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Smith College Sexual Assault Policy

The Smith College Sexual Assault Policy was created to provide appropriate services and support to survivors of sexual assault. This policy works in conjunction with educational programs designed to increase student awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. Educational programs are sponsored throughout the year by Smith College Health Services, student affairs office, residence life staff, and various student groups.

Reporting an Assault

The college encourages a student to report a situation in which she believes a sexual assault occurred in order to ensure that appropriate support and resources are provided. It is also important that a sexual assault survivor consider contacting Campus Police immediately (before showering, washing clothing, etc.) so as to preserve evidence for the proof of a criminal offense. Any information regarding a sexual assault on or off the Smith campus can be reported to the Department of Campus Police, College Health Services, or the dean of students. Once an incident is reported, the survivor generally determines who is notified. Campus Police will gather information that does not identify the survivor, but which must be reported through the Jeanne Clery Act (sometimes known as the Campus Security Act). Massachusetts law limits the disclosure and dissemination of the identity of survivors of violent sexual crimes.

Types of Support Available

Medical Services are provided by both College Health Services and Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Health Services provides medical evaluation, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and emergency contraception. At the request of the survivor, Health Services can coordinate with Campus Police to provide transportation to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Smith College Health Services provides coverage from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. When Health Services is closed, on-call personnel are available to coordinate services for a student who has been sexually assaulted.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital provides sexual assault exams, including collection of forensic evidence, clinical evaluation, assessment, and treatment of injuries. Cooley Dickinson Hospital is open twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year.

Counseling Services are provided by the Smith College Counseling Services staff. They provide counseling for crisis and healing, as well as referral to agencies off campus, when applicable. Counseling Services is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. When Health Services and Counseling Services are closed, on-call personnel are available to coordinate services for a student who has been sexually assaulted.

Community services utilized by the campus community include:

Campus Police provides professionally trained officers, including several state-certified sexual assault investigators. Campus Police will assess the situation to provide a safe space for the survivor, arrange for emergency housing when necessary, arrange for a hearing on emergency restraining orders, issue trespass notices against alleged perpetrators, and offer medical and counseling referrals. In addition, survivors may access other ongoing safety options, such as security escorts provided by Campus Police, the change of phone number and privacy restrictions (including restriction of computer and directory information). Campus Police will also attempt to respond to special requests and needs as appropriate. When the survivor decides to file a criminal complaint, Campus Police will conduct an investigation and/or work with appropriate legal authorities including the Hampshire District Attorney’s Office and the Victim/Witness Office.

Change in academic and living situations may occur upon request by the survivor, if those changes are reasonably available.

Disciplinary Procedures for complaints regarding violation of provisions of conduct by Smith College students should be directed to the dean of students and will be processed in accordance with the College Judicial Board procedures. More complete information concerning the judicial process, rights of the student who is the subject of the complaint, rights of the student bringing forward the complaint, and possible sanctions can be found in the Code of Student Conduct section of this handbook. In the case of an alleged sexual assault, the student bringing the complaint forward has the right to be notified about the outcome of the judicial hearing and any sanctions imposed. There is no established time frame for filing a complaint; however survivors are urged to file a complaint as soon as possible.

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