Information for Faculty and Staff: Sexual Misconduct

W&L's Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy prohibits:

  • Sexual Harassment: unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression when the unwelcome conduct is either (1) an implicit or explicit term or condition of an individual's employment, or (2) severe or pervasive such that it creates a hostile work or academic environment.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual penetration: vaginal or anal penetration with a body part or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact, without consent.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: intentional, non-accidental touching of the intimate parts of another without consent.
  • Sexual Exploitation: taking advantage of the sexuality of another beyond the bounds of consent for any non-legitimate purpose (e.g., non-consensual streaming of images, photography, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity).
  • Domestic and Dating Violence: any act of violence or threatened act of violence against someone in a dating relationship or committed by a current/former spouse or intimate partner.
  • Stalking: a course of conduct that puts a reasonable person in fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or causes one to suffer substantial emotional distress.
  • Retaliation: includes any act of retaliation against anyone who reported prohibited conduct, assisted in the resolution of a report, or engaged in bystander intervention of sexual misconduct.

For more information, see the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy at go.wlu.edu/OGC/SexualMisconductPolicy, or email Lauren Kozak at kozakl@wlu.edu.

If a student discloses sexual misconduct to you:

  1. Listen with empathy. Listening is the single most important thing you can do. Let the complainant know that he or she is not to blame. Remember, you are not an investigator; you are someone the complainant trusts. You can say something like:
    • "I'm sorry that this has happened to you."
    • "Thank you for telling me."
    • "This is not your fault."
  2. Share available support resources. You are not expected to be an expert on sexual misconduct. However, you can direct the complainant to people who can provide support. Avoid telling the complainant what he or she "should" or "must" do.
    • "When you are ready, there is help available."
    • "There are many resources available to you."
      1. Medical Care
        1. Student Health Center: (540) 458-8401
        2. Carilion Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital: (540) 458-3300
        3. Augusta Health (Fishersville): (540) 332-4423
      2. Confidential Counseling Resources: Confidential resources can help individuals work through complex feelings and can help guide the individual through the various campus resolution and law enforcement options.
        1. Student Counseling: (540) 458-8590
        2. Project Horizon: (540) 463-2594
        3. Employee Assistance Program: (800) 992-1931
      3. Local Law Enforcement: Encourage reporting of conduct that is a crime under Virginia law to local law enforcement.
        1. Lexington Police Department: (540) 462-3705
        2. Rockbridge County Sheriff's Office: (540) 463-7328
  3. Report prohibited conduct. If W&L knows or reasonably should know about sexual misconduct, W&L must end the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. With the exception of counseling and student health, all employees are expected to report any observed or known sexual misconduct. Because you may not promise confidentiality, you should make sure that the complainant understands your reporting obligation:
    • "I will keep this private and will share only with those that need to know. However, you need to be aware that I cannot keep this completely confidential. If you would like to speak with someone confidentially, there are resources available. The Title IX Coordinator will follow up with you and make sure that you are aware of the resources and options available to you. Absent certain circumstances, the decision of how to proceed will belong to you."
    • Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Kozak, kozakl@wlu.edu or (540) 458-4055
    • Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment, Mary Main, mmain@wlu.edu, (540) 458-8250

NOTE: W&L addresses discrimination, harassment, and retaliation NOT involving sex or gender in its Policy on Prohibited Discrimination Harassment, and Retaliation Other than Sex.