ANNUAL CAMPUS SAFETY AND FIRE REPORT

Reporting sexual misconduct and sexual assault

Protocol for Sex-based Offenses

Introduction

The University of Akron’s protocol is designed to comply with applicable state and federal law. The University of Akron reserves the right to modify or deviate from this Protocol when, in the sole judgment of the University: circumstances warrant; to protect the rights of the involved parties; or, to comply with the law.

RELATED: Help for victims of sexual misconduct or sexual assault

The University of Akron is a community dependent upon trust and respect among its constituent members. The University is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, and working environment and an environment that promotes responsibility and respect in matters of sexual conduct. Title IX offenses (as defined in Appendix D) are a violation of trust and respect, are prohibited and will not be tolerated. This Protocol applies to academic, educational, co-curricular, athletic, study abroad, residential and off-campus conduct and other University programs. (Additional information concerning the process for offenses that occur in the employment setting or that involve third party contractors on the University campus is available at: http://www.uakron.edu/title-ix/employees/). Title IX offenses include: rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Violations of the University’s Code of Student Conduct – Sexual Misconduct; and violations of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy also may constitute Title IX offenses.

See Appendix D for a full statement of Title IX Offense definitions.

The University is dedicated to preventing Title IX offenses by providing:

  • education and prevention programs that inform the community about the risks and myths that contribute to Title IX offenses;
  • providing assistance and support, including interim measures, through procedures sensitive to a person who has been the victim of a Title IX offense; and
  • by providing a process for investigation and adjudication that includes:
  • appropriate disciplinary sanctions for those who commit Title IX offenses, up to and including suspension or dismissal; and
  • appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of the event and to correct the discriminatory effect on the victim, the reporter and any other affected individuals.

This Protocol describes how the University responds to reports of Title IX offenses and also:

  • provides guidance and resources for individuals who have been the victim of a Title IX offense;
  • outlines the University's student disciplinary response to reports of alleged Title IX offenses; and
  • identifies the relevant organizations and individuals within the University responsible for managing this Protocol and programs associated with it.

Additional information concerning education and training programs to promote awareness, and prevention of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault (including rape and acquaintance rape) and stalking is in the Campus Safety Programming section of this Report and also can be found at: www.uakron.edu/safety and www.uakron.edu/title-ix.

Title IX Coordinators

  • Mr. Mark Stasitis is the University’s Title IX Coordinator (“Coordinator”) for matters related to University sex and or gender based offenses. Mr. Stasitis can be reached at: 125B Administrative Services Building (“ASB”), The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325; (330) 972-2352, or mstasitis@uakron.edu. Mr. Stasitis oversees the Title IX process at The University of Akron.
  • Ms. Michelle Smith is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator (“Coordinator”) for matters related to employee sex-based offenses. Ms. Smith can be reached at: 125C Administrative Services Building (“ASB”), The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325; (330) 972-5146 or msmith5@uakron.edu.
  • Mr. Michael Strong is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator (“Coordinator”) for matters related to student sex-based offenses. Mr. Strong can be reached at: Student Union, 152, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4612, (330) 972-6048 or mstrong@uakron.edu.
  • Ms. Mary Lu Gribshaw is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator (“Coordinator”) for Athletics. Ms. Gribshaw can be reached at: 183 James A. Rhodes Arena (“JAR”), The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325; 330-972-7080 or marylu@uakron.edu.

Coordinators will assist with:

  • access to medical and mental health treatment;
  • reporting the offense to law enforcement;
  • reporting the offense to the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office for investigation; and
  • Providing victim support and resources, including interim measures.

The University of Akron urges people who have been the victim of a Title IX offense to pursue criminal charges against the person or persons they believe to have committed the crime. A student who has been the victim of a Title IX offense involving a member of the campus community also is urged to make a disciplinary complaint to the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards (“SCCS”). An employee who has been the victim of a Title IX offense involving a member of the campus community also is urged to make a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office.

A criminal charge and a disciplinary charge may be pursued at the same time; however, a University complaint, including a complaint to SCCS or EEO/AA, may be pursued without pursuing criminal charges.

