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Student Conduct & Community Standards

Student Handbook

Confidentiality, Privacy and Reporting

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Any person who reports that they are a victim of Sexual Misconduct and or Relationship Violence/Gender Based Misconduct has the right to confidential support and advice on and off campus. The following list includes confidential resources on and off campus. If any person involved in the report of sexual misconduct desires confidential support on campus, they should speak with professional staff listed below.

RWU Confidential Resources

  • RWU Center for Counseling and Student Development:
    401-254-3124
  • RWU Health Services, Center for Student Development:
    401-254-3156
  • RWU Multifaith Chaplain, Rev. Nancy Soukup, Intercultural Center:
    401-254-3433 | nsoukup@rwu.edu

Off-Campus Confidential Resources

  • Day One (formerly RI Rape Crisis):
    401-421-4100
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) crisis hotline:
    800-656-HOPE
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) online hotline:
    https://ohl.rainn.org/online

Dating and domestic violence services (including criminal justice and protective order advocacy, emergency shelter, transitional housing, safety plans, counseling, education and/or policy) are available at the following member agencies of the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Reporting to “Responsible Employees”

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A responsible employee is a University employee who has the authority to address sexual misconduct, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

When a victim tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual violence, the victim has the right to expect the University to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.

A responsible employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator or other Deputies, all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct shared by the victim and that the University will need to determine what happened – including the names of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident.

To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the University’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement.

Students who report sexual misconduct will be offered support from a variety of services, including the Sexual Assault Advisor Support Program (SAASP) via the Title IX Coordinator, Dr.Jen Stanley.

Filing a report helps to:

  • Protect you and others from victimization
  • Apprehend the alleged assailant
  • Maintain future options regarding criminal prosecution
  • Alerts RWU of a possible predator

A student may pursue any or all of these options:

Definitions

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  1. Effective Consent: RWU strongly encourages students who choose to engage in sexual behavior to verbally communicate their intentions and consent as clearly as possible. Effective consent is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable willingness regarding engaging in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

    Consent may never be given by minors, mentally disabled persons, and those who are incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption or those who are unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless. Incapacitation means being in a state where a person cannot understand the nature and/or extent of the situation. Slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, smell of alcohol, shaky equilibrium, and vomiting, outrageous or unusual behavior, unconsciousness (short or long periods), blackout and loss of memory are some indicators of alcohol related incapacitation. A person’s state of incapacity is a subjective determination. Indications of consent are irrelevant if the initiator knows or should have reasonably known of the incapacity of another person. Intentional use of alcohol or other drugs does not excuse perpetration of a violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
    Consent as a result of coercion, intimidation, threat of force or force is not effective consent. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes it clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. A person who knows or should have reasonably known that another person is incapacitated may not engage in sexual activity with that person.

    In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity, to make sure that he/she has consent from his/her partner. Consent to some form of sexual activity doesn’t automatically mean consent to other forms of sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator to re-confirm consent during each step of sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words and/or actions of the parties to have expressed a mutually understandable agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another. Silence, previous sexual relationships, and/or a current relationship with the initiator (or anyone else) may not, in themselves, imply consent. Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time, as long as withdrawal is communicated clearly.
  2. Non-consensual sexual intercourse: Non-consensual sexual intercourse is a form of sexual assault which includes any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object or body part by a person against another person that is without consent and/or by force. Examples of non-consensual sexual intercourse include, but are not limited to: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).
  3. Non-consensual sexual contact: Non-consensual sexual contact is a form of sexual assault which includes any intentional touching, however slight, whether clothed or unclothed, with any object or body part by a person against another person that is without consent and/or by force.

    Examples of non-consensual sexual contact include, but are not limited to: intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals; intentional touching of another with breast, buttocks, groin or genitals; making another person touch someone or themselves in a sexual manner; and/or any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.
  4. Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination involving quid pro quo or hostile environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is an intentional, intolerable exploitation of a position of power and authority such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests or demands for sexually-based favors, or other gender-based verbal or physical conduct where submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used, by the person(s) in a position of power or authority, as a basis for employment, academic or institutional environment decisions affecting such individual. Hostile environment harassment arises where one or more members of the university community engage in gender-based conduct that unreasonably creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working and/or living/study environment that has the effect of altering one’s work or educational experience and the conditions of employment or living/study at the university.

    Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to: subtle or persistent pressure for sexual activity or favors; unnecessary touching or brushing up against a person; unwelcome communication (verbal, written, electronic, etc.) of a sexual nature; and/or failure to accept the end of a consensual relationship with repeated and persistent requests and behavior.
  5. Sexual exploitation: Sexual exploitation includes but it not limited to: invasion of sexual privacy and voyeurism (in-person or through audio or video recording); recording any person engaged in sexual or intimate activity in a private space without that person’s full knowledge and consent; distributing sexual or intimate information, images or recordings about another person without that person’s full knowledge and consent; and/or exposing of a person’s body or genitals.
  6. Retaliation: any adverse action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct. The University will take seriously any allegation of retaliation.