Wells 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 practice to ensure evidence preservation and begin a timely investigative and remedial response.
Wells College encourages all individuals to make a report to the College and local law enforcement. Reporting options are not mutually exclusive. Both internal and criminal reports may be pursued simultaneously.
Making a report means telling a designated non-confidential, on-campus College Resource or Campus Security Authority (see above) what happened—in person, by telephone, in writing, or by electronic communication. Once a report is received, the Complainant will receive medical treatment options, counseling support services, the right to request a campus No Contact Order, reporting options to campus security and local law enforcement, Wells College Sexual Misconduct policy, and the Student Bill of Rights.
A Complainant has the right to request action against a Respondent or not 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 to 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, non-discriminatory environment for the campus community.
Anonymous Reporting: Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an act of sexual misconduct. Individuals 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, 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 Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous report and determine any appropriate steps, including individual or community remedies as appropriate, and in consultation with the Director of Campus Safety, comply with all Clery Act obligations.
Non-Confidential Reporting: Any individual may self-report or report an incident that they have observed. The report will be sent directly to the Title IX Coordinator who will then initial the College Response. You can find that form here.
Campus Security Authority Reporting: If you are a designated Campus Security Authority, you can find the Campus Security Reporting form here.
Timeliness and Location of Incident: Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual misconduct as soon as possible to maximize the College's ability to respond promptly and effectively. The College does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. Suppose the Respondent is not a member of the Wells community. In that case, the College will still seek to meet its obligation pursuant to this policy by taking steps to end sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Still, 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 likely to substantially affect the Complainant's on-campus life and activities or pose a threat or danger to members of the Wells community may also be addressed under this policy.
Amnesty Policy: 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 supports Complainants in pursuing criminal action for incidents of sexual misconduct that may also be crimes under New York law. The College will, upon request, 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 can be reached at 315-253-1222 or 911, and can assist in filing a criminal complaint and securing an appropriate examination, including by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
The NYS Police Sexual Assault Hotline, which can be reached at 1(844) 845-7269, may also assist in reporting an incident to law enforcement.
This policy's definitions and burden of proof differ from New York criminal law. A Complainant may seek recourses under this policy and/or pursue criminal action. Neither law enforcement's determination of whether to prosecute an accused 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.
Any internal College investigation and/or hearing process will be conducted concurrently with any investigation and/or proceeding conducted by law enforcement authorities. Local law enforcement authorities may request temporary delays in the College's internal process to gather evidence. Any requested temporary delay shall not last more than ten (10) business days, except when local law enforcement authorities specifically request and justify a 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 reporting 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 another individual(s). In appropriate circumstances, an order of protection may be available that restricts the a Respondent's right to enter or remain on College property. 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 individual with:
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 intentionally fabricated allegations or given false information with malicious intent or in bad faith, that individual may be subject to disciplinary action. It is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, faculty and student handbooks, and the Wells College Honor Code to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation. It may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.