Victim support and resources are available even if a student or employee elects not to pursue criminal charges or University disciplinary action. Individuals having knowledge of a Title IX offense are strongly encouraged to timely report that crime to the police. (In fact, under Ohio law, persons who have knowledge of a felony - a victim of, or witness to the crime - are required to report the crime to the police and failure to report a crime may itself be a crime. (Ohio Revised Code §2921.22.)) Individuals are encouraged to contact the resources identified in this Protocol to discuss options for safe and positive intervention on behalf of the victim. These resources also provide helpful information to assist individuals in identifying and recognizing the warning signs of abusive behavior and offering guidance on how to avoid potential attacks and becoming a victim of such violence.

Retaliation against a person who: reports a crime; brings a complaint; pursues legal action; participates in an investigation; or, is a witness in any proceeding is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Individuals who retaliate will face University discipline.


Confidentiality and Choosing a Reporting Resource

The University of Akron will preserve confidentiality to the extent possible and allowed by law. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon:

  • whether or not the individual to whom a Title IX offense is reported is legally required to report this information to law enforcement; or
  • for an incident of sexual harassment, whether or not the individual to whom the harassment is reported has a responsibility to assist in the enforcement of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy.

The professional being consulted should make these limits clear before any disclosure of facts.

When choosing a reporting resource, please consider the following information. A person may speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles, including:

    • University Counseling Staff (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers)
    • University Health Services Medical Staff (physicians, nurses or nurse practitioners)
    • off-campus clergy, counselors, physicians and certain social service agencies (e.g. the Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina County).

Privileged reporting consists of those communications that legally cannot be disclosed to any other person without the reporting person’s consent, except under very limited circumstances, such as an imminent threat of danger to self or others or if the victim is a minor.

Student Affairs staff, including resident assistants and professional residence life staff, are required by Ohio law to report Title IX offenses to UAPD, who will report it to the appropriate Coordinator. The University exercises sensitivity with respect to the privacy concerns of the reporting person. However, privacy interests of the reporting source are balanced with the University’s legal obligations; its need to protect the University community; and to insure that appropriate disciplinary processes are implemented. Notification to the parent or guardian of a victim of a Title IX offense will be made, if necessary, in accordance with the requirements of applicable privacy and reporting laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA.”)

Clery Act Reporting

The Clery Act requires the University to designate University staff members who have significant responsibility for student or campus activities as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs).

At The University of Akron, CSAs include:

  • the Associate Dean of Students;
  • most managerial staff in The Division of Student Affairs;
  • Residence Life staff, including resident assistants;
  • advisors to registered student organizations;
  • the Director and Associate Directors of Athletics and athletic coaches.

CSAs are required to provide information regarding any report of a Title IX offense to UAPD to be included in the University’s Annual Report of Crime Statistics and, if appropriate, for the purpose of issuing a safety alert (timely warning) or other emergency notification. A victim’s name and other personally identifying information is NOT included in any safety alert or emergency notification.

FERPA

FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and prohibits their disclosure without student consent (unless otherwise required by law) to individuals outside of the University or to individuals within the University without a legitimate educational interest. FERPA applies to reports made to the Coordinator and to SCCS. If a student is found in violation of certain offenses under the Code of Student Conduct the University, the scope of disclosure is dictated by FERPA and its applicable exceptions.

The name of the victim will not be disclosed.

More information about FERPA is available at: http://www.uakron.edu/ogc/UniversityRules/pdf/11-08.pdf. Further information regarding the disclosure of SCCS records is available on pages 13 and 26 of this Report.

Public Records

Police reports are available for inspection and copying under Ohio’s Public Records laws. The extent to which the University can protect the identity of the victims of Title IX offenses contained in police reports is not absolute; however, the University uses its best efforts to protect the identity of the victim and the report details.

Safety Alerts and Emergency Notifications

If the report of a Title IX offense indicates that there is an immediate or on-going threat to the health and safety of the University community, the University will issue a safety alert (timely warning) or emergency notification. The safety alert’s intent is to: help individuals to protect themselves; gather information to aid in the apprehension of the suspect; and to provide general safety information. The victim’s name or        personally identifying information is not included in a safety alert or emergency notification.

Medical and Counseling Services

The University of Akron strongly encourages persons who have been the victim of a Title IX offense to obtain prompt medical attention and to file a police report, both for their own protection and that of the entire campus community. Students may pursue further action through either SCCS or the appropriate Coordinator. Individuals are also advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible (within 72 hours is recommended) if they are the victim of a Title IX offense. Individuals may choose one or more options to create the most effective course for them.

