Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to name the perpetrator?
- What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
- Will I (as a victim) have to pay for counseling?
- What about legal advice?
- What about changing residence hall rooms?
- What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
- Can the college discipline a student for sexual misconduct even if the student is not convicted in a court of law?
- Will a victim be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
- Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct conduct complaint?
- Will either party's prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
- What should I do if I am accused of committing sexual misconduct?
- What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
Do I have to name the perpetrator?
Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the complete confidentiality policy above to better understand the College’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different College officials). Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively.
What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Student Conduct Office, which can explain the College’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints.
You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance. CSI Counseling Services 208-732-6260
What about legal advice?
Victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue prosecution because representation will be handled by the District Attorney’s Prosecutor’s office. You may want to retain an attorney if you are the accused student or are considering filing a civil action. The accused student may retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus conduct proceeding.
What about changing residence hall rooms?
If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is typically institutional policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. If you want the accused student to move, and believe that you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal College of Southern Idaho complaint. No contact orders can be imposed and room changes for the accused student can usually be arranged quickly.
Other accommodations available to you might include:
--Assistance from College support staff in completing the relocation;
--Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
--Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
--Taking an incomplete in a class;
-- Assistance with transferring class sections;
-- Assistance with alternative course completion options;
--Other accommodations for safety as necessary.
What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the Hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the hospital is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). A victim advocate from the institution can also accompany you to Hospital and law enforcement or Security can provide transportation. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligate him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise it.
For the Victim: the hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.
Can the college discipline a student for sexual misconduct even if the student is not convicted in a court of law?
Yes, the college may discipline students pursuant to the unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct policy and compliant procedure policy. The college disciplinary process is unrelated to any criminal procedure. An important difference to keep in mind is that the standard of proof in a criminal proceeding is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” whereas the standard for sexual misconduct in a college proceeding is “preponderance of the evidence.”
Will a victim be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?
No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the College response, but whenever possible the College will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the College does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.
Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct conduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused student’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused student.
Will either party's prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.
What should I do if I am accused of committing sexual misconduct?
You will be notified of the accusations against you and provided with the opportunity to respond. The official conducting the investigation will explain the procedures, and your rights and options. If you are accused of violating University policy, you may seek legal representation.
What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the institution’s student conduct office. The institution provides advisors who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.