The College encourages anyone who experiences or becomes aware of a sexual misconduct violation to make an immediate report. There are multiple channels for reporting sexual misconduct violations. A complainant may choose to report a sexual misconduct violation to the College for resolution under these procedures, to law enforcement for potential criminal prosecution, to both, or to neither. Complainants may simultaneously pursue criminal and College disciplinary action. The College will support complainants in understanding and assessing their reporting options.
A. Reporting to the College
The College strongly encourages anyone who has experienced, has knowledge of, or has witnessed a sexual misconduct violation to make a report to the College. Under Title IX, once an educational institution has notice of a sexual misconduct violation, it is required to (1) take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred; (2) provide interim measures to support a complainant; and (3) take prompt and effective action to end any sexual misconduct violation that occurred; remedy its effects; and prevent its recurrence.
Making a report to the College does not require participation in any subsequent College proceedings, nor is a report required in order for a student to receive support or remedial measures. Individuals are encouraged to report sexual misconduct violations by contacting the Title IX coordinator or the deputy Title IX coordinator:
Greg Narleski, Title IX coordinator
Office: Cole Science Center, room 104
Amanda Surgen, deputy Title IX coordinator
Office: Robert Crown Center
All disclosures of sexual misconduct violations to any “Responsible Employee” will be reported, as required by College Policy, to the Title IX coordinator. This reporting allows the College’s Title IX coordinator to provide information about resources and procedural options to a complainant, evaluate any safety risk posed by the reported conduct, track patterns and trends, and initiate appropriate action to end the conduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. A responsible employee is any college employee; this includes RAs, TAs, EMTs, and other student employees; who is not a confidential employee or private employee. Contact information for confidential and private employees is located in Section II.
Upon receipt of a report of a sexual misconduct violation, the College will conduct an initial assessment and take any immediate action that may be necessary to protect the health and safety of the complainant and the College community, as described in the procedures below.
The College also offers access to confidential resources for individuals who are unsure about whether to report a sexual misconduct violation or are seeking counseling or other emotional support in addition to (or without) making a report to the College. Information about confidential resources can be found in Section II of these procedures and Section VI of the policy.
Although there is no time limit for reporting sexual misconduct violations to the College, the College’s ability to respond may diminish over time, as evidence may erode, memories may fade, and respondents may no longer be affiliated with the College. If the respondent is no longer a student or an employee, the College will provide reasonably appropriate remedial measures, assist the complainant in identifying external reporting options, and take other reasonable steps to respond under Title IX.
B. Reporting to the Police
A complainant has the right to notify police or decline to notify police. Anyone may contact the police directly (see Section II.A.2., above). Alternatively, College community members may seek assistance in notifying police from the dean of students. The dean of students office can assist in setting up an initial meeting with police and can accompany students to that meeting. Filing a police report does not obligate an individual to participate in any subsequent criminal proceedings. A complainant who wishes to pursue criminal action in addition to, or instead of, making a report under these procedures should contact law enforcement directly:
- Hampshire College Campus Safety can be reached by dialing “5555” (for emergencies) or 413.559.5424 (for non-emergencies). Students seeking medical attention at Hampshire College Health Services can ask that police be called on their behalf.
- Town of Amherst Police can be reached by dialing “911” (for emergencies) or 413.259.3000 (for non-emergencies).
C. Preservation of Evidence
The College recognizes that making the decision to report a sexual misconduct violation often takes time. Nevertheless, pending the decision to report, a complainant is strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to preserve all evidence that might support a future report of a sexual misconduct violation, a protective order, or an investigation by the police, by the College, or both. Such evidence may include:
- A forensic sexual assault examination (within 72 hours);
- Any clothing, sheets or other materials (items containing bodily fluids should be stored in cardboard boxes or paper bags);
- Electronic exchanges (e.g., text messages, emails, and Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or other social media posts, to the extent that they can be captured or preserved);
- Photographs (including photographs stored on smartphones and other devices); and
- Voice-mail messages and other physical, documentary and/or electronic data that might be helpful or relevant in an investigation.
Electronic and photographic evidence may be lost through the upgrade or replacement of equipment (including smartphones), software and/or accounts or may simply be lost to the passage of time or damage to devices.
D. Seeking a Protective Order
Where a sexual misconduct violation is reported to the police, it may be possible to obtain a court-ordered Protective Order. These Protective Orders may be issued if the judge or magistrate believes that there is an immediate threat to health or safety.
“Protective Orders” are separate and distinct from “No-Contact Directives” (described in Section VII.A. of the Policy). Protective Orders may be obtained only from a court of law and are enforceable anywhere in the United States; their violation may result in criminal charges.
In contrast, No-Contact Directives may be obtained from the Title IX coordinator and are enforceable through the College. The Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinators can explain the process for seeking a Protective Order and can escort a complainant to the appropriate office in order to initiate a petition seeking a Protective Order.