Sexual Misconduct Policy
- Sexual Misconduct Policy Definitions
- Resources for Support
- Reporting a Sexual Offense
- KSC Sexual Assault Survivor Services
- How to Help as a Friend or Bystander
- College Conduct Process
- Sexual Assault FAQ’s
Keene State College is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, and staff can work together in an environment free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, violence, and intimidation.
Forcing or coercing someone to have sexual intercourse or engage in other sexual contact, or the threat of such contact, is a violation of an individual’s physical and emotional integrity and is unlawful. Keene State College’s Code of Conduct expressly prohibits, rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual conduct that occurs without the consent of the individual and/or when the individual is unable to give consent.
Sexual Misconduct Policy Definitions
The following are definitions for this college policy and may differ from legal definitions. Sexual offenses may occur along a continuum that includes verbal statements which create a hostile environment through physical acts such as unwanted and/or forced sexual contact. It is impossible for a policy to depict all circumstances of sexual offenses. Thus, a sexual offense at Keene State College includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Coercion- to compel someone into an act by force or threat including intimidation; may include other methods intended to persuade a person into compliance (plying with alcohol or other drugs, threatening one’s reputation, etc.)
Confidential - a communication made between parties who stand in a confidential relation to each other, and therefore privileged in law such as medical staff and counselors.
Consent- voluntary agreement; (should be expressed affirmation)
Incapacitated Sex - sexual contact that occurs when one or both parties are unable to act or respond coherently due to intoxication, illness, physical or mental limitation or disability or any condition that inhibits a person’s ability to actively and affirmatively consent to sexual contact.
Intimate Partner Sexual Assault - sexual assault that occurs within the context of a dating or other intimate relationship.
Rape- sexual intercourse with a person without her or his permission, either by force or threat of force or with someone who is unable to give consent. Sexual intercourse may be vaginal, anal, or oral, and may involve the use of a body part or an object. (NIH definition)
Sexual Assault - the intentional touching of the victim’s sexual or intimate parts, including breasts and buttocks, and the intentional touching of the victim’s clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s sexual or intimate parts. Sexual contact includes only that conduct which can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
Sexual Exploitation - use or utilization of a sexual nature of another person either for profit, to advance one’s own position or power or in an effort to defame or otherwise embarrass another. Exploitation may take the form of slandering another’s reputation regarding sexual activity whether actual or fabricated, recording in any form the sexual activity of another without their knowledge and consent, transmitting such recording of sexual activity via verbal, written or electronic format or any other manner without the knowledge and consent of the participants.
Sexual Harassment - sexual harassment may take the form of unwelcome sexual advances, graffiti, jokes, pranks, slurs, insults, threats, vandalism, assignment of unpleasant duties, or even physical assault which serves to interfere with a person’s work or academic life.
Federal and state laws define harassing behavior as occurring when:
- Such contact has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating a hostile or offensive working or academic environment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual; or
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic work.
Stalking - repeated unwanted attention that would create fear in a reasonable person where the intent is to force him/herself into the life/consciousness of the victim through harassing, threatening or frightening behavior(s).
Behaviors may include: phone calls; electronic communication such as texting, emails, social networking, etc.; letters and notes; surveillance; entering home/apartment; assault.
Resources for Support
A survivor may experience many conflicting emotions in the aftermath of a sexual assault including shock, fear, anger, guilt, shame, or numbness. Each survivor’s response is unique. Often students who have experienced a sexual assault find that their eating, sleeping, exercise, self-care or social patterns have changed, that they are isolating themselves from others, or that they are unable to concentrate on schoolwork. Whether someone chooses to report an assault or not, talking with a counselor or a trusted friend or family member can be very helpful.
24 hours a day.
