University Policies

Approval Date: 08/10/95
Approved By: President's Staff

Statement on Sexual Assault

It is the policy of Western Illinois University that the sexual assault of one member of the academic community by another will not be tolerated. This policy applies to all members of the campus community: students, staff and faculty.

The term sexual assault as used by Western Illinois University in this policy encompasses the legal definitions of sexual assault contained in Illinois State Law. It includes but is not limited to: acts of rape (stranger and acquaintance) and other forms of coerced sexual activity, including unwanted touching, fondling or other forms of sexual conduct.

A person who has been a victim of sexual assault should report the crime to the Office of Public Safety or the local police. The University provides support services for persons who have been victims of sexual assault. Staff will serve in an advocacy role and help refer individuals for appropriate medical, police, judicial and counseling assistance. Those who report a sexual assault will be advised of the importance of preserving evidence which may be necessary to provide proof for prosecution. Upon request, assistance will be provided in changing academic schedules and living arrangements, when reasonably available.

Reported complaints of sexual assault will be investigated, and information obtained in this process will be kept as confidential as possible. Whether or not a victim chooses to initiate criminal charges, he/she retains the right to file a complaint through the student judicial system or employee grievance process. Should the alleged misconduct of a student be subject to review through formal hearing procedures, both the accused and accuser will be afforded the opportunity to present relevant information; be accompanied by a support person; and be apprised of the results of the disciplinary review. In the event the accused is found in violation, the entire range of sanctions outlined in the Code of Student Conduct may be considered including, but not limited to, disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion from the University. Should the alleged sexual assault involve an employee, sanctions will be determined under applicable employment contracts and agreements.

In an effort to educate the campus community about sexual assault, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses, campus-sponsored prevention programs are offered on an on-going basis throughout the year. Information about above procedures, services and programs can be obtained from the following offices: Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Office of Public Safety and Student Development and Orientation.

Sexual assault may be a form of sexual harassment. Information on what constitutes sexual harassment, the support and resources that are available when instances occur, and information on how to file a complaint may be obtained from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.