Judicial Affairs
Gender-based Violence Misconduct Policy

 Gender-based violence violates the legal rights of individuals and undermine the university as a civil and caring environment within which to learn and work. To address the myriad issues presented by gender-based violence, the university will:

  1. provide educational information about the nature of gender-based violence and how it can be prevented;
  2. offer support an assistance for those who are victims of gender-based violence; and
  3. administer appropriate consequences to those who have been adjudged responsible for an act of gender-based violence.

Policy
No form of gender-based violence will be tolerated at FHSU. This policy prohibits acts defined as gender-based violence as well as attempts to coerce an unwilling person to engage in sexual activity. In order to implement this policy, the university will engage in timely educational activities to inform members of the community about the types of actions deemed unacceptable and how assaultive situations can be prevented and/or avoided. The university will also take action against those who violate this policy.

Reporting and Filing a Complaint
Statement of Confidentiality
FHSU staff will respect the confidentiality of the victim and the alleged offender(s) as much as possible, consistent with the university's legal obligations. As noted below, students who wish to report or discuss sexual misconduct incidents should be aware that employees on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the university. Confidentiality and privacy offer to different levels of protection for information a student shares. Staff who are considered confidential generally would only share information if there was imminent risk to self or others. Staff who are private can share information with others on a "need to know basis," which is lower threshold than confidential sources.

Victims may choose their reporting method. Some victims may prefer to speak with a confidential source first, while others may want to pursue a more formal, non-confidential reporting approach right away.

All complaints may be reported by telephone, in-person, or via the Incident Report It form. The report-it form can be confidential or non-confidential depending whether or not you list your name. You may choose to report an incident in two ways: confidentially or non-confidentially.

Confidential Reporting

Confidential reporting gives the victim the opportunity to speak confidentially with a Fort Hays State University professional who works in a health-care or counseling role.

  • Kelly Center, 785-628-4401, Picken Hall Room 111
  • Student Health Center, 785-628-4293, Memorial Union Room 045
  • Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, 785-625-4202, Student Health Center, Memorial Union Room 045

Under special circumstances, the following are also confidential reporters:

  •  Assistant Athletic Director/Compliance/Student-Athlete Services/SWA, 785-628-4372, Cunningham Hall Room 134
  • Financial Assistance Counselor/Financial Assistance Appeal Coordinator, 785-628-5870, Picken Hall Room 202

 

Non-Confidential Reporting
Non-confidential reporting means that an investigation will occur with an outcome. Details of the report will only be shared with individuals with a need-to-know basis. Privacy will be protected to the extent possible. To file a non-confidential complaint, please use one of the following options:


All victims are encouraged, but not required, to file a Police Report
911 or 785-628-5304

Teresa Clounch, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator 
Sheridan Hall, Room 208
Email: tlclounch@fhsu.edu
Phone: 785-628-5824

Shannon Lindsey
Deputy Title IX Coordinator / Equal Employment Officer
Sheridan Hall, Room 110
Email: sdlindsey@fhsu.edu
Phone: 785-628-5326
 
Kurt Kohler
Deputy Title IX Coordinator / Head Volleyball Coach
Cunningham Hall, Room 139E
Email: knkohler@fhsu.edu
Phone: 785-628-4392

FHSU Responsible Employees
Fort Hays State University recognizes the need for Responsible Employees to serve our students who may be victims of gender-based violence. Under Title IX mandate, a Responsible Employee is any employee who has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence; who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. Responsible employees must report all instances of sexual misconduct directly to the Title IX coordinator in a timely fashion. Responsible employees cannot promise victims confidentiality. Fort Hays State University has defined the following people as Responsible Employees:

 

  • Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators
  • University Police Department
  • Administration
    • President
    • Vice President for Student Affairs
    • Vice President for Administration and Finance
  • Office of Human Resources
    • All employees of the Employment/Management Relations
    • Employees of Institutional Equity
  • Academics
    • Provost
    • College Deans
    • Department Chairs
    • Directors of Academic Programs (E.g. Center for Civic Leadership)
  • Student Affairs
    • Director of the Memorial Union
    • Assistant Director of the Memorial Union
    • Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Student Involvement
    • Coordinator of Diversity Affairs
    • Director of Transition and Student Conduct
    • Director of Financial Assistance
    • Director of Wellness Center
    • Director of Career Services
    • Director of Academic Advising and Career Exploration
    • Director for the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science
    • Assistant Director for the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science
    • Office Assistant for the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science
    • Financial Administrator for the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science
    • Coordinator for Marketing and Recruitment for the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science
  • Residential Life Staff
    • Director
    • Assistant Director
    • Hall Directors
    • Assistant Hall Directors
    • Apartment Managers
    • Graduate Assistants
    • Resident Assistants
  • Office of Admissions
    • Director of Admissions
    • Assistant Director of Admissions
    • Admission Counselors
  • International Student Services/Study Abroad
    • Director of International Student Services
    • Assistant Director of International Services
    • Assistant Provost
    • Study Abroad Coordinator 
  • Athletics

The Athletics Department will designate and publicize an individual who acts as a confidential resource to members of the athletics program. This individual is exempt from the policy to report incidents.