- Campus Safety: 603-358-2228
- Keene Police: 603-357-9813
- Cheshire Medical Center: 603-354-6600
- Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention: 1-888-511-6287
Unless otherwise noted, available M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Counseling Center: 603-358-2437
- Counselor-on-call: 603.358.2436
- Coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education: 603-358-2437
- Center for Health and Wellness: 603-358-2450
- Dean of Students Office: 603-358-2842
- Student Conduct Office: 603-358-2840
- Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention : 603-352-3782 , Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
- National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (if link does not work, cut and paste the following link into your browser: https://ohl.rainn.org/online/)
Reporting a Sexual Offense
Any person who has been the victim of or witness to a sexual assault whether on or off campus can report directly to the Department of Campus Safety, a Residential Life staff member, any College official or the Keene Police Department. This does not obligate the reporting person to proceed any further with an investigation or criminal charges.
Any person identified as a Campus Security Authority* as defined by the Clery Act who receives information regarding a sexual assault is obligated to share that information with the Director of Campus Safety for the purposes of Clery Act reporting and compliance. This information can be shared without identifying the victim via a “Confidential Report of Sexual Assault” form available from Campus Safety and/or the Dean of Students Office. This does not obligate the reporting person to talk with Campus Safety or to proceed any further with a report or investigation. In most cases, students will be encouraged to talk with Campus Safety so they can be best advised on their options for proceeding with a college and/or police investigation.
*A Campus Security Authority is defined as an individual or organization to which student and employees should report criminal offenses or an official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular isses on behalf of the institution. (U.S. Department of Education, 2011)
The matrix below and the following section on Investigations of reports illustrates the most frequent offices to whom students report, what happens and with whom information is/isn’t shared. Confusion is understandable when words such as “confidential” and “private” are not universally understood.
For the purposes of this policy, “confidential” means that the communication is legally privileged and that the individual the student is reporting to is not obligated to disclose the information to anyone else. Generally, this standard is enjoyed by health professionals including counselors, and legal counsel.
“Private” means that the information will be shared only with those individuals with a need to know and that all necessary precautions will be taken to protect the identity of the victim and/or reporting student.
Options for On Campus Reporting of Sexual Assault, Harassment or Other Sex Crimes
|What will happen?||Counseling Center||Center for Health & Wellness||Campus Safety||Res Life|
|Disclosure of report to others||Confidential||Confidential||Private||Private|
|Campus Safety Investigation||No||No||Case specific||Case specific|
|Keene Police Investigation||No||No||Case specific||Case specific|
|Limited Administrative Notice||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Anonymous Notification to Campus Community||No||No||Case specific||Case specific|
|Medical Exam w/SANE* Nurse (*Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)||No||No||No||No|
Other Options for Reporting Sexual Assault
|What will happen?||Monadnock Ctr for Violence Prevention||Keene Police||Hospital|
|Campus Safety Investigation||No||Case specific||No|
|Keene Police Investigation||No||Case specific||Case specific|
|Limited Administrative Notice||No||Case specific||No|
|Anonymous Alert to Students||No||Case specific||No|
|Medical Exam w/SANE* Nurse (*Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)||No||No||Yes|
Cost for medical and other expenses
When a victim reports a sexual assault and seeks treatment at the hospital, the cost for medical expenses, including the physical examination, will be paid by the State of New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General if the assault is reported to the police. Other expenses related to the assault may also be provided at no cost to the victim through the Victim’s Compensation Program. Specific information on expenses is available through the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention.
Making a report to Campus Safety
Students may file a report of sexual assault with Campus Safety at any time regardless of where or when the incident occurred. A report does not obligate a student to file charges either with the campus conduct office or with the relevant law enforcement agency. Campus Safety will provide a same-sex officer to take the report if desired by the reporting student. The reporting student may have one support person with them during any Campus Safety interviews or conversations.
Reports to Campus Safety of sexual assault (and other crimes and incidents) are noted in the daily log as required by federal law, however no personally identifiable information on the reporting individual is released. Campus Safety will also file an anonymous report of sexual assault with the Keene Police Department (or other department if the incident occurred in another jurisdiction).
In making the report, Campus Safety will:
- Encourage the student to go to the hospital emergency room or the Center for Health and Wellness for medical services and offer to transport and/or accompany the student.