Medical Care/Emergency Room Examination

An individual who has been the victim of a sexual assault Title IX offense is urged to seek medical evaluation as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours of the incident. Any person who has been the victim of a Title IX offense may go directly to the emergency room of any local hospital for medical attention.
Students who are reporting an immediate assault should be accompanied to a health care facility of their choice to allow for collection of evidence and treatment. For life-threatening conditions, call 911, or 2911 from a campus phone.

Sexual assaults for which individuals seek medical treatment must be reported to the appropriate police unit by health care officials. However, students are not required to participate in the criminal prosecution of the case or file a police report, unless the victim is a minor. A list of hospitals close to campus is attached.
Students also can seek treatment or advice at University Student Health Services for any medical concerns, including: physical exams; treatment of sexually transmitted infections: pregnancy testing, and/or to obtain emergency contraception. All medical information and services are protected by privileged reporting. However, if a student decides to participate in a criminal or civil legal action, the student will be required to sign a University Health Service Medical Information Release Form to allow their attorney, the police, or the University to gain access to medical information applicable to the Title IX offense.

Medical-Legal Evidence Collection

Rape and Sexual Assault: A person who has been the victim of rape or other sexual assault is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence. Collection of evidence entails interaction with police and a police report. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. If the rape or sexual assault occurred outside of 72 hours, a free and confidential exam still can be administered at local hospitals; however, the sooner a rape or sexual assault is reported, the more likely evidence will remain. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to avoid:

    • bathing or douching;
    • washing hands or face;
    • urinating;
    • drinking any liquids;
    • smoking, eating, or brushing their teeth;
    • if clothes are changed, soiled clothes should be placed in a paper bag (plastic can destroy crucial evidence).

Questions about evidence collection can be directed to the Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties at 330-972-6238 or 330-434-7273 or your local Rape Crisis Center.

Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking: A person who has been the victim of domestic violence, dating violence or a stalking offense is encouraged to request collection of medical- legal evidence. Collection of evidence entails interaction with police and a police report. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution, civil action or in obtaining a civil protection order. The sooner offenses are reported, the more likely evidence will remain. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to avoid:

    • bathing or douching;
    • washing hands or face;
    • drinking any liquids;
    • smoking, eating, or brushing their teeth;
    • if clothes are changed, soiled clothes should be placed in a paper bag (plastic can destroy crucial evidence).

Questions about evidence collection can be directed to the Rape Crisis Center for Summit and Medina Counties at 330-972-6328 or 330-434-7273 (or your local Rape Crisis Center) or the Battered Women’s Shelter of Medina and Summit Counties at 330-374-0119 or 1-877-414-1344.

Counseling

Counseling may be obtained following an incident involving sexual misconduct, no matter how much time has elapsed since the incident. On and off-campus resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for students, faculty and staff members. A variety of counseling services are available. On-campus counseling services are available for students at the Counseling Center, located in Simmons Hall 306, (330) 972-7082. http://www.uakron.edu/counseling/.

Counseling services are free and the services are privileged communications. Counseling services are available for faculty and staff through IMPACT or through psychological services provided through their individual insurance and is privileged communications. See also the Resource Guide (Appendix E) and http://www.uakron.edu/title-ix/resources/.

Students who are victims of a Title IX offense also may be referred to the University Crisis, Assessment, Referral and Evaluate “CARE” Team. The Care Team provides guidance and assistance to students who are experiencing crises and responds to student when concerns have been identified for a student’s health, welfare and safety.


Filing a Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Assault Report

The University of Akron encourages victims to file a police report in all cases involving potential criminal conduct; however, victims of Title IX offenses have several options for initiating a complaint/report, which can be done singly or in combination:

  • reporting to the police, either University of Akron Police Department (UAPD) or off-campus police;
  • reporting to the University’s Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards;
  • reporting to the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office
  • reporting to the appropriate Coordinator (listed above); and/or
  • reporting to any Campus Security Authority.

Reporting is best done as soon as possible after the incident, but may be done at any time. If the victim is incapacitated or is unable to make a report, a report should be filed on behalf of the victim. UAPD and SCCS promptly will inform the appropriate Title IX Coordinator of the report.

