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Sexual Misconduct FAQs

This is a list of questions commonly asked related to sexual misconduct at the University Wyoming, specifically pertaining to UW students. For additional information, contact the Dean of Students office by visiting 128 Knight Hall, emailing dos@uwyo.edu, or by calling (307) 766-3296

What is sexual misconduct and how does it relate to Title IX?

Something happened to me. Who can I talk to?

Something happened to me someone I care about, what can I do?

What happens after a report is made?

What is the difference between a report and a complaint?

What is a “Complainant?”

If an incident occurred while I was drinking, OR, I was drinking and witnessed an incident, will I get in trouble?

What safety measures and accommodations are available to me if I report an incident?

Can I make a confidential report or complaint?

What is the purpose of the University's Sexual Misconduct Investigation process for students?

I've been notified that I am a Respondent in a Sexual Misconduct investigation. What happens now?

What is "preponderance of the evidence" and why is it the standard used at UW?

What happens after the investigation?


What is sexual misconduct and how does it relate to Title IX?

Sexual Misconduct is an "umbrella term", which covers a wide range of behaviors or offenses. These include sexual assault, hostile environment sexual harassment, relationship violence (dating or domestic violence), stalking, sexual exploitation, and harassment related to gender identity or expression. Additionally, there can be incidents of hazing that also meet the definition of sexual or gender-based misconduct. The Student Code of Conduct covers this range of behaviors. These definitions cover our obligations to stop, prevent, and remedy incidents under Title IX. 

The Dean of Students office provides leadership and support related to Title IX and students. This includes exploring supportive measures for students who’ve experienced sexual misconduct, facilitating investigations pertaining to conduct prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct, and providing support for pregnant or parenting students.

For more information on Title IX specifically on our campus, please visit EORR.

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Something happened to me. Who can I talk to?

You are not alone, and support is available.

You can speak to any of the non-confidential private support and reporting options to make a report, request interim measures, or learn more about the university process:

Jim Osborn
Title IX Coordinator/EEOR
Bureau of Mines room 317
307-766-5200

Dr. Kim Chestnut
Dean of Students and Associate Vice President
128 Knight Hall
307-766-3296

Dr. Nycole Courtney
Associate Dean of Students
128 Knight Hall
307-766-3296

Libby Thorson
Sexual Misconduct Investigator
128 Knight Hall
307-766-3296

A University of Wyoming student may contact the following offices for confidential support and reporting:

SAFE  Project
24-hr hotline: 307-745-3556
On-campus advocate:
Phone: 307-766-3434
108 Knight Hall
campus@safeproject.org
http://www.safeproject.org/campus

STOP Violence Program
Phone: 307-766-3296
106 Knight Hall
http://www.uwyo.edu/stop

Psychology Clinic
Phone: (307) 766-6303
http://www.uwyo.edu/psychology/clinic.html

University Counseling Center
Phone: 307-766-2187
http://www.uwyo.edu/ucc/counseling-services.html

Student Health Services
Cheney International Center Building, 1st Floor
Phone: 307-766-2130
http://www.uwyo.edu/udss/building-accessibility-guide/student-health-service.html

Ivinson Hospital
Sexual Assault Exam Program

255 N. 30th St., Laramie
Phone: 307-755-4406
Forensic Nursing Brochure

 

Online: http://www.uwyo.edu/dos/sexualmisconduct/reportit.html

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Something happened to someone I care about, what can I do?

If you are worried about someone, first make sure they are safe and do not need immediate medical attention. Second, it’s important to be supportive, and listen to what they have to say. It is okay to offer resources, such as counseling or reporting options, but be respectful of whatever your they chose to do.

For more detailed information, visit the LOVE IS RESPECT. You can also speak to any of the non-confidential or confidential resources on campus listed above.

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What happens after a report is made?

Typically, the Sexual Misconduct Investigator within the Dean of Students office will reach out to the reporting party or Complainant to schedule a meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to check-in and provide information about resources/the investigation process/supportive measures, review the report, and determine if an investigation will move forward.  If the victim chooses to make a formal complaint and request an investigation, the investigator will schedule a time to obtain a verbal statement and any relevant materials (witness names, text messages, etc.).

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What is the difference between a report and a complaint?

A report is a sharing of information; anyone can fill out a report and sometimes reports turn into complaints.  A complaint is a formal request for university staff to investigate a report of sexual misconduct.

Students may need to make a disclosure of an incident, sharing as much information as they are comfortable, ot access supportive measures. This does not automatically mean and investigation (formal complaint) must happen. The Sexual Misconduct Investigator will assess the report and discuss next steps with the Complainant. 

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What is a “Complainant?”

A Complainant is a person who submits a complaint alleging a Title IX policy violation or is identified as the person who has allegedly experienced a Title IX related incident. You might be considered a complainant if:

  • You have experienced harm.

  • You identify as a survivor or a victim.

  • You reported your experience to the university.

  • Someone else reported your experience to the university.

