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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,

Safety — it’s probably the most necessary ingredient in the lives of all of us. It certainly is the most important at Averett. That why our primary goal is the safety of every member of our Averett Family.

We recently strengthened our Student Sexual Misconduct Policy to ensure that safety and security will be felt by everyone. This policy lists sexual misconduct as the following:

  • 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 10 different areas of educational programs. Although most often thought of as a law for gender equality in athletics, Title IX also covers subjects such as sexual misconduct. Originally established in 1972, Title IX has always been focused on gender equality, even throughout many amendments over the years.

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

We urge anyone who has any information regarding sexual misconduct of any kind to report it. Those who wish their complaint to remain confidential should contact Chaplain Skyler Daniel or Director of Counseling Jessie Henderson. Those who do not wish their report to remain confidential can contact either of the Title IX Co-Coordinators or any Averett faculty or staff member.

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 which measures they will take next, 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 then 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.

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 and secure, and feels supported at all times.

Sincerely,

Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, President

Messages to the Community