Addressing Sexual Assault

October 29, 2021

Dear USC community,

Sexual assault is a serious problem at university campuses across the country, and it is a problem at USC. When it happens, the entire university is impacted. We share in the anger at this violence and compassion for those who are harmed. It strikes at the heart of the community and the care we owe each other.

If a sexual assault occurs at USC, a critical service we provide is the confidential advocacy and counseling through Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention Services (RSVP). It allows for individuals who have experienced harm or who have seen harm committed to seek confidential support and assistance. RSVP counselors support the students who contact them, including helping them make formal reports if that is desired. Absent exceptional circumstances, information shared with RSVP remains confidential and is not elevated.

In late September, RSVP received between five to seven confidential disclosures of possible drugging and possible sexual assault at a fraternity and took the exceptional step of sharing that information more broadly. We now know that there was a troubling delay in acting on this information, and specifically in evaluating it for notification to the community. This has highlighted for me the gray area in our processes when reports come into RSVP, and the challenge of marrying a highly confidential support service, which may have limited details, with the need to inform and warn the community.

As president, I came to USC with the promise to confront what is wrong and lead the effort to fix what is broken. As we learn more, there will be some things we can do quickly and others that will take more time. This is too important to not get right.

To provide the latest information on what we know, we’ve tried to answer the questions we’ve been asked and have prepared the FAQs below. They also describe how we currently prevent and respond to sexual assaults and explain our legal and privacy obligations. There are many pieces in this complicated situation, and we urge you to read these FAQs. We will be updating them in response to new information and questions.

Finally, if there are questions we have not yet addressed, please let us know by reaching out to QandA@usc.edu. Keeping you informed is also part of my promise to you.

 

Sincerely,

Carol L. Folt
President

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on December 6, 2021

 

UNDERLYING FACTS

The Timely Warning-Crime Alert that the university issued on October 20, 2021 was connected to two separate sets of events involving the same fraternity house. To understand the underlying facts and timeline, it is helpful to address those sets of events separately.

During a period from September 25, 2021 through September 30, 2021, students disclosed to USC’s Relationship and Sexual Assault Violence Prevention Services (RSVP) program, a counseling and advocacy service in USC Student Health, that between five to seven students may have experienced drugging and possible sexual assault in connection with a fraternity party.

RSVP is a completely confidential counseling resource available to survivors to help them access support resources, navigate crisis, and guide them on how to formally report an incident if they choose to do so. Without the confidential services of RSVP, many individuals might not feel comfortable getting the support and referral information they need. The university is committed to protecting their confidentiality and required by law not to share the information outside of Student Health. For that reason, absent exceptional circumstances, information from RSVP is not shared with USC’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX).

On September 30, 2021, based on the nature of the concerns, RSVP made an exceptional decision to share a general summary of the information, while still maintaining the confidentiality of the individuals, with DPS, Student Health, Student Affairs, and the office of Campus Wellbeing and Crisis Intervention. We are still investigating what occurred next, but there was clearly uncertainty regarding how to assess and process the information, and it was not immediately escalated to the Clery Office or others. Instead, the groups that received the RSVP information shared the report with the EEO-TIX Office and began working to determine how to proceed. A meeting was subsequently scheduled for Monday, October 18, 2021.

On Saturday, October 16, 2021, a student reported to DPS that she had been sexually assaulted by an individual member of the same fraternity. Both DPS and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) immediately responded. The university provided all available information to LAPD, which has complete jurisdiction over criminal investigations of sexual assaults on campus. The university’s EEO-TIX Office also initiated an investigation into this matter under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, which is ongoing.

By Wednesday, October 20, the Clery Office had received information about both the October 16 report, as well as the summary of information shared by RSVP. Because the information in each source involved the same fraternity, the university issued a Timely Warning-Crime Alert that included both sets of information on the evening of October 20 and encouraged people to share additional information.

We recognize that it was upsetting to receive this information late in the evening, but once we determined that it raised serious and ongoing concerns about campus safety, we wanted to get the information to our community. We are examining how to better convey information like this in the future.

