Sexual Offense Protocol

    1. Assistance Available. Special assistance is available to student victims of sexual offenses by calling the Security Department at 873-7911. Such assistance is available 24 hours-a-day through the entire year.
    2. Calls for Help. Upon receiving a call that a sex offense has occurred, the security officer will determine if the victim or others are in any immediate danger, the victim's first name or other means by which the victim can be identified, the nature of the offense, and the present location and phone number where the victim may be reached.

      1. Immediate Danger. If the officer believes there is a clear and immediate danger to the victim or others, or if there are serious injuries or trauma, the on-duty Security officer and the Springfield Police Department will be notified. When the immediate danger is past, the help of a Rape Crisis Counselor will be offered.
      2. No Immediate Danger. When there is no indication of immediate danger, the officer will encourage the victim to accept the help of a rape crisis counselor, who has been trained to provide such assistance. The on call security supervisor will be contacted and assume charge of the situation.
      3. Consent for Help. If the victim consents to talk with a counselor, the officer will immediately seek to contact Springfield Rape Crisis for immediate assistance. The officer then will contact the victim to give him or her the name of the proposed counselor. The victim then may ask for a different counselor if the proposed counselor is known to the victim and unacceptable for any reason. In such an event, the officer will request another counselor who is available and then repeat the identification process. When a proposed counselor is approved by the victim, the officer will immediately call Springfield Rape Crisis center.
      4. Refusal of Help. If the victim declines to talk with a counselor, any information obtained by the officer will be reported to the Dean of Students.
    3. Information. The officer will provide the victim with the following information, including telephone numbers for the referral sources:
      1. The victim's right to anonymity;
      2. the university's willingness to appoint a person to serve as the victim's liaison with college officials and other parties, including service as the victim's advisor in any disciplinary proceeding against the alleged offender;
      3. the availability of medical treatment, counseling services, and other resources;
      4. the procedures for reporting the incident to the security department, the Springfield Police Department, or other appropriate law enforcement agencies;
      5. the university's procedures for disciplinary action against students found guilty of sexual offenses; and
      6. the availability of local attorneys for legal counsel.
    4. Medical and Counseling Assistance. The officer will encourage the victim to seek medical treatment or examination, if needed, and offer to arrange transportation to a local hospital. Should the victim desire counseling, the officer will offer to make the necessary arrangements.

      1. Rape Kit. If the sexual offense involved sexual intercourse, the officer will inform the victim about the importance of the Rape Kit (if the sexual intercourse occurred within the previous 72 hours) in order to preserve evidence. The Rape Kit procedure can be performed at a local hospital.
      2. Support and Safety. Should the victim require medical examination or treatment, the officer can remain outside the examination or treatment room during the examination or treatment and then return the victim to his or her residence or, if necessary, to a safe place other than the victim's residence.
    5. Report of Offense. When time permits, in an area free from distractions, the officer will interview the victim and complete an offense report form.
      1. Victim's Statement. The officer will provide the victim's account of the offender's actions and any relevant background information.
      2. Other Information. The officer also will seek and identify in the report as much potential corroborating information as possible.
      3. Three Options. The officer will provide information to the victim concerning the options for reporting the alleged sexual offense and will use one of the following three formats as selected by the victim.
        1. Anonymous Report. The report will not include the name of the victim or other information about the victim's identity. The report will be used solely for information to enhance prevention programs and to prepare statistical records. The report will be signed by the officer, who will verify that the victim has requested that no further investigation or action be undertaken.
        2. Signed Report. The report will include the name of the victim, but will be used solely for the statistical and informational purposes of an anonymous report. The report will be signed by the victim and will verify that he or she requests that no further investigation or action be undertaken.
        3. Formal Complaint. The report will be signed by the victim and will request further investigation and appropriate disciplinary action.

      d. Preferred Option. Absent special circumstances, the officer will encourage the victim to choose the third option for a formal complaint.

    6. Confidentiality. Regardless of the type of report, the name of the victim and other information about the victim's identity will be kept confidential by the officer and other university employees.
    7. Filing of Report. Promptly after the completion of a report, the officer will deliver the original copy of the report to the Dean of Students and a photocopy of the report to the Director of Security. Upon receipt of a report, if the Director of Security determines there is a safety threat to the community the victim will be consulted, and an appropriate warning will be issued to the community.
    8. Change of Program or Residence. The university will change the victim's class schedule, or the victim's location in the housing system, if the victim requests such change and the new classes and/or the new location can be reasonably provided.
    9. Disciplinary Action. If the report requests disciplinary action, and if the offender is a student, then the Dean of Students will review the complaint for action pursuant to the Student Conduct Code. The policy for student disciplinary cases is established by the Student Conduct Code, and copies are available for review in the Dean of Students' Office. Disciplinary action under the Drury University student conduct code is independent of any legal proceedings. This action may run concurrently with or in addition to any law enforcement investigation or court proceedings.