- Provide resources to speak directly with the on-call counselor, an advocate from the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention, or KSC’s Sexual Assault Victim Assistance provider for support in understanding, evaluating, and choosing among the services described in this protocol.
- Inform the student of his/her rights and options including the options of filing charges through the student conduct system and Keene Police
Information shared with Campus Safety is shared with others only on a need to know basis. A campus alert (without identifying the reporting individual) may be issued in cases in which the incident presents a clear danger to the campus community. Any and all actions taken, including the possible release of a warning to the community, will be designed to protect the reporting individual’s identity.
Investigations of reports
In most cases, the reporting individual has the option of deciding whether Campus Safety and/or the Keene Police will investigate the reported assault. An investigation of the incident by Campus Safety would include questioning of all parties involved and gathering property potentially associated with the assault. Campus Safety will make all efforts to maintain the reporting individual’s anonymity during the investigation. The reporting individual’s identity will not be revealed to the press, discussed in Campus Safety radio transmissions that might be monitored or discussed in any public area.
If a reporting individual chooses to pursue a full investigation, he or she will have the option of filing charges when it has been completed. If the individual pursues disciplinary action through the college, the results of the investigation will be released to the coordinator of student conduct, hearing board members, the reporting individual, and the accused individual in compliance with federal law.
If the reporting individual decides to pursue criminal charges the results of the investigation will be released to the appropriate law enforcement agency and County Attorney’s Office (CAO). The appropriate proccecutor will determine whether the case will result in the bringing of criminal charges.
The health and safety of a reporting student is of primary concern. Campus Safety will refer the student to appropriate campus offices for support with the possible changes in living arrangement for safety reasons and help in managing academic demands.
KSC Sexual Assault Survivor Services
Keene State College recognizes that the experience of a sexual assault is a traumatic event and that the recovery process can be difficult. Decisions to seek medical care and/or to pursue charges criminally or institutionally are just two of the many challenges facing a victim/survivor.
Confidential support can be received through:
KSC Counseling Center
3rd Floor Elliot Center
Counselor On Call
Center for Health and Wellness
3rd Floor Elliot Center
Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention
24 hour emergency hotline 1-888-511-MCVP (6287)
*Survivor advocates are available through this service
How to Help as a Friend or Bystander
What to do if someone confides in you?
- Believe them
- Listen without judging
- Use their language to identify what’s happened
- Listen respectfully
- Don’t probe for information
- Do summarize/clarify/paraphrase
- Don’t tell them your own stories
- Help identify other resources and safe people in her/his support network
- Ask what they need to feel safe
- Encourage your friend to seek medical attention and counseling
- Encourage your friend to report the assault if they feel comfortable doing so
What to do if you see a sexual offense happening?
- Think Safety
- Don’t jump into a situation without thought; use your words, not fists
- Get Help
- Ask a friend, RA, RD, or others to help
- Act Together
- Decide together how best to intervene to keep everyone safe
College Conduct Process
The College’s conduct process begins once a report and/or the results of an investigation is received by the Student Conduct Office. The process for notification of charges and hearing board meetings is described in full in the Student Code of Conduct.
Listed below are elements in the conduct process that come into play in the case of an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Upon receipt of a report/investigation results, the Coordinator of Student Conduct will review the materials and determine, based on the behaviors described, what College policies may have been violated. These alleged policy violations will become the charges filed against the accused student(s) when the matter proceeds through the conduct system.
Both the accused student(s) and impacted party may choose an advisor to assist them through the Conduct process. Advisors are limited to current members of the College community (student, staff, or faculty). If concurrent criminal or civil charges have been filed in association with the incident then the student may have their non-College related attorney attend the hearing as a non-participating observer.
When a hearing is scheduled, members of the College community that have first-hand information regarding the alleged incident may be asked to attend the hearing to present information. Non-College related individuals may attend the hearing as a witness; however, it is the obligation of the student who wants them to attend to notify the individual(s) of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Additionally, a student must notify the Student Conduct Office at least 24 hours prior to the hearing if they have requested a non-College related individual(s) to serve as a witness.