The University will assist victims of sexual misconduct with reporting sexual misconduct/assault to law enforcement and in obtaining medical support and information. The University also will provide written notifications to the victim about existing University and community resources, including: counseling, medical and psychological resources; victim advocacy services; legal assistance; visa and immigration assistance; student financial aid services; and other services. The University also will provide written notification to victims regarding options for, and available assistance in, how to request changes to academic, living, transportation and working situations or protective measures.

The University will provide accommodations and protective measures if the victim requests them and if they are reasonably available, regardless of whether the victim elects to report the crime to UAPD or local law enforcement. When a student or employee advises the University that s/he has been the victim of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the University will provide that student or employee with a written statement of her/his rights and options for reporting, services, resources, and if applicable, discipline. (See further information below regarding interim measures.)

The University will maintain as confidential any accommodations or protective measures that are provided to the victim, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality does not impair the ability of the University to provide accommodations or other protective measures.

If the victim is a student, the Code of Student Conduct addresses a much broader range of sexual misconduct than does criminal law. Criminal investigations/prosecutions are not determinative of whether a violation of the Code of Student Conduct has occurred.

Filing a Report with The University of Akron Police Department/Off-Campus Police

For a Title IX offense that took place on-campus, students or employees should contact UAPD directly at 330- 972-2911 to file a report with the police. UAPD officers will respond quickly and with sensitivity upon notification of an assault. Students or employees who are victims of an off-campus sex-based offense who want to file a report with the City of Akron Police Department should call 330-375-2677, or if it is an emergency, 911. If the assault occurred in an off-campus location other than Akron, the student or employee should contact the local law-enforcement jurisdiction where the offense occurred.

In addition to all other available processes, and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Sections 3345.22 and .23 (“1219” procedures), an alleged perpetrator who has been arrested and charged with a qualifying crime under Ohio law (including rape, sexual battery or gross sexual imposition), may be suspended pending final resolution of the criminal charges. If convicted, a student is dismissed for a period of one year and only may be readmitted to the University by the Board of Trustees upon terms of strict disciplinary probation. Suspension and dismissal under the “1219” process is imposed in addition to University discipline under the Code of Student Conduct.

In general, non-consensual sexual conduct may constitute a crime. Ohio law does not define consent for sexual conduct; however, Ohio law states that the following are not consent*:

  • if the offender substantially impairs the victim’s judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force or deception;
  • if the victim’s ability to apprise the nature of or control their own conduct is substantially impaired;
  • if the victim is coerced;
  • if the offender uses force or threat of force;
  • if the victim is unaware the act is being committed (e.g. unconscious); or
  • if the victim’s ability to consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.

* This is a non-exhaustive list and does not constitute legal advice. Individuals should consult with law enforcement and prosecutors for advice.

Title IX offenses reported to UAPD are shared with the appropriate Coordinator, and Title IX offenses first reported to the Coordinator will be reported to UAPD if the alleged offense occurred on-campus and to the appropriate law enforcement unit if the offense occurred off-campus. (Please note, a delay in reporting to police may weaken or result in a loss of evidence used to determine whether an individual is responsible for a Title IX offense. Individuals may have up to 20 years to file a sexual assault report with the police.) UAPD will assist victims in obtaining protection or restraining orders and, if the assault occurred in another jurisdiction, will assist the victim in notifying the police department having jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

Reporting a Title IX offense to UAPD or other law enforcement does not require the filing of criminal charges by the victim; however, it allows all support systems for the victim to be initiated. Choosing not to pursue University or criminal action, however, does not necessarily remove the responsibility of the University to investigate and/or take action. Individuals who choose to notify police should be aware of the importance of the immediacy of reporting the incident and the importance of preserving physical evidence at the assault scene as well as on the person assaulted. Physical evidence can provide important evidence to support criminal charges leading to a successful prosecution.

Filing a Complaint with SCCS (for student violations)

If the accused is a student at The University of Akron, individuals are urged to file a complaint of with SCCS by calling 972-6380. Individuals are not required to file a police report to pursue a complaint with SCCS.

