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Disciplinary and Legal Action

Taking action against your assailant takes a great deal of courage. Although the decision to proceed has to be made by you, this does not mean that you have to go through the decision-making process alone. Campus Police and other college officials will provide support for students filing a complaint.

Preserving Evidence

If legal action is a consideration, the following steps should be taken to preserve evidence:

College Judicial Board

Assault Committed by a Student

Sexual assaults or rapes allegedly committed by a Smith College student can be reported and adjudicated by the college Judicial Board.

During a college disciplinary case, the survivor is not required to directly confront the alleged assailant or be physically present during the proceedings, and interim safeguards (such as no contact orders) may be implemented while the disciplinary process is pending. Both parties are informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding. Sanctions arising from a campus disciplinary proceeding alleging a rape (including acquaintance rape) or other sex offense (forcible or nonforcible) include, but are not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the college.

For more information on campus disciplinary proceedings see the College Judicial Board website or the Student Handbook.

Assault Committed by an Employee

Sexual assaults allegedly committed by a Smith College employee will be reviewed under the college's Human Resources disciplinary policies. The college may take disciplinary action to protect the college, regardless of the outcome of any criminal case. Sanctions arising from an employee disciplinary proceeding alleging a rape (including acquaintance rape) or other sex offense (forcible or nonforcible) include but are not limited to termination of employment.

See the Smith College Staff Handbook for more information.

Civil and Criminal Complaints

A student who is the victim of a crime on campus will be given information about off-campus resources and procedures for filing a civil or criminal complaint in a court of law. Students are strongly encouraged to consider and investigate this option.

Victim/Witness Assistance Unit

The Victim/Witness Assistance unit of the Northwestern District Attorney's (D.A.'s) office provides guidance to victims throughout the investigation and complaint process.

The D.A.'s office will provide information about the court process, survivor's rights, restraining orders and social service referrals. They will also facilitate consultation with an attorney to discuss the viability of a case.