On the same day as the October 20 timely warning, the university placed the fraternity in question on interim suspension. The following day, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) voted to voluntarily cease social activities at all IFC fraternities, and the university issued a directive suspending all social activities at IFC fraternities until further notice. Students and fraternities who fail to comply with this directive will face disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Code.

On October 22, 2021, President Folt and Monique Allard, acting vice president for student affairs, sent a community-wide letter providing additional information about the October 20 timely warning, explaining that investigations were underway, and again encouraging people to share additional information and report.

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, we issued another safety notification because we received additional reports of sexual assault, as well as additional reports of drugging or drugs being placed into drinks without consent, including some at additional fraternity houses this fall, as well as conduct from previous years. As additional information comes to light, we will investigate it.

 

REPORTING SEXUAL ASSAULT

To file a formal report, there are several options including:

  • Students may make a report to USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX. If a formal complaint is filed, a trained investigator will conduct a prompt, thorough, fair, and impartial investigation on whether the alleged conduct violates the university’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation. Both parties are provided an equal opportunity to participate, including presenting witnesses and evidence, and are offered supportive measures. This is not a criminal investigation and resulting sanctions are limited to measures within the university’s authority, up to and including suspension and expulsion. If you wish to report any incident of sexual misconduct, you can contact EEO-TIX directly at eeotix@usc.edu or (213) 740-5086 or go to https://eeotix.usc.edu/report/.
  • The Office of Professionalism and Ethics (OPE) maintains the University’s central reporting hotline, called the Help & Hotline. The Help & Hotline allows reporting parties to file anonymous or self-identified concerns either online through the report.usc.edu web portal or via our 24/7 hotline at (213) 740-2500.
  • Department of Public SafetyLos Angeles Police Department are where students may file a file a criminal report (LAPD has jurisdiction over sexual abuse cases) for investigation by law enforcement. Based on the evidence, the LAPD may refer a case to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911. For non-immediate reports, call the USC Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000 for the University Park Campus (UPC); (323) 442-1000 for the Health Sciences Campus (HSC); or (213) 485-6571 for the LAPD Southwest Division.

To seek confidential support – which will not be shared publicly with EEO-TIX or law enforcement – you can refer to a full list of USC and external resources available to students, staff, and faculty at this link. These confidential resources are in place to help survivors seek support and to provide information about formal reporting options.

As has been mentioned, one such program that is important to many survivors is RSVP, a counseling and mental health services unit within USC Student Health. It provides a confidential advocate team for 24/7 response in situations of gender- and power-based harm (including sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking). RSVP can assist with academic and other accommodations even if an individual chooses not to report.

The RSVP program has expanded rapidly over the past four years, tripling in size and adding a 24/7 victim advocate program in January 2020. RSVP has also hired dedicated RSVP violence prevention staff to provide training, outreach, and the required campus prevention education modules.

The term “rape kit,” is commonly used to refer to a Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART), Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE), or a Forensic Exam. SART/Forensic Exams are performed at designated SART centers within the community. These centers are staffed with specially trained, trauma-informed forensic nurses who are able to collect and preserve any evidence available from the incident and provide medical care. In Los Angeles County, SART/SARC (Sexual Assault Response Teams/Centers) are required by law to operate in conjunction with a licensed general acute care hospital, a licensed basic emergency department or a hospital sponsored program clinic that has met specific requirements approved by the County of Los Angeles to receive patients who are victims of sexual assault/abuse.  Services at SART Centers are confidential and can be anonymous. There is no cost when anyone accesses SART Center services.

While USC Student Health can offer testing for sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STI/STD) or birth control, including Plan B, it cannot conduct forensic exams. USC Student Health provides follow-up care at no cost to survivors.

If you are considering a SART/Forensic Exam, please contact a confidential Advocate through RSVP who can help you explore your options, arrange transportation and go with you to an exam, if desired — Survivors can also include support persons of choice. Advocates are available 24/7 by calling 213-740-9355 (WELL).

Testing should be done as soon as possible as these drugs leave the system very quickly. Testing for illegal drugging (such as Rohypnol, ketamine, and GHB) is recommended to be completed as part of a report to law enforcement. Students who believe they may have been drugged should contact DPS.

