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Sexual Misconduct FAQs

Overview

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 differ from the scope of prohibited behaviors of sexual harassment and discrimination defined within the Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination policy (our Title IX compliant policy) 

The Dean of Students office manages efforts related to sexual harassment/misconduct response, student support, and prevention. This includes exploring supportive measures for students who’ve experienced sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct, facilitating the Hearing Process for reports pertaining to conduct prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct, and providing support for pregnant or parenting students.

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

You are not alone, and support is available.

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

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

Ryan O'Neil
Dean of Students and Associate Vice President
128 Knight Hall
307-766-3296

Libby Thorson
Assistant Dean of Students
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
117 Knight Hall
campus@safeproject.org
http://www.safeproject.org/campus

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

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

 

You can also submit a report to the University online at https://www.uwyo.edu/reportit/make-a-report/index.html

And learn more about reporting to UWPD at http://www.uwyo.edu/uwpd/crimereporting-info/

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 they chose to do. For more detailed information on how to navigate this conversation, visit LOVE IS RESPECT.

You can also speak to any of the non-confidential or confidential resources on campus listed above. Don’t forget, the University has an amnesty policy that will not target students for being active bystanders and getting someone help when a concerning situation is happening.

Reporting

Typically, staff within the Dean of Students office will reach out to the reporting party or potential Complainant to schedule an intake meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to check-in and provide information about resources, applicable policies and the investigation process, and supportive measures available to students. If someone chooses to make a formal complaint and request an investigation that falls within the scope of the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy and/or the Student Code of Conduct, the Dean of Students Office connects the Complainant with an investigator in the Equal Opportunity, Report, and Response Office. The investigator will schedule a time to obtain a verbal statement and any relevant materials (witness names, text messages, etc.), and provide a Notice of Investigation to a Respondent.

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 harassment and/or sexual misconduct. For an investigation or informal resolution to occur that falls under the scope of the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy, a formal complaint must be signed by the Complainant. You can sign a formal complaint with the Dean of Students Office or notify the Title IX Coordinator

Students need to make a disclosure of an incident, sharing as much information as they are comfortable, to access supportive measures or determine which policy or policies apply to the report. This does not automatically mean an investigation (formal complaint) must happen. The Dean of Students Office, in collaboration with the Title IX Coordinator, will assess the report and discuss next steps with the Complainant. 

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

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 about your options, before making a report, you can call them at 307-766-5179, or ask the Dean of Students Office or an advocate with Safe Project to assist in setting up a meeting.

Trauma and experiences of harm can greatly affect you psychologically, physically, and emotionally. Support is available to victims/survivors/complainants regardless of when the incident occurred, where it occurred, who was involved, or what specifically happened. Our intention is to assist students in persisting to complete their educational goals.

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

  • On-campus living arrangements
  • Counseling services
  • Academic supportive measures
  • Discreet absence notifications or requests for flexibility/ alternative participation to faculty
  • UW employment accommodations
  • Campus safety escort services from UWPD
  • Safety planning
  • University No Contact Directives

Other appropriate actions as necessary can be implemented. You likely know best what you need to feel safe and to do well in school. While the University is sometimes limited in some of the support it can provide, you can always ask what is possible for your situation. 

Yes, if you file a formal complaint or request an investigation the Respondent has the right to know the identity of the reporting party/Complainant. They will receive a Notice of Investigation/Allegation that contains the allegation. Once the investigation is complete a Report of Investigation is provided to Complainants and Respondents.

For students seeking supportive measures only, the Respondent will not be notified that you've met with Dean of Students staff or reported an incident.

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.

That is okay. You can provide as much information as possible. Sometimes staff in the Dean of Students Office, UWPD, or EORR office can help identify an individual. Not knowing someone’s name does not limit your access to supportive resources.

A respondent’s status as a student at UW does not factor into our ability to provide support to a Complainant.

However, the University only has jurisdiction over UW students and staff. Meaning, the Respondent must be connected to the University.  

Investigations

All cases involving reported sexual harassment, sex-discrimination, and/or sexual misconduct are investigated by the Equal Opportunity, Report and Response Office. Depending on the circumstances of the report, some cases are referred back to the Dean of Students Office for adjudication in a Student Conduct Hearing.

The US Department of Education issued updates to Title IX that impact the University of Wyoming's response to reports of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. These updates took effect on August 14, 2020. Please know that the University of Wyoming prohibits all acts of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, regardless of where the incident occurred. As such,  reports that involve a student respondent and do not fall under the scope of the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy’s Process A (the University’s Title IX compliant process for sexual harassment) could be investigated for prohibited conduct within the Student Code of Conduct.

For example:

If a report indicates that a sexual assault occurred at an off campus house and was not connected to an educational program or activity, it would likely be investigated and adjudicated within the scope of the Student Code of Conduct.

If a report indicates that a sexual assault occurred in one of the Residence Halls on-campus, and the Respondent and Complainants are both UW students, it would fall within the scope of the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy.

You can let the Dean of Students Office, your Investigator, or the Title IX Coordinator know you are interested in resolving the matter informally to explore resolution options, and if your case is eligible.

Generally, a Respondent is someone alleged to be responsible for prohibited conduct, and is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Students who are identified as Respondents in a sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct investigation will receive an email from the Equal Opportunity, Report, and Response Office containing important information about the investigation and 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 and access to supportive measures, should they need them.

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 or other University policy) 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.

Adjudication

For cases that are not within the scope of the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy’s “Process A”, each party receives a Report of Investigation via email from the Dean of Students Office, indicating whether or not there is sufficient information to determine there was a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If so, the case will be referred for a Student Conduct Hearing.

Contact Us

Dean of Students Office

Knight Hall 128

Dept. 3135, 1000 E. University Dr.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3296

Fax: 307-766-3298

Email: dos@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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