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Policy on Sexual Assault

Updated: August 2012

Introduction
Holy Names University deplores and prohibits sexual offenses of any kind (including but not limited to forcible sex offenses, non-forcible sex offenses, stalking, acquaintance rape, and the use of mind altering substances to facilitate any activity, including those that are sexual). Any such act committed against the integrity of another person will not be tolerated.

HNU is committed to providing students, faculty, staff, and administrators an environment free of sexual offenses. Actions the university provides includes:

  • Educational information about sexual assault.
  • Referral to appropriate counseling and mental health services.
  • Reasonable changes in academic and/or work situations (i.e., escorts, class sections) after an alleged sex offense is reported. 

Information about educational and health-related programs is available from staff in the Student Success Center and Counseling and Psychological Services.

Reporting Sex‑Offenses
HNU strongly encourages any member of its community to report a sexual offense immediately to campus and local authorities. Every incident of sexual assault reported will be investigated thoroughly, and with the consent of the victim, appropriate disciplinary, criminal, and legal actions will be initiated. Where there is probable cause to believe that HNU regulations prohibiting sexual assault have been violated, the university will pursue strong disciplinary action through its own channels. This discipline includes the possibility of suspension or dismissal from the University.

If possible, in cases where an act of sexual misconduct occurs, evidence from any such incidents should be preserved and provided to the appropriate authorities (see below).

Disciplinary action initiated against a student as a result of a sexual offense is administered in accordance with university disciplinary proceedings under the authority of the Vice President for Student Affairs. When disciplinary action is taken concerning an alleged sex offense, the accuser and accused will have the same opportunity to have others present. This includes, but is not limited to witnesses, medical professionals and attorneys; however, only witnesses may address the proceedings.  Following such proceedings, both parties shall be informed of the outcome of those proceeding.  In cases where the accused student is found in violation of HNU policy, HNU shall disclose to the university community the outcome of the case - limited to the perpetrator’s name, a description of the violation, and the sanction imposed.  Sanctions that may be imposed against students are listed under the sanctions section of the Student Code of Conduct.

A student charged with a sexual assault can be prosecuted under California criminal statutes and disciplined under the University’s Student Conduct Code. Even if the criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute, the University can pursue disciplinary action.

In all cases of possible sex offenses, individuals involved shall be informed of their options to notify law enforcement. Individuals shall also be notified of counseling services and options for changing academic and living situations. The decision to proceed with the resolution process will remain with the complainant.

Every reasonable effort shall be made to maintain confidentiality and to protect the privacy of a complainant and an alleged offender in the investigation, resolution, compliance, and administering of this policy.

If an alleged sex‑offense occurs at Holy Names University or at an event sponsored by the university, any evidence (i.e., clothing and condoms) pertaining to the alleged offense should be kept by the victim until it may be provided to authorities.  If a student believes a substance was added to a beverage, that liquid should be kept if at all possible.

Alleged sex‑offenses should be reported university authorities who upon learning of such incidents will maintain confidentiality and facilitate treatment.  Reporting incidents in no way compels an individual to pursue a specific course of action. However, reporting does enable an individual to be appraised of the medical, emotional, legal, and university judicial options for dealing with the assault.  Medical attention is important for two reasons: 1) testing and/or medical treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, or physical injuries, and 2) evidence collection.

Report alleged sex-offenses to one of the following university staff members:

  • Director of Counseling and Psychological Services or psychological counselors
  • Health and Wellness Counselor
  • Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Campus Life
  • Coordinator of Residence Life
  • Head Athletic Trainer or AT staff
  • Director of Security
  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

When an incident of sexual assault is reported to any other member of the HNU community other than the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services or psychological counselors, that member must report the incident to a university administrator for statistical documentation.

Members of the HNU community who have been sexually assaulted are strongly encouraged to talk with a counselor, report the assault to Campus Security and local police, and obtain medical assistance.

Counseling services are available through the Student Success Center and Counseling and Psychological Services (services are free). 

Further information about sexual offenses may be found at: Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR)

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