Policy on Sexual Assault
When sexual misconduct or sexual violence in any form occurs, the standards of the community, and possibly criminal laws, are violated. When reported, the College will deal with these issues in accordance with its policies and procedures and as required by applicable laws. Sexual misconduct committed in connection with any College program, whether on or off campus, is prohibited. This includes all College programs including, but not limited to, academic, educational, extra-curricular, athletic, and residential programs.
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.
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 D 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.
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.
Definition of Consent
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.
Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault
There are many services established to assist individuals who have been sexually assaulted. Sarah Tansits, the Coordinator of the campus 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.
Sarah Tansits, S.A.R.A. Coordinator, 410-778-6118
Washington College Health Services, ext. 7261
Washington College Counseling Services, ext. 7261
Office of Public Safety, ext. 7810
A member of the Campus Department of Public Safety is available 24 hours a day and 7 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, 410-778-3300 - located adjacent to Washington College
- University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton 410-822-1000
The S.A.R.A. representative, serving as 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).