The following Sexual Assault policy and Sexual Harassment and Assault Grievance Procedure have been developed to ensure compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1992. Northeastern State University affirms its commitment to ensuring an environment for all employees and students which is fair, humane, and respectful. This commitment demands implementation of programs and services which facilitate that effort.
Sexual Assault Policy
Northeastern State University will not tolerate nor condone any form of sexual misconduct, physical, mental or emotional in nature. This includes, but is not limited to, rape (including ’date or acquaintance’ rape), sexual assault or sexual harassment. In instances where University policy prohibiting sexual misconduct has been violated, the University will pursue disciplinary action. Students may elect to pursue the concern through the state criminal justice system as well as the University’s student conduct system. If the University has reason to believe that sexual misconduct has occurred, the University’s sanctions may include warnings, probation, restrictions, suspension or expulsion.
Sexual assault is defined as having sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that person.
Consent is defined as positive cooperation due to an exercise of free will. Persons consenting must act freely, voluntarily and have knowledge of the act or transaction involved. Consent will not be implied from silence, passivity or from a state of intoxication or unconsciousness. Lack of consent is implied if the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental, developmental, or physical ability, or lack of legal age in giving consent. Lack of consent is implied if the threat of violence is used or due to an imbalance of power held by the perpetrator over the victim.
Procedure to Report Sexual Assault
In the event of a sexual assault, the victim is encouraged to report the crime to the NSU Department of Public Safety if the act occurred on campus or to the appropriate authority if the crime occurred off campus. Victims should take care to preserve the evidence of a sexual assault which may be necessary to the proof of the crime. Prosecution of the perpetrator is a matter for the victim to consider apart from reporting the crime.
Persons who have complaints alleging sexual assault are encouraged to report the incident. Complaints may be filed in the following manner:
- Complaints against students or student organizations should be reported to the Division of the Dean of Student Affairs.
- Complaints against faculty or staff should be filed with the University’s Affirmative Action Officer in the Office of Human Resources.
- Complaints against visitors or guests should be directed to the NSU Department of Public Safety.
- Students may also report an incident to any University staff or faculty member who will in turn inform the appropriate authorities. False reporting of a crime is a misdemeanor and will be treated seriously.
Disciplinary Procedures in Alleged Cases of Sexual Misconduct
Students who wish to file a student misconduct report should contact the Division of the Dean of Student Affairs, Room 204 in the Administration Building. If the matter cannot be resolved by the Dean of Student Affairs or the Dean's representative in an informal manner acceptable to the person bringing the complaint, it will be the option of the complainant to appeal in accordance with University regulations as published under the Student Conduct Code in the NSU University Catalog.
Should the complaining student name a faculty or other employee of the institution as the alleged perpetrator, the complaint will be handled in accordance with the University's Affirmative Action Officer, Office of Human Resources, 111 Administration Building.
Victims of sexual misconduct have available to them on and off-campus counseling, mental health and victim’s services. If requested the victim’s academic and living situations may be changed if alternatives are reasonably available.
Sexual Harassment and Assault Grievance Procedure
Persons who have complaints alleging sexual harassment and assault involving a faculty or staff member are encouraged to raise them with the University’s Affirmative Action Compliance Officer. Complaints involving students are handled under the Student Conduct Code and are governed by the following additional procedure: both the accuser and accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a campus disciplinary proceeding.
The University will foster an environment of safety for the entire student body and will support a climate of acceptance and concern for victims of sexual assault. For the complete Sexual Assault Policy and Sexual Harassment and Assault Grievance Procedures and sanctions contact the Division of Student Affairs or the Office of Human Resources.