Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I speak with confidentially?
Counselors at University Health and Counseling Services are the only completely confidential resource on campus.

I had an uncomfortable sexual experience. I am confused about what I experienced and I'm not sure if I want to make a complaint. What should I do?
It may be helpful to seek support at University Health and Counseling Services. There are counselors who can help you process your experience, without ever labeling it for you. Counseling may help you to sort through your confused feelings, more clearly understand your experience, and be able to discuss all the options available to you, so you can make decisions that work for you.

Can I get academic accommodations if this is impacting my ability to do school work?
It is possible to request accommodations. Please speak with the Dean of Students Office in Hyer 200 (262.472.1533) as soon as you think that you would like to request academic accommodations.

Can I change rooms?
Changes in housing accommodations may be available for students and students can work directly with the Residence Life office to secure appropriate housing. Residence Life can be contacted at 262-472-4255.

What are the differences between UW-W's complaint process and the legal process?
There is a difference between UW-W's complaint process and the criminal justice process. UW-W's complaint process is an internal process, which means that it was created for the UW-W community to be utilized for the UW-W community. UW-W students involved in a complaint, whether as a complainant or a respondent will be provided support, assistance and advice from UW-W community members. The investigation will be an internal investigation to determine whether a university policy has been violated.

The legal process, whether it is criminal or civil, is an external process which means that the process is outside the control and authority of UW-W. Anyone who believes that they are a victim of a crime, may take steps to file a criminal complaint with the local authorities.

Complaints may be filed concurrently with both UW-Whitewater and the appropriate police agency and both investigations can proceed at the same time.

What is stalking?
Stalking is a form of sexual harassment and may include persistent attempts to contact a person by phone, electronic communication or regular mail; engaging in unwanted attention towards a person who finds the attention unwelcome, vandalizing the person's property or leaving unwanted items for the person; and/or constantly appearing at the person's classroom, residence, or workplace without permission. A person who feels that they are a victim of stalking may file a complaint under UW-W's policies against Sexual Misconduct.

How common is sexual misconduct at UW - Whitewater?
Unfortunately sexual misconduct occurs at UW-W, and most incidents, whether sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexually inappropriate conduct, go unreported. However, when misconduct is reported, UW-W will respond in a manner appropriate to the report, taking into account the desires of the person(s) reporting. A report prepared for the National Institute of Justice found that about 1 in 5 women are victims of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college. The report also found that approximately 6.1 percent of males were victims of completed or attempted sexual assault during college.

How long after an incident can I file a complaint?
There is no time limit on filing a complaint. However, please keep in mind that witnesses leave and memories fade. If you have questions about this process, please contact the Dean of Students Office in Hyer 200 (262-472-1533).

How long does the complaint process take?
It's really important to us that we complete a thorough investigation. The staff involved will work to assure it is handled in the timeliest manner possible. Complainants, respondents and witnesses may contact the Investigating Officer at any time with questions about the process.

Will the process be similar to a court of law?
No, the process is administrative. When you meet with the Investigating Officer, we can discuss accommodations that will minimize the contact you have to have with the other party, and that will make the process as comfortable as possible.

What are the penalties for sexual misconduct?
If a student is found responsible for a violation of sexual misconduct at UW-W, the consequences vary based on the details of the situation.  No decisions will be made until the conclusion of the investigatory process. In general, if an individual poses a serious danger to the safety of the campus community, strong consideration will be given to removing that person from campus.

I am a parent of a student involved in a complaint process. Who can I contact?
Parents can contact the Dean of Students Office in Hyer 200 (262-472-1533) with questions or concerns about the process.  The University does abide by federal privacy laws that govern student records. While they may not be able to share any information about the complaint, they certainly can share all information about the process. The Dean of Students Office can also provide information to you about support resources available to your student.

What if I was drinking when I was assaulted or harassed?
If you were assaulted, the primary focus is not your alcohol or drug use. Please know that the investigating officer may inquire about your substance use to learn as much about the incident as possible.