Disciplinary complaints may be heard by either an Administrative Hearing Officer or Disciplinary Boards made up of specially trained faculty and students. The hearings are designed to provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of the complaint and generally are completed within sixty (60) days.
The hearings are conducted by persons who receive annual training on issues related to Title IX offenses and how to conduct a hearing process that protects the safety of students and promotes accountability.

Although procedural requirements are not as formal as those existing in the courts of law, the student conduct process provides procedural safeguards for accusers and accused alike. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to:

  • to be informed of the University’s student conduct process;
  • protection under applicable privacy laws (e.g. FERPA);
  • access information that will be used at the hearing;
  • present relevant witnesses and other evidence; and
  • the presence of an advisor* of her/his choice (including legal counsel) during the entire conduct process as designated in the applicable University Rule. The advisor may advise the accuser but may not participate in the hearing or address the board unless responding to a direct question from the chairperson to the advisor; and
  • Consistent with the obligations of FERPA and the Clery Act, the University may disclose the result** of disciplinary actions as follows

Victims of an Alleged Sex-Based Offense:
Both the accuser and the accused will be informed simultaneously in writing of the outcome of each stage of an institutional conduct proceeding that arises from an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the appeal procedures for a disciplinary hearing, any changes that occur prior to the results becoming final and when the results become final.

Victims of an Alleged Perpetrator of a Crime of Violence:
Upon request, the victim of an alleged perpetrator of an alleged crime of violence will be advised of the final results (i.e. whether the accused was found responsible and, if so, the imposed sanction) of the disciplinary proceeding.

All Others:
If an accused student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and has been found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the University may release to anyone:

  • The student’s name;
  • The specific Code of Student Conduct violation; and
  • The final results of the disciplinary action.

* Advisor means any individual who provides the accuser or accused support, guidance or advice.
** Result means any initial, interim and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution. The result includes any imposed sanctions.

Confidential medical/counseling records and information regarding the victim’s sexual history will not be provided to the accused and is not admissible at any disciplinary proceeding. As a matter of practice, SCCS does not require the accuser and the accused to be in the same room during a hearing involving a Title IX offense. To accommodate concerns regarding safety, confrontation and well-being, SCCS will provide alternate arrangements for participation, including separate facilities and video conferencing.

The standard of evidence used to determine responsibility is a “preponderance” of evidence. This determination is based on the greater weight of the evidence and does not require a standard beyond a reasonable doubt. The policies, procedures and sanctions outlined in the Code of Student Conduct apply to all violations of the Code, including student sexual misconduct violations. Regardless of whether criminal charges are filed, students found to be responsible for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct related to a Title IX offense may be subject to university conduct sanctions. Sanctions against a student who has violated the Code of Student Conduct include suspension and dismissal and vary depending on the severity of the violation and the accused’s conduct history. The recommended sanction for non-consensual sexual intercourse will be dismissal.

Other sanctions include suspension, expulsion from university owned and operated housing, educational intervention, no–contact orders, and restrictions from participating in extracurricular activities.
In addition to any interim measures that already may have been enacted, in the event that SCCS finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a Title IX offense occurred, the University will take immediate steps to: eliminate any hostile environment that has been created; prevent any further Title IX offense; and, prevent retaliation. Examples of remedial action include:

  • victim counseling;
  • no-contact orders;
  • permitting a student to retake a course;
  • mandated education or training for the accused; and
  • additional education and training for the community regarding Title IX.

Both the accuser and the accused will be informed simultaneously in writing of the outcome of each stage of an institutional conduct proceeding that arises from an allegation of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the appeal procedures for a disciplinary hearing, any changes that occur prior to the results becoming final and when the results become final.

Both the Accuser and the Accused may appeal based on the grounds specified in the Code of Student Conduct (3359-41-01(H)(3)) using the appeal process specified in the Code.

An accused student, in accordance with University Rules, may be suspended from the University on an interim basis pending the final outcome of the conduct proceeding. See: 3359-41-01(F)(2)(e). A victim has the right not to file a written report with SCCS. However, absent compelling circumstances, the University will not initiate disciplinary action against the accused in the absence of a written signed complaint from the victim.

