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Reporting Sexual Misconduct to College Officials

Virginia Wesleyan College strongly supports and encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct. Reporting provides resources to complainants and contributes to keeping the campus safe.

If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct, you should promptly report incident(s) to one of the College’s Deputy Title IX coordinators and to the Virginia Beach Police Department. Instances of sexual misconduct may violate both the College’s sexual misconduct policy and the law. As a result, the College encourages victims to pursue their complaints through both the College’s process for sexual misconduct and through the criminal justice system. The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) which can be reached at (757) 385-5000, can explain the procedures for pursuing a criminal investigation of sexual misconduct. The VBPD will investigate every incident reported to police to determine if a crime has been committed. The criminal investigation is independent from any inquiry undertaken by the Deputy Title IX coordinators under this policy.

Regardless of whether a victim decides to pursue a criminal investigation, the College’s Deputy Title IX coordinators will take immediate steps to inquire into the complaint, to protect the complainant, and to ensure the safety of the campus community. If a criminal complaint is filed in addition to the College complaint, the College will continue implementing its own procedures regardless of the timeline of the criminal proceedings or their outcome.

If a case involves underage drinking, the College shall not charge or sanction the following individuals with a violation of the College’s alcohol policy: the complainant, the witnesses, and other individuals reporting, in good faith, incidents and/or assisting victims of sexual misconduct.

**NOTICE**  Should anyone wish to report an incident of sexual misconduct without revealing the names of the parties involved or wish to remain totally anonymous themselves, they may use the Sexual Assault Report Form.  This form, once completed, can be returned electronically or in a sealed envelope to Marea Hyman, the Associate Director of Student Counseling, at mhyman@vwc.edu or in the Student Counseling Center, Suite 211 of the Batten Student Center.

How Do I Report Sexual Misconduct?
Seeking Immediate Assistance: If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct, please contact the Virginia Beach Police Department, reachable 24 hours a day for emergencies at 9-911 (from on-campus phones) or for non-emergencies (757) 385-5000 (from cell phones or off-campus phones).

As soon as employees become aware of possible sexual misconduct, they must report and students are strongly encouraged to report the incident(s) to one of the College’s Deputy Title IX coordinators.

For cases involving students, either as the complainant or the respondent, contact:

  • McCarren E. Caputa, Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator (757) 233-8709
  • Jason W. Seward, Dean of Freshmen, Director of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator (757) 455-2124

For cases involving faculty or staff as the complainant or respondent, contact:

  • Karla Rasmussen, Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator (757) 455-3316

If you wish to discuss the incident confidentially, prior to officially reporting it, you may contact:

  • Marea Hyman, Associate Director of Student Counseling (757) 455-3131

What Is The Role of The Title IX Coordinators?
The Title IX coordinators seek first and foremost to ensure that the victim is safe and that the campus community is protected. They will meet with the victim of the reported sexual misconduct, known as the "complainant." The Title IX coordinators are trained in college sexual misconduct and will provide expert and empathetic counsel to the complainant.
The Title IX coordinators' responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring the prompt and thorough inquiry into any Title IX complaint or question from a student at the College;
  • Establishing processes to identify and address patterns or systemic problems that may arise during the inquiry into a Title IX complaint from a student;
  • Ensuring that the College has in place policies and procedures reasonably necessary to foster compliance with Title IX, including, but not limited to grievance procedures for Title IX complaints from students;
  • Ensuring that appropriate school officials receive training regarding Title IX, including reporting and responding to possible incidents of discrimination or sexual harassment;
  • Implementing educational programs and communication plans designed to inform students of their rights under Title IX and how to file a Title IX complaint; and
  • Meeting with students who wish to file a Title IX complaint or raise a question relating to Title IX.

How Do The Title IX Coordinators Handle a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct?
The Title IX coordinator will provide the following to the complainant:

  • Resources on campus and within the Virginia Beach community, including counseling services. A complete list of resources is available at the College’s Sexual Misconduct Resources webpage;
  • The inquiry process and College procedures for pursuing a formal complaint against a student, faculty member, staff member, or third party, including the College’s protections from retaliation;
  • The College’s obligation to treat both the complainant and the respondent fairly;
  • The College’s obligation to promptly inquire into the reported sexual misconduct;
  • The complainant's right to pursue criminal action in addition to the College’s arbitration process; and
  • Possible academic and housing accommodations or other measures designed to assure the complainant's well-being, including "no contact" orders.

When a report of possible sexual misconduct is made, the Title IX coordinator will commence an inquiry. As part of that inquiry, the Title IX coordinator will interview the respondent, and other possible witnesses. The Title IX coordinator will also gather other relevant information or documents. In general, the Title IX coordinators will inquire into the incident promptly and the inquiry will take no longer than sixty (60) days, unless extenuating circumstances necessitate a longer time frame.

At the conclusion of the inquiry, the Title IX coordinator will share his or her findings with the complainant and the respondent. The Title IX coordinator will also determine whether a formal complaint is warranted.

