Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I get in trouble for alcohol/drugs/being underage if I report being sexually assaulted?
Not necessarily. Central Washington University has a Good Samaritan Policy in place, which encourages students to receive medical or other professional assistance when someone’s well-being in is serious jeopardy. These instances may include a drug or alcohol overdose/poisoning, sexual assault, or suicide attempts.
The policy states that the University will take into consideration the positive impact of reporting an incident on the welfare of students when determining the appropriate response for policy violations.
- If two students are drunk, how do you get consent?
In any sexual activity, the person initiating the activity has the responsibility to get consent. When two people are drinking, consent and sexual activity is a grey area, because you don’t know how intoxicated the other person might be. It’s very difficult to ask for and receive consent when you or your partner are intoxicated. In these situations, it might be best to pass on sexual activity, and wait until you are both sober.
- I'm not sure if I want to report or tell the University who did it, what are my options?
If you discuss what happened with the Wellness Center or ASPEN, they can discuss all of your options with you to help you decide what might be best. You are not required to report to the University or law enforcement, but if you do, you may do so anonymously. You may also report the incident without sharing the name of the accused.
- What if I have a complaint about an employee or professor?
If you have a sexual misconduct complaint about a CWU staff or faculty member, Leslie Lindsey in Human Resources is the best person to start with. She will be able to help you navigate the complaint against an employee, or be able to assist you if you are a student employee, and sexual misconduct occurred while you were working.
- If I decide to report through the University conduct process or law enforcement, how many times will I have to repeat the story of what happened to me?
At CWU, we understand that you may have gone through a traumatic or distressing time when experiencing sexual misconduct. When you report, we try to limit you repeating details as much as possible. You will need to share your initial recollection of what occurred, and throughout the investigation, there will probably be clarifying questions. However, if you feel uncomfortable or do not wish to partake any longer, you can withdraw from the investigation. If you withdraw from the investigation, it will still move forward, but without your participation.
- What if something happened to me, but I'm not sure if it qualifies as sexual misconduct?
If something feels wrong to you, you can meet with the Wellness Center to process your thoughts. The Wellness Center can provide support and accommodations, and can discuss reporting options if it potentially breaks University policy.
- A friend disclosed to me, what should I do and how can I help?
The most important thing to do is to believe your friend. Thank them for trusting you with their story. See what kind of help or support they want, and what you can do for them. In addition, check out this website that has more details on helping a friend: https://www.rainn.org/articles/tips-talking-survivors-sexual-assault.
- Can I report something that happened in the past?
Yes. You can report anything that has happened to you at any time.
- Can I be anonymous when reporting?
Yes. The Wellness Center can report anonymously for you, and the University will still go through the investigation process. It may be more difficult to find the student responsible, but you do not have to share who you are.
When reporting to CWU Police, you can also remain anonymous. You do not have to share your name to get police involvement and to get an investigation started.
- Will my parents be notified if I decide to report?
Your parents will only be notified if you tell them, or if you signed a FERPA waiver for conduct. If you signed the waiver and wish to not have your parents know, you can change the waiver at any time through the Dean of Student Success.
- I would like to discuss accommodations because I feel unsafe in my residence hall, distracted in my classes, or I’m feeling generally unsuccessful at CWU because of sexual misconduct. How can I get help for this?
The Wellness Center is the best place to start with this. While the Wellness Center cannot guarantee any accommodation, we can help advocate for you and facilitate discussions between you and your professors, connect you with on and off campus resources including Disability Services, and/or see what options may be available for housing.
If you are unsure of what the Wellness Center can do for you, you can always meet with the Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator and share your concerns, and they can discuss what options might be the best for you.
This page contains links to websites outside of www.cwu.edu. The views and opinions expressed on unofficial pages of Central Washington University faculty, staff or students are strictly those of the page authors. The content of such pages has not been reviewed or approved by Central Washington University.
Questions? Please contact:
■ Thomas Pedersen, Interim Title IX Coordinator (email@example.com; 509-963-2031); or
■ Marissa Howat, Director, Wellness Center (Marissa.Howat@cwu.edu; 509-963-3233)