Another option available to you is to arrange for collection of samples through Student Health. Your Advocate will contact Student Health medical services for consultation with a physician. You will be able to discuss the options, limitations, and potential benefits of drug testing. As non-consensual drugging is a crime, medical providers are required to report information to law enforcement. More information is available here.

USC previously had a contract with a third- party vendor that offered anonymous reporting options for such reports. That contract ended in early August 2020. Generally, vendors that offer these external anonymous reporting options have some significant limitations. Most importantly, our prior experience was that there was very low utilization by USC students, which made it difficult to recognize important patterns and trends regarding sexual misconduct on campus to meaningfully inform outreach, education, and response. These external services also are not familiar with the Title IX policy and resolution process of the student’s university. In addition, these services do not alleviate the burden on reporting parties, as some students may suspect, to file a report with their university, as the third-party vendor does not make reports on behalf of students; rather, students still are required to make these reports themselves to their universities. To address the concerns about a lack of anonymous reporting options, USC has strengthened its internal anonymous and confidential reporting options this past year.

USC carefully reviews all reports, including those received anonymously, through a reporting instrument that allows USC to identify trends, offer support and reporting options, and match reports about the same individual, organization, or location (which is a key marketed feature of the external services) in order to take prompt and appropriate action. By reporting anonymously through USC, as opposed to through external services, a survivor not only can report anonymously if they choose, but the information they share is also better positioned to inform campus support and response and, as previously noted, to allow for timely connection to other cases and reports and identification of trends and patterns for the university to promptly address.

In addition to the above, in the past year, the university has implemented the Initial Assessment Triage Team (IATT), a multidisciplinary committee that meets twice weekly, to ensure frequent and immediate communication about reported concerns, including anonymous reports of sexual and gender-based harassment—including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and other forms of misconduct. Significantly, the IATT was designed to assist EEO-TIX with conducting effective initial assessment and intake processes, including: consultation with need-to-know University officials to assess where to refer the report; an individualized analysis of safety and risk to determine whether an individual’s presence in the University’s programs or activities poses an immediate health or safety risk that may justify emergency removal or administrative leave; consultation with the University’s threat assessment team as necessary and appropriate; evaluation for relevant evidence of a pattern or other similar conduct by the Respondent; assessment of risk factors to determine whether the VP for EEO-TIX and Title IX Coordinator would file a Formal Complaint on behalf of any individual; identification of necessary interim protective measures and/or supportive measures; Clery assessment; and consideration of the Reporting Party’s preferences for the manner of resolution.

USC’s Anonymous Reporting Option

The University’s Help & Hotline anonymous reporting portal allows students, staff, faculty and others to report serious concerns or violations of university policy, perceived or known, that impact the campus community.  The Help & Hotline is supported by a third-party company that allows reports of misconduct to be submitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and also allows anonymous reporting, if desired, or the reporter can identify themselves.  Reports may be submitted two ways – either through the web form portal or by speaking with a representative. Once a report has been completed, it is immediately provided to the Office of Professionalism and Ethics (“OPE”) for timely review and triage.

Allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation that are related to protected characteristics (e.g., race, sex, gender, religion, disability, veteran status, etc.)—including reports of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct—are encouraged to be reported directly to the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity & Title IX (“EEO-TIX”), which is the USC office responsible for responding to all such reported concerns, at eeotix@usc.edu. However, should individuals prefer to report anonymously or through the Help & Hotline, they may do so. OPE will share any reports of protected characteristic-related discrimination, harassment, or retaliation (including sexual assault, etc.) received through the Help & Hotline with EEO-TIX in a timely manner. EEO-TIX then creates a record of the reported information, in the event subsequent similar reports are made about the same person or organization through the Help & Hotline or directly to EEO-TIX.

