Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding sexual misconduct and response:
1. Will my parents be told?
Whether you are the complainant or the accused student, the University’s 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. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in certain instance where a health or safety emergency exists, or if the University determines such communication is necessary. You will be informed if university officials decide that it is necessary to contact your parents.
2. Does the complaint remain confidential?
The privacy of all parties involved in a complaint of sexual misconduct will be respected. However, under Title IX, CWU has an obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. This means exchange of information will only occur on a need to know basis. At the conclusion of the investigation the complainant and accused will be informed of the outcome in writing. Certain university administrators may be informed on a confidential basis (e.g. Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life and New Student Programs).
3. Do the university or local police have to be involved?
If you report an act of sexual misconduct university police may be notified. Unless you give permission, the report will be made anonymously and will not include your identity. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that you must speak with the police, but the University is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. CWU must statistically report the occurrence of major violent crimes on campus, but this report does not include personally identifiable information. If you confide that someone under the age of 18 years or a dependent is the victim of neglect, physical, or sexual abuse, the law requires that law enforcement be notified.
4. Do I have to name the accused?
The choice is yours. If you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the accused, you will need to provide identifying information. If you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint you do not need to identify the individual. The university has a legal obligation to initiate an investigation where a formal complaint has not been received but information exists that a violation of the university’s policies may have occurred.
5. Does there have to be legal prosecution in order for the university to take action?
No, the University acts independent of the criminal justice system. However, the university will not impede a legal investigation.
6. What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
Do not contact the complainant as it may be seen as retaliation. Contact the Associate Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator, who can explain the University’s procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the Counseling Clinic.
7. 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. If you want the accused to move, and believe that you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, you must be willing to pursue formal University conduct action. The accused may be moved immediately and the permanence of this action will be based upon the outcome of the conduct hearing. Housing staff may assist in relocating a student, dissolving a contract, or pro-rating a refund.
8. What other help can I expect?
The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator can work with other offices on and off-campus to:
- reschedule academic assignments or exams;
- obtain an incomplete in a class;
- transfer class sections;
- arrange a leave of absence;
- provide alternative course completion options;
- coordinate services with the local sexual assault and legal advocates.
9. What first steps do I take after a sexual assault?
- Call 9-1-1.
- Seek medical attention. Although we recommend police involvement at this juncture, it is not a requirement for getting medical attention.
- Contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator 509-963-3233 or ASPEN 509-925-9384 to get information regarding what you should do.
Other important information:
- At the hospital a sexual assault nurse exam may be performed. The hospital staff may 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 clean sheet (plastic containers do not breath, 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 may bring a support person with you to the hospital and they may accompany you through the exam, if you want.
10. Will a student be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the University’s response, but whenever possible the University will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The University does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.
11. What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
If you believe that you have experienced a non-consenual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the University's sexual misconduct policy, contact:
- Andrea Easlick, University's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, 509.963.3233
- Staci Sleigh-Layman, Title IX Primary Coordinator, 509.963.2206
- Campus Police, 509.963.2959
- Counseling Clinic, 509.963.1391