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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

 Q&A

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding University’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures.

Who do I contact to file a complaint?

For Complaints Involving Students:  Deputy Title IX Coordinators for Student Issues are listed in the Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination, and are designated for the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, College of Health Professions, College of Pharmacy, and the Graduate School.  Students may also contact Odette Woods, Campus Title IX Coordinator at obwoods@uams.edu, or (501) 296-1076; the UAMS campus police department at (501) 686-7777, or the Office of Civil Rights at 1-800-421-3491or ocr@ed.gov

For Complaints Involving Employees:  You may contact your immediate supervisor or department head, or Audrey Bradley, Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Employee Issues at bradleyaudreyy@uams.edu, or (501) 603-1579, Office of Human Resources.   Employees may also contact Odette Woods, Campus Title IX Coordinator at obwoods@uams.edu, or (501) 296-1076; the UAMS campus police department at (501) 686-7777, or the Office of Civil Rights at 1-800-421-3491or ocr@ed.gov

For Complaints Involving Guests/Visitors/Third Parties:  You may contact Audrey Bradley, Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Employee Issues at bradleyaudreyy@uams.edu, or (501) 603-1579, Office of Human Resources.   You may also contact Odette Woods, Campus Title IX Coordinator at obwoods@uams.edu, or (501) 296-1076; the UAMS campus police department at (501) 686-7777, or the Office of Civil Rights at 1-800-421-3491 or ocr@ed.gov

Does information about a complaint remain private?

The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the University’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Because of UAMS’ obligation to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, it is not possible to guarantee that complaints will be handled confidentially.  Where privacy it not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Every possible effort will be made to ensure that any information received as part of UAMS’ resolution and complaint procedures is treated discreetly.  Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused student may lead to disciplinary action by the University.

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. Certain University administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the Chancellor of the university, the Provost, the Director of Public Safety). If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to a Title IX coordinator of the university and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, campus police will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the institution is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

Will my parents be told?

No, not unless you tell them. In cases of sexual misconduct, whether you are the complainant or the accused student, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, [or if an accused student has signed the permission form at registration which allows such communication].

Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the Title IX policy to better understand the university’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different university officials). Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively.

Will the accused person know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused person has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. Because of the inherent difficulty in investigating and resolving allegations from unknown persons, individuals are discouraged from making anonymous complaints.  Although anonymous complaints are discouraged, UAMS will respond reasonably to all allegations.  Retaliation by an accused individual or retaliatory action taken by a third party against any person who files a complaint, testifies, assists, or participates in any manner in an investigation or proceeding involving sexual misconduct is not tolerated at UAMS and should be reported to a Title IX coordinator immediately.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

DO NOT contact the alleged victim or retaliate in any way against the victim. You will be provided a copy of the Title IX Policy and a Statement of Rights which will explain the University’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance.

What about legal advice?

While victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue prosecution because representation will be handled by the local prosecutor, victims may retain counsel at their own expense to assist them with the grievance procedure. Those accused of sexual misconduct may also retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus grievance proceeding.

Will I have to wait until the outcome is determined for the University to act?

No.  If necessary, interim steps to protect the complainant prior to the final outcome of the investigation may also be taken.  These steps may include:

  • Change in work assignments;
  • Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
  • Taking an incomplete in a class;
  • Assistance with transferring class sections;
  • Temporary withdrawal;
  • Assistance with alternative course completion options;
  • Other accommodations for safety as necessary.

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should go to the Hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligate him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise it.

The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, if you want. If you do not recall where you were assaulted but have physical evidence of having been assaulted, you are still encouraged go to the hospital. Do not disturb the crime scene – leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.

Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct conduct complaint?

The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the responsibility of the  accused. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused student or employee.

What if the complaint was false or maliciously filed?

Allegations of sexual misconduct that are malicious, intentionally false and without foundation are very serious.  Such actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action.  However, the failure to substantiate a claim of sexual misconduct does not automatically constitute a malicious or frivolous complaint.