The following sections of this protocol summarize some of the steps in the disciplinary procedures implemented by the Dean of Students.

  1. Parties. In the disciplinary process, the victim of a sexual offense is referred to as the complainant, and the student who offended the victim is referred to as the accused student. Collectively, the complainant and the accused student are referred to as the parties for the particular case.
  2. Gender Balance. The Dean of Students may elect to handle sexual offense complaints in cooperation with another faculty or staff member of the opposite sex in order to eliminate the risk of any gender bias, either perceived or real.
  3. Administrative Resolution. The Dean of Students will conduct an investigation to determine if the complaint has merit. Unless the complaint is found to be without merit, the Dean of Students will seek to resolve the matter administratively by determining the nature and severity of the violations and by reaching an agreement with the accused student on the appropriate sanctions for such violations. The Dean of Students will confer with the complainant prior to completing an agreement with the accused student. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the completed agreement, the complainant may appeal to the college judicial board.
  4. Written Charges. If the complaint cannot be resolved administratively by mutual consent, the Dean of Students will prepare written charges against the accused student, unless the Dean of Students finds there is no probable cause (that is, reasonable grounds) for the filing of charges. The charges will be forwarded to the college judicial board, and copies will be sent to the accused student and the complainant by the Dean of Students.
  5. Hearing Date. The judicial board will set the time and place for the hearing, and both the accused student and the victim will be given notice of the hearing at least one week in advance of the date. Either party may request the board to delay the hearing for good cause.
  6. Hearing Guidelines. The hearing will be administrative in nature, and every attempt will be made to assure a fair and impartial hearing. Following is a summary of the guidelines for such hearings.
    1. Closed Hearings. Hearings will be conducted in closed session. The parties may be present during the hearings, but may not be present during the deliberations of the board.
    2. Advisors. The complainant and the accused student each will have the right to be assisted by an advisor, who is a full-time student, faculty, or staff member of the college.
    3. Admission of Others. Admission of witnesses and other persons to the hearing will be subject to the discretion of the board, as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
    4. Witnesses. The parties will have the privilege of presenting witnesses, and the board may call additional witnesses.
    5. Cross-Examination. The members of the board may question and cross-examine witnesses. The parties and/or their advisors may not cross-examine witnesses or other parties, but may suggest questions to be asked by the chairperson of the board.
    6. Deliberation and Voting. After the hearing, the board will deliberate and then determine by secret ballot whether or not a majority of the members believe the accused student violated the Student Conduct Code.
    7. Standard of Required Proof. The board's determination will be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Conduct Code, which is equivalent to the "preponderance of the evidence" standard.
    8. Reopening of Hearing on Question of Sanctions. If the board finds that the accused student committed one or more violations of the Student Conduct Code, the board may recall the parties, and any other witnesses, to receive evidence or statements about the appropriateness of disciplinary sanctions. Such evidence may include testimony of character witnesses on behalf of the accused student, evidence of prior acts of misconduct, and/or a victim's impact statement.
    9. Disciplinary Sanctions. Based on its findings of violations, or the lack of violations, and its information about the appropriateness of sanctions, the board will determine the disciplinary sanctions to be recommended to the Dean of Students for imposition against the accused student.
    10. Announcement of Decision. Upon conclusion of its deliberations, the board then will recall the parties to announce its decisions.
  7. Special Provisions. Due to the special problems of sexual offenses, the following procedures also will be utilized by the board.
      1. Room Divider. The board will install a screen divider between the complainant and the accused student in order to prevent eye contact between the parties during the hearing.
  8. Participation by Telephone. If the complainant does not believe the divider screen will be adequate, the board will offer to the complainant the opportunity to testify at the hearing, and to listen to the proceedings of the hearing, through speaker telephones located in the hearing room and in a separate room assigned to the complainant by the board. Only the complainant and his or her advisor may be present in the assigned room.
  9. Corroborative Evidence. The board will make a bona fide effort to avoid any re-victimization of the complainant and shall seek out all avenues of corroborative evidence identified by the complainant without limiting itself to statements of the complainant and the accused student. If necessary, the board may recess its hearing to a later announced time when further evidence may be available.
  10. Imposition of Sanctions. If the board finds that an accused student violated the Student Conduct Code, then the Dean of Students will impose appropriate disciplinary sanctions and give written notice of the sanctions to the accused student and the complainant. The sanctions may be the same as, less than, or greater than the sanctions recommended by the board.
  11. Notice of Rights to Appeal. The Dean of Students will provide written notice to the accused student and the complainant about the board's decisions and the resulting actions by the Dean of Students. Such notices will include information about each party's right of appeal under the Student Conduct Code.
  12. Appeals. Either party may appeal decisions in the case to the President of the College. Appeals are limited to reviews of the official records. Appeals do not include additional hearings.