Filing a Report with EEO/AA*

If the accused is an employee at The University of Akron, individuals are urged to file a complaint of with SCCS by calling 972-7300 or 972-6195 (Wayne Campus.) Individuals are not required to file a police report to pursue a complaint with EEO/AA.The investigatory procedures contained in the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy will continue to apply to all instances of sexual harassment and Title IX involving employees. The term “sexual harassment” shall continue to be broadly construed to include all instances of gender discrimination, including but not limited to sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual assault, and any other sexually motivated physical conduct. Sexual assault includes any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained by the use of force, threat of force, or deception.

The University reserves the right to refer any sexual conduct, defined as criminal conduct, to the appropriate external agency, including the prosecutor, the police, or any other appropriate investigative agency. Some sexual conduct, because of its severity, will require mandatory reporting by the University, regardless of a complaining party’s wishes to keep the matter confidential.

University full- and part-time faculty are considered “responsible employees” pursuant to Title IX. All responsible employees who receive notice of sexual harassment/sexual misconduct have an affirmative obligation to report the alleged conduct to the Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. The only University employees not required to report Title IX violations are those “confidential employees” who work in Health Services or The Counseling and Testing Center.

All investigations conducted pursuant to the Sexual Harassment Policy will be done by trained investigators, who receive at least annual training on issues related to Title IX offenses and how to conduct a process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Investigations involving University of Akron employees will be conducted through the EEO/AA Office and generally are completed within sixty (60) days. The investigators will apply the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof when making a finding. Preponderance of the evidence means that it is “more likely than not”, or higher than a 50% chance, that a violation of the policy has occurred.

Any complainant not satisfied with the results of an investigation will have the right to appeal such findings to the Associate Vice President for Talent Development and Human Resources. The party filing the appeal shall give notice of the appeal to the Title IX Coordinator. If the complainant appeals the finding, the investigation will be reviewed for procedural fairness, including due process.

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees has the ability to enact interim measures to protect the complainant and to ensure a safe educational or work environment.

The University will investigate all allegations of sexual harassment, including, sexual assault and sexual violence. The University will investigate those matters that occur off campus, if there is a connection to University academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, or other programs or activities. The administrative investigation will be conducted pursuant to the Sexual Harassment Policy, regardless of any criminal complaint that may have been made. A complainant will still have the option of filing a complaint with the appropriate administrative agency, including the police.

* Additional information concerning the specific processes and resources for employees also is available at: http://www.uakron.edu/title-ix/employees/

The University of Akron is committed to timely investigating all allegations of sexual harassment, including sexual assault and sexual violence, and immediately eliminating the alleged conduct, seeking to prevent its recurrence, and addressing its effects. Continuing to conduct investigations pursuant to University policy ensures fairness and due process for all parties involved in the complaint process.

Filing a Report with a Title IX Coordinator

Individuals may elect to report a Title IX offense directly to the appropriate Coordinator, as identified above. Upon learning of a report of a Title IX offense either directly or indirectly (e.g. from UAPD), the Title IX Coordinator will respond as follows:

Immediate Response
A Coordinator generally will first urge the victim to attend immediately to any medical needs. The victim will be given written information on a variety of resources, including available counseling, medical and psychological resources. A Coordinator also can arrange for a professional staff member to accompany a victim to the hospital if requested by the victim. The victim also will be assisted in contacting a support person, such as a parent or friend, if desired.

The victim will be informed of his or her right to file a police report and/or file a disciplinary complaint against the accused and will be given a copy of the University’s protocol for reporting and responding to Title IX offenses. Upon request, a Coordinator will assist victim in notifying UAPD if the assault occurred on-campus, or municipal police if the assault occurred off-campus, and/or in filing a disciplinary complaint if the accused is a student. If the victim is a student, the victim has the right to determine whether she or he will file a written complaint with the SCCS. If the accused is someone other than a student, (e.g. faculty, staff or visitor), a Coordinator will inform the victim of the right to pursue a sexual misconduct complaint using the appropriate University process.

All Coordinators are required by law to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities of any sexual assault reported to her/him.

