Reporting Procedures for the University
Individuals are encouraged to report all sexual offense, stalking and/or domestic violence incidents immediately either to safety and security via telephone, in person or online, to the dean of students, via the health center, or through the counseling center. An incident report will be written and the dean of students or another designated University administrator will provide necessary assistance, information on medical and counseling resources and information related to formal reporting procedures.Victims of sexual offense, stalking and/or domestic violence by another student(s) are encouraged to report the incident(s) and use the resources of the dean of students on the campus where the incident occurred or one of the administrators identified on the resource list in the back of this brochure. An initial discussion will give the victim the opportunity to recount what has taken place and discuss how best to proceed. The dean or administrator will review the University’s formal reporting procedures and possible sanctions, the formal reporting procedures of the local police agency, and available medical and counseling resources. In addition, options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations can be discussed and provided if so requested, and such changes are reasonably available. It is at all times the victim’s decision whether to file a complaint or to continue with any form of resolution. Confidentiality will be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where appropriate.
If a victim elects to initiate a formal complaint against another student or group of students, the information should be put in writing and filed with the dean of students. Such a complaint would be handled in accordance with the University judicial procedures out- lined in the Student Handbook. The victim and the student against whom the complaint is lodged must represent themselves during the judicial process. However, a member of the student affairs staff (either male or female) will be assigned to both parties, if so desired, to act as a support person throughout the process. While this person may be present during individual interviews conducted by the dean of students, no active participation is permitted. In a sexual offense case, the victim and the student against whom the complaint is lodged are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary hearing. Possible sanctions for persons found in violation of sexual offense policies range up to and include suspension and/or expulsion from the University.
In a sexual offense case, the victim may notify the Office of Safety and Security whether or not he/she goes to the hospital for a rape examination. However, a hospital visit is necessary in order to collect evidence, through a rape examination, in the event that the victim decides to file criminal charges. Staff will be available to accompany students to medical care. Personal information about the victim and records will remain confidential insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where appropriate.
In a case where there is an allegation of a sexual offense violation, which constitutes a violation of the University Code of Conduct, both the victim and the student against whom the complaint is lodged shall be informed of the final outcome of a judicial investigation. Please refer to your student handbook for more information regarding reporting procedures and the University judicial process.
It should be clearly understood that a victim of sexual offense, stalking or domestic violence always has legal recourse outside the University. If civil or criminal proceedings are filed, the University reserves the right to conduct its own investigation and proceedings notwithstanding the status or resolution of any civil or criminal proceedings.
Reporting Procedures for the Local Police Departments
The reporting of the incident to the police involves several aspects. If a victim calls the police to respond to the scene, a uniformed officer in a patrol car will go to the victim’s location. The victim may request that a specific gender officer respond, but there is no guarantee that a specific gender officer will be available. The police, however, should make every effort to accommodate the victim. For incidents involving possible sex crimes, the uniformed officers will generally notify a detective or a specialized unit staffed with personnel who are trained to gather information about sex crimes and explain the investigative procedures of the police department, including possible options available to victims of sex crimes. The local precinct detective squad will investigate stalking and domestic violence offenses.
In sex offense cases, the officers who respond to the call will want to examine the scene of the crime and obtain evidence (clothes, sheets, etc.). If the perpetrator is known to the victim, the police will want to interview the perpetrator and any witnesses to the incident. They will also encourage the filing of a formal complaint. If you wish to press criminal charges against the perpetrator, a hospital visit should be made as soon as possible. It is best that physical evidence be collected at the hospital as soon as possible. The police will encourage a hospital visit at the time of the incident and can assist the victim in securing necessary transportation to the hospital. If charges are filed but no arrest has been made, a victim may have the option to decline further prosecution. If the perpetrator already has been arrested and indicted, withdrawing charges may not necessarily be an option for the victim.
One final word: Anyone who suspects that someone on campus is in danger, should immediately notify the Fordham University Office of Safety and Security at (718) 817-2222.
Updated: August 24, 2012