 

  • Athletic Director
  • Assistant Athletic Director/SWA/Compliance
  • Assistant Athletic Director/Internal Operations
  • Assistant Athletic Director/External Operations
  • Coaches, including:
    • Conditioning and Strength Coaches
    • Assistant Coaches
    • Personal Trainers
    • Graduate Assistants

 

Faculty Members
Faculty members at Fort Hays State University who instruct and advise students are NOT mandated reporters and are considered a confidential resource to FHSU students. There are, however, exceptions to this rule:

  • Faculty members who are supervising any university travel experience, both domestic and international ARE mandatory reporters during the duration of the trip.
  • Faculty members who advise student organizations ARE mandatory reporters to their students within that organization.


Note: If a faculty member advises a student in an organization and as an academic advisor, he or she may report.

Judicial Process

Rights
Specific Rights During a Sexual Misconduct Case

  • Barring any unforeseen circumstances, cases of gender-based violence or sexual harassment shall be resolved within a 60 day period once the incident has been reported.
  • Students will be informed of the university's conduct process and possible outcomes. The university will also inform students of available counseling services, medical services, mental health services, and other campus and off campus resources for victims of sexual assault and accused students.
  • Victims have the right to report a sexual assault to local law enforcement, which will not prevent university disciplinary action.
  • Both parties may request changes to academic and living situations after a sexual assault occurs. Student Conduct may be able to help facilitate such changes.

 
Preserving Evidence After Sexual Misconduct
In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, the most important thing is for the victim to get to safe place. Whether it be the victim's home, a friend's home or with a family member, immediate safety is what matters most. When a feeling of safety has been achieved, it is vital for the victim to receive medical attention, and strongly recommended for the victim to receive a forensic examination.

Preserving DNA evidence can be key to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual assault case, especially those in which the offender is a stranger. DNA evidence is an integral part of a law enforcement investigation that can build a strong case to show that a sexual assault occurred and to show that the defendant is the source of biological material left on the victim's body.

Victims should make every effort to save anything that might contain the perpetrator's DNA, therefore a victim is advised not to:

  • Bathe or shower
  • Use the restroom
  • Change clothes
  • Comb hair
  • Clean up the crime scene
  • Move anything the offender may have touched

*Even if the victim has not yet decided to report the crime, receiving a forensic examination and keeping the evidence safe from damage will improve the chances that the police can access and test the stored evidence at a later date.

What does a forensic medical exam entail?
A forensic medical exam may be performed at a hospital or other healthcare facility, by a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) or another medical professional. This exam is complex and on average, takes 3-4 hours. While this may seem lengthy, medical and forensic exams are comprehensive because the victim deserves and needs special attention to ensure that they are medically safe and protected. In addition, it is important to collect evidence so that if the victim chooses to report the crime to police, they can access the stored evidence.

  1. To start, the medical professional will write down the victim's detailed history.
              This sets a clear picture of existing health status, including medications being taken and preexisting conditions unrelated to the assault.
  2. Next there is a head-to-toe, detailed examination and assessment of the entire body (including internal examination).
              This may include collection of blood, urine, hair and other body secretion samples, photo documentation of injuries (such as bruises, cuts and scraped skin), collection of clothing (especially undergarments).
  3. Finally, the medical professional will speak about treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that may have been exposed during the assault.

NOTE: The victim has the right to accept or decline any or all parts of the exam. However, it is important to remember that critical evidence may be missed if not collected or analyzed.
 
After the forensic medical exam is performed and the evidence is collected and stored in the kit, the victim will be able to shower, brush their teeth, etc. - all while knowing that the evidence has been preserved to aid in a criminal prosecution if so desired.

What is a "rape kit"?
The sexual assault exam kit (commonly referred to as a "rape kit") is the collection of DNA and other forensic evidence, which is then kept by the SANE or medical provider until picked up by law enforcement or the crime lab. It is then stored until the victim determines whether or not to pursue a case. The kit itself is generally a large envelope or cardboard box, which can safely store evidence collected from your body or clothing. While the contents of a sexual assault forensic exam may vary by state and jurisdiction, it may include items, such as:

  • Instructions
  • Bags and sheets for evidence collection
  • Swabs
  • Comb
  • Envelopes for hair and fibers
  • Blood collection devices
  • Documentation forms

Under the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, states may not "require a victim of sexual assault to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to be provided with a forensic medical exam, reimbursement for charges incurred on account of such an exam, or both." Under this law, a state must ensure that victims have access to an exam free of charge or with a full reimbursement, even if the victim decides not to cooperate with law enforcement investigators. (Previously, states were required to ensure access to exams free of charge, but could put conditions on the exam, such as cooperating with law enforcement officials.)

Essentially, this law allows victims time to decide whether or pursue their case. A sexual assault is a traumatic event and some victims are unable to decide in the immediate aftermath. Because forensic evidence can be lost as time progresses, a "Jane Doe Rape Kit" enables a victim to have forensic evidence collected without revealing identifying information. For instance, in some states, victims are given a code number they can use to identify themselves if they choose to report the crime at a later date.

Each state has determined different time frames for the storage of a kit. The victim should be informed at the time of the exam as to the length of time the kit will be retained, as well as the disposition of the kit. Processing the evidence collected may take only a few weeks, but many areas of the country have significant backlogs. So the wait to have your evidence tested could range from a few weeks to a few months, or even longer.

NOTE: to find a local hospital or healthcare facility that is equipped to collect forensic evidence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE). The hotline will connect callers to their local crisis center, which can provide information on the nearest medical facility, and in some instances, send an advocate to accompany victims through the evidence collection process. Hays, KS resources can be found here.

Information taken from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

If you have a question about civil rights, please review the Understanding Civil Rights web page
Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Ave, SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201

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