We realize that not all people who experience harm will report their experience or identify with the term “Complainant.” We use “Complainant” to be as clear and objective as possible. Our goal is that you know your options, get the support and assistance you need, maintain your personal choice throughout the process, and discover what works for you.

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If an incident occurred while I was drinking, OR, I was drinking and witnessed an incident, will I get in trouble?

The University will not sanction a student under the University’s disciplinary procedures for underage drinking if the alcohol use is revealed in a good-faith report of sexual misconduct.

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What safety measures and accommodations are available to me if I report an incident?

Trauma and experiences of harm can greatly affect you psychologically, physically, and emotionally.

The University will work with the Complainant to put interim measures in place to ensure a safe, non-hostile environment for the student. Following an investigation and a determination that conduct prohibited by Title IX occurred, more permanent accommodations and safety measures may be implemented. The Dean of Students office can assist in implementing and evaluating accommodations and safety measures, including:

  • Housing accommodations

  • Services for food insecurity

  • Counseling services

  • Academic accommodations

  • Discreet absence notifications or requests for flexibility/ alternative participation to faculty

  • UW employment accommodations

  • Escort services

  • Respondent’s removal from University community

  • Other appropriate actions as necessary

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Can I make a confidential report or complaint?

The privacy of parties involved in a report is always a priority for us, but the reporting/investigative process is not confidential. Investigators will protect your privacy as much as possible. Only those who need information on the case will be informed. Professors, colleagues, and even witnesses will not have details available to them about your experiences. Records related to students are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FEPRA) and with few exceptions are not subject to disclosure pursuant to open records requests.

You may report an incident without disclosing your name, identifying the respondent, or requesting actions. However, depending on the amount of information reported, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. Keep in mind that many University faculty and staff are responsible employees.; meaning these employees are required to report incidents and cannot remain confidential.

The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will consider a number of factors in deciding whether a privacy request can be honored, including the age of the Complainant, whether there is evidence of a pattern of misconduct, the severity of the misconduct, and whether there is a safety risk to the Complainant or the University of Wyoming community. Should the University, in weighing such factors, determine it must proceed, the University will explain its rationale to the Complainant and make sure that the Complainant is offered a support person throughout the process. The Complainant will not be required to participate in the process if UW chooses to pursue an investigation.

Additionally, University of Wyoming Police Department can take information only reports. If you'd like to speak to an officer before making a report about your options you can call them at 307-766-5179, or ask the Sexual Misconduct Investigator to assist in setting up a meeting.

  • Will the Respondent know my name?

    • Yes, the Respondent has the right to know the identity of the reporting party/Complainant. They will receive a Notice of Investigation that contains the allegation. Once the investigation is complete a Report of Investigation is provided to Complainants and Respondents.

  • Do I have to provide the name of the alleged?

    • Yes, if you want an investigation and potential disciplinary action to be taken. Not providing the name(s) of the alleged limits the actions the University of Wyoming.

  • What if I don’t know their name?

    • That is okay. You can provide as much information as possible to aid in the investigation.

  • What if they are not a UW student?

    • We can evaluate if the person is a student at a different university and the Respondent’s status as a student at UW does not factor into our ability to provide support to a Complainant.

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What is the purpose of the University's Sexual Misconduct Investigation process for students?

The purpose of an investigation pursuant to The University of Wyoming Student Code of Conduct and Hearing Process is to determine:

  • Whether or not Prohibited Conduct has occurred;

  • Whether there is an ongoing risk of harm from further Prohibited Conduct and, if so, determine what steps are necessary to prevent its recurrence;

  • Whether accommodations for the Complainant need to be put in place to address the effects of Prohibited Conduct;

  • Whether the conduct warrants a Hearing by the Dean of Students Office (for student Respondents); and

  • Whether any changes to policies, practices or training should be considered and implemented.

An over of an investigation into alleged prohibited conduct by a University of Wyoming student can be found here:Sexual Misconduct Investigation Flowchart

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I've been notified that I am a Respondent in a Sexual Misconduct investigation. What happens now?

Generally, a respondent is someone alleged to be responsible for prohibited conduct. Students who are identified as Respondents in a sexual misconduct investigation will receive an email from the Dean of Students Office containing important information about the allegation. In that email, the Investigator(s) will request a meeting with you to further explain the university process and your rights within the process, review campus resources, and obtain a verbal statement. Respondents have the same rights as Complainants on campus. You are not required to participate in the investigative process. However, the case will still move forward and a Report of Investigation will be written with the information available to the Dean of Students office. 

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What is "preponderance of the evidence" and why is it the standard used at UW?

The University of Wyoming applies a preponderance of the evidence standard to ensure a fair and equitable adjudication process for all parties. The preponderance of evidence standard of proof questions, “is something (a violation of our Student Code of Conduct) more likely than not to have occurred,” based on all information gathered. Courts have long affirmed that this standard is the appropriate standard for adjudication of violations of civil rights laws, including Title IX.

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What happens after the investigation?

Each party receives a Report of Investigation  and the case is then referred to Student Conduct for review.

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