The Ohio State University at Mansfield

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faqHere are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding campus’ sexual misconduct policy and procedures:

Does the complaint remain confidential? The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be strictly observed, except insofar as it interferes with the campus’ obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need‐to‐know basis. In all complaints of sexual misconduct, both the accused and complainant will be informed of the outcome.

If you report an act of alleged sexual misconduct, police may be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the campus is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The campus also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

Will my parents be told? Whether you are the complainant or the accused student, the campus’ primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents or guardian or another family member. College officials will directly inform these individuals when requested to do so by a student, or in certain instanceswhere a health or safety emergency exist.

Do I have to name the perpetrator? Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint. Understand that the campus’ ability to insure the health and safety of its members is compromised when serious allegations cannot be addressed.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct? Do not contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the appropriate Title IX Coordinator, who can explain the campus’ procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to someone with the New Directions SAP or the EAP on campus.

What about changing residence hall rooms? If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is the university’s policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room.

The alleged perpetrator may be moved or suspended immediately and temporarily depending on the facts reported, and the permanence of this action will be based upon the outcome of the conduct hearing orthe need for continuing temporary action against the accused.

Other accommodations available to you might include: Assistance from staff in completing the relocation;

  • Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro‐rating a refund;
  • Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;
  • Taking an incomplete in a class;
  • Transferring class sections;
  • Leave of absence;
  • Alternative course completion options.

What do I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault? Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected within 72 hours. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should contact campus safety at 419-755-4218/4346 or call 9-1-1. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at MedCentral hospital is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you go to the hospital, local police will be called, but you are not obligated to talk to the police or to prosecute. The exam will help to keep that option open for you, should you decide later to exercise it.

The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect. If possible, do not shower or wash, or go to the bathroom before coming to the hospital.

It is easier to investigate and prosecute cases that have physical evidence, but it is not impossible to go forward without it. You can file a report or ask police to pursue charges even if you have not had evidence collected.

Will a student be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol? No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the campus’ response, but whenever possible the College will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol.The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the campus does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct? Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

 If you believe that you have experienced a non‐consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the College’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the appropriate Title IX Coordinator, Campus Safety, or another trusted administrator.

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