Wells College encourages all individuals to make a report to the College and to local law enforcement. Reporting options are not mutually exclusive. Both internal and criminal reports may be pursued simultaneously. Every individual making a report to the College is notified verbally "You have the right to make a report to Campus Safety, Local Law Enforcement, and/or State Police or choose not to report; to report the incident to Wells; to be protected by Wells from retaliation for reporting the incident; and to receive assistance and resources from Wells."
The College is committed to supporting victims and survivors of sexual misconduct and encourages all individuals or third party witnesses to report any incident to the College.
Making a report means telling a designated non-confidential Campus Resource (see above) what happened -- in person, by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication. Once a report is received a trained staff member will "check in" with the Complainant and review medical treatment options, counseling support services, the right for a campus no contact order, reporting options to campus security and local law enforcement, the Wells College Misconduct Policy and Student Bill of Rights, and the possibility of the College taking action should the College believe there is imminent danger to the complainant or the community. At the time a report is made, a Complainant does not need to decide whether to pursue any particular course of action, nor does a Complainant need to know how to label what happened. Choosing to make a report, and deciding how to proceed after making the report, can be a process that unfolds over time. The College provides support that can assist each individual in making these important decisions, and the College will consider the Complainant's wishes in deciding how to proceed. In this process, the College will balance the individual's interest with its obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the College community.
Any individual who reports sexual misconduct and wishes to move forward with an investigation can be assured that the report will be investigated and resolved in a fair and impartial manner. A Complainant, a Respondent and all individuals involved can expect to be treated with dignity and respect. In every report under this policy, the College will make an immediate assessment of any risk of harm to the Complainant or to the broader campus community and will take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps will include interim measures to provide for the safety of the individual and the campus community.
The College encourages all individuals to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement immediately after an incident of sexual misconduct. This is the best option to ensure preservation of evidence and to begin a timely investigative and remedial response. The College will help any Wells community member to get to a safe place and will provide transportation to the hospital, coordination with law enforcement, and information about on- and off-campus resources and options for resolution.
Rape/Crisis Hotline (SAVAR):
24 hours a day, confidential reporting and assistance
17 East Genesee Street, Auburn NY 13021
The College encourages all individuals to report sexual misconduct to:
Kit Van Orman, Director of Human Resources and Business Services
Available on weekdays during regular office hours; 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Jonathan Rowe, COVID-19/Title IX Coordinator
Vanessa Tackman, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Can provide reasonable accommodations for housing, academic flexibility and No Contact Orders. Available on weekdays during regular office hours; 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and on an on-call basis.
John "Beau" Saul, Interim Director of Campus Safety
Available as a first option to report an incident of sexual misconduct. Also provides an escort service on-campus to any student and can reach the on-call professional at any time. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All Wells community members are strongly encouraged to report information regarding any incident of sexual misconduct directly to the Title IX coordinator or a member of the Title IX team. The College cannot take appropriate action unless an incident is reported to the College.
Anonymous Reporting: Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing their name, identifying the Respondent or requesting any action. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. The Anonymous Reporting Form can be found here. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy will receive the anonymous report and will determine any appropriate steps, including individual or community remedies as appropriate, and in consultation with the Director of Campus Safety, compliance with all Clery Act obligations.
Timeliness and Location of Incident: Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual misconduct as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. The College does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. If the Respondent is not a member of the Wells community, the College will still seek to meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, but its ability to take disciplinary action against the Respondent may be limited.
An incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the College. Off-campus conduct that is likely to have a substantial effect on the Complainant’s on-campus life and activities or poses a threat or danger to members of the Wells community may also be addressed under this policy.
Amnesty for Alcohol or Other Drug Use: : The health and safety of every student at Wells College is of utmost importance. Wells recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Wells strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault to Wells officials or law enforcement will not be subject to the Wells code of conduct for violations of the alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or, sexual assault.
Coordination with Law Enforcement: Wells College encourages Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual misconduct that may also be crimes under New York law. The College will assist a Complainant in making a criminal report and cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law. The Cayuga County Sheriff, which can be reached at 315.253.1222 or 911, can assist in filing a criminal complaint and in securing an appropriate examination, including by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The NYS Police Sexual Assault Hotline, which can be reached at 844.845.7269, may also be of assistance in reporting an incident to law enforcement.
The College’s policy, definitions and burden of proof may differ from New York criminal law. A Complainant may seek recourse under this policy and/or pursue criminal action. Neither law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute a Respondent, nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution, are determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
Any internal College investigation and/or hearing process will be conducted concurrently with any criminal justice investigation and proceeding that may be pending. Temporary delays in the College’s internal process may be requested by local law enforcement authorities for the purpose of gathering evidence. Any requested temporary delay shall not last more than ten (10) days, except when local law enforcement authorities specifically request and justify longer delay. The college will cooperate with any criminal proceeding as permitted by law. The Title IX coordinator and other College officials listed above can assist individuals in making a report of a crime to local law enforcement.
Additionally, orders of protection and other forms of legal protection may be available to individuals who have experienced or are threatened with violence by a Wells College community member or other person. In appropriate circumstances, an order of protection may be available that restricts the offender’s right to enter or remain on College property, and Wells College will abide by a lawfully issued order of protection. Campus Safety or other College officials will, upon request, provide reasonable assistance to any member of the College community in obtaining an order of protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order, including providing that person with:
Statement against Retaliation: It is a violation of Wells College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual because that individual raised allegations of sexual misconduct. The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by or against an individual or a group, and that a Complainant, Respondent or third party may commit or be the subject of retaliation.
The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual reporting sexual misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.
False Reports: The College will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. The College takes the accuracy of information very seriously as a charge of sexual misconduct may have severe consequences. A good-faith complaint that results in a finding of not responsible is not considered a false or fabricated accusation of sexual misconduct. However, when a Complainant or third party witness is found to have fabricated allegations or given false information with malicious intent or in bad faith, the Complainant may be subject to disciplinary action. It is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and the Wells College Honor Code to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.