Sexual Assault Prevention & Response

Title IX @ W&J

Title IX is federal civil rights legislation that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs. Title IX includes protections against sexual misconduct, including:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Dating and Domestic Violence
  • Stalking, and
  • Sexual Exploitation

W&J does not tolerate any form of sexual or relationship violence. W&J’s approach to prevention and response includes three key elements:

  • Preventing sexual and relationship violence and stalking through education and action
  • Providing support for survivors
  • Investigating incidents swiftly and adjudicating them fairly

You can learn more about W&J’s policies and procedures by reading the College-Wide Policy Against Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Other Forms of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking document.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Any member of the W&J community who believes they have witnessed or experienced sexual misconduct is urged to promptly report the matter to the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigators, any member of the faculty or staff, or using the online form.

Anonymous reporting:  In addition to reports to staff, Washington & Jefferson College uses an online reporting system that allows users to make reports anonymously using this online form. It is important to note that while the institution will evaluate all reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment, the institution’s ability to investigate and respond to allegations may be limited depending on the information provided in the report. Individuals are encouraged to review the institution’s policy for investigating reports of sexual violence for more information about procedures and resources. Only the Title IX Coordinator and the Vice President and Dean of Student Life have access to those reports. Information gathered in the online system will be used to begin the resolution process, which may involve a formal investigation.

Filing a Complaint:  Making a report is different than filing a formal complaint. A formal complaint will result in an investigation. The outcome will be a finding of facts. When a complaint is filed, the complainant (person making the complaint) is requesting that the investigative process is invoked and that sanction, as deemed appropriate, are assigned.

Who is required to report potential misconduct?

W&J has ethical, moral and legal responsibilities to follow up on all disclosures of sexual and relationship violence. Reports of violations are requests for investigation and assistance. Any community member may report concerns, but certain employees must report violations of the policy of Title IX. Obligatory reporters cannot keep the information they are given confidential, even if the survivor asks them to do so. Obligatory reporters include:

  • Members of the faculty and staff
  • Vice Presidents and the President
  • Supervisors
  • Student Life employees, except student employees
  • Resident Assistants and LINK mentors

What Happens After a Report is Received by the Title IX Coordinator?

After a report is received, the Title IX Coordinator will begin an intake process that involves gathering basic information and providing interim remedial measures to the survivor. The College will work to offer reasonable remedies and accommodations to survivors, while respecting the rights of all parties involved. Whenever possible, the burden will not fall on the survivor.

Reports are considered private, not confidential, and information about the report is only shared among a very limited Title IX team. Once a report is made, the College’s ability to protect the survivor’s confidentiality is limited by its obligations to take action to prevent further harm to the individual and community. The College will take steps to mitigate and remediate harm even when an anonymous report is made, but its response will be limited based on the available information.

What if I Don’t Want to Make a Report to the College or to Law Enforcement?

Confidential Resources: You can ask a confidential resource not to share any information with anyone else without your permission unless they fear you will harm yourself or someone else is in danger. Confidential resources on campus include:

  • Student Health and Counseling Center(New Residence Hall, Ground Floor): 724-223-6107
  • Student Health Services(New Residence Hall, Ground Floor): 724-223-6047
  • College Chaplain: Pastor Gary Gibson
  • Employee Assistance Program: 877-240-6863

You can receive some types of assistance without making a report. A counselor (Student Health and Counseling Services) can give you more information regarding the following:

  • Advocacy and counseling on and off campus
  • Medical care
  • Forensic evidence collection at a hospital emergency room
  • Restraining order from the courts
  • Information about legal options

I’m an obligatory reporter. How should I respond when someone shares that they or someone they know has experienced sexual misconduct?

The first response a survivor receives can have a long-lasting positive or negative impact on their well-being. As the recipient of a disclosure, your role is to reassure the survivor that they were right to confide in you, get them the resources that can help them, and fulfill your legal reporting obligations. You don’t have to provide advocacy and ongoing emotional support, or find out what “really” happened.

Avoid the following:

  • Responses that convey skepticism or disbelief, as these are the most damaging to survivors
  • Asking questions beyond what is necessary to make a report
  • Telling the survivor that they “have to” do something
  • Making promises about what will happen next

Steps to take:

  • Remind about obligatory reporting: As an obligatory reporter, you cannot keep the information you are given confidential, even if the survivor asks you to do so. When you suspect that someone is going to disclose, gently interrupt to remind them that you are an obligatory reporter. Offer them confidential resources and let them know that you are willing to listen if they wish to continue.
  • Check for safety: Ask the person if they are safe now; if not, call Campus & Public Safety: 724-223-6032. Ask if they need medical assistance; if so, refer them to Student Health and Counseling. If after hours, contact Campus & Public Safety for assistance getting to the hospital. Disclosing sexual or relationship violence can be embarrassing and frightening. There is no need to ask for more details than the person initially gives you about the incident. While you cannot make promises about what will happen next, you can tell the person that you appreciate their trust and given them the resources that can be helpful to them.
  • Refer: When you conclude your conversation, ask if they would like to speak with a counselor or someone in Campus & Public Safety. Give them appropriate phone numbers from the Resource List. Depending on their response, you can offer to call the counseling center for them to make an appointment or walk them over.
  • Report: If the survivor is in danger, or you think the perpetrator may be dangerous to someone else, call Campus & Public Safety as soon as possible. An obligatory report can be made by phone or by email (email is preferable) to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee), the Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students or to Campus & Public Safety.

Campus Support, Assistance and Accommodations

Campus Escort

Campus & Public Safety can arrange for an escort to accompany you to and from class and other activities.

Classes and Coursework

If you share a class with the attacker, the VP of Student Life and Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator may be able to help one of you switch sections or courses. You may also discuss withdrawal from a class. Your adviser can help you get additional tutoring and other academic support, and the Dean of Students office or Student Health and Counseling can send a message to your faculty to alert them that you may be experiencing difficulty. (You will be responsible for asking about making up any missed work). You may be eligible to take incompletes in one or more classes. A Medical Leave of Absence may also be an option for you.

Counseling and Medical Care

Contact the Student Health and Counseling Center for information and services available to you.

Housing

Residence Life can help your secure temporary emergency housing and can work with you on more permanent housing options, should that be desired.

No-Contact Orders

A no-contact order (issued by Student Life or Campus & Public Safety) prohibits the perpetrator from contacting you in a specific way if they are a W&J community member.

Reporting Assistance

Any college faculty, staff member or Resident Assistant can help you report an on campus assault. If you want help reporting to police, getting a forensic examination, or accessing other resources, the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, a member of the Administrator on Call Team and/or the Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students can assist you.

Title IX Investigators Work Scheduling

The Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students and/or the Title IX Coordinator can work with campus employers to minimize the possibility that you and perpetrator with interact.

Training Disclosure

In response to 34 CFR Part 106.45(b)(10) of the 2020 Title IX Regulations that mandates the public sharing of materials used to train school and college Title IX team members, Washington & Jefferson College uses the following vendors:

Contact Us

Title IX Coordinator

Angela Colorito - (724) 223-6878, titleix@washjeff.edu

Title IX Liaison

Eva Chatterjee-Sutton - (724) 223-1360, ecs@washjeff.edu

Title IX Investigators

Jomara Coghlan - (724) 503-1001, Ext. 3007, jcoghlan@washjeff.edu

Dana Shiller - (724) 503-1001, Ext. 5265, dshiller@washjeff.edu

Jill Gregory - (724) 503-1001, Ext.  3059, jgregory@washjeff.edu