Sexual Harassment/Assault Information
Sexual harassment and misconduct undermine the mission of the university and threaten the careers, educational experience and well-being of students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus. Therefore, it is the policy and goal of Wittenberg University that all students, faculty, staff and guests be free from sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Although founded on and guided by the laws of the United States and of the State of Ohio, the university’s policy against sexual harassment and misconduct is not limited to these laws as the policy is an expression of the academic, residential, and professional standards of the Wittenberg community. The university reserves the right to investigate circumstances that may involve sexual harassment or misconduct in situations where no complaint has been filed.
In accordance with the University’s mission and values, and in compliance with Title IX and related legislation, Wittenberg University seeks to proactively prevent sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. The University is also committed to responding promptly to concerns or allegations of harassment and assault. Such response includes, but is not limited to, providing support and counseling for any individual requiring or requesting it; taking adequate steps to immediately eliminate the harassment or threat of harassment, preventing its recurrence and providing fair, adequate and equitable resolution of complaints brought to the University’s attention.
As a recipient of Federal funds, the University is required to comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities. Sexual harassment and misconduct as defined in this policy are forms of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX. Wittenberg University is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from sex discrimination. Questions related to Title IX can be directed to the Title IX coordinator, the VP for Finance & Administration, Dean of Students or the Office of Civil Rights.
This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students. All community members are expected to abide by this policy, whether on campus or away from campus, when engaged in activities sponsored by the university or which otherwise related to the university or its business. This policy also applies to activities of recognized student organizations. Those who contract to use Wittenberg’s campus, conduct business on campus or visit the university are expected to adhere to the principles established by this policy.
Resources for Individuals Who May be Victims of Sexual Misconduct
The health, safety, and well-being of all Wittenberg community members are the University’s primary concern. If you or someone you know may be the victim of any form of sexual misconduct, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Assistance can be obtained 24 hours a day, seven day a week, from:
Campus Emergencies 327-6363
Wittenberg Police 327-6231
Wittenberg Health and Counseling Center, 327-7811
Student Development, 327-7800
GLBT & Ally Office, William A. McClain Center for Diversity
University Pastor 327-7411
Tiger Transport 327-7900
Police Emergency, 911
Springfield Police Department, 324-7680
Clark County Sheriff’s Department, 328-2560
Springfield Regional Medical Center, 328-9372
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) available
Project Woman, 937-325-3737 (Emergency)
Talk One2One Telephone Counseling
After-hours support, 1-800-756-3124
Available when Health and Counseling Center is closed
National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE
Clark County Health Department 390-5600
Further information about Title IX and sex discrimination in education is available from the Office of Civil rights, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20202-1100 (by Customer Service Hotline: 800-427-3481; fax: 202-453-6012; TDD: 877-521-2172; email: OCR@ed.gov; or on the web, at http://www.ed.gov/ocr).
For non-emergency assistance during Business Hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday):
Faculty and staff are strongly urged to contact the VP for Finance & Administration/Title IX Co-Coordinator, Randy Freebourn, at 327-7006 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are strongly urged to contact the Dean of Students/Title IX Co-Coordinator, Casey Gill, at 327-7801 or e-mail email@example.com or the Director of Student Conduct, Jessica Hoelting, who is also the deputy Title IX coordinator for student complaints. She can be reached by telephone 327-7804, email firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Dietrich House for Student Development (809 Woodlawn Ave.).
All victims of sexual assault should take the following actions:
Go to a safe place.
Do not shower, bathe, or douche.
Do not urinate, if possible.
Do not eat, drink liquids, smoke, or brush teeth if oral contact took place.
Keep the clothes worn during the offense. If clothes are changed, place in a paper bag (evidence deteriorates in plastic).
Get prompt medical attention.
Do not destroy the physical evidence that may be found in the vicinity of the crime. If the crime occurred in the victim’s home, the victim should not clean or straighten until the police have had an opportunity to collect evidence.
Write down all details remembered as soon as possible.
This policy covers complaints of alleged sexual misconduct by University members (student, faculty, and staff).
COMPLAINT AND REPORTING PROCEDURES
Wittenberg strives to provide an environment that promotes and supports positive, effective resolutions for any kind of complaint or concern. In some cases, it may be appropriate for the individual who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment to communicate, in person or in writing, to the person doing the harassing. This may be done with, or without, notifying a university official of the harassment. Such communication should include a description of the offensive behavior and a request that the behavior stop. However, instances of repeated harassing behaviors or any single incident of unwanted sexual contact should always be reported to a university official.
Any recipient of unwanted behavior has the right to be free from pressure when deciding on a desired course of action. The University will respect the decision of the complainant. However, the University also has a duty to protect that individual and all other members of the community from anyone who may responsible for unwanted behavior. Toward that end, if the University is on notice of alleged harassment, the University may opt to proceed with an investigation and/or hearing whether or not the recipient of the unwanted behavior chooses to participate.
Any individual wishing to make a complaint about sexual harassment or sexual misconduct has the following options under this policy:
As described above, assistance from any University official may be requested to resolve complaints of harassing behavior. In cases of repeated harassing behaviors or any incident of unwanted sexual contact, the University encourages the complainant to follow formal complaint procedures.
