Policy on Sexual Assault
Washington College urges individuals who believe they have been sexually assaulted to pursue criminal charges against the person or persons they believe to have committed the sexual assault. A criminal charge and an internal complaint can be pursued at the same time. Retaliation against an individual who brings a complaint, participates in an investigation, or pursues legal action is prohibited, and possible violations will be investigated and violations addressed in accordance with College policy and procedures.
In cases of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct, College authorities will inform a Reporting Party of the option of criminal prosecution and medical assistance, as well as the Reporting Party’s rights under the Crime Reporting Party’s Bill of Rights. This includes the right to assistance from the Maryland State Crime Reporting Party’s Reparation Board and the Maryland State Office of the Crime Reporting Party Ombudsman. A Reporting Party will also be informed of the right to file a complaint of sexual harassment (which includes sexual assault/violence). Students or employees wishing to file a complaint should follow the procedures outlined in the “Reporting Discrimination and Harassment” section found earlier in this handbook.
When a Washington College student is the subject of a sexual assault/violence complaint, the individual filing the complaint will be informed about the role of the Honor Board’s Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board in evaluating whether the student who is the subject of the complaint is responsible for violations of College policy (including policies addressing discrimination and harassment). When a Washington College employee or third party is the subject of a sexual assault/violence complaint, the individual filing the complaint will be informed about the role of the DDRC or appropriate administrator in evaluating whether the individual who is the subject of the complaint is responsible for violations of College policy (including policies addressing discrimination and harassment).
College authorities, normally the Director of Public Safety, will notify the Chestertown Police of the sexual assault only at the request of the student or employee filing the complaint and will provide assistance in notifying any other law enforcement authorities or in preserving materials that may be relevant to the internal complaint process. At the direction of the Chestertown Police, College authorities will provide assistance in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence for criminal prosecution.
Consent is the equivalent of approval, given freely, willingly, and knowingly, of each participant to each sexual involvement. Consent is an affirmative, conscious decision – indicated clearly by words or actions – to engage in mutually accepted sexual contact. A person engaging in sexual contact by force, threat of force, or coercion has not consented to contact.
- Lack of mutual consent is the crucial factor in any sexual misconduct case.
- Consent to some form of sexual activity does not necessarily constitute consent to another form of sexual activity, even within the same initial consensual activity.
- Consent to past sexual activity does not imply consent to future sexual activity.
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
- Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
- Silence without demonstrating permission does not constitute consent.
- Consent CANNOT be given if a person’s ability to resist or consent is incapacitated because of a mental illness or physical condition (by alcohol or other drugs, unconsciousness, sleep, or blackout) or if there is a significant age or perceived power differential.
Sexual activity with someone who the Responding Party should know to be, or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be, mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drugs, unconsciousness, sleep, or blackout) is sexual activity without consent.
By decision of the President of the College, the Vice President of Student Affairs, or a designee of either, an individual who is the subject of a sexual assault complaint may, without prejudice, be removed from the campus or subjected to other forms of restriction with regard to the Reporting Party, pending formal judicial action or criminal procedures, to avoid additional conflict within the community and/or to protect the safety of members of the College community.
There are many services established to assist individuals who have been sexually assaulted. Sara Tansits, coordinator for the sexual assault response advocates (SARA) or other Student Affairs staff members (see list below under Education and Training) may be contacted to provide assistance or for any questions.
Washington College Health Services, ext. 7261 (confidential resource)
Washington College Counseling Services, ext. 7261 (confidential resource)
“For All Seasons, Inc.” Sexual Assault Crisis Center, 1-800-310-7273 (A 24-hour confidential service that provides counseling, advocacy and support to survivors.)
Title IX Coordinator, ext. 7752
Office of Public Safety, ext. 7810
Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA), 410-669-0742
The Office of Prevention, Education and Advocacy, 7277
A member of the Campus Department of Public Safety is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to transport the Reporting Party to either hospital listed below if requested. Volunteers from the For All Seasons Sexual Assault Crisis Center are also available to provide counseling and assistance throughout this process.
Two area hospitals have sexual assault response programs in place. Forensic Nurse Examiners are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide confidential medical examination, STI and pregnancy prophylactics. The programs work in conjunction with For All Seasons, Inc., to provide advocacy support to victims.
- University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, located adjacent to Washington College, 410-778-3300
- University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton 410-822-1000
The sexual assault response coordinator will inform the Reporting Party, at a minimum, of internal complaint options, availability of confidential counseling, mechanisms available to address concerns about physical safety, as well as the possibility of alternative housing assignments or classroom arrangements (where appropriate).
Education and Training
The Office of Prevention Education and Advocacy is responsible for developing and coordinating educational and training programs for students about sexual assault and sexual violence. To address issues of sexual assault and sexual violence proactively, the College will distribute these policies to and provide training for students and employees. In addition, these policies will be communicated at appropriate opportunities in classes, meetings, programs, and publications.
Washington College encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct. The College recognizes that individuals who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, (including but not limited to) domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual misconduct or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. An individual reporting sexual violence to College officials or a bystander reporting such violations, provided that their behavior did not place the health and safety of any person at risk, will not be subject to disciplinary action for violations of alcohol and other drug policies occurring at the time of the sexual misconduct.
Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey
In compliance with Maryland House Bill 571, Washington College conducted a sexual assault campus climate survey in March of 2018 and will do so every two years.
People to contact for more information:
- Sarah Feyerherm, Vice President of Student Affairs, ext. 7752
- Candace Wannamaker, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator, ext. 7752
- Ursula Herz, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life, ext. 7752
- TBD, Director of Prevention Education and Advocacy and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, ext. 7277
- Lisa Marx, Director of Health Services, ext. 7261
- Miranda Altman, Director of Counseling Services, ext. 7289
- Brandon McFayden, Director of Public Safety, ext. 7810
- Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) 410-699-0742