Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding campus' sexual discrimination or harassment policy and procedures:
What are some examples of sexual Harassment?
Inappropriate behavior may include:
- Sexual jokes, innuendoes, gestures
- Unwanted flirtation, advances, or propositions
- Pressure for sex
- Display of sexually suggestive objects/visuals
- Display/transmission of sexually suggestive electronic content
- Any unnecessary, unwanted physical contact
- Sexual assault (if this occurs, call the police immediately and maintain evidence)
What should I do if I feel I have been sexually harassed?
- Document the problem behavior: date, time, place, witnesses, specific behaviors
- Tell the harasser that the behavior is offensive and that you want it to stop
- Seek counseling and personal support from the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services.
- File a complaint in accordance with the University's Title IX complaint procedures
What about false allegations?
Sanctions may be imposed on individuals who knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, make false accusations of sexual harassment. Just because a complaint cannot be proven does not mean that it is false.
Is sexual harassment only male to female, supervisor to employee, faculty to student?
Sexual harassment occurs when individuals feel they are the recipients of unwanted sexual attention or behavior. Sexual harassment can happen to or be perpetrated by anyone against anyone else: women, men, students, faculty, staff, supervisors, employees, volunteers, and vendors.
Does the complaint remain confidential?
The university cannot promise complete confidentiality. The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual discrimination or harassment must be strictly observed, except insofar as it interferes with the campus' obligations to fully investigate allegations of sexual discrimination or harassment. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. In all complaints of sexual discrimination or harassment, both the accused and complainant will be informed of the outcome.
If I report and incident, will the police be involved?
If you report and act of alleged sexual violence, police may be notified. This does not mean charges will automatically be filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the campus is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The campus also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. The statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
What is the purpose and possible outcome of an investigation?
The purpose of the investigation is to evaluate the allegations of sexual harassment, formulate a response to address the situation, and follow up to ensure that recommended actions have been taken. Outcomes can include: no finding of harassment, finding of inappropriate behavior, finding of harassment, or finding of false allegations. The ultimate goal is to stop the harassment.
Do I have to name the perpetrator?
Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint. Understand that the campus’ ability to insure the health and safety of its members is compromised when serious allegations cannot be addressed.
What if I am retaliated against?
Individuals who report sexual harassment or who are involved in the investigation as witnesses are protected against retaliation by University policy as well as state and federal law. The University will take appropriate corrective action toward those individuals who retaliate against someone because he or she filed a complaint, encouraged someone to file a complaint, served as a witness in an investigation, or otherwise participated in an investigation. If you feel you are being retaliated against, contact one of the Title IX coordinators.
What do I do if I am accused of sexual discrimination or harassment?
Do not contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact a Title IX Coordinator, who can explain the campus’ procedures for dealing with sexual discrimination or harassment complaints.
What do I do about preserving evidence of sexual assault?
Physical evidence of a sexual assault must be collected within 72 hours. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should contact the Department of Public Safety at 740-351-3232 or call 9-1-1. (9-9-1-1 from a campus phone) 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 evidence, check for injuries, and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing 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 evidence 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 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 evidence for the police to collect. If possible, do not shower or wash, or go to the bathroom before coming to the hospital.
It is easier to investigate and prosecute cases that have physical evidence, but it is not impossible to go forward without it. You can file a report or ask police to pursue charges even if you have not had evidence collected.
Will my parents be told?
Whether you are the complainant or the accused student, the campus’ primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents or guardian or another family member. university officials will directly inform these individuals when requested to do so by a student, or in certain instances where a health or safety emergency exist.
What about changing residence hall rooms?
If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is the University’s policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room.
The alleged perpetrator may be moved or suspended immediately and temporarily depending on the facts reported, and the permanence of this action will be based upon the outcome of the conduct hearing or the need for continuing temporary action against the accused.
You can learn of other resources available to you by contacting the Vice President forStudent Affairs or a Title IX Coordinator.
Will a student be sanctioned when reporting a sexual discrimination or harassment policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the campus’ response, but whenever possible the university will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual discrimination or harassment is a major concern and the campus does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual discrimination or harassment.
Will either party's prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual discrimination or harassment?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.