Statement on Sexual Assault
UNC Asheville recognizes the importance of assisting students who are victims of sexual assault in regaining a sense of their personal dignity and control of their lives, and by providing guidance relative to future decisions. Sexual offenses, and concern about potential offenses, obstruct the working and learning conditions which are valued and desired aspects of a university environment. The psychological damage created by a sexual assault continues long after the physical trauma has ended. No form of sexual offense will be tolerated or condoned at UNC Asheville.
It should be noted that excessive use of alcohol and other drugs often precedes many incidents involving a sexual assault. Use of these substances may interfere with one's capacity to either consent to or refuse sexual activity. Use of these substances may also interfere with an individual's judgment regarding sexual aggression. The use of alcohol or other drugs, however, does not diminish personal responsibility for behavior that is socially unacceptable or aggressive. It is for this purpose that several UNC Asheville departments have collaboratively developed policies and procedures for responding to the needs of students who are victims of a sexual assault. Policies can be found in the university's Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy.
The following departments are responsible for responding to victims of sexual assault and for providing the necessary assistance in keeping with department protocol:
- Title IX Office
- University Health & Counseling Center
- Office of Residential Education and Housing Operations
- Citizenship Education Office
- University Police
In addition to offering a range of services for victims of sexual assault, staff members of each department are on hand to inform students about other community assistance programs which complement university services.
What rights do I have?
Any person who is a complainant in a case of sexual assault shall be afforded all rights as outlined in the Student Code of Community Standards and Citizenship Education Process, plus the following rights specific to sexual assault cases:
- The right to be assisted by an advisor, advocate or support person of their choice, at their own expense (if a fee is charged), throughout the entire Citizenship Education process, including investigation, informal disposition of the case, hearings and appeals. The advisor, advocate or support person may not speak in any proceeding or part of the process. They may only speak in private to the victim.
- The right to have their name or other personally identifiable information withheld (by the University), from release to the public, the press or others who are not directly involved in the case.
- The right to be notified of the outcome of any Citizenship Education action in a case of sexual assault subsequent to the notification of the accused.
- The right to request to have his or her living arrangements (if in university housing) modified pending the outcome of a Citizenship Education process if the accused lives close to the victim. (Pending space availability).
- The right to request extra time to make up academic work he or she has missed because of time lost due to the assault, investigation and the hearing. This is done at the discretion of the professor.
- The right, when reasonable and possible, to have his or her classes reassigned so as not to share classes with the accused.
- The right not to have his or her sexual history discussed during the hearing.
- The right to be present for the entire hearing (with the exception of deliberations).
- The right to make a victim impact statement to be presented to the hearing body subsequent to a determination of responsibility for a violation of the Student Code of Community Standards and prior to the determination of a sanction or sanctions.
- The right to give testimony from separate or divided room (or other accommodation which separates the victim from the accused which is approved by the Dean of Students)
The accused person(s) also has rights. These are listed in the UNC Asheville Student Handbook.