Sexual Assault Policy
Tennessee Technological University (TTU) will not tolerate sexual assault. TTU recognizes that all individuals have the right to study, reside, and work in an environment free from sexual assault. Accordingly, TTU prohibits sexual assault as defined by state law. Actions that result in charges of sexual assault under this policy will be subject to University disciplinary action. They may also subject a student to criminal and/or civil liability under state law.
TTU will make every effort to see that the victim is notified of existing on- and -off campus counseling, medical and other student services for victims of sexual assault. TTU will make every effort to see that the victim is notified of his/her options to report the sexual assault to the proper law enforcement authorities, including the TTU Police Department and/or the Cookeville Police Department, and/or to the Dean of Students. Differing levels of confidentiality will exist depending on the choices made by the victim.
- What to do if you have been sexually assaulted.
- Get to a safe place immediately.
- Call someone who can be with you. If you do not want to call a friend or family member to be with you then either call TTU Police, 372-3234, who will contact a campus advocate to be with you or call Genesis House’s Sexual Assault Response Center, 526-5197, or 1-800-707-5197 (24-hour crisis hotline numbers), from outside Cookeville and in the 14 county Upper Cumberland area, who will provide someone who can discuss medical, legal and counseling options. To learn more about Genesis House, visit their website at http://www.genesishouseinc.com .
- Take care to preserve all physical evidence. If possible do not bathe, shower, douche, eat, drink, smoke, urinate, brush your teeth, or change your clothes. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred. If you have changed your clothes, take the clothes you were wearing at the time of the sexual assault to the hospital in a paper bag. (Plastic may destroy evidence). It is important to appropriately preserve evidence for the proof of a criminal offense.
- Seek medical attention. You may have sustained injuries from the attack or contracted a sexually transmitted disease; therefore, the sooner you seek medical attention the better. Student Health Services 372-3320, can provide medical care, but not evidence collection, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, when TTU is in session.
- At any time, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, 528-2541, can provide both medical care and evidence collection. Also, at any time within the first 72 hours, Genesis House’s Sexual Assault Response Center can provide, at no cost, evidence collection. It is important to appropriately preserve evidence for the proof of a criminal offense.
- Seek follow-up counseling. Whether or not you immediately report the assault or prosecute, a trained counselor can help you deal with the emotional trauma of an assault. You may call the University Counseling Center, 372-3331, during office hours, and ask to speak with a counselor. The University Counseling Center will also have information concerning off-campus counseling services that are available for you - sometimes available free of charge.
- Dealing with the aftermath: victim assistance. The Dean of Students can assist any student who is the victim of a sexual assault in notifying law enforcement, in obtaining medical assistance, and in pursuing counseling. If a student requests a change in her/his academic or on-campus living situation, then the University will accomodate the student’s request if those changes are reasonably available.
- What you need to know about reporting the sexual assault. There are several options available to a student who was sexually assaulted by another student. In addition to bringing charges against the perpetrator in criminal or civil court, the victim may also seek recourse through the University disciplinary process. If a student was sexually assaulted by a non-student, the University disciplinary process is not an option. Victims are encouraged to report the sexual assault as a crime and/or as a violation of the TTU Student Conduct Code so the perpetrator can be stopped and to alert the TTU campus community of potential danger.
- University Disciplinary Procedures. Sexual Assault, in addition to being a violation of state law, also is a violation of the TTU Student Conduct Code. If a victim initiates campus disciplinary action, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the following:
- Reporting Responsibility. Internal Audit has reporting responsibility to the Audit Committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents through the Director of System-wide Internal Auditing. This reporting relationship enables them to independently and objectively review matters involving any level of administration at TTU.
- The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a hearing.
- Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary hearing brought alleging a sex offense.
- In order to bring charges of sexual assault against another student, a student must initiate the judicial process by contacting the Dean of Students Office, 372-3237. If the accused student is found guilty of the alleged sexual assault, suspension or expulsion from the University may occur. For more information about the University disciplinary process, please refer to the TTU Student Handbook.
- The Accuser's Rights. During the course of the disciplinary proceeding, the accuser has the following rights:
- To meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the disciplinary process.
- To submit a written account of the alleged incident.
- To be advised of the date, time and location of the disciplinary hearing, and to request rescheduling of the hearing for a good cause.
- To be accompanied by an advisor of the accuser’s choosing, in accordance with TTU’s Disciplinary Guidelines, during the hearing process, although the advisor will not be permitted to speak for the accuser during the hearing.
- To testify as a witness during the hearing.
- To decline to testify, with the knowledge that such action could result in dismissal of the University’s charges for lack of evidence.
- To submit a written impact statement to the hearing panel for consideration during the sanctioning phase of the disciplinary process.
- Criminal/Civil Court. If a life-threatening emergency exists and you are on-campus, call 911, the TTU Police Department will respond to your call. If you are off-campus and call 911, the Cookeville Police Department, or other appropriate agency will respond to your call. By calling the police, you are reporting that a crime was committed against you as well as seeking the protection of the police. A decision to proceed in Civil Court is a personal matter.
- Educational Programs. The University provides the following activities aimed at promoting awareness of sex offenses and aimed at preventing sex offenses:
- Lectures/workshops in the RUC open to all students and employees
- Programs in the Residence Halls
- Programs in the Tech Village Apartments
- Presentations during New Student Orientation
- Discussions in the classroom presented by faculty, staff or administrators
- Presentations to Greek members
- Videotapes available to faculty for classroom presentations
- Articles in the student newspaper
- Resources in the Women’s Center
- Posters on campus bulletin boards
- Safety walks on the campus
- Clothesline Project
CRIMESTOPPERS. To report any criminal activity and remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers, 520-STOP.