The Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility had 26 total cases of sexual misconduct, stalking and relationship violence processed from about 200 complaints in 2017-18.
However, the agenda for Board of Trustees shows an increase of 15.3 percent in a total of 22 cases from 2016-17 when compared to 2017-18. The 22 total cases decreased when compared to the total 30 cases for 2015-16.
While multiple charges may be associated with the cases, zero people accepted responsibility for their actions in 2017-18. The charges are: sexual exploitation, sexual harassment by hostile environment, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.
“When students allege non consensual sexual intercourse by default that means that somebody also had nonconsensual sexual contact,” Martha Compton, director of community standards, said. “Contact within an erogenous zone without permission; intercourse is penetration.”
When a student alleges nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact is also usually charged with it. But if a student alleges nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual intercourse may or may not be charged.
Other charges that go hand in hand are dating violence or sexual harassment with stalking, and sexual harassment by hostile environment are charged when a student’s academic education is threatened, Compton said.
No findings on any charge was sanctioned for 15 cases that went to hearing, which was due to lack of information present during investigation. And, four of the people were suspended and an additional four were expelled in 2017-18 out of 26 total cases.
“The information evidence that the investigators gathered and hearing officers were able to consider, did not tip the scales enough to say that a violation occurred,” Compton said. “Then what this means is that for four of them, there was a finding. The person was found in violation and suspended. For four of them, the person was found in violation and was expelled.”
Interim director and Title IX Coordinator Kerri Griffin of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance said the reason for only 26 cases compared to roughly 200 complaints is that most of the complaints filed by survivors or third-party people does not violate the policy.
For an example, Griffin said the University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance cannot charge a student if another student said they were stared at since it does not violate the policy.
“We have pretty specific definitions in our policy,” Griffin said. “That wouldn’t rise to the level of policy violation so we wouldn’t move that into investigation.”
Griffin said sometimes complainants do not want to be part of the process and thus opt-out or refuse to meet.