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The Westminster College Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights

In compliance with Section 485 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1092(f), as amended by the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act, Public Law 101-542, as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991, Public Law 102-26 (April 9, 1991) and 102-325 (July 23, 1992), and the Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 1991, victims of campus-related sexual assaults shall be accorded the following rights by all Westminster College campus officers, administrators and employees.

A. The right to have any and all sexual assaults against them treated with seriousness, the right to be treated with dignity, and the right for campus organizations that assist such victims to be accorded recognition.

B. The right to have sexual assaults committed against them investigated and adjudicated by the duly constituted authorities of the governmental entity in which the crimes occurred and the right to the full and prompt cooperation and assistance of campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities. The foregoing shall be in addition to any campus disciplinary proceedings.

C. The right to be free from any kind of pressure from campus personnel to: (1) not report crimes committed against them to civil/criminal authorities or to campus law enforcement/disciplinary officials; or (2) report crimes as lesser offenses than the victims perceive them to be.

D. The right to be free from any kind of suggestion that campus sexual assault victims not report, or under-report, crimes because: (1) victims are somehow “responsible” for the commission of crimes against them; (2) victims are contributorily negligent or assumed the risk of being assaulted; or (3) by reporting crimes, the victim would incur unwanted personal publicity.

E. The same right to legal assistance, or ability to have others present, in any campus disciplinary proceeding that the institution affords the referred; and the right to be notified of the outcome of such proceeding.

F. The right to full and prompt cooperation from campus personnel in obtaining, securing, and maintaining such information (including a medical examination) as may be necessary to the proof of criminal sexual assault in subsequent legal proceedings.

G. The right to be made aware of and assisted in exercising any options as provided by State and Federal laws or regulations with regard to mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases and with regard to notification to victims of the results of such testing.

H. The right to counseling from any mental health services previously established by the institution, or by other victim-service entities, or by victims themselves.

I. After campus sexual assaults have been reported, the victims of such crimes shall have the right to require that campus personnel take the necessary steps or actions reasonably feasible to prevent any unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity with alleged assailants, including immediate relocation of the victim to safe and secure alternative housing, and transfer of classes if requested by the victims.

J. In addition to the above rights, students, whether sexual assault victims or not, have a right to habitability in campus accommodations for which the college receives any compensation, direct or indirect. Habitability shall mean an environment free from sexual or physical intimidation, or any other continuing disruptive behavior that is of such a serious nature as would prevent a reasonable person from attaining their educational goals. Substantiated violations of the above listed habitability provisions shall be corrected by campus personnel by relocations, if reasonably possible, of the complainant to an acceptable, safe and secure alternative location as soon as practicable, unless the conditions of nonhabitability demonstrate the necessity of immediate action by campus personnel.