Reporting Sexual Misconduct to University Officials
The University of Richmond strongly supports and encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct. Reporting provides resources to survivors and contributes to keeping the campus safe.
If you believe you or someone you know has experienced sexual misconduct, you should report incident(s) to the University's Title IX Coordinators and to the University Police Department. Instances of sexual misconduct may violate both the University's sexual misconduct policy and the law. As a result, the University encourages survivors to pursue their complaints through both the University's process for sexual misconduct and through the criminal justice system. If a survivor makes a report to the University police, the University police will notify the Title IX Coordinator of the report. If the survivor reports first to the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the survivor with making a report to the University police, if the survivor chooses to do so.
Unless designated as a confidential resource in this Policy, all Responsible Employees are required to report incidents of possible sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinators and those employees designated as Campus Security Authorities must also report to the University Police.
Seeking Immediate Assistance: If you or someone you know has experienced sexual misconduct, please contact the University of Richmond Police Department, reachable 24 hours a day at 8911 (from on-campus phones) or (804) 289-8911 (from cell phones or off-campus phones).
Students are strongly encouraged to report to one of the Title IX Coordinators.For cases involving students, contact:
- Tracy Cassalia, Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator, at (804) 288-8464.
- Carl Sorensen, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Associate Vice President of Human Resource, at (804) 289-8166.
- Maura Smith, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Compliance, at (804) 289-8654.
- Beth Simonds, Assistant Chief of Police, University Police, at (804) 289-8722.
All University employees, except confidential resources, are encouraged to report to one of the University’s Title IX Coordinators as soon as they become aware of possible sexual misconduct.
Under Virginia law and University policy, each Responsible Employee, other than a confidential resource, who, in the course of his or her employment by the University, obtains information regarding a possible act of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to sexual violence against:
(a) a University student; or
(b) any person on campus, in a noncampus building or property, or on public property falling within the scope of this policy
must report to one of the University’s Title IX Coordinators as soon as practicable after attending to the immediate needs of the person who experienced sexual misconduct. The report must contain all relevant information, including the identity of the individuals involved, if known. This reporting requirement does not apply to Responsible Employees or other University employees who are designated as a confidential resource in this policy.
All University employees are also encouraged to report potential crimes to the University Police Department. All employees designated a Campus Security Authority must report to the University Police Department.
Reporting an incident is a separate step from choosing to pursue a criminal prosecution. When you file a report, you are not required to continue with criminal proceedings. It is always best to call the University Police at (804) 289-8911 in an emergency or at (804) 289-8715 for non-emergencies. The University Police can explain the procedures for pursuing a criminal investigation of sexual misconduct. If the victim wishes to pursue a criminal investigation, the University Police will investigate the incident reported to police to determine if a crime has been committed.
The criminal investigation is independent from any investigation undertaken by the Title IX Coordinators under this policy. However, the University Police and the Title IX Coordinators will collaborate to the extent possible and will seek to avoid unnecessary burdens on the victim.
By reporting to the University Police you help to:
- Maintain future options regarding criminal prosecution, University judicial action, and/or civil action against the accused individual.
- Warn future victims.
- Bring awareness to the community.
When you report the incident, a University Police officer will talk to you about the events and may take notes during the conversation. You will be asked to remember, to the best of your ability, any information that may help to identify the accused individual, known as the “respondent,” including their physical descriptions (e.g., clothing, hair color, etc.). You may be asked questions about the location(s) of the incident, whether there are any other witnesses, and what happened before and after the incident. Many people are afraid to report alcohol or drug use to the police; however, it is important that your investigator know all the relevant facts. If a case involves underage drinking or use of illicit substances, the University shall not pursue disciplinary charges against the following: the victim, the witnesses, and other individuals reporting, in good faith, incidents and/or assisting victims of sexual misconduct. The police officers and investigators are trained to handle your information with sensitivity, privacy, and respect.
The police officer will create a written report, which is important should you wish to bring charges, immediately or at a later date.
If you choose to pursue criminal charges in your case, your assigned investigator, the Commonwealth's Attorney, and Victim/Witness Services representative will be available to assist you in understanding and following through with this process. The case itself will usually come under the jurisdiction of the courts of either Henrico County or the City of Richmond, depending on the location of the offense. The Commonwealth Attorney from the appropriate jurisdiction will handle the criminal proceedings and will need to speak with you regarding your case. You may also wish to speak with a personal or family attorney for legal advice.
Regardless of whether a complainant decides to pursue a criminal investigation, the University's Title IX Coordinators will take immediate steps to investigate the complaint, to protect the complainant, to provide support and resources to all involved individuals, and to ensure the safety of the campus community. Except in very unusual circumstances, the investigation by the Title IX Coordinator will not be delayed because of a pending criminal investigation. When an incident is reported to both the University Police and the Title IX Coordinator, they will collaborate on the investigation to the extent possible and as appropriate and will seek to avoid unnecessary burdens on the complainant. Once in a while, law enforcement officials may request that the Title IX Coordinator temporarily suspend an investigation while law enforcement officials gather evidence in a criminal investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will comply with such request, but will promptly resume the investigation as soon as notified that the law enforcement officials have completed gathering evidence. The suspension of an investigation under these circumstances will not limit the availability of interim measures or other assistance and support to a complainant, respondent, witness, or other individuals.
The Title IX Coordinator will investigate all reports of sexual misconduct, regardless of the source of the report or information. For example, an investigation will be initiated if the report is made directly by the complainant, by another student, a faculty member, a staff member, or a third party. The Title IX Coordinator will respond to reports or information regarding sexual misconduct that occur on campus or off campus. If the conduct occurred during a University off-campus education program or activity, the University will handle the conduct as if it occurred on campus. Examples of such programs include Greek Life events or parties, athletic and sports club team travel, and events for school clubs such as a Mock Trial competition at another University. If the conduct involving a University student occurred at an off-campus or in connection with other activities, the University will still investigate and take appropriate action if the Vice President for Student Development or their designee, the Title IX Coordinator, or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources determines that such conduct may adversely affect any member of the University community, the University itself, or its educational programs. Regardless of the location of an incident, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report such incidents so that appropriate action may be taken and support and resources provided to the individual or individuals involved. For more information on the scope of this policy follow this link: http://studentdevelopment.richmond.edu/student-concerns/sexual-misconduct/policy_overview.html.
If a case involves underage drinking or use of other illicit substances, the University shall not pursue a conduct or disciplinary charge against the following individuals with a violation of the University's alcohol and drug policy: the survivor, the witnesses, and other individuals reporting, in good faith, incidents and/or assisting survivors of sexual misconduct.
The University encourages students who may be the survivor of sexual misconduct or who have witnessed an incident of sexual misconduct to report directly to the Title IX Coordinators. However, the University recognizes that, in some cases, students may be reluctant to make a direct report. Students may report an incident anonymously by filling out the incident report form. Faculty and staff may also use this form, but may not do so anonymously. Faculty and staff are required to provide identifying information when known.