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Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQs

Does a Furman University Police report automatically go to the Greenville area authorities?

University Police is required to advise the Solicitor’s/Prosecutor’s office and the State Law Enforcement Division/SLED (State Police) of reported sexual assaults, and Furman University Police and SLED co-investigate those cases.  Reports on other crimes and incidents would normally stay within the agency where it originated unless Furman could benefit from investigative assistance from another agency.

Can I submit an anonymous report to University Police or to the university? If so, how?

University Police has an anonymous tip line on their web site which can be used to report any student conduct or criminal violations.  The complainant can also make a confidential report with the Furman Police Chief or the Furman Police Investigator. A person can also submit a report online to the TIX Coordinator using the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form. If the reporting party is not reporting as a responsible employee, the form may be submitted anonymously. However, the university may be limited in addressing incidents reported anonymously.

What medical services are available to me on and off-campus? Is medication to protect against pregnancy available?

Furman’s Earle Student Health Center has a physician and/or nurse practitioner available from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., M-F (during the academic year) and 8 a.m.-noon, M-F (during May X and Summer) for advice and consultation.  They can provide a medical exam and evaluation, and can make referrals.  STI testing and or prophylactic treatment is available.  They can provide information regarding Plan B emergency contraception (which is available as a non-prescription at any pharmacy).  Pregnancy testing is also available.

Individuals who have been sexually assaulted can obtain medical care (including medication to protect against pregnancy and bacterially transmitted STDs) and have evidence preserved in a sexual assault kit (collectively called a sexual assault forensic exam) by going to any emergency room in the area. Greenville Memorial Hospital has a private room for patients who need a sexual assault forensic exam.  These kits generally can be completed up to 120 hours after an assault.  Personal health insurance information is not required, and the state of South Carolina pays for the exam.  If the individual does not want to report the assault or speak with law enforcement, they can request an anonymous kit or ask that they be provided the medical care without the collection of evidence.

What if I am uncomfortable in my housing assignment or classroom assignment?

The Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Coordinator will work with the Complainant and Respondent to make immediate adjustments if such changes are reasonably available.

What is the time limitation for reporting an incident and having the university adjudicate it?

There are generally no statutes of limitations on reporting crimes in South Carolina.  In addition, there is no time limit for reporting a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.  However, delays can hamper investigative efforts.  Furman is limited in its ability to resolve a case if the student or employee Respondent is no longer affiliated with the university (i.e. graduated, withdrew, transferred, etc.).

Am I allowed to have an attorney present with me during a university disciplinary hearing? If not, can I have any support person with me during a hearing and if so whom?

Both parties may have a support person of their choice present during any pre-hearing meetings, interviews, hearings or other proceedings.  Support persons may be friends, family members, victim advocates, lawyers or others.  Support persons may consult with the party provided that the consultation is not disruptive.  However, support persons may not have a speaking role, and individuals may not serve both as a witness and as a support person.

 

Do I have to face the person I am accusing at a hearing?

During a hearing, the parties will be in separate rooms, but able to hear the full proceedings.  Any questions posed to the other party must be done through the Hearing Board.  The university makes every effort reasonable to minimize potential trauma and/or stress.

Will this incident be on my academic record?

If a student is found responsible for any conduct violations, including sexual misconduct, it will NOT be recorded on their academic transcript; however, it will be noted on the students’ official conduct record.

A Complainant’s report is not on any official university record.

What should I do if I feel threatened?

Contact University Police immediately at 864.294.2111.  Report your concerns to the Title IX Coordinator as well.  In addition, if you believe you are being retaliated against for filing a complaint or participating in a university investigation, report it to the Title IX Coordinator.

Are reports confidential?

All personal information in any report and complaint is kept very private. Only a closed network of university officials (generally Title IX Coordinators, investigators and hearing board members) experienced in handling sensitive information, is made aware of a report and the names of those involved.  Identifying information is not released to the public, the media, or the campus community.  In some cases, a general campus crime alert may be distributed to the campus community if a potential threat to others exists.  In such a case, the university will protect the identity of the Complainant.  Family members of students who report sexual misconduct are not notified without the consent of the student. However, parents or guardians of a student found responsible for sexual misconduct may be notified as part of the student’s sanctions.

Will the university adjudicate even if I don't want to?

In most sexual assault cases, Complainants are given control over whether the university proceeds with an investigation.  It is the university’s responsibility to make information about our campus process as understandable as possible and to provide contact information for off-campus resources.  It is the Complainant’s right to decide what action, if any, to take.  The staff may re-visit a report if an alleged perpetrator is named in a subsequent report or complaint.  At that time the complainant from the prior situation may wish to reconsider his/her original decision.  Again, University Police is required to advise the Solicitor’s/Prosecutor’s office and SLED of reported sexual assaults.  There may be occasion (i.e. repeat offender on campus or other potential threat to the university community) when the university and/or the Solicitor’s office proceeds with an investigation regardless of whether the complainant wants to participate.

