Sexual Assault Policy
Addendum to Campus Security Policy
Waldorf University is committed to maintaining an academic environment free from any form of sexual assault. Sexual assault involves any act of forced, coerced, or non-consensual sexual intercourse or sexual contact. An individual is unable to give informed consent if they are asleep, intoxicated, unconscious, or in some other way physically or emotionally unable. Sexual assault is also the term used to define any unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person.
Acquaintance rape is a form of sexual assault that includes manipulation within a relationship. This manipulation includes using acquaintance to gain trust and take advantage of the victim’s vulnerability. Acquaintance rape includes:
- having sexual relations against the victim’s will and without the victim's consent
- having sexual relations with someone who is drunk or high and therefore unable to give consent
- using physical force or threats of physical force to coerce the victim into sexual relations
- using emotional manipulation and/or threats to coerce the victim into sexual relations
Sexual assault can occur against males and females, regardless of sexual orientation, race, class, religion, age, or disability. Waldorf strictly prohibits and will not tolerate any act of sexual assault.
FREQUENCY AND PREVALENCE
A sexual assault is reported about once every six minutes in the United States. Reported assaults represent only a fraction of the rapes that actually occur. In a national survey of college students, 90 percent of the victims never reported their assaults to the police, therefore, the frequency of an assault is grossly underestimated in law enforcement statistics.
College students of traditional age are vulnerable to being victims of sexual assault. The new setting coupled with sexual impulses and peer pressure may lead to dangerous experimenting with new freedoms. Acquaintance rape is prevalent on college campuses. Acquaintance rape refers to the fact that the victim knows the assailant prior to the rape. The assailant may be a friend or significant other or someone who knows the victim from living in the same residence hall or having a class together.
Most sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by both the assailant and the victim. The mood-altering effects of alcohol reduce inhibitions, as well as the ability to assess dangerous situations and safeguard one’s self. Sexual contact when the victim is intoxicated is sexual assault because a person is unable to give informed consent when drunk. Intoxication of the assailant does not diminish responsibility.
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES AND REPORTING OPTIONS
In the case that a sexual assault occurs, the student has the option of notifying any or all of the following: residence life staff, counseling center staff, the Dean of Students, or the Forest City Police. Although the choices about who is notified rest solely with the victim, he/she is encouraged to take the steps listed below. In the event that the victim is physically or psychologically unable to make her/his own decisions, normal emergency medical and psychological procedures will be followed, including taking the victim to the hospital and calling a member of the Waldorf counseling staff.
The following steps are those which Waldorf encourages all victims to consider:
- In order for the victim to feel supported, the victim is advised to immediately contact a friend, Resident Assistant (RA), Area Coordinator (AC), the Waldorf Counseling Center staff, the Waldorf Nurse, University faculty or staff, or someone with whom they feel safe.
- In order to protect an individual’s own health and to attend to any injuries, possible pregnancy, or infections (such as sexually transmitted diseases) that may arise from an assault, the victim is advised to seek medical attention at Hancock County Memorial Hospital in Britt, Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa hospital in Mason City, or another hospital of the victim’s choice. Emergency room personnel are trained in the collection of physical evidence, which will be helpful and necessary if a person should choose, then or at a later time, to utilize the legal avenues available in prosecuting her/his
- In order to preserve all evidence, the victim is advised to not change clothes, shower, bathe, or douche and if possible, to not urinate. In addition, victims are advised to save all clothing, linens, or other items that may have been touched by the assailant so that they may be given to the Forest City Police for evidence. All physical evidence, including seminal fluids, hair, blood types, and scrapings of
- In order to collect evidence and solicit clear recollections of facts and events, the victim is advised to contact the Forest City Police immediately following an assault. Institutional employees will assist the victim in notifying the authorities, if the student requests the assistance of these personnel. Once the assault is reported to the police, if the evidence warrants such action, the police will file charges.
- In order to assure that the victim and other potential victims have a safe campus environment after an incident, the victim is advised to alert the appropriate administrative personnel of the University of the assault as soon as possible. At Waldorf, this official is the Dean of Students. Reporting a sexual assault does not commit a victim to filing a complaint with the University. The information will be kept confidential to the fullest extent permitted by law. Incidents of sexual assault may be reported by the victim, or by another person who shall serve as a liaison with the Student Life Office. The liaison could be any faculty, administrative, or professional staff member at Waldorf. This person may assist the victim during any investigative proceedings. If the victim wishes, action will be taken to insure her/his safety. These actions could include: relocation to another room or residence hall, changing of room locks, contacting professors, adjusting class schedules, and assisting with filing a legal protection order against an assailant. The victim is advised to consider whether he/she wishes to file a formal complaint with University authorities.
- In order that the victim receives the confidential help and emotional support necessary to cope with the incident, the victim is advised to utilize as many of the following services as will be helpful: the Waldorf Counseling Center, the Waldorf Health Service, Student Life Office, Crisis Intervention Services (on campus), the Mason City Sexual Assault Center, and the Iowa Coalition for Sexual Abuse.
Waldorf reserves the right to pursue adjudication of an incident of sexual assault apart from, and independent of, any legal recourse a student might choose. An individual who decides against filing a criminal complaint does not relinquish the right to an institutional investigation. Sanctions which might be imposed on an assailant by the University are not predicated upon, or limited to, those which might be administered through a court of law. The University makes no attempt to shield members of the Waldorf community from the law, nor does it initiate involvement in legal proceedings against a member of the community. Membership in the Waldorf community does not exempt anyone from local, state, or federal laws, but rather imposes the additional obligation to abide by all of Waldorf’s policies.
