Missouri State University-West Plains will not tolerate on its campus or among its members sexual contact without the consent of the other person. The University will neither shield nor intervene in legal proceedings against any member of the University community who is charged with a sexual offense. A sexual offense is a violation of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities as approved by the Board of Governors, April 17, 1998. In response to the seriousness of sexual offenses, the University has adopted specific protocols for dealing with incidents and encourages any member of the community who is a survivor of a sexual offense to report it to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services, Lybyer 207, (417-255-7225), or email Vice Chancellor of Student Services
If you are Sexually Assaulted
- Go to a safe place
- Tell Someone If you are the survivor of a sexual offense at Missouri State University-West Plains, you are strongly encouraged to immediately contact a close friend or family member who will listen, assist you in making decisions, and be with you through whatever actions you choose to take. A Student Life staff member or resident assistant can assist you in getting the help that you need. Other campus sources for support is the Coordinator of Student Life and Development, Putnam 115, 417-255-7233. You may call the Missouri Crisis Access Response Systems (MOCARS) 1-800-256-5395, which offers crisis intervention, victim counseling, and court advocacy services at no charge to victims of sexual assault. All of these resources will assist you in calling the police, insure that your identity remains confidential, suggest options for you to consider, and respect your right to make decisions regarding those options.
- Obtain a medical examination Go to a hospital and tell emergency personnel that you have been sexually assaulted. Take the clothes that you were wearing when assaulted and a set of clean clothes. Do not shower, bathe, or douche before you go to the hospital. Receiving medical care immediately following a sexual offense is extremely important for the survivor's well being. The examination will include the collection of evidence that will be important if you should decide to participate in the prosecution of the offender. For the physical evidence to be useful, the medical/legal exam must be obtained within 48 hours of the assault. If the survivor pursues this course of action, the West Plains Police must be contacted. An Advocate from the Missouri Victim Center can be present during the exam to offer you support and answer your questions. There is no charge for the examination if a police report of the sexual offense has been filed. Having the exam is not a decision to prosecute, but this action keeps the option possible. In a follow-up to the exam, you may wish to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy.
- Notify the West Plains Police Department If you are on campus, call the Dean of Student Services (255-7225) or the Coordinator of Student Life and Development (255-7233). If you are off campus, call the West Plains Police Department directly, 256-2244 or 911. You are encouraged to contact the police to report the assault. A report to the police will be strictly confidential and does not obligate you to take any further action. Reporting the assault to the police is not a decision to participate in the prosecution of the assailant. Your report may, however, aid in the apprehension of your assailant and protection of you and others in the future. You need not give your name or the name of your assailant and your name should not be released to the press.
- Notify the Dean of Student Services If the assault has been reported to a member of the Student Life and Development staff or another official of Missouri State University-WP who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, a report will be made to the Dean of Student Services and the survivor will be contacted concerning available campus and community services. If the assault has been reported to a campus physician or mental health professional, that person will request your permission to report the assault to the Dean of Student Services.
Information and options available through the Coordinator of Student Life and Development
- Counseling Services Missouri State University-West Plains, through a cooperative agreement with Ozarks Medical Center, can refer you to qualified therapists who can talk with students about sexual offenses and can recommend the best course of action.
- No Contact Directive The Dean of Student Services or Coordinator of Student Life and Development can, at the request of a student, issue a no contact directive to another student or students. The directive does not represent a judgment by the Dean that a violation has occurred. Rather, the directive instructs both parties not to have any contact with each other, directly or indirectly, while the directive is in force. Either party who violates the directive may be charged with violations of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, including failure to comply with the directions of a University official.
- Change in Academic and/or Living Situation The survivor’s academic schedule and/or living situation can be changed, when such options are reasonably available, through a request to the Dean. Such arrangements may be desirable when the survivor and the alleged assailant both are enrolled in the same class or reside in the same residence hall.
