The University educates the student community about sexual assaults and date rape through voluntary orientations each fall. Local agencies offer sexual assault education and information programs to
University students and employees upon request. Literature on date rape education, risk reduction, and University response is available through the University Counseling Center.
If you are a victim of a sexual assault at this institution, your first priority should be to get to a place of safety. You should then obtain necessary medical treatment. University administration strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. An assault should be reported directly to a University Security officer and/or to the Dean of Students. Filing a report with a University officer will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers. Filing a police report will:
ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim;|
provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam);|
assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.|
When a sexual assault victim contacts the appropriate campus official, local law enforcement agencies may be notified as well. The victim of a sexual assault may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and the University Conduct System, or only the latter. A University representative, typically the Dean of Students, will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision. Various counseling options are available from the University through the Counseling Center, Rape and Sexual Abuse Center (800.879.1999 or 615.256.8526), the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE).
Special guidelines for cases involving sexual misconduct, are detailed in the Student Handbook. The Handbook provides, in part, that the accused and the victim will each be allowed to choose one person who has had no formal legal training to accompany them throughout the hearing. Both the victim and accused will be informed of the outcome of the hearing. A student found responsible for violating the University sexual misconduct policy could be criminally prosecuted in the state courts and may be suspended or expelled from the University for the first offense. Student victims have the option to change their academic and/or on-campus living situations after an alleged sexual assault, if such changes are reasonably available.