To submit a report anonymously, the portal requires only a description of the concern so the University can assess appropriate next steps. As previously noted, EEO-TIX, OPE, and other campus partners use the information provided through the portal to detect trends and patterns of behavior.  Once a report is submitted, a unique report number is generated that gives reporting parties the ability to log back into the website portal at any time to provide additional information, check on the status of their report, or to review any response or outreach correspondence from OPE. For protected characteristic reports, such as sexual assault or other forms of misconduct, EEO-TIX will provide OPE with information to share in response to the report, and the portal is designed to permit OPE to communicate information in response to the reporting party, whether they submitted anonymously or not.  While there is no requirement to respond to outreach, a reporting party may choose to do so at any time, either anonymously or not.  This unique and incredibly important feature allows for two-way dialogue between OPE and the reporting party without requiring the reporting party to disclose their identity.  Furthermore, the website utilizes the latest in 128-bit encryption technology.  No data mining or off-site web hosting is used. It is important to note that the university’s ability to respond may be limited when reports are anonymous.

More information about EEO-TIX can be found at: https://eeotix.usc.edu/

More information about OPE and reporting options can be found at: report.usc.edu

The direct link to the web-based portal that allows for anonymous reporting:

https://app.mycompliancereport.com/report?cid=uosc

The phone number for the Help & Hotline, which also allows for anonymous reporting: 213-740-2500

 

NOTIFICATIONS TO COMMUNITY

There are different types of alerts that the university may send, depending on the circumstances. These include Emergency Notifications about significant emergencies that pose an immediate threat to our community’s health and safety, Timely Warnings and Crime Alerts about crimes that represent serious or continuing threats to our community, and Community Safety Advisories that advise our community about important but non-urgent incidents. Many of these alerts are made through TrojansAlert, a notification system that uses text messages and emails to communicate with students, staff, faculty, and any other individuals registered with the TrojansAlert system. The university’s Policy and Procedures for Issuance of University Alerts is part of its Clery Act Policy.

Students, faculty, and staff are automatically registered for TrojansAlerts. Other members of the USC community, including parents and regular visitors to campus, may sign up for TrojansAlerts.

Timely Warning-Crime Alerts are distributed via email to all current students, faculty, and staff. There is currently no option for others to opt into these notifications.

Some notification messages, known as Timely Warning-Crime Alerts, are required by the Clery Act, a federal law, and must contain specific information related to the reported crime, as well as safety tips and resources for crime prevention.

The university understands and is committed to communication with its community beyond the Clery notifications it is legally bound to share. USC will continue to keep its community informed with follow-up communication, like the President’s message which was distributed to the community on October 22.

The perpetrator is the only person responsible for the abusive and/or criminal conduct. The use of alcohol or other drugs to incapacitate and disarm another individual is both a crime and a violation of university policy.

Recognizing that some members of our community may need immediate access to information, USC includes alerts, precautions, resources, and/or preventive measures in its notifications, as required by law, so that all members of our university community can take steps to potentially reduce the possibility of experiencing a crime.

While we seek to find balanced and neutral language that integrates the need to comply with our regulatory requirements and provide the information our campus community needs to be safe, we understand that it will not be universally received in the way it is intended. We continue to look at ways to improve the language in these alerts and welcome feedback from campus community members.

All allegations of crime reported to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) are included in our published Daily Crime Log. Each report received is analyzed to determine if the information received represents a serious or ongoing threat. If the report provides information indicating that a serious or ongoing threat exists, DPS distributes a crime alert to the university community.

The information included in the Daily Crime Log matches the information that was reported to the university. Because fraternities change houses from time to time, the university decided it would be more precise to provide the physical addresses of locations reported.

 

PROCESS & CONSEQUENCES

Perpetrators can face a range of consequences from the university or the justice system. Both law enforcement and EEO-TIX require an investigation and fair and impartial due process before criminal charges or disciplinary actions can be imposed.

While an investigation is pending, the university has the ability to remove someone on an emergency basis from campus if the reported conduct and context meet certain criteria. The removal is tied to analysis of safety and risk for the campus, not a finding of responsibility. By law, the university cannot discuss details of events or incidents that are under investigation by law enforcement or EEO-TIX.

Upon the completion of a university investigation, students found culpable by the university face a range of penalties, up to and including suspension and expulsion. Perpetrators may face additional sanction if they are charged with a crime – a decision that rests with the LAPD and L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. In some cases, the investigative process may not yield the answers or resolutions that may be desired.

The university has reported all known information about these matters to the LAPD and is cooperating fully with their investigations.

