2021-2022 Catalog

Sexual Assault

Sexual assaults, including date or acquaintance rape, are a serious concern to the college and will not be tolerated.  Victims of sexual assaults should get to a safe place, and then seek medical treatment as soon as possible (preferably within 72 hours).  Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation.  Victims shall notify the Campus Security at 828-448-6196, or contact any of the "campus security authorities" for help.  If the assault occurred at a school sponsored activity, Campus Security shall help the victim file a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency.  The filing of a report does not obligate the victim to pursue charges, but does make filing of charges easier at a later date.

To aid the police investigation, victims of sexual assault should take these steps to help preserve evidence:

*Try to preserve all physical evidence.

*Do not shower or bathe before the medical exam.

*Do not change your clothes; but if you do, save all your clothing and give them to the police.

*Do not disturb or alter the crime scene.

*Document any injury you suffered, either by photograph or by showing it to someone you trust.

Options available to sexual assault victims are College support services and/or through the judicial system (criminal and/or civil).  Western Piedmont Community College will assist in pursuing option(s) elected by the victim.  The college and the courts are independent systems; charges may be filed in either or both systems.

Counseling services for sexual assault victims are available both on and off campus.  Security, Human Resources, Advisors, Counselors, and Student Services Personnel may provide counseling or referrals to off-campus resources.  The appropriate county organizations will also be notified.  Additionally, instructional personnel will make every reasonable effort to assist victims of sexual assault by providing options for changing academic conditions whenever possible.

The college responds to all violations of the Student Code of Conduct, including all sex offenses, forcible or non-forcible.  Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during the proceedings, and both parties of any sex offense hearing shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings brought alleging a sex offense.

 Violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in immediate sanctions, including probation or suspension from the college by the President, upon recommendation by a college Vice President, or expulsion from the college by the President, upon recommendation by a college Vice President. Additionally, the college may defer imposition of sanctions pending the outcome of an investigation. Students who wish to appeal any sanction should consult the Student Grievance Procedure as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

 If an assault victim does not wish to pursue action with the college or the judicial system, the victim may make an anonymous report. With the victim’s permission, the college can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing the victim’s identity. This type of anonymous report helps to ensure the future safety of the victim and others. With such information, the college can keep accurate records about the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of assaults with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger.