Sexual misconduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Hastings College. Accordingly, Hastings College urges an individual to make a formal report if that individual is the victim of sexual misconduct, has knowledge of another person being the victim of sexual misconduct, or believes in good faith that he/she has witnessed a possible warning sign of sexual misconduct. A report of sexual misconduct will be dealt with promptly. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
All members of the College’s community are subject to this policy, including but not limited to students, faculty, administrators, trustees, staff, coaches and independent contractors, as well as others who participate in College programs and activities. The policy applies to College programs and activities both on and off-campus including overseas programs.
Violators will be subject to disciplinary action that may include termination, expulsion, suspension, removal from campus, cancellation of contract, other appropriate institutional sanctions or any other means necessary to address the behavior. Prosecution by civil authorities may also occur. Additionally, because the College takes sexual misconduct offenses seriously, those who make malicious and purposeful false accusations will be subject to College sanctions and discipline.
This policy defines sexual misconduct as the threat or the commission of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another such as inducing fear, shame, or mental suffering. Sexual misconduct includes unwanted sexual acts or actions, whether by an acquaintance, a person in the position of authority, or a stranger that occurs without consent of both individuals or under threat or coercion. Sexual misconduct can occur either forcibly and/or against a person’s will, or when a person is incapable of giving consent. Silence does not constitute consent. The victim of sexual misconduct may be anyone, including but not limited to, adults, adolescents, minors, the developmentally disabled, and vulnerable individuals regardless of age.
Sexual misconduct may include, but is not limited to, rape, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, sexual assault with an object, sexual battery, forcible fondling, and threat of sexual assault.
This policy does not address acts of sexual harassment which is also considered sexual misconduct, but is dealt with in a separate policy.
This policy defines background checks as, but not limited to, the following:
- A search for sex-related offenses in an individual’s counties of residence for the past seven years;
- A search of the state registry of sex offenders; and
- A database search for criminal activity in the individual’s states of residence for the past seven years.
This policy defines Key Students as those students who are in practica involving protected persons or the medical field, student teachers, students working with protected persons and resident assistants.
Camp Counselors and Program Leaders
This policy defines Camp Counselors and Program Leaders as those students, faculty, staff and volunteers who in the course and scope of their employment or service to Hastings College conduct activities at or on behalf of Hastings College and come in contact with protected persons.
This policy defines Protected Persons to include minors, developmentally disabled individuals regardless of age and vulnerable individuals regardless of age. Vulnerable individuals include those who are mentally incapacitated, whether temporarily or permanently, for any cause including but not limited to intoxication, drugs, or mental incompetence. Sexual misconduct with respect to a protected person includes the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the protected person or the perpetrator.
Sexual misconduct with respect to a protected person includes the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the protected person or the perpetrator.
This policy defines minors as those individuals who have not yet reached the age of majority and are not enrolled as students at Hastings College.
|Confidentiality of Information|
Hastings College will make every effort reasonably possible to preserve the privacy of an individual who makes a report under this policy and to protect the confidentiality of the information reported. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon the Hastings College's legal duty to respond to the information reported and the professional role of the person being consulted. The professional being consulted should make these limits clear before the disclosure of any facts.
As required by law, all disclosures to any Hastings College employee of an on-campus act of sexual misconduct are tabulated for statistical purposes without personal identifying information. The College must report annually the number of occurrences on-campus of forcible sex offenses (forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling) and non-forcible offenses (incest and statutory rape (the statutory age of consent in Nebraska is 17)). Further information regarding disclosure can be found in Section VII. B.
|Education and Prevention|
Hastings College provides resources for education about and prevention of sexual misconduct. Members of Hastings College community are urged to take advantage of the following on-campus prevention and educational resources:
- The Director of the Health Center;
- CARE (Campus Acquaintance Rape Educators) – a peer education group on campus, advised by the Director of the Health Center;
- The Hastings College Counseling Center and the Director of Counseling Services.
- Hastings College performs pre-employment background checks on all new employees as a condition of employment.