If a formal complaint is warranted and the respondent is a student, the Title IX coordinator shall refer the matter to the Sexual Misconduct Board. The matter will then be handled in accordance with the College’s Arbitration Procedures.
If a formal complaint is warranted and the respondent is a faculty or staff member, a contractor or vendor to the University, or another third party, the complaint shall be referred to the College’s Director of Human Resources who acts as the Title IX Coordinator. The matter will then be handled in accordance with the College’s Policy on Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct involving faculty or staff.

If the reported sexual misconduct falls under certain categories and occurred on campus or on any property owned or controlled by the College, the Title IX coordinator will report basic information to Campus Security per the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("the Clery Act"). The complainant's name will not be published as part of the Clery reporting. Basic statistical data will be provided to the Department of Education.
Based on the complainant's report, Campus Security may determine that a serious or continuing threat possibly exists and may release either an "emergency notification" or a "timely warning." Emergency notifications must be issued immediately upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation and timely warnings must be issued if the crime is considered by the institution to represent a serious or continuing threat. The complainant's name will never be included in emergency notifications or timely warnings.

What if I Want to Keep Things Confidential or Do Not Want to Pursue a Formal Complaint?
If you wish to discuss the incident confidentially, prior to officially reporting it, you may contact:

  • Marea Hyman, Associate Director of Student Counseling (757) 455-3131

You may also report an incident of sexual misconduct without revealing the names of the parties involved or you may remain totally anonymous by using the Sexual Assault Report Form.  This form, once completed, can be returned electronically or in a sealed envelope to Marea Hyman, the Associate Director of Student Counseling, at mhyman@vwc.edu or in the Student Counseling Center, Suite 211 of the Batten Student Center.

In cases in which the complainant chooses to keep his/her name, the name of the respondent, and other information confidential or decides not to file a formal complaint of sexual misconduct against a student, faculty member, staff member, or other third party, the Title IX coordinator will gather as much information as possible about the sexual misconduct complaint(s). The College will respond to this information in pursuit of protecting the campus community while seeking to respect the complainant's request for confidentiality. The Title IX coordinator will inform the complainant that keeping the complainant's name confidential or declining to identify the respondent may limit the College’s ability to thoroughly inquire into the sexual misconduct complaint. The Title IX coordinator will also inform the complainant that in some cases it may not be possible to ensure confidentiality.

After gathering information from the complainant and incorporating the complainant's request for confidentiality, the Title IX coordinator will work with College officials to determine whether any of the following actions are appropriate to protect the campus community from any possible ongoing threat:

  • Take steps to protect the complainant, including interim measures such as issuing a "no contact order" or a "no trespass order" as the inquiry is ongoing;
  • Take steps to prevent or address retaliation, which is prohibited under Title IX and the Standards of Student Conduct; and
  • Determine if enough evidence exists to warrant an inquiry without the complainant's cooperation.

At the complainant's request and upon review by and approval of the Title IX coordinator, certain complaints of sexual harassment or stalking may be resolved informally through the procedures set forth in the College’s policy prohibiting discrimination against students. Informal resolution is not available for misconduct involving non-consensual sexual contact or non-consensual sexual intercourse, or serious incidents of sexual exploitation, sexual harassment or stalking. The Title IX coordinator will advise a complainant if the informal resolution procedures are available in a particular matter.

How Do I Pursue a Formal Complaint of Sexual Misconduct?
Any employee with knowledge of sexual misconduct by a student (hereafter "respondent"), faculty member, staff member, or third party ("respondent") must file a formal complaint in writing (email suffices) with the Title IX coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX coordinators. Any student with knowledge of sexual misconduct by a student, faculty member, staff member, or third party is strongly encouraged to file a formal complaint in writing (email suffices) with one of the Deputy Title IX coordinators.

In cases involving a respondent, the procedures set forth in this policy and the College’s Arbitration Policies shall apply. In cases in which the respondent is a faculty member, staff member, or third party, the procedures set forth in the College’s Policy on Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct involving faculty or staff shall apply.
The formal complaint procedures for sexual misconduct charges involving students are handled by the College’s Sexual Misconduct Board.

How Does the College Handle Retaliation Against Someone Who Brings a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct or Participates in the Inquiry or Hearing Process?
All members of the College community, including faculty, staff, and students, who have a good faith concern regarding possible sexual misconduct are expected to report such concerns to the Title IX coordinators and/or the Virginia Beach Police Department.

The College prohibits retaliation or retribution, in any form, against an individual who reports, in good faith, an actual, potential, or suspected violation of this sexual misconduct policy. As used in this policy, reporting "in good faith" means the individual making the report has a reasonable basis to believe that there has been or may have been a violation of this sexual misconduct policy. Individuals who make frivolous or false reports shall not be deemed to be acting in good faith.
Anyone who engages in or attempts to engage in retaliation or retribution against an individual who reports, in good faith, an actual, potential or suspected violation of this sexual misconduct policy shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the policies and procedures of the College.

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