Formal Complaint – requires submission of a signed written complaint (see below)
(a) Assisted Resolution
Seek Assistance outside the University
Anyone who believes he or she has been sexually harassed or assaulted may also elect to make a complaint outside the university by initiating civil and/or criminal charges against the offending party or parties. If requested, the university will assist the complainant in reporting an assault and filing a criminal charge. The University community is reminded that the Ohio criminal and civil justice systems and the Wittenberg process for investigation, adjudication and discipline are separate and distinct ways in which to seek redress. If any party initiates any civil, criminal or agency proceeding, the University reserves the right to independently initiate, to suspend, to terminate or to continue the internal proceeding within the requirements of the Title IX and other regulatory actions of the Office of Civil Rights.
FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
The university believes that for a variety of reasons including privacy, speed of the resolution and a return to normal relations, it may be in the interest of both the complainant and the respondent to resolve the complaint through Assisted Resolution rather than Adjudication. Thus, unless the complainant or respondent specifically request resolution through adjudication, or unless the severity of the alleged incident is deemed by the university to require adjudication, the university will attempt to resolve formal complaints through Assisted Resolution. Experience has shown that Assisted Resolution is particularly appropriate in situations where there are different perceptions about whether consent was given or where thoughtless or unintentional behavior has caused distress.
Initiating the Complaint
Anyone who wishes to file a formal complaint may do so by contacting any of the following university staff members who are trained to serve as intake officers for complaints:
Dean of Students/Title IX Co-Coordinator, Director of Student Conduct/Deputy Title IX Coordinator or any other administrative personnel in the department of Student Development (student-initiated complaints)
VP for Finance & Administration/Title IX Co-Coordinator (student-, faculty- or staff-initiated complaints)
Associate Provost or any administrative personnel in the Provost’s Office.
(student-, faculty- or staff-initiated complaints)
Any Title IX Deputy Coordinator
All formal complaints will be signed and, upon resolution, filed with the Department of Human Resources, which will be the Office of Record for all sexual harassment and misconduct complaints.
The Intake Officer will forward the written complaint to an appropriate university official (which may be the intake officer) and the Title IX Coordinator for further action. When the respondent is a faculty member, the Title IX Coordinator will seek the participation of the respondent’s supervisor and/or the Provost or Director of Human Resources when presenting the complaint to the respondent.
In all complaints of alleged sexual harassment or misconduct, regardless of whether the complainant wishes to pursue formal grievance procedures, the University will undertake an appropriate inquiry and take such prompt and effective action as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances to support and protect the complainant, including taking appropriate interim steps before the final outcome of the investigation and hearing, if any. Accordingly, at or after the intake meeting, the University may impose a “no-contact” order, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation, and if applicable, the hearing.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee also may take any further protective action that he or she deems appropriate concerning the interaction of the parties pending the hearing, if any, including, without limitation, directing appropriate University officials to alter a students’ academic schedule, University housing, and/or University employment arrangements. When taking steps to separate the complainant and the accused, the University will seek to minimize unnecessary or unreasonable burdens on either party; provided, however, that every reasonable effort will be made to allow the complainant to safely continue in his or her academic schedule, University housing, and/or University employment arrangements. Violation(s) of the directive and/or protective actions will constitute related offenses that may lead to additional disciplinary action.
Resolution of Complaints by Assisted Resolution
Under appropriate conditions, a university official is appointed as a facilitator to help the complainant and respondent reach a mutually satisfactory resolution. The facilitator does not make a determination about whether the university’s policy has been violated. However, a record of the incident and its resolution is maintained in the files of the Office of Student Development. Generally, the facilitator meets separately with the complainant and respondent. Examples of resolutions include an apology, counseling and education requirements, access restrictions, disciplinary action and/or other affirmative steps to be initiated for dismissal of the complaint.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee will refer complaints seeking Assisted Resolution to one of the following persons, according to the status of those involved:
If the respondent is a student, to the Director of Student Conduct.
If the respondent is a faculty member, to the Provost or designee.
If the respondent is any other employee, to the Director of Human Resources or designee.
The facilitator will contact the complainant and respondent within five (5) days after receiving the complaint. The facilitator is responsible for documenting the facts as presented and will
forward this information to the Hearing Panel should resolution by Adjudication become necessary.
If the complaint is resolved by Assisted Resolution, the facilitator will forward a written report of that resolution to the Title IX Coordinator. The complainant and respondent will have signed the report to signify their agreement with the resolution and to forego their rights to an adjudicated hearing for the complaint that they mutually resolved.
If at any point the respondent or complainant rejects the Assisted Resolution process, the complaint will be returned to the Title IX Coordinator or designee for resolution by adjudication. In such a case, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate the investigation and adjudication process.
Resolution of Complaints by Adjudication
The major steps in the Adjudication Process include Investigation, Hearing Process, Determination and Sanction, and Right to an Appeal.
The Adjudication process will be implemented under any of the following conditions:
A formal complaint has been filed and the complainant or the respondent decides to bypass the Assisted Resolution process.
If the complaint has not been resolved by Assisted Resolution within fifteen (15) days after filing, the intake officer will declare an impasse and send all relevant records to the Title IX Coordinator or designee for resolution by Adjudication.
University initiated—Even if the complainant does not wish to pursue a resolution, the university may determine that the issues raised by the complainant are sufficiently serious to initiate the adjudication process.
The timetable set within this policy serves as a guideline. It may be modified in consideration of the academic calendar. Wittenberg is committed to resolving complaints in a timely manner but not at the expense of thoroughness or fairness.