- Hastings College performs background checks on adjunct faculty as soon as possible after they have been appointed and before they commence working.
- Background checks are not required on current employees with the exception of those employees changing positions. For current employees changing positions, including those filling interim positions, a background check is only required when the new position increases the impact of the perceptible risk factor (contact with protected persons). If an employee experiences a position change within the same or greater perceptible risk factor, a new background check needs to be conducted if it has been five or more years since their last background check.
- Hastings College performs background checks on all key students, camp counselors and program leaders prior to performing the duties or participating in the activity qualifying them for this requirement.
Sexual misconduct often takes place when there is a power imbalance. A sound sexual misconduct prevention training program prioritizes awareness directly tied to prevention, along with strategies for a proactive response once a warning sign emerges.
Sexual misconduct prevention training is required for members of the Hastings College campus community according to the following schedule:
- New faculty and staff, within six months of hire;
- All faculty and staff, who come in contact with protected persons – biennially;
- All faculty and staff who do not come in contact with protected persons – biennially;
- Key students, camp counselors and program leaders prior to performing the duties or participating in the qualifying activity.
|Options Following an Act of Sexual Misconduct|
A member of Hastings College's community who is the victim of sexual misconduct, has knowledge of another person being the victim of sexual misconduct, or believes in good faith that he/she has witnessed a possible warning sign of sexual misconduct as defined by this policy is urged to make a formal report to the police and/or the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs (or in that person’s absence, the Vice President for Student Affairs). During weekends or when college administrative offices are closed, to Hastings College Public Safety (402) 984-8064 or (402) 461-7334.
Whether or not the individual makes a formal report, all victims of sexual misconduct are urged to seek appropriate help, which may include a medical evaluation and obtaining information, support, and counseling, either on or off campus. Victims should use the resources listed in this policy to assist them in accessing the full range of services available.
A person who is the victim of sexual misconduct is urged to seek appropriate medical evaluation as promptly as possible.
- For life-threatening conditions, call 911.
- The Hastings College Health Center, (402) 461-7372.
- Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. Staff are trained to work with and support victims of sexual misconduct. SANE-Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are on staff at the hospital emergency room to collect evidence and provide it to the police.
If the victim goes to the hospital emergency room, they should be aware that by Nebraska law the emergency room staff are required to notify the police of any wound or injury of violence. If the victim is age 18 or under, parents must also be notified.
Medical-Legal Evidence Collection
A person who is the victim of sexual misconduct (particularly rape, forcible oral copulation, or sodomy) is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence. Collection of evidence entails interaction with police and a police report. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. The victim should take a change of clothing to the hospital emergency room or the clothes worn at the time of the assault need to be taken in a brown paper bag.
- Medical-legal evidence can be collected at the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital Emergency Room.
Obtaining Information, Support, and Counseling
Whether or not one makes a formal report, a person who is the victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to obtain information, counseling, and support. Counselors at a variety of agencies, both on and off campus, can help a person decide what steps to take, such as seeking medical attention, preserving evidence, obtaining counseling, or filing a report with authorities.
Information, support and advice are available for anyone who wishes to discuss issues related to sexual misconduct, whether or not an act of sexual misconduct has actually occurred, and whether or not the person seeking information has been assaulted, accused of an act of sexual misconduct, or is a third-party.
The degree to which confidentiality can be protected depends upon whether Hastings College has a legal duty to respond to the allegations and the professional role of the person consulted. The scope of confidentiality should be addressed by that professional person before specific facts are disclosed.
- The Hastings College Health Center and the Director of the Health Center;
- CARE (Campus Acquaintance Rape Educators) – a peer education group on campus, advised by the Director of the Health Center (402) 461-7372);
- The Hastings College Counseling Center and the Director of Counseling Service (402) 461-7424.