While an investigation is pending, the university has the ability to remove someone from campus on an emergency basis if the reported conduct and context meet certain criteria, as described in detail in question 12. As specific reports are received naming alleged perpetrators, either by law enforcement, EEO-TIX or our reporting portal, the university will evaluate those reports and take appropriate steps, including the potential suspension of an individual or individuals on an emergency basis should the circumstances warrant it.

It depends on the nature of the allegations being investigated.

If they are found not responsible by EEO-TIX for violations of the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, the reporting party(ies) may file an appeal. If the fraternity prevails on appeal, any interim protective measures would be removed, and the fraternity would be returned to good standing.

If the fraternity is found not responsible by USC Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS) for violations of the Student Conduct Code, any interim protective measures would be removed, and the fraternity would be returned to good standing. Reporting parties do not have appeal rights in the SJACS process.

Please note that EEO-TIX investigations include both the Policy and the Student Conduct Code violations. As such, they could appeal findings for both. If no parties participate, and EEO-TIX does not have sufficient information under its Policy, the office possibly could dismiss and refer the Student Conduct Code issues back to SJACS for review.

Even if an interim protective measure is released, no Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities will be permitted to conduct social activities until the IFC-wide restriction issued by the Acting Vice President for Student Affairs is released.

 

TRAINING & SAFETY

We require sexual violence prevention training at the start of every term for incoming students. Building a culture of consent is a fundamental step in eliminating sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and gender-based harm in our campus communities.

Every member of our USC student community is expected to understand that clearly obtaining consent in relationships and intimate encounters is the norm. Respect for others, including respect for self-identified genders, and sexual respect and acknowledging boundaries, is how Trojans treat each other.

Prevention programming is primarily provided by USC Student Health in an integrated partnership with other campus offices, including USC Student Health’s Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) and Office of Health Promotion Strategy. The Office of EEO-TIXHuman Resources, the Athletics DepartmentFraternity and Sorority Leadership DevelopmentOffice for Residential Education, and the Department of Public Safety also provide educational and awareness programming for students, staff, and faculty.

Overseen by our EEO-TIX office, all incoming and transfer undergraduate and graduate students complete the Sexual Assault Prevention module, as part of orientation. The covered topics included: what constitutes sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking; and how to report instances of sexual harassment.

RSVP also provides required Prevention Education Modules (PEMs), a three-tiered curriculum aimed at reducing campus sexual violence, creating a culture of consent and support for survivors, and increasing the likelihood of upstander intervention. Modules are 120 minutes and offered in person and via Zoom.

The university is in regular contact with students residing in this area. DPS has increased patrols in the neighborhood to help secure the safety of residents. Students who continue to feel unsafe residing in this neighborhood should contact DPS, the Office for Threat Assessment and Management, the Office of Campus Support and Intervention (CSI) and/or EEO-TIX.

In addition, we have advised the property owners and landlords (IFC housing corporations) to work with USC’s Office of CSI to identify temporary, emergency housing for students who request it.

The university is also strongly encouraging the housing corporations to accommodate requests from students who wish to terminate their leases before the end of the semester.

There is no one drug used when it comes to the spiking of drinks. Benzodiazepines (such as Rohypnol, Ambien, or other sleeping medications), Ketamine, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) are common. Ecstasy (MDMA) is also associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault. The drugs can be in a pill, powder, or liquid form. Users should be aware which specific drugs are being tested in any testing strips. Testing strips also vary in their sensitivity or ability to detect a drug if it is present. Testing may create a false sense of security (false negatives). A negative test does not mean that a drink is safe to drink. 

An update to the Trojans Respect Consent curriculum is already under way. We review all of our training programs regularly, keeping in mind best practices and the evolving needs of our students.

Trojans Respect Consent is managed by USC Student Health and is required for all first-year undergraduate students. The 90-minute workshop centers on practicing how to engage in conversations about sexual activity with other students and defining affirmative consent.

An RSVP Advocate can arrange free Lyft transportation and accompany you to a SART center for an exam and additional immediate (gender- and power-based harm) care services (i.e. court accompaniments, restraining order hearings, EEO-TIX hearings, etc.).

