FAQ: Sexual Misconduct on Campus
- Does a complaint remain confidential?
- Will my parents/guardians be told?
- Will I have to confront the perpetrator?
- Do I have to name the perpetrator?
- What should I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
- What should I do about legal advice?
- How can the college help to remedy the effects of discrimination?
- What should I do to preserve evidence of a sexual assault?
- Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be considered when reporting sexual misconduct?
- Will a student be sanctioned when reporting an act of sexual misconduct if the student has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
- What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
Reports made to licensed counselors employed to provide personal counseling and health services professionals will be kept confidential.
All other reports are considered private. The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct will be maintained, except insofar as it interferes with the college’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where information is shared, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted.
In all complaints of sexual misconduct, the accusing party will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, to the community, though personally identifying information about the victim will not be shared.
Certain college administrators are informed privately (e.g., the president of the college, dean of Student Development, Title IX coordinator, police chief, etc.) of the outcome and any change to a student’s status, as necessary.
The college must statistically report the occurrence on campus of any of seven major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, and hate crimes in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
No, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the accusing party or the responding party, the college’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent/guardian; however, in the event of major medical issues or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents.
College officials may directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in a life-threatening situation, if the student is a minor, or if the student has signed the permission authorization at registration that allows such communication.
Yes, if you file a formal complaint, but not directly. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the responding party has the right to question the accuser; However, the college does provide options for allowing questioning without direct contact, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.
Yes, if you want formal conduct action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator.
First, do not contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your adviser. You may also contact the Title IX coordinator who can explain the college’s procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor in Psychological Services.
Victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to seek prosecution because legal issues will be handled through a representative from the District Attorney’s office. You may want to retain an attorney if you are the responding party. Victims may also want to retain an attorney if you are considering filing a civil action against the alleged perpetrator.
Accommodations available to you might include:
- Taking an incomplete in a class
- Transferring class sections
- Temporary withdrawal from a course or the college
- Alternative course completion options
- A no-contact order
- Counseling assistance
- Escorts or other campus safety protections
Physical information of a sexual assault must be collected within about 120 hours of the assault for it to be useful in a criminal prosecution.
If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should go to a hospital Emergency Room before washing yourself or your clothing. A sexual assault health professional (a specially trained nurse called a SANE) at the hospital is on call and will counsel you.
If you go to the hospital, local police will be called but you are not obligated to talk to the police or to prosecute. The exam will help to keep that option open for you should you decide later to exercise it. The hospital staff will collect information, check for injuries, and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections.
If you have changed clothes since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet. (Plastic containers do not breathe, and may render forensic information useless.)
If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a friend or family member other support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene. Leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear information for the police to collect.
Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be considered when reporting sexual misconduct?
No, not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.
Will a student be sanctioned when reporting an act of sexual misconduct if the student has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
No. The college offers amnesty in such situations. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the college does not want any of the circumstances (e.g.., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct. See “Amnesty” policy in Section 7(C) of the Code of Student Conduct.
If you believe that you have experienced non-consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the college’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the Title IX Coordinator. The college also provides counselors who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.