- Filing a Judicial Complaint If your assailant is a student, you are encouraged to see the Coordinator of Student Life and Development (255-7233) and to consider disciplinary action through the campus judicial system. University disciplinary proceedings are not dependent on whether or not you have reported the offense to the police or agreed to participate in criminal prosecution. When you file a judicial complaint, you will name the alleged assailant, provide a concise description of the alleged violations and a summary of evidence, and list any witnesses who can provide information concerning the alleged violation. The Coordinator may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and, if the complaint proceeds, will provide a letter of disciplinary charges to the accused. If the accused pleads responsible to the disciplinary charges and accepts the proposed disciplinary sanctions, the Coordinator may resolve the charges and impose sanction. If the accused pleads not responsible, a hearing date will be set and both parties will be notified of date, time, and location of the hearing. For a complete description of judicial policies and procedures, see the Code of Rights and Responsibilities
- Rights of Accuser and Accused within the Hearing Process Both parties have the following rights within the disciplinary process:
- To receive assistance from the Office of Student Life and Development in understanding the hearing process.
- To be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be present at the hearing, but may not speak or directly actively participate in the hearing.
- To have the opportunity to present witnesses and to refute any testimony presented at a hearing.
- To be notified of the outcome of a student disciplinary proceeding.
Sexual Offenses and Sanctions
(from the Missouri State University-West Plains Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities)
4. 19 Sexual offenses specifically include, but are not limited to, the following acts with another person which occur without the consent (see 10.5) of the other person:
- Forcible Sexual Offense: The involvement in any sexual act with another person, without the consent of the other person, in which there is force which overcomes reasonable resistance, or the threat of force, expressed or implied, or the use of duress or deception. The recommended minimum sanction shall be expulsion.
- Non-forcible Sexual Offense: The involvement in any sexual act with another person, without the consent of the other person, particularly when the other person is incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, mental deficiency, or other disability. The recommended minimum sanction shall be suspension for one year.
- Non-consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional touching of the genitals or anus of any person, or the breast of any female person. The recommended minimum sanction shall be suspension for one semester (a summer semester does not satisfy this requirement).
- Sexual Related Offenses: Behavior that is sexually motivated, including but not limited to indecent exposure and voyeurism. The recommended minimum sanction shall be Denial of Privilege to Enroll for a minimum of one semester (a summer semester does not satisfy this requirement). In addition, before readmission will be granted, the individual must submit a psychiatric evaluation, which clearly demonstrates that s/he is not a danger to her/himself or others.
- Sexual Harassment: Interaction of a sexual nature between people, which results in sex discrimination (for a more complete description, consult the definition of Sexual Harassment listed on the "All Students" web page). The recommended minimum sanction shall be Disciplinary Probation for one semester. (a summer semester does not satisfy this requirement) In addition, other sanctions may be applied, as needed; e.g. moving from one residence hall to another or a required change of academic schedule.
10. 4 The term "consent" is defined in the following manner: consent or lack of consent may be expressed or implied. Acquiescence does not necessarily constitute consent. Further, consent cannot be construed if:
- It is given by a person who is legally incompetent to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense and such incompetence is manifest or known to the actor; or
- It is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or
- It is induced by force, duress, or deception.
The Campus Sexual Offense Victims' Bill of Rights (Ramstad Bill)
Under the provisions of the bill, sexual offense victims have the following rights:
- To have sexual offenses treated with seriousness, and the right as victims to be treated with dignity.
- To have all sexual offenses investigated and adjudicated by civil and criminal authorities.
- To receive prompt assistance from campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities.
- To be free from any kind of pressure from campus personnel about whether they should report crimes to the police.
- To be free from the suggestion that victims should not report, or should under-report, crimes because they were "responsible" for crimes against them, showed contributory negligence, or would receive unwanted personal publicity.
- To have the same right to legal assistance as the accused, and the right to be notified of the outcome of such proceedings.
- To full and prompt cooperation from campus personnel in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence necessary to prove the sexual offense in subsequent legal proceedings.
- To be made aware of federal and state laws and regulations dealing with mandatory testing of suspects for communicable diseases.
- To establish contact with mental health counseling services, at the institution and elsewhere.
- To require that campus personnel prevent any contact with the alleged assailants, including relocation to alternative housing and transfer of classes if requested by the victims.
- To a "habitable" environment in campus housing.
The University has implemented education programs to promote the awareness of sexual offenses. For information regarding the availability of these programs, contact the Dean of Student Services, Looney 103B, (417-255-7225) and Coordinator of Student Life and Development, Putnam 115, (417-255-7233). The procedures for on-campus disciplinary action for violation of the University policy with regard to sexual offenses are included in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.