Waldorf also reserves the right to hold its students and employees accountable for acts of sexual assault at all times and places. The jurisdiction of the Waldorf Sexual Assault Policy includes all campus property, as well as any University sponsored event which takes place off-campus (ie. athletic event, concert tour, trip, conference, or retreat). The jurisdiction of this policy also includes any conduct which occurs off campus which is deemed to have a negative impact on the campus.
WALDORF HEARING PROCESS AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
When a report of a sexual assault is filed with the Office of Student Life, the following hearing procedure will be followed:
- The Dean of Students will make an in-depth investigation, which will include the solicitation of written statements from both the assailant and the victim and personal interviews with each party (and others who might provide pertinent information).
- At the victim’s discretion, and only with her/his permission, notification will be given to pertinent professors that an individual may be missing classes, assignments, etc.
- The decision will be rendered by the Dean of Students regarding the merit of the allegations, and any sanctions that will be imposed by the institution.
- Both the victim and the alleged assailant will receive written notification of these findings and of the sanctions imposed.
- Because of the sensitive and unique nature of sexual assault cases, any appeal of disciplinary decisions (either by victim or by the alleged assailant) may be made only to a special four member Appeal Panel. The members of this panel will include two faculty and two students trained in the area of sexual assault. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunity to have others present during the hearing. Any appeals of the decision made by this panel shall be directed solely to the President of the University. The decision made by the President is final.
- Sanctions may include, but are not limited to any of the following: loss of housing contract, restitution, counseling, probation, suspension, or dismissal.
RIGHTS OF THE VICTIM OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT
In an effort to be sensitive to the needs of a victim of sexual assault, the following are basic rights to which every victim is entitled.
- The right to be believed. Waldorf and its staff are committed to listening to your situation and to take your complaint seriously.
- The right to safety. If you feel you continue to be in a dangerous situation, Waldorf personnel will work with you to insure your safety.
- The right to not be academically penalized. At your discretion (and with your consent), contact will be made with your professors to explain absences from class, missed assignments, etc.
- The right to advocacy. Waldorf offers staff members (Campus Counselors, University Nurse, Crisis Intervention Services Advocate, Area Coordinators) who are available to work as your advocate through judicial and recovery processes.
- The right to confidentiality. All matters regarding sexual assault will be handled in a confidential and respectful manner.
IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THE VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
If you know someone who has been the victim of sexual assault, the following are suggestions of things that you can do to help.
- Be supportive. Give the person the opportunity to express and talk about her/his feelings, fears, and reactions as he/she chooses.
- Encourage the individual to seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to encourage an individual not to bathe, wash, or change clothes immediately following a sexual assault before seeking medical attention. Seeking medical attention is both to safeguard the health of the victim and to preserve valuable evidence should he/she decide to report the attack and prosecute the assailant.
- Suggest that the individual talk with someone trained to help sexual assault victims. The list of on-campus and off-campus resources can be found at the end of this document.
- Encourage the individual to report the assault to both the Forest City Police Department and the Waldorf University Dean of Students.
EDUCATION AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS
Waldorf takes very seriously the important role which education and prevention programs play in a safe campus environment. The University is committed to providing this type of programming for its community. This commitment is exemplified through an acquaintance rape seminar in required new student orientation, acquaintance rape prevention programming, the Waldorf Sexual Harassment Policy, the Waldorf Sexual Assault Policy, and the Human Sexuality Statement in the Student Handbook.
Waldorf believes that a well informed community can better prevent the incidence of sexual assault. The Office of Student Life will give timely notice to the Waldorf community when an assault or attempted assault is reported on campus so that the community can take appropriate steps to prevent this type of activity in the future. The name of the victim will not be released by the Dean of Students in any notifications to the community members informing them of information pertaining to the offense. Also, such notifications will not include information that would cause the victim to be identified. Thus, the University will strive to balance its concerns for the privacy of victims of sexual assault with its duty to warn members of the Waldorf community when serious crimes are reported.
An annual report of the number of sexual assaults on campus will be prepared. Both the timely notice and the annual report are required components of the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act. The annual report is sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning.
The University is committed to campus security that prevents or at least reduces crime. Close attention is paid to campus lighting and building security. The University employs trained Waldorf Security Officers to provide campus surveillance including the checking for unlocked or blocked open doors. Additional information about campus security can be found in the Waldorf Campus Safety brochure.
The following individuals and agencies can be contacted for assistance in the event that a sexual assault occurs. The decision of who is called rests solely with the victim, although the University encourages victims to follow the emergency procedures detailed earlier in this policy in the section entitled, Emergency Procedures and Reporting Options.
- Student Life Ext. 8160
- Counseling Services Ext. 8160
- Dean of Students Ext. 8161
- Area Coordinators Ext. 8727, 8728, 8729
- Area Coordinators (evenings and weekends) 590.4318
- Health Services Ext. 8157
- Campus Ministry Ext. 8166
- Waldorf Security 585.8500 (24 hours)
- Emergency 9.911
- Counseling, Crisis Intervention Health and Human Services 9.211
- Forest City Crisis Intervention Services 585.1050
- Forest City Police 585.2113
- 24 Hour Crisis Intervention Services 641.424.9133
- Mercy Family Clinic-Forest City 585.2904
- Hancock County Memorial Hospital 641.843.3801 (Britt)
- Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa 641.422.7000 (Mason City)
- Domestic Violence Crisis Line 855.983.4641
For complete resources and information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to respond to and prevent sexual assault on college and university campuses and in our schools, go to notalone.gov
. Click explore to find a crisis service, learn more about your rights and how to file a complaint. Additional sexual violence information can be found in our Campus Security report