Sexual Misconduct and Gender Equity Resources for Penn State York
Penn State is committed to fostering an environment free from sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct. The University is committed to providing support to those who may have been impacted by incidents of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct and may provide various resources and support services to individuals who have experienced one of these incidents.
Unlawful discriminatory behaviors under Title IX:
- SEXUAL HARASSMENT - unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- GENDER-BASED HARASSMENT - physical or verbal harassment due to gender, sexual orientation, gender stereotyping, perceived gender, or gender identity
- SEXUAL MISCONDUCT - rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of non-consensual sexual activity
- STALKING - repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating, including by telephone, mail, electronic communication, or social media
- DATING/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - including emotional, verbal, and economic abuse without the presence of physical abuse
- RETALIATION - adverse employment, academic, or other actions against anyone reporting or participating in an investigation of Title IX allegations
Any individual who experiences, witnesses, or becomes aware of an incident of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct is strongly encouraged to seek help and report their experience as soon as possible. The University provides a variety of options for reporting incidents, holding offenders accountable, and obtaining assistance and support. Individuals can contact any of the appropriate individuals or offices listed here to access these resources. For more information or to view related policies, visit TitleIX.psu.edu.
The University strongly encourages students to report incidents of suspected sexual and/or gender-based harassment or misconduct. Students who report information about such incidents typically will not face University disciplinary action for their own drug or alcohol possession or consumption in connection with the reported incident.
University policy protects individuals from retaliation who report concerns regarding an incident of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, or who participate in the University process
A note about confidentially
You may report an incident to any University employee. However, please note that, with the exception of confidential support providers, all Penn State employees are responsible employees and are obligated to pass along information they learn about incidents of sexual misconduct to the University’s Title IX Coordinator.
All Penn State employees who are not Confidential Employees. Responsible Employees are required to report incidents of possible Prohibited Conduct to the Title IX Coordinator, using one of the following methods: 1) fill out the form on the Title IX website and/or 2) contact the Title IX Coordinator directly.
Responsible Employees are not required to report information disclosed at public awareness events (e.g., “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, or other public forums in which individuals may disclose incidents of Prohibited Conduct, collectively “Public Awareness Events”); or during an individual’s participation as a subject in an Institutional Review Board (“IRB”)-approved human subjects research protocol. The University may provide information about individuals’ rights under Title IX and about available University and Community resources and support at Public Awareness Events, however, and Institutional Review Boards may, in appropriate cases, require researchers to provide such information to all student subjects of IRB research.
Title IX Coordinators are not a confidential source of support. While they will address your complaint with sensitivity and will not share any information related to your experience except on a need-to-know basis, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. A list of confidential support providers is available on the Get Help page.
What happens after I file a report?
The University’s Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response will respond to all reports of potential sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct in a manner that is timely, supportive, and fair. It is important to note that these procedures provide individuals who have experienced an incident of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct with the ability to provide input and maintain a large degree of control over how their issue is handled at every point in the process. You may bring a support person or advisor of their choosing to any meeting or conversation they have regarding their experience.
A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Assault
Because sexual assault is everyone’s problem, it is important for all Penn State students to know where to turn for help and what to do if they or a friend are a victim of sexual harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct or exploitation, stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, or retaliation. Whether the perpetrator was a stranger, acquaintance, close friend, or date, there are certain services you should be aware of in order to get the treatment you need. Sexual touching, fondling, penetration, or forced sex acts without explicit consent are considered sexual assault.
Unfortunately, these incidents do not discriminate; they happen to men and women, straight couples and same-sex couples, etc.
Individuals impacted by sexual or gender-based assessment or misconduct may have many different support needs, including changing academic, employment, or living arrangements. The University provides a broad array of resources and support services for students, faculty, and staff, including:
- Academic accommodations, including schedule changes, classroom modifications, adjustments to coursework or exam schedules, and retroactive withdrawals
- Housing modifications, including room changes and/or the provision of temporary safe spaces
- Employment modifications, including reasonable changes to workplace, schedule, or duties
- Confidential survivor advocacy/support services
- Free counseling/emotional support
- Medical care
- No contact directives
You may wish to review them and contact the various services as you need them while you are healing from the experience. All services to survivors are confidential, except that physicians and hospital personnel are required by law to report sexual assaults to the police. It is the victim’s choice, however, whether or not to talk to the police.
You have options if you choose to report an incident of sexual misconduct: 1) file a complaint with the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and/or 2) file a complaint with law enforcement.
Law Enforcement (Emergency Response)
Office: Room 101, Pullo Family Performing Arts Center/Lee R. Glatfelter Library
Medical care is important, even if you feel no injury was sustained. Medical providers can assess your overall health needs, treat physical injuries, test for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and collect evidence for legal proceedings. Staff are specifically trained and sensitive to your concerns.
Confidential Emergency Care
Address: 1001 S. George Street
911 Provides treatment for injuries and sexually transmitted infections and rape kit assessments with a sexual assault nurse examiner. Advocates for survivors are available on call. Open 24/7.
Confidential Non-Emergency Care
WellSpan Care Express
Address: 2058 S. Queen Street
Provides non-emergency assistance and referrals. Call for hours.
Talking to someone can be an important part of your healing process. Confidential support services are available to assist you on and off campus. No personal information is shared without your permission.