- The Spouse Abuse Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Hastings
- Office: 220 South Burlington Avenue, Hastings, (402) 462-5810;
- Confidential 24-hour Hotline, (402) 463-4677
Formally Reporting An Act of Sexual Misconduct
A person who is the victim of sexual misconduct, has knowledge of another person being the victim of sexual misconduct, or believes in good faith that he/she has witnessed a possible warning sign of sexual misconduct is encouraged to make a formal report to:
- The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, (402) 461-7700 or in that person’s absence, the Vice President for Student Affairs, (402) 461-7394; the Student Affairs Office is located in the Hurley-McDonald Building on the first floor; and/or
- The Hastings Police Department (911) or (402) 461-2364;
- During weekends or when college administrative offices are closed, to Hastings College Public Safety (402) 984-8064 or (402) 461-7334 Remember that a survivor is encouraged to seek immediate medical attention and to contact the police
Whether or not a witness or victim elects to report an act of sexual misconduct or the warning signs of sexual misconduct to the police, he or she is urged to make a formal report directly to
- The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, (402) 461-7700 or in that person’s absence, the Vice President for Student Affairs, (402) 461-7394. The Student Affairs Office is located in the Hurley-McDonald Building on the first floor.
Hastings College has a board-approved policy and procedures in place for the confidential reporting by faculty, staff, and students of ethics related issues such as sexual misconduct, which includes:
- Making a report directly to The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, (402) 461-7700 or in that person’s absence, the Vice President for Student Affairs, (402) 461-7394. The Student Affairs Office are located in the Hurley-McDonald Building on the first floor;
- By calling the Campus Conduct Hotline (866) 943-5787. Confidential reports may be made to this hotline. The hotline routes the confidential complaints to the appropriate campus officer.
All reported alleged incidents of sexual misconduct will be reviewed and investigated if necessary. If the evidence supports the allegation, the appropriate Hastings College judicial procedures will be initiated. For proven violations, possible sanctions may include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, removal from campus, cancellation of contract and/or termination. Other members of Hastings College's community who are not subject to an explicit judicial procedure, upon a finding of a violation, shall be subject to adverse actions such as removal from campus, cancellation of contract or any other means necessary to address the behavior.
Hastings College prohibits retaliation against any individual who in good faith reports an incident of sexual misconduct or the possible witnessing of the warning signs of sexual misconduct. Hastings College also prohibits retaliation against any individual who cooperates with an investigation regarding any matter covered by this policy.
Improper Conduct During an Investigation
Any member of Hastings College's community who provides knowingly false information or who refuses to cooperate in an investigation related to this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, suspension, termination, removal from campus, cancellation of contract or any other means necessary to address the behavior.
All requests from the media, the campus community at large or the general public, for information concerning an alleged incident of sexual misconduct should be directed to The Hastings College Office of Marketing and Communications (402) 461-7327. Failure to comply with this requirement may be subject to possible sanctions including, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, removal from campus, cancellation of contract and/or termination.
Public Notification of Incidents
As required by law, Hastings College collects and annually reports statistical information concerning sexual misconduct occurring within its jurisdiction. To promote public safety, Hastings College also alerts the campus community to incidents and trends of immediate concern.
Files on Sexual Misconduct Incidents
All reports of sexual misconduct, including a copy of the report and a written summary of the College’s response will be given to the College President. A copy of these files will also be maintained in the Student Affairs Office.
|Helpful Telephone Numbers|
- Emergency: 911
- Campus Public Safety: cell (402) 984-8064 or radio (402) 461-7334
- Student Affairs Office (402) 461-7305
- Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Ron Chesbrough: (402) 461-7394
- Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Joan McCarthy: (402) 461-7700
- Director of Health Center, Beth Littrell: (402) 461-7372
- Chaplain, Dr. David McCarthy: (402) 461-7397
- Director of Counseling Services, Jon Loetterle: (402) 461-7424
- Hastings Family Planning (for STD screening and referrals): (402) 463-5687
- Mary Lanning Hospital Emergency Department: (402) 461-5186
- Spouse Abuse/Sexual Assault Crisis Center Hotline, Hastings: (402) 463-4677
- Crisis Center, Grand Island: (308) 381-0555
- Hastings Police Administration: (402) 461-2380 or (402) 461-2364