Interim Measures
Upon request, and if reasonably available, a Coordinator (or designee) will initiate an immediate response and use best efforts to:

  • provide information regarding medical, psychological and support services;
  • provide interim safe space within the University;
  • separate the victim and accused from engaging with each other in common areas, residence halls, campus buildings, and student activities;
  • provide academic support services, including tutoring options;
  • change the victim’s or the accused's living situations if those changes are reasonably available and under the authority of the University;
  • provide alternate transportation and parking options;
  • if the victim is a student, change the victim’s or accused’s class or other academic program assignments if those changes are reasonably available and under the authority of the University;
  • change working conditions;
  • assist the victim in connecting with the UAPD and the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards’ processes to obtain a no-contact order, restraining order or other lawful order of protection; and
  • assist the victim in reporting the incident to an accused’s home institution, if the accused is not affiliated with the University.

Interim measures could become permanent upon conclusion of an investigation or disciplinary process.

Preliminary Investigation
The appropriate Coordinator will seek the victim’s consent to investigate the report. If the victim consents to the investigation and the accused is a student, the Coordinator will refer the matter to SCCS, which will conduct the investigation. (If the student already has filed a complaint with SCCS, the Title IX investigation will be conducted through the initiated SCCS process. If the accused is not a student, the Coordinator will refer the matter to the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office.

A Title IX investigation generally will not begin without the consent of the victim unless the appropriate Coordinator determines circumstances warrant investigation. A Coordinator will evaluate the request for confidentiality in the context of the University’s obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all student and employees. Factors that the Coordinator may consider include, but are not limited to:

  • the nature of the alleged assault (e.g., use of force or threat of force, alleged use of “date rape” drugs);
  • whether there have been other complaints against the same person;
  • if the circumstances suggest a likelihood that the accused will commit another Title IX offense;
  • whether the circumstances suggest a pattern of behavior by the accused;
  • whether the accused has threatened the victim or other third parties since the incident; and
  • the accused’s right to access the complaint.

If the victim insists that his or her privacy be protected and that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused, the appropriate Coordinator will advise the victim of the University’s limited ability to respond to the complaint. However, the Coordinator may take other steps to limit the effects of the alleged assault, prevent its recurrence and provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees and to provide support services to the victim. A Coordinator will review the victim’s report. If the report alleges potential criminal conduct and the police have not been notified, the Coordinator will notify UAPD.

During any stage of the investigation, if a Coordinator (or designee) reasonably suspects that the accused poses an imminent threat of harm or disruption to the campus community and the accused is a student, a Coordinator may initiate disciplinary charges through the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards and/or an interim suspension pursuant to University Rule 3359-41-01(F)(2)(e).

Decline to File a Report

The victim has the right not to file a report. However, victims are highly encouraged to seek medical attention, including counseling, either on- or off-campus. Victims who wish to file a report at a later date may do so by contacting UAPD or the appropriate Coordinator’s Office. Please note, a delay in reporting could weaken or result in a loss of evidence used to determine whether an individual is responsible for a sexual misconduct/assault. However, even if a victim declines to file a report, a Coordinator will continue to provide support services to the victim, and may be able to take other steps to limit the effects of the alleged assault, prevent its recurrence and provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees.

Other Disciplinary Processes

The disciplinary process of individual schools or university-related organizations does not supersede this policy. This policy does not negate the right of schools or organizations to institute their own disciplinary process for cases of sexual misconduct/assault.

Reports for Title IX offenses are included in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

Retaliation

Any retaliatory conduct against an individual that has sought assistance for a Title IX offense (including victims, reporters and witnesses) is strictly prohibited. Any such action will be considered a violation of the University’s policies against discrimination and harassment and will be subject to discipline.

Protection Orders

UAPD and/or any Coordinator can assist a student in obtaining a court issued protection order or a University no-contact order. If a protection order is issued, the protected party should provide a copy of the order to UAPD. UAPD will coordinate notification to the appropriate University offices. The protected party should report any violation promptly to UAPD.

Legal Remedies

In addition to criminal prosecution and University discipline, an individual who commits a Title IX offense may be subject to civil litigation. Individuals who believe that they have been the subject of a Title IX offense may wish to contact individual legal counsel or their local Legal Aid office, including Community Legal Aid Services in Akron 330-535-4191.

Immigration and International Student Information

Additional legal protections may be available for immigrants and international students who are the victims of crime or human trafficking. The United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services annually sets aside a limited number of non-immigrant visas for individuals who meet eligibility criteria. More information is available at: www.uscis.gov. For further assistance, individuals also may contact: Community Legal Aid Services in Akron 330-535-4191.