Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Dating and Domestic Violence Resources

Sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and dating and domestic violence, is an affront to human dignity and fundamentally at odds with the values of Averett University. The Averett University community has a responsibility to maintain an environment free from harassment. The University is committed to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. The University is committed to fostering a climate free from sexual misconduct through a clear and effective policy, a coordinated education and prevention program, and prompt and equitable procedures for resolution of complaints that are accessible to all.


A Message from the President

Dear Averett Family,

Our primary goal is for the safety of every member of our Averett Family. Therefore, we have recently strengthened our Student Sexual Misconduct Policy to ensure that safety and security will be felt by everyone. This policy, which is implemented effective immediately, lists sexual misconduct as “sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and retaliation for reporting or cooperating with the investigation into any of these actions.”

This newly strengthened policy is a result of Title IX, a law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in ten different areas of educational programs. While most often thought of as a law for gender equality in athletics, it also covers subjects such as sexual misconduct. Originally established in 1972, Title IX has always been focused on gender equality, even throughout its many amendments over the years.

Because of the many amendments that have been made to Title IX, we at Averett have made our own changes to ensure that the safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance. We desire to create a community of support for survivors, as well as for anyone who reports an act of sexual misconduct. Additionally, we seek to treat those who are accused of committing the act in a fair manner.

The changes that we have made include the following:

  • The creation of two Title IX Co-Coordinators: Kathie Tune, Director of Human Resources, and Lesley Villarose, Dean of Students.
  • The creation of a Title IX task force
  • Trained Title IX advocates
  • Continually working with the entire Averett community for programming and prevention
  • Revision of the aforementioned policy

We urge anyone who has any information regarding sexual misconduct of any kind to report it. For those who wish their complaint to remain confidential, Chaplain Skyler Daniel and Director of Counseling Joan Kahwajy-Anderson should be contacted. For those who do not wish for their report to remain confidential, they can report it to either of the Title IX Co-Coordinators or any Averett faculty or staff members.

Whenever a report is made to anyone other than a confidential resource, the Title IX coordinator, along with a review team will assess the complaint and decide the measures they will take moving forward, which could include an investigation into the reported situation. Such an investigation and any subsequent disciplinary action for those accused of sexual misconduct would be completed fairly, promptly, and without bias.

One possible outcome from an investigation could be a confidential hearing before the Conduct Hearing Board, which could include questioning to gain more information about the situation, and a determination of whether or not the accused person is in violation of the policy.

To support survivors of sexual misconduct, the University may employ certain measures to make them feel safe and secure, including: making academic accommodations, such as a leave of absence, and assignment rescheduling, making changes with work schedules and campus housing and dining, providing an escort while on campus, and establishing a “no contact” order in any form of communication with the accused. Other accommodations may be made on a case-by-case basis, as well.

If certain members of the University community believe that the accused student poses a safety risk to any person or any University property, the accused may be placed in interim suspension, during which time, the accused would be prohibited from all University property.

For more information about Averett’s sexual misconduct policy, Title IX, or to read the official Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, please visit the Campus Security page of the Averett website.

While our policy has been strengthened, we will continue to work and improve upon all policies that we have in place to ensure that our campus and our entire Averett Family is safe, secure, and feels supported at all times.

Sincerely,

tiffany_m_franks
Dr. Tiffany M. Franks
President

Messages to the Community