The College’s conduct system does not allow expert or character witnesses, or witnesses providing second hand or hearsay information.
- A criminal conviction in and of itself may lead to disciplinary action by the College
- Behaviors which are illegal and in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be handled by both the courts and on campus conduct system
- Certain offenses which may not be considered unlawful or are not pursued in criminal court for other reasons may still be regarded as violations of the Student Code of Conduct
Violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy may result in College suspension or dismissal. In instances where student organizations are involved, these organizations may also have sanctions taken against them, including the rescinding of their institutional recognition.
Students who would like more information regarding either the New Hampshire Sexual Assault Statute or College conduct expectations should review the law and the Student Code of Conduct. They may also contact the Director of Campus Safety, the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students.
Leave of Absence/Withdrawal
An alleged victim who requests a leave of absence or withdrawal from the College does not forfeit his/her right to resolution of the complaint.
Any student charged with sexual misconduct violation(s) of the Code of Conduct who requests a leave of absence or withdrawal from the College prior to a hearing will still incur relevant administrative actions. Depending on the case circumstances, these actions may include but not be limited to:
- The continuation of the conduct process
- Interim suspension, and/or
- Withdrawal with disciplinary case pending
The latter action makes the charged student ineligible to register or attend classes at any USNH institution for as long as the charge remains pending.
Statement of the Rights of the Alleged Victim
- The right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to College administrators;
- The right to be treated with respect by College officials;
- The right not to be discouraged by College officials from reporting an assault to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
- The right to notification of and assistance in options for changing academic and living situations after an alleged sexual assault incident ;
- The right to be present throughout the portions of the hearing during which statements are being presented regarding the incident and to be accompanied by a person of the victim’s choice;
- The right not to have the victim’s past sexual history introduced as part of the testimony unless it is determined by the Coordinator of Student Conduct or his/her designee; that the relevency outweighs the prejudicial effect.
- The right to make a victim-impact statement and to have that statement considered by the board in determining its sanction;
- The right to be informed immediately of the outcome, pending all appeals;
- The right to the appropriate handling of requests for information from the press, concerned students, parents, and the community.
Sexual Assault FAQ’s
What happens when a person who has been engaging in underage drinking reports a sexual assault?
Keene State College’s primary concern is the health and safety of its students. When conducting an investigation of an alleged sexual assault, the College’s focus will be on addressing the sexual assault and not on lesser policy violations that may be discovered or disclosed. The College may, however, provide referrals to counseling or require other educational options.
What happens when the sexual assault happens off-campus? Who do I report this to?
Campus Safety will take any report of a sexual assault, even if the assault occurred off campus. While Keene Police Department has primary jurisdiction, some students may feel a greater sense of comfort reporting to a campus department. If the student does not wish to make a report with KPD, a report that does not identify the victim will be made on the student’s behalf by Campus Safety to notify them that an assault has occurred.
Reporting a Sexual Offense:
What do I do if the sexual assault happened last week? Last month? Last semester? Longer ago?
Report as soon as possible even if some time has passed. While timely reporting increases the likelihood of obtaining more accurate information during an investigation, reporting at any time will ensure that you receive information on available support services. For a victim considering criminal charges, the legal statute of limitations for reporting a sexual assault in New Hampshire is three years from the time of the assault until the time someone is charged.
Resources for Support:
What if I have a relationship with the person who assaulted me?
It is never okay to force, threaten or coerce someone into having sex against his/her will, even if they are in a relationship or are married.
What happens if someone falsely reports a sexual assault?
False reports of sexual assault are extremely rare estimated at less than 2% of all reports. If an allegation of sexual assault moves forward to a student conduct hearing and/or a legal proceeding, and the accused party is found not responsible or not guilty, this does not necessarily mean the assault did not occur, it merely indicates that the burden of proof was not met.