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Reporting Sexual Misconduct to the College

Keene State College has a comprehensive system to assist students who choose to report sexual misconduct or relationship violence. The College strongly encourages individuals impacted by relationship violence or sexual misconduct to report what happened and seek support services. Any person who has experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct or relationship violence, whether on or off campus, can report directly to:

Making a report is not a filing a formal report and does not obligate the reporting party to proceed any further with an internal investigation or criminal charges. All of these College officials will provide the reported information to the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias for follow-up.

Furthermore, it can be difficult for an individual to come forward after such an event, and there are several different options available for Keene State community members who wish to maintain confidentiality while getting the support they need. In these cases, a student may find it helpful to have a conversation with a counselor or medical provider at The Wellness Center or MCVP: Crisis and Prevention Center. These offices can provide a confidential space where KSC community members may obtain support services and explore their options in a confidential manner.

A student can report about instances involving fellow students, non-students, faculty, staff, and individuals not affiliated with the College. Additionally, the Amorous Relationship Policy acknowledges existing hierarchies and power dynamics. For a formal report of sexual misconduct between a faculty or staff member and a student, the institution will, in general, be unsympathetic to a “consent” rationale.

Reporting Process

After reporting an incident of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the student will be connected to either the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias or the Sexual Misconduct and Bias Investigator. These individuals will help the student to understand all of their options, including the option to pursue an investigatory process and/or conduct hearing.

In making the report, the College will:

  • Encourage the student to go to the hospital emergency room or The Wellness Center for medical services and offer to transport and/or accompany the student, if applicable.
  • Connect the student with a confidential counselor at The Wellness Center.
  • Provide resources to speak directly with the on-call, confidential counselor or an advocate from MCVP: Crisis and Prevention Center.
  • Provide support in understanding, evaluating, and choosing among the services described in this policy.
  • Provide the student with a written explanation of student rights.
  • Inform the student of their rights and options including the options of filing a formal report through the student conduct system or a criminal report through the Keene Police Department.

Students should understand that most KSC employees, except for those who maintain a legally recognized confidential relationship as discussed above, are required to report any disclosure about sexual misconduct or relationship violence. This report is made to the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias even when the student requests privacy. The Confidential Support and Help resources listed on the Get Help page are not required to report a disclosure.

Making a Report to Campus Safety

Campus Safety is available 24/7 to take a report and provide support regarding sexual misconduct or relationship violence, regardless of where or when the incident occurred. If desired by the reporting party, Campus Safety will provide a same-sex officer to record the report. The reporting student may have an advisor or advocate with them during any interviews or meetings with College officials.

Keene State College maintains a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Keene Police Department. This memorandum outlines the coordinated process and rights and responsibilities that will be followed if the reporting party wishes to file a concurrent report with the Keene Police Department.

The College may issue a campus alert (without identifying the reporting individual) in situations where the College believes there is an imminent threat posed to the campus community. All actions taken, including the possible release of a timely warning to the community, will be designed to protect the reporting individual’s identity.

Filing a Formal Report

After connecting with the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias and reviewing options, the reporting party may decide to pursue an investigatory and/or conduct process. To initiate this process, they will sign a formal report, along with the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias. This document will allege that one or more violations of this policy was committed by a responding party. It may sometimes be referred to as a “formal complaint.”

Filing a formal report with the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will initiate the investigatory and/or conduct process. The responding party will be contacted and informed of the allegations, along with the reporting party’s name and details of the allegations. The Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will connect with the responding party to explain the investigatory and/or conduct process and will offer individualized support.

The Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will review the formal report to determine whether the allegations fall under the scope of Title IX regulations. In situations listed below, the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will “dismiss” the formal report as a Title IX incident; however, the Institution remains committed to addressing any sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence impacting the College community. If a possible violation of this Policy occurred, an investigation and/or further conduct process may still occur:

  • Misconduct occurred outside the United States.
  • Misconduct occurred outside the College’s education program or activity.
  • Misconduct does not fall within the scope of Title IX

A decision to dismiss a formal report under Title IX may be appealed using the online appeal form. See appeal process below. If a reporting party files a formal report and requests that the College take investigatory or disciplinary action, then their anonymity will not be maintained. After a formal report is filed, the responding party must be contacted and informed about the charges. If the reporting party makes a report, and has not filed a formal report, then the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will weigh the reporting party’s request for anonymity with the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees, including the reporting party.

At times, in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for KSC community members, the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will file a formal report on behalf of the College. If this occurs, then the College may not be able to honor a reporting party’s request for anonymity. In such a case, the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias will inform the reporting party prior to starting an investigation. Furthermore, the College will remain mindful of the reporting party’s well-being and will take ongoing steps to protect them from retaliation or harm.

Employee Reporting Obligations

A ‘Responsible Employee’ is a College employee obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of sexual misconduct, discrimination, and/or retaliation with the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias. At Keene State College, all faculty and staff, except for those who exist in a legally recognized confidential relationship to the reporting party, have a duty to report sexual misconduct or relationship violence. To the extent possible, information reported to the responsible employee will be kept private and will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College’s response to the report. Before a victim/survivor reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure the victim/survivor understands the employee’s reporting obligation and, if they want to maintain confidentiality, direct them to confidential resources.

While Responsible Employees have reporting obligations to the Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias, they are not considered Officials with Authority. The College has determined that the following administrators are Officials with Authority to address and correct sexual misconduct, discrimination, and/or retaliation. The Officials with Authority listed below may also accept notice or reports on behalf of KSC:

  • Program Manager for Title IX, Discrimination, and Bias
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Dean of Students
  • Assistant Dean of Students

Emergency Removal

In some cases, the College may initiate an emergency removal of a responding party to protect the safety of the campus community, which may include contacting local law enforcement. Emergency removals can include removing a person from campus, an education program, and/or a residence hall, among other options. The reporting party and the responding party will receive written notice. The notice will contain: the date the removal is set to begin, the reason for removal, the consequences of non-compliance, and how to appeal the decision.

Emergency removal is not a substitute for reaching a determination of responsibility; it is rather for the purpose of addressing imminent threats posed to any person’s physical health or safety, which may arise from sexual misconduct allegations.

Reporting to Law Enforcement

Victims/survivors of sexual misconduct can always report their experiences to law enforcement, including local police. This option may be helpful if a person plans to pursue a criminal or civil lawsuit. It can also be helpful for obtaining a legal order of protection and/or other forms of legal protection.

If desired, college officials will assist in notifying law enforcement authorities. It is the individual’s choice to make such a report to law enforcement. Keene Police Department (KPD) employs a College Liaison Officer. This Officer responds to calls and reports involving KSC students throughout the academic year and helps facilitate communication between the College and the KPD.

To file a police report, call 9-11 or Dispatch, or go directly to Keene Police Department:

Options for Complaint Resolution Outside the College

Keene State College community members who believe that they are a victim/survivor of discrimination or discriminatory harassment can view the Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy and also may wish file a report with the regional enforcement office for the Office of Civil Rights or the at the following addresses:

Office for Civil Rights: US Department of Education 5 Post Office Square - 8th floor, Boston, Mass 02109-3921 617-289-0111 OCR.Boston@ed.gov.

Contact Sexual Violence Prevention Virtual Resource Center

Megan Grove (she/her)
Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant Director and Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist
megan.grove@keene.edu
603-358-2897
Not a confidential resource