Due Process Rights of Parties


Every complainant of sexual violence has the following rights:

First, it is important to get to a safe place.

Second, it's important to preserve any and all physical evidence, such as the clothing worn at the time of the assault. Do not bathe or shower prior to reporting an assault to the police or to seeking medical attention. This is critical to any criminal investigation.

Third, you have the option to report this crime. Even if you later decide you don't want to proceed in a criminal or University judicial proceeding, prompt reporting and getting support is important.

Yes. Medical attention is important for anyone who has experienced a physical or sexual assault. Call or go to the Ghering Health and Wellness Center, located in McNerney Hall. When you report a sexual or physical assault to a member of the medical staff, a medical professional will assess physical injuries, provide information on the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and refer you to other campus or community sexual violence resources. Employees at the Ghering Health and Wellness Center may also coordinate temporary safe housing for students who do not feel safe returning to their place of residence. Ghering staff also will assist any complainant in obtaining needed counseling, mental health, complainant advocacy and other services.

For a list of on-campus and off-campus assault resources, see the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

We encourage you to report to the University Police Department at (814) 732-2921 or the appropriate local law enforcement agency. Additionally, in an effort to assist complainants in reporting, additional University authorities have been identified who can also take reports of any such crime. Those authorities include the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life, the University Ombudsperson, and the Director of Residence Life and Judicial Affairs.

The University Police Department can be contacted by calling (814) 732-2921 or Emergency (814) 732-2911. University Police Department officers investigate campus crimes, including sexual violence, within their scope of the law and jurisdiction. Crimes that occur off campus will be referred to the appropriate police agency.

The University Police Department may also assist by contacting campus and community support personnel for immediate emotional assistance. When possible, specific requests for a female or male police officer will be honored. Further, if a complainant of any sexual crime notifies a University authority of the crime, that authority must tell the complainant that they have the absolute right to notify the police, and that University authority must help the complainant contact the police.

Yes. The University Police Department will honor all orders of protection and no-contact orders as issued by recognized criminal, civil, or tribal courts. Therefore, a copy of the order must be provided to University Police.

An individual is not required to file a police report if she or he is a complainant of a sexual violence. But realize that whether an incident occurs on campus or off campus, many people at the University are genuinely concerned about your personal well-being. If you choose not to share information with a campus or community police agency, please consider reporting the incident to one of the University or community sexual violence resources. For a list of on-campus and off-campus assault resources, see the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Individuals who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to preserve all physical evidence. Choosing not to immediately pursue criminal charges does not prohibit one from doing so in the future. Therefore, the collection of physical evidence is important for bringing a criminal case forward.

When a sex offense is reported, the University will change the student complainant's academic, working, transportation, and living situation if such changes are requested by the complainant, and the requested changes are reasonably available. Requests for changes to living and transportation should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Requests for changes to academic and working situations should be made to the Social Equity Director/Title IX Coordinator.

  • The right to have allegations investigated and adjudicated by the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, which may include investigation and adjudication of an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or retaliation that might arise.
  • The right, upon request, to have reasonable steps taken by the Office for Student Judicial Affairs to prevent any unnecessary or unwanted contacted with the alleged assailants if both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator are students.
  • The same right as the accused to have an advisor, as a support person, present at any University disciplinary proceeding or any related meeting or proceeding. The advisor may be a friend, student, faculty, staff, administrator, attorney or family member. The advisor may consult and interact privately with the student complainant but does not speak for the student complainant.
  • The right to have only those questions relevant to the charges asked during the disciplinary investigation and hearing. The chairperson may exclude statements and questions concerning the prior sexual history of any party if deemed irrelevant.
  • The right to provide a student complainant's impact statement verbally or in writing to the chairperson.
  • The right to be present and hear all testimony and evidence related to the disciplinary charges.
  • The right to be notified in writing, after a judicial proceeding, of the following:
  • The University's procedures for the complainant to appeal the results of the disciplinary proceedings, which shall be the same as those of the accused. The complainant may also submit a statement to be considered in any appeal.
  • Any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final.
  • When such results become final.
  • The right to make a written request to not receive notification of the outcome.

Several offices will assist complainants of crime on campus, including the University Police Department, Ghering Health Wellness Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Social Equality, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. These offices will also provide information for off-campus referrals.


Contact Us

Social Equity Investigator
213 Reeder Hall
219 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA 16444
Email: equalopportunity@pennwest.edu
Phone: 814-732-2167
Fax: 814-732-2153

Andrew Matt, JD
Title IX Coordinator & Investigator
213 Reeder Hall
Email: amatt@pennwest.edu
Phone: 814-732-1564