The Counseling Center
Office: Student Affairs Suite, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center
Services include emotional support, counseling, consultation, academic advocacy, reporting options, and connection to other services.
If you are sexually assaulted:
- Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
- Try to preserve all physical evidence. *Do not bathe, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing.
- Contact the police.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible.
- Contact a close friend who can be with you until you feel safe again. Your friend can also accompany you to the medical exam and/or police department.
- You may be feeling a variety of strong emotions—fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, disorientation, powerlessness, shame, shock, disbelief, embarrassment, denial, and anger.
- You may be feeling a number of physical problems—sleep disturbances, nausea, stomach problems, change in eating habits, or nightmares.
- You may be confused and alone, wondering if you should tell your family and friends or how you should tell them.
- You may be feeling that, even though the sexual assault occurred a while ago, you would now like to talk to someone about what happened.
- You will likely find it helpful to read information about making a report with Penn State’s Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response or to access reporting and support resources at Penn State York and in our local community; and contact one of our counselors at [email protected] or 717-771-4088.
It is important to seek medical attention immediately after and as a follow-up to sexual assault to determine the presence of physical injury, sexually transmissible diseases, or pregnancy, and to obtain evidence to assist in criminal prosecution. Ideally, physical evidence should be collected immediately, but it can be collected up to but no later than 72 hours following a sexual assault. This special exam includes the collection of evidence that may be used in a criminal prosecution. It is recommended to evaluate your physical condition as well as to maintain all of your legal options. The exam is performed by an emergency physician. A nurse is present throughout the procedure and a same-sex friend and/or advocate can also be present. The York Hospital emergency department follows national standards for victim care and is a recognized location in York County for the sexual assault exam and evidence collection. If you are a woman and have been sexually assaulted, there is a risk for a resulting pregnancy. There is a medication that may reduce this risk by as much as 75 percent; It is called Emergency Contraceptive Pills or ECP. This pill must be administered within 72 hours of the sexual assault to be effective. The ECP is available over the counter for women 18-years-old or older. For women students younger than 18, a prescription by a physician is required.
There are at least three options to consider when paying for medical costs. To protect your privacy, the University will pay for the exam and routine tests. If you prefer, your private health insurance may cover the cost of the exam, follow-up care, and transportation. Additionally, Pennsylvania’s Victims Compensation Assistance Program can cover these costs, providing yet another option for victims.
Police, Legal, and Student Conduct Services
Sexual assault is a crime. The University will support all students who choose to report all crimes; reporting is not the same as prosecuting. The decision to prosecute can be made at a later time. The Police Department in the jurisdiction where the rape occurs is in charge of investigating rapes and sexual assaults. The results of the emergency rape exam and evidence collection can be used by them to identify the assailant. You can call the police at 911.
Student Affairs assists in setting standards for student behavior that help maintain a safe University environment. If the respondent is a student, a complainant can file a complaint against the alleged party through that office. Disciplinary action is taken with due process and can include separation of the respondent from the University and removal from University property. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The phone number is 717-771-4045.
The District Attorney’s Office presents the state's case against accused individuals and others suspected of committing crimes. The district attorney (DA) evaluates the evidence and decides on the possibility of successful prosecution. The DA’s office is located in the York County Judicial Center at 45 N. George St. in York. The phone number is 717-771-9600. The office is open Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
If you have questions about your rights as a Victim of a crime, please refer to this website: https://pcv.pccd.pa.gov/for-victims/Pages/Your-Rights-as-a-Victim.aspx
AD85 Sexual And/or Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct (Including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Related Inappropriate Conduct) (Formerly Discrimination, Harassment...)
We at Penn State York strive to create and maintain an open, safe and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students, and their allies. We have an array of resources and support services, and we encourage students to use these resources whenever necessary.
Safer People, Safer Places LGBTQA+ Support Network Members
This is a network members at Penn State York who are supporters of the LGBTQA+ community and can assist a student in need. Those faculty and staff that are part of the Safe Zone are:
- Ann Fetterman, Instructor in English, [email protected]
- Denise Flinchbaugh, Administrative Support Assistant, [email protected]
- Bob Lehman, Police Chief, [email protected]
- Ryan Service Manzo, Director of Enrollment Services, [email protected]
- Dr. Jennifer Nesbitt, Associate Proessor of English, [email protected]
- Jon Price, Instructor in History and Political Science and Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) Adviser, [email protected]
- Cathy Sheaffer, Administrative Support Assistant, [email protected]
- Dr. Noel Sloboda, Assistant Professor of English, [email protected]
- Joan Smeltzer, Associate Teaching Professor of Mathematics, [email protected]
- Office of Student Affairs, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center
Gender Neutral Bathrooms
- Room 105, Bradley Building
- Pullo Family Performing Arts Center/Lee R. Glatfelter Library, 103A, 218, 253, 255, 319, and 320
- Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
- Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) – support for family and friends
- LGBT National Help Center Helpline – This hotline provides telephone and email peer counseling as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States. Call 888-843-4564.
- The Curve – The Curve is Planned Parenthood Keystone's York County LGBTQA+ youth center. Thursdays 6:00 –8:00 p.m. for youth ages 14–21.
References from Across Penn State Webpages