the nature of an offense to be such that the alleged perpetrator’s presence on campus may pose a clear and present danger. The vice-president or dean may suspend a student from the University or from his/her campus residence until a hearing can be held.
An explanation of the disciplinary process can be found in the Student Handbook. Here, however, we provide a list of those sanctions that may be imposed by the University’s quasi-judiciary following the final determination proceeding regarding rape, acquaintance rapes, or other forcible or non-forcible sex offenses.
• Administrative Letter - Written letter of censure from the director of student conduct. The letter may include a sanction.
• Disciplinary Warning – A warning to a student that conduct was questionable and/or inappropriate and that further misconduct will result in more severe disciplinary action.
• Restitution - Repayment for theft or damage.
• Fines - Monetary payments.
• Community Service Hours - Work done throughout the University community in compensation for an offense.
• Educational Workshops - Workshops designed to enhance the learning experience in relation to the policy that was violated, i.e. alcohol, ethics, etc.
• Loss of Privileges - Denial of specific privileges for a specified period of time.
• Residential Probation - An official warning given for serious misconduct or in cases of repeated misconduct. Future violations may result in loss of residential and visitation privileges.
• Disciplinary Probation - A status between good standing and suspension from the University. It is ordinarily imposed for a period of not less than one semester and may affect financial aid for the following semester. It may also include such restrictions as denial of the opportunity to represent the University as an athlete or officer of a student organization. Future violations may result in loss of the privilege of residing in or visiting resident facilities and/or suspension from the University.
• Residential Suspension - Loss of the right to reside in or visit University residence hall areas, including residence hall buildings and parking lots, for a stated period of time. Recorded permanently on personal file.
• Residential Eviction - Permanent loss of the right to reside in or visit University residence hall areas, including residence hall buildings and parking lots. Recorded permanently on personal file.
• Interim Suspension - If the vice president of student life or the dean of students judges the nature of an offense to be such that the presence on campus of the accused student may be a threat to the common good, the vice president or the dean may suspend a student from the University or from the residence hall until a hearing can be held.
• Suspension - Separation of the student from the University for a stated period of time (minimum of one semester). The student will be barred from all University-owned property and will be barred from all University-sponsored activity. Recorded permanently on personal file and transcript.
• Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the University. The student will be barred from all University-owned property and will be barred from all University-sponsored activity. Recorded permanently on personal file and transcript.
• Other - A sanction deemed appropriate by the adjudicating official to enhance the learning experience in relation to the policy that was violated.
In addition to all other rights afforded in University disciplinary proceedings, the following rights apply to the accuser and the accused in the adjudication of an alleged sexual offense.
• The right to have an advisor present during any and all disciplinary hearings.
• The right to be protected against evidence of past sexual history not involving claims of assault during University proceedings except to the extent permitted by law.
• The right to be notified of the outcome of the campus disciplinary proceedings.
• The right to make up any academic work missed as a consequence of the trauma or the judicial proceedings.
• The right to confidentiality, except where state or federal regulations require disclosure.
The counseling center, located in McShea Student Center, offers emotional support to victims, including information about common reactions to sexual offenses and ways to cope. Meetings with professional counselors are confidential and can be scheduled by calling 610.282.1100, ext. 1462. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Students may also seek support from the health center, the campus ministry office, the dean of student’s office, or the office of the vice president of student life.
The Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley/Rape Crisis Center, an off-campus agency, can also offer assistance. They can be contacted at 610.437.6611. Learn more about this resource at www.cvclv.org..
Education and Services
The University urges all students and employees to become aware of personal safety and to take precautions to decrease the risk of becoming a victim of any crime, including sexual offenses. The following on-campus educational programs and services are available:
• Escort Service – When requested, University Police provide an escort for any members of the University community 7 days per week and 24 hours per day. Call ext. 1250.
• Educational Programs - University Police offer sexual assault education and information programs to students and employees on request. Literature on sexual assault prevention and risk reduction is available at the counseling center, health center (McShea Center) and at the DeSales University Police Department (Lawless Center).
• Health & Wellness Fair - Each fall semester, the counseling and health centers host a Health & Wellness Fair that welcomes various agencies, including the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley (www.cvclv.org) and Turning Point, an abuse counseling center and refuge (www.turningpointlv.org).
