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Code of Conduct FAQs

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If I make a report, does it remain confidential?

Your complaint is private, but it is not an anonymous or confidential submission. It will be forwarded to a PSU Management Team consisting of representatives from relevant departments such as the Dean of Student Life, Conduct of Community Standards, Equity and Compliance, Campus Public Safety and others.   

If this group determines that there is a substantial community safety concern, your complaint could be given to law enforcement officials for follow up.  This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the university will provide information to law enforcement authorities.

In addition, the responding student will be provided with a copy of your complaint as part of the Student Conduct Code process.  If your complaint is heard by committee, the members of the Conduct Code Hearing Board will be given a copy of the complaint and all related investigation materials.   

All efforts will be maintain your privacy.  This complaint will be shared with University staff only on a need-to-know basis.  Other students will not have access to your complaint.  The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct will be strictly observed, except insofar as it interferes with the university’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy it not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need‐to‐know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused student may lead to conduct action by the university.

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, the complainant will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, using no names. In some cases, certain university administrators are informed on a confidential basis (President of the University, Dean of Students, Director of Security).

The university also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

Will my parents be told?

In most cases, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the accused, University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent.

However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents.

University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in a health/well-being emergency, or if an accused student has signed the FERPA release of information which allows such communication. The FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) waiver for the Office of the Dean of Students can be found on our website here (pdf). 

Will I have to confront the perpetrator?

Yes. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused has the right to confront the accuser. However, the university does provide options for allowing confrontation without direct contact, including using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.

Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want the University to take disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator by filing a Student Conduct Code Complaint.

No, if you choose to report anonymously via the Anonymous Report Form, which can be found here.  The Anonymous Report Form is not a Student Conduct Code Complaint: the Anonymous Report From is used for statistic purposes only. 

For more information about the reporting options available to you, please contact an advocate at 503-725-5672.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Dean of Student Life, who can explain the university’s procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the university counseling center.

Will I (as a victim) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?

If your student status allows you access to the Center for Student Health and Counseling, you have access to free medical care and counseling.  There are also options for free care in the community.  Contact an advocate for details (24 hrs: 503-235-5333 or on campus: 503-725-5672).

What do I do about legal advice?

Victims of criminal sexual assault are not required to retain a private attorney because criminal legal issues will be handled through a representative from the District Attorney’s office. However, you always have the right to retain an attorney (at your own expense) to fully advise you regarding both your civil and criminal case options.  Talk to an advocate for referrals (24 hrs: 503-235-5333 or on campus: 503-725-5672).

If you are the accused you also have the right to an attorney.  The attorney must be retained at your own expense.  Please see “Conduct Code Process” for more information regarding the role of attorneys in conduct code processes. 

What about changing residence hall rooms?

If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is the university’s policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room.  Other accommodations available to you might include:

  • Assistance from university support staff in completing the relocation;
  • Exam (paper, assignment) rescheduling;
  • Taking an incomplete in a class;
  • Transferring class sections;
  • Withdrawal from school;
  • Alternative course completion options.

What do I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected within 84 hours if you wish to file a police report.  Alternatively, physical evidence can be collected anonymously if you are unsure whether or not you want to file a police report. If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault and you would like evidence to be collected and preserved, you can request a SANE investigation.  There are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (specially trained nurses) at the Center for Student Health and Counseling SANE Program.  Please talk to an Advocate (24 hrs: 503-235-5333 or on campus: 503-725-5672) and visit the SANE Program info site for details about how to access medical care and ensure you are fully aware of all of your options.

Medical care is important even if you do not wish to make a formal criminal complaint.  Wellness exams are available at our Center for Student Health and Counseling

 

Will I get in trouble when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if I was illegally using drugs or alcohol?

No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the university’s response, but whenever possible the university will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the university does not want any of the circumstances (e.g.,drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused student’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing complaints of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

If you believe that you have experienced a non‐consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the university’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the WRC Advocate at 503-725-5672.