A complainant of sexual misconduct may, but need not, file a criminal complaint with law enforcement officials, file a misconduct report with a Responsible Employee or the Title IX Coordinator, or both. A report may be filed anonymously, although anonymous reports may make it difficult for the university to address the complaint. Any individual who believes that he or she is a victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report allegations of sexual misconduct promptly.

All reports of sexual misconduct alleged to have been committed by a student must be handled consistently with requirements set forth in Appendix B. Section III. Process for Investigating and Resolving Reports of Student Misconduct.

All reports of sexual misconduct alleged to have been committed by a non-student member of the VSU community will be addressed and or resolved through the VSU and Board of Regents’ applicable policies for discipline of non-students.

A. Institutional Reports

Complainants of sexual misconduct who wish to file a report with the University should notify a Responsible Employee or the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs - (229) 333-5463 or email titleix@valdosta.edu. Responsible Employees informed about sexual misconduct allegations involving any student should not attempt to resolve the situation, must notify and report all relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as practicable. Confidential Employees are not bound by this requirement but may, consistent with their ethical and legal obligations, be required to report limited information about incidents without revealing the identities of the individuals involved to the Title IX Coordinator. All members of the VSU community are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct promptly.

VSU has Deputy Title IX Coordinators to whom reports may be made, as well. Complainants are encouraged to report their complaints in writing, though oral complaints will also be accepted, taken seriously, and investigated, to the extent possible. While complaints should be made as quickly as possible following an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, all reports will be accepted regardless of when reported.

The Title IX Coordinator shall refer to the System Director any allegation(s) of sexual misconduct that could, standing alone as reported, lead to the suspension or expulsion of the respondent(s). The System Director will work with the institution to determine whether any interim measure(s) are necessary and to assign an investigator who will work under the direction of the System Director or designee, if directed by System Director. If an allegation is not initially identified as one that would lead to the suspension or expulsion of the respondent(s), but facts arise during the course of the investigation that would require transfer to the System Director, the Title IX Coordinator shall transfer oversight to the System Director or designee. The System Director shall have the discretion to retain oversight or transfer oversight to the institution.

 B.   Law Enforcement Reports

Because sexual misconduct may constitute criminal activity, a complainant also has the option, should he or she so choose, of filing a report with campus or local police, for his or her own protection and that of the surrounding community. The institution may assist the complainant in reporting the incident to law enforcement officials.

Complainants considering filing a report of sexual misconduct with law enforcement should preserve any evidence of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Clothing worn during the incident including undergarments;
  2. Sheets, bedding, and condoms, if used;
  3. Lists of witnesses with contact information;
  4. Text messages, call history, social media posts;
  5. Pictures of injuries;
  6. Videos.

C.   Anonymous Reports

Reports of sexual misconduct can be reported anonymously to University Police (229) 333-7816, or the UPD website at https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/forms/vsu-police-department-silent-watch-form.php. Anonymous reports can also be made via the Student Conduct Incident Report Form located at https://publicdocs.maxient.com/incidentreport.php?ValdostaStateUniv or by contacting the Dean of Students Office at (229) 333-5941, or by contacting the Title IX Coordinator at (229) 333-5463 or titleix@valdosta.edu.

D.   Retaliation

Anyone who, in good faith, reports what he or she believes to be misconduct under this policy, or who participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes that he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating, cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the VSU Title IX Coordinator. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.

E.   False Complaints

Individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to a system or institution official. Any person found to have intentionally submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of this Policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including suspension or expulsion) and adjudicated under the student conduct policy.

F.    Amnesty

Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report sexual misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular individual in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.

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