• First Year Student Orientation - Includes a program on potential dangers in their new community, which includes types of sexual offenses and the reporting of a sexual offense.
• Student Leader Training - Policy and practical training for resident advisors (RAs), PACE (Peer Advising, Counseling and Educating), peer mentors, and other student leadership positions is offered annually.
• Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) - In an effort to educate students in the area of self-defense, University police provide women with the opportunity to attend the R.A.D. program. The R.A.D. program is a non-credit comprehensive course designed solely for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and avoidance while progressing onto the basics of hands-on defensive training. This system of realistic self-defense provides women with the knowledge to make educated decisions about resistance.
• Emergency Call Boxes - Emergency call boxes are strategically located throughout the Center Valley campus. They are either bright yellow or have a steady illuminated blue light near them to allow for easy locating. When activated, these call boxes immediately connect directly to the university police.
• Campus Crime Alerts - Timely warnings are posted via CEALS whenever certain sexual offenses or other serious crimes that create an imminent threat to the community are reported.
• Annual Security Report - In compliance with state and federal law, annual copies of the campus security report are made available by the DeSales University Police Department located in the Lawless Center and on the University website.
Registered Sex Offenders
In keeping with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act (2000, CSCPA) the DeSales University Police Department maintains a record of registered sex offenders who have indicated that they are employed, enrolled, or reside within 1,000 feet of DeSales University. This information is provided by the Pennsylvania State Police through the Upper Saucon Township Police Department. Any member of the University community who wishes to review these records should contact the Chief of University Police Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
Further, pursuant to the provisions of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, the Pennsylvania State Police have established an online listing to provide timely information to the public on sexually violent predators residing in the Commonwealth. For further information concerning crimes for which convicted offenders must register or regarding additional access to records of registered sex offenders, contact the Pennsylvania State Police, Megan’s Law Section at 866.771.3170 or at www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.
Being sexually assaulted is not your fault. Vigilance will help you protect yourself and your friends. Here are some suggestions to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
• Avoid excessive use of alcohol and other drugs. Know your limitations and be aware of your surroundings.
• Trust your instincts. If an individual makes you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation.
• Be assertive. Don’t do anything you don’t want to. State clearly what you want and do not want. When you say no, the person should stop.
• Communicate. Think about what you really want before you get into a sexual situation, and clearly communicate your boundaries and limits. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, tell him or her early and firmly.
• Never assume anything, especially if alcohol or drugs are involved. If there is any doubt that what you are doing is consensual, stop what you are doing.
• Be cautious inviting someone into your room or going to someone else’s room.
• Avoid walking alone if you are distracted, upset, or under the influence of any substance which may impair you.
• Never accept beverages, including non-alcoholic ones, from someone you don‘t know or trust. Never leave your drink unattended; get a new one if you do. Always open your own drink. Never drink from punch bowls or other common containers. If you are having a mixed drink, make your own.
• Avoid individuals who don’t listen to you; ignore personal space boundaries; make you feel guilty or accuse you of being uptight for resisting sexual advances; express sexist attitudes and jokes; act jealous or possessive.
Management of University Programs and Facilities for Children (Non-student Minors)
We want our campus to be a welcome place for children. Every community member shares the privilege and responsibility to protect children. DeSales University students are not exempt from the law or University policies and regulations which safeguard children.
If you suspect abuse of a child occurred, is occurring, or may occur, you must report it; contact University Police at ext. 1250. You may also contact any Campus Safety Authority (CSA). Employees in this category include, but are not limited to, the president and members of the president’s staff, all student affairs administrators, residence life staff including all resident advisors (RAs) and residence hall directors (RHDs), all student or campus activity advisors, all University police and public safety personnel, the athletic director and all athletic coaches, and the director of the office of human resources.
Academic Affairs 610-282-1100 ext. 1342
Athletic Director or Associate Director 610-282-1100 ext. 1204
Campus Ministry 610.282.1100 ext. 1313
Counseling Center 610-282-1462 ext. 1462
Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley 610.437.6611
Dean of Students Office 610.282.1100 ext. 1272
Health Center 610.282.1100 ext. 1776
Human Resources 610-282-1100 ext. 1660
Lehigh County 911 Center 911
President’s Office 610-282-1100 ext. 2030
University Police 610.282.1100 ext. 1250
Vice-President for Student Life 610.282.1100 ext. 1475