What is the difference between regretted sex and sexual assault (Non-consensual Sexual Contact or Non-consensual Sexual Penetration)?

Regretted sex stems from an act that was voluntary and consensual, but that in hindsight, a participant would have preferred hadn’t occurred.  An assault involves force, incapacitation or a lack of effective consent.

If I am assaulted, how can I prove it if there were no witnesses?

The university is committed to supporting students who come forward with a complaint. The process is designed to collect as much relevant information as is available, to consider the statements of the parties involved, and render a fair and thoughtful decision.  Sexual misconduct cases are extremely private and the details are often embarrassing for both parties. The Hearing Board strives to ask questions related to whether or not consent was given to determine if consent was offered.  The standard of evidence for sexual misconduct cases is a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

If I am accused, how can I adequately defend myself?

The university is committed to managing a process that is fair to both the Complainant and the Respondent. The Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will notify you of the allegations involving you and will schedule a meeting to explain the process, connect you with resources and answer any questions you have. You are encouraged to bring a support person with you to any meetings. You should preserve any evidence you have, including photographs and text messages, and provide this evidence to the Title IX Coordinator or to any investigators assigned to investigate the report. The university’s process is designed to collect as much relevant information as is available, to consider the statements of the parties involved and render a fair and thoughtful decision. The fact you have been accused of Sexual Misconduct does not mean that you have been found responsible for a Sexual Misconduct Policy violation. It means that an investigation has been started and that you will be expected to participate in a fact-finding process to help the university determine what, if anything, happened. Under Furman’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, you are considered not responsible unless and until one of the following occurs: 1) you accept responsibility for the alleged conduct; or 2) the university determines by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that you are responsible.

Will my sexual history be brought up?

The non-pertinent prior sexual history of the parties will not be admitted in a sexual misconduct hearing.  In addition, the Hearing Board generally does not accept statements on sexual history unless the party introduces information about his or her own history and/or the information is relevant as determined by Furman’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

What if the complainant was drinking alcohol and is under 21?

The university considers the reporting and adjudicating of sexual misconduct cases to be of paramount importance.  Under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the university will extend amnesty to Complainants, Third‐Party Reporters, witnesses, and those assisting a potential victim of Non-consensual Sexual Contact or Non-consensual Sexual Penetration from punitive sanctioning for illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol when evidence of such use is discovered in the course of a Sexual Misconduct report or investigation or while individuals are assisting a potential victim.

How much of what happened the day or night of the incident will be reviewed?

Generally, the Hearing Board will try to determine what information is relevant to the case at hand.  The interaction between parties before and after the alleged assault will be considered if it will help the Hearing Board reach an informed decision.

Don't the hearing decisions come down to "He said, she said"?

Generally, there are no witnesses to an alleged sexual assault.  The Hearing Board will determine, to the best of its ability, whether or not force was involved, whether the Complainant was incapacitated and whether the activity was consensual.  The standard of evidence for the sexual misconduct process is a preponderance of the evidence, which means the Hearing Board determines whether it is more likely than not that sexual misconduct occurred.

 

What are potential sanctions for sexual misconduct?

Sanctions for a finding of responsibility depend upon the nature and gravity of the misconduct, any record of prior discipline for Sexual Misconduct, or both. Sanctions are intended to end the misconduct and remedy the effects.

Sanctions

Violation Recommended Range of Sanctions for Students Recommended Range of Sanctions for Employees
Sexual Harassment, Gender-based Harassment parental notification, and/or educational sanctions (such as community service, reflection paper(s), and/or fines), social restrictions, disciplinary probation, expulsion or suspension from campus housing, suspension or expulsion from the university educational sanctions/training, written reprimand, warning/probation, withholding a promotion or pay increase, relocation of office, reassigning employment, terminating employment, temporary suspension without pay, compensation adjustments, changes in conditions of employment
Sexual Exploitation educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, social restrictions, expulsion or suspension from campus housing, suspension or expulsion from the university educational sanctions/training, written reprimand/probation, withholding a promotion or pay increase, relocation of office, reassigning employment, terminating employment, temporary suspension without pay, compensation adjustments, changes in conditions of employment
Non-consensual Sexual Contact and Non-consensual Sexual Penetration* educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, social restrictions, expulsion or suspension from campus housing, suspension or expulsion from the university educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, social restrictions, expulsion or suspension from campus housing, suspension or expulsion from the university educational sanctions/training, withholding a promotion or pay increase, relocation of office, reassigning employment, terminating employment, temporary suspension without pay, compensation adjustments, changes in conditions of employment

*To be clear, the appropriate sanctions for any penetrative sexual assault will include at a minimum a period of separation from the university.