USC administrators felt it was important to share information about the recent reports of sexual assault and druggings, but heard from a variety of students that this topic could be challenging to discuss in a public format. The webinar format the university assembled allowed students to participate anonymously, and many attending students indeed selected this option. The webinar was recorded and is available for viewing by students, faculty, and staff here.

 

ACADEMIC SUPPORT

USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski has asked faculty to work out appropriate modifications that enable students’ coursework to be completed. For undergraduates, this includes:

  • Pass/No Pass: As we did the last two semesters, the university will reinstate this grading option for Fall 2021. Undergraduate students will have until December 3, the last day of classes, to select this option;
  • Incompletes: As of Monday, October 25, undergraduate students may request an Incomplete from their faculty in a course, rather than waiting until after Week 12;
  • Withdrawal: As we did the last two semesters, the university will extend the Withdrawal deadline until December 3, the last day of classes;
  • USC Academic Advisor Connect: Students are likely already speaking with their academic advisor about their academic options for the Fall semester and registration for Spring 2022. If students feel that they need additional support with advisement, advocacy, or help navigating institutional resources, USC Academic Advisor Connect is a new triage service ready to assist. Advisors are available to help students understand the academic options and institutional resource offerings available to them. The university encourages students to work with an advisor to evaluate those options that might work best in their specific circumstance. In more complex scenarios, advisors are able to advocate on a student’s behalf with other campus partners. Visit USC Academic Advisor Connect for FAQs and further information.

 

PAUSE ON FRATERNITY ACTIVITIES

Since the university issued a Timely Warning-Crime Alert on Wednesday, October 20, additional reports of sexual assault and/or drugs being placed into drinks without consent were received. The new reports involve a range of conduct from this fall and from previous years at additional fraternity houses, as well as at an unknown location.

The university has a responsibility to safeguard its community. After the Interfraternity Council (IFC) voluntarily voted to pause social activities, the university issued a formal directive to “cease all official and unofficial chapter activities, including but not limited to social, recruitment, initiation, service, and travel activities” indefinitely.

At the time the university received additional reports of sexual assault and/or drugs being placed into drinks without consent at additional fraternity houses, the suspension of social activities for all fraternities already had been issued, which is the equivalent of the interim suspension. Students and fraternities who fail to comply with this directive face disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Code.

Yes. IFC fraternity houses are not owned by the university, and students have private leases with each IFC fraternity’s housing corporation. The IFC housing corporations are not owned or controlled by USC.

The university has permanently banned or delisted fraternities in the past, and will do so again if warranted. At this stage, however, the university’s primary focus is to investigate these incidents fully and to ensure students, including reporting parties and individual and organizational respondents – as well as our entire campus community – have access to the resources they need during this difficult time.

 

COMMITMENT TO CHANGE

Over the past three years, USC has engaged in multi-disciplinary and university-wide efforts to transform its Human Resources, compliance, and Title IX programs, incorporate lessons learned, and drive change through a commitment to care, culture and compliance. The university has also continued to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), producing data and information to OCR as required under the February 2020 Resolution Agreement. Despite the practical and fiscal challenges that have resulted from the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has remained steadfast in its efforts to transform campus culture to prioritize integrity; excellence; diversity, equity, and inclusion; well-being; open communication; and accountability. The university’s efforts to rebuild trust and live its institutional mission are available on the university’s Commitment to Change: Continuous Efforts to Enhance University Responses webpage.

 

LEGAL PROCESS AND CONSEQUENCES

The university is committed to open communication and accountability. However, student privacy and campus safety laws impose strict limitations on what information can be shared publicly concerning student conduct matters. State and federal laws require certain protections be provided to students accused of wrongdoing and the university abides by those principles. We will not expel a student or disband a fraternity without a fair and equitable process, nor provide lists of students who are members of organizations.

Students and student organizations found responsible individually or as groups for violations of the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, or for violations of the Student Conduct Code, face disciplinary sanctions up to and including suspension, expulsion, and (in the case of student organizations) derecognition and permanent ban. The university will not circumvent these processes.

While we are aligned with our entire community in our zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, we are equally resolute about the need to respect the integrity of campus and criminal law enforcement processes. Both the law and university policy prohibit retaliation, intimidation, threats, and violence. More fundamentally, our unifying values and principles of community demand that we treat one another with respect.