The following information outlines how the University responds to sexual assault complaints.
3.14.4 University Response to Reported Sexual Assault
There are a variety of avenues available for making a report of a sexual assault and obtaining support and other assistance. The following University departments can be of special assistance to victims/survivors of campus sexual assault:
- Public Safety and Police Services, 911 (Emergency) or 227-2151 (103 Services Building)
- Dean of Students Office, 227-1700 (2001 Hedgcock)
- The Health Center, 227-2355 (Gries Hall)
- Counseling and Consultation Services, 227-2981 (3405 Hedgcock)
- Housing and Residence Life Office (the apartment services coordinator, any resident director, resident adviser, or community adviser)*
- The Health Promotion Office, 227-1455 (1201-1202 University Center)
- Title IX Coordinator, 227-2420 (Equal Opportunity Office, 105 Cohodas)
*Resident advisers and community advisers are obligated to share sexual assault reports, including names, with specific professional Housing and Residence Life Office staff for possible follow-up activities and to ensure reporting as required by law.
All the University departments listed above work together closely to provide support and assistance and to review available services and options. Students who have been sexually assaulted are strongly encouraged to report the incident as described above so that the University may investigate, charges can be initiated within the University judicial system and/or so that criminal charges may be pursued against the assailant.
In cases in which Public Safety and Police Services is not the first office contacted by the victim/survivor, information regarding the incident will be reported to that office in accordance with the Student Right to Know and the Clery Act. This report will not include the name of the victim/survivor or any identifying information without the victim’s/survivor’s consent. In addition, Public Safety and Police Services is required to report information concerning criminal acts on a daily and annual basis under the requirements of the Clery Act and the Uniform Crime Reporting Act.
A report of sexual assault will initiate a response from the University as explained below:
All reports of sexual assault must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator for the University. All reports are promptly investigated to determine what occurred and to take steps to resolve the situation. The University is required to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. A typical investigation takes approximately 60 calendar days following receipt of the complaint. The timing of the filing of the complaint (e.g. at the end of a semester) or the lack of information available to the investigator may result in the investigation taking longer than the typical 60 days. Both parties will be given periodic status updates during the investigation. Both parties will receive written notification of the outcome of the complaint and both parties may file an appeal. If appeals are filed, both parties will receive written notification of the outcomes.
The University will inform and obtain consent from the victim/survivor before beginning an investigation. If the victim/survivor requests confidentiality or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If the victim/survivor insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused student, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. A request for confidentiality will be weighed against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged assault; the victim’s/survivor’s age; whether there have been other assault complaints about the same individual; and the accused student’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the University as an “education record.” The University will inform the victim/survivor if it cannot ensure confidentiality. Even if the University cannot take disciplinary action against the accused student because the victim/survivor insists on confidentiality, it will pursue other steps to limit the effects of the alleged assault and attempt to prevent its recurrence.
.01 Public Safety and Police Services: When a report of a sexual assault is received, Public Safety and Police Services will immediately assign a specially trained officer to investigate the incident and work with the victim/survivor through all stages of the investigation, prosecution and/or University judicial system action. The officer will also inform the victim/survivor of other support services available.
.02 The Dean of Students Office: The Dean of Students Office will provide information to the victim/survivor about options for pursuing a charge against the accused student through the University’s student conduct system. The victim/survivor will be able to express his/her preferences as to whether formal Student Code charges are pursued, how the charges are written, and if the student conduct process continues. The Dean of Students Office will work with Public Safety and Police Services as appropriate while investigating the complaint. The University will protect the victim/survivor as necessary, including taking interim steps before the final outcomes of the investigation. The victim/survivor will be given his/her options to avoid contact with the accused student and be allowed to change academic or living situations as appropriate and possible.
.03 The Health Center: The Health Center provides services to NMU students, faculty and staff who have been victims/survivors of sexual assault. The physician provides examination, treatment, and information about the possibility of venereal disease and pregnancy, and provides referrals to other support services as appropriate. Health Center hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the school year. If a student is in need of emergency medical services after 5 p.m. or on weekends, he or she should go to Marquette General Hospital Emergency Room (225-3560). Note: If possible, when receiving medical care after a sexual assault it is important to have physical evidence collected for possible future legal action.
.04 Counseling and Consultation Services: Counseling and Consultation Services provides support to students dealing with the psychological impact of a sexual assault. The staff will provide assistance in decision making regarding reporting of the assault to Public Safety or the Dean of Students, contacting parents or significant others, modification of living arrangements, handling academic schedules and commitments, etc. Services are also provided to students who come to the Center for other reasons and in the course of treatment disclose a past sexual assault. Strict confidentiality is maintained.
.05 Housing and Residence Life Office: The apartment services coordinator, any resident director, resident adviser, or community adviser can provide immediate support and assistance to a student who reports a sexual assault, as well as to other students who may be involved. Staff will inform the victim/survivor of the services available from Counseling and Consultation Services, Public Safety and Police Services, the Health Center, the Marquette General Hospital Emergency Room, and the Dean of Students Office, and will help the victim/survivor obtain those services that are desired. These staff members can also be helpful when the student returns to his/her residence. In addition, the Housing and Residence Life Office staff will provide alternative living arrangements upon request, if the victim/survivor and the accused live close to one another.
.06 Title IX Coordinator: The Coordinator can assist with all aspects of the reporting procedure, and will coordinate an investigation into a complaint. This office is also responsible for coordinating campus-wide sexual assault education, and for identifying trends or key areas of concern which may be addressed through information and education. If the victim/survivor requests confidentiality or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the Coordinator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with this request. The Coordinator will inform the victim/survivor if she cannot ensure confidentiality when weighed against the four factors previously noted.
.07 Other Support Services: Faculty and staff who are contacted by someone who has been sexually assaulted are encouraged to provide non-judgmental support, to respect the victim’s/survivor’s confidentiality, and to consult with, or refer the victim/survivor to Public Safety and Police Services, the Dean of Students Office, or Counseling and Consultation Services. All reports of sexual assault, except those reported solely to Counseling and Consultation Services, must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
3.14.5 Prevention Education
Northern Michigan University provides ongoing prevention education of faculty, staff, and students in an effort to decrease the incidence of sexual assault.
.01 Faculty/Staff Prevention Education: A copy of this policy will be sent annually to all new faculty and staff. Staff members of those offices which are most likely to deal with prevention/response to sexual assault--Public Safety and Police Services, the Dean of Students Office, Title IX /Equal Opportunity Office Counseling and Consultation Services, the Health Center, and the Housing and Residence Life Office--will receive regular in-service training to review office and University policies regarding the prevention of and most effective responses to sexual assault.
.02 Student Prevention Education: This policy will be distributed at the beginning of each semester by email notice, student announcement, and is available online at www.nmu.edu/dso/studenthandbook. To request a hard copy of the policy, contact the Dean of Students Office (227-1700), or Public Safety and Police Services (227-2151), or any office listed above. The University also provides a variety of programs on sexual assault prevention to students:
- Yearly Programs: Each year during a session at orientation, information concerning sexual assault is presented. It is covered during every HP200 course; completion of this course is a graduation requirement. A sexual assault program is also made available to all coaches and athletes. Material providing information about safety, sexual assault, and acquaintance rape is available on the following websites: Dean of Students Office (www.nmu.edu/dso), Counseling and Consultation Services (www.nmu.edu/counselingandconsultation), the Health Promotion Office (www.nmu.edu/healthpromotions), Public Safety and Police Services (www.nmu.edu/publicsafety), and Housing and Residence Life (www.nmu.edu/housing). Additionally, residence hall staff encourage and support residence hall student programs which focus on healthy relationships, personal safety, and sexual assault prevention.
- Programs Offered on Request: Counseling and Consultation Services, the Health Promotion Office, and Public Safety and Police Services present sexual assault prevention programs tailored to the needs of student groups. These offices encourage interested student groups to call and schedule a presentation.
3.14.6 Periodic Review of Policy
This policy will be reviewed biannually by a committee composed of representatives from Public Safety and Police Services, the Dean of Students Office, Title IX Coordinator/Equal Opportunity Office, Counseling and Consultation Services, Housing and Residence Life, the Health Promotion Office, and two students appointed by ASNMU. Other individuals may be included as appropriate. The Dean of Students will convene the committee. Any substantive changes recommended by the review committee are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
3.15 Victim’s Rights Policy
Northern Michigan University is committed to ensuring that the rights of an individual who is the victim of an act of violence, sexual assault, and non-forcible sex offenses are protected. All students will be afforded these rights in addition to the rights acknowledged in 3.14.3 concerning sexual assault victims, and 3.16 Sexual Harassment, Consensual Relations Policy.
3.15.2 Specific Rights
Students who are the victim of a sexual offense or an act of violence (as defined in Section 16 of Title 18, United States Code), that violates the Student Code or other University Policy when said act is committed by another student will have rights to the following information:
- The name of the student who perpetrated the act of violence or sexual offense.
- The type of violation that was committed, and any charges issued.
- The opportunity to make a recommendation with regard to any disciplinary action taken, or sanction imposed, if any.
- The general outcome of the sanction imposed by the university, if any.
The Dean of Students shall be responsible for advising the victim of his or her rights.