Office of Dean of Students and Community Development
Sexual Assault and Misconduct Policy
Sexual assault and sexual misconduct in any form will not be tolerated at Seton Hall University. Both sexual assault and sexual misconduct are serious crimes under the criminal laws of the state of New Jersey, and a conviction of these crimes could result in imprisonment. The disciplinary mechanism described below is not intended to replace or serve as an alternative to the reporting of any sex offense to appropriate police authorities. The University believes that the victim of any sex offense should seek assistance and immediately contact the police.
Victims of a sexual assault are encouraged to report the crime to the police. However, when a victim reports an assault to any member of Health/Counseling Services and/or Campus Ministry, that person will obtain emotional, spiritual, and medical support and assistance under strict confidentiality. Disclosures by a victim to any other offices on campus necessitates that the office contact police authorities regarding the crime.
Definition of Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct
Sexual assault encompasses rape in all forms. Date rape or acquaintance rape is no less criminal than the rape of a stranger. Sexual contact involves intentional touching of the victim's or attackers intimate body parts, even through clothing, for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or for the assailant's gratification. Copies of the New Jersey statutes that include the legal definition of these crimes are available in the Department of Community Development.
The University has the following charge in the Community Standards of Conduct:
Engages in or attempts to engage in sexual behavior with someone:
- against his or her will or without consent; or
- who is physically helpless (e.g., drunk, and/or under the influence of a substance or substances rendering them helpless), unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated and unable to accurately communicate unwillingness toward an act or give consent.
The range of University sanctions for a student found responsible for the above charge is University suspension to University expulsion.
Education to Promote Awareness and Prevention of Sex Offenses
As part of orientation, each freshman class entering Seton Hall University attends a comprehensive interactive lecture about sex offenses and sexual harassment. The program stresses the need for students to be aware of these situations and explains how best to avoid them. Awareness of what constitutes date rape, acquaintance rape and other sexual misconduct is presented through videos, role-playing, etc. In the early weeks of each Fall Semester, topics related to the prevention of sex offenses are widely promoted throughout the campus community.
Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights
The boundaries of personal freedom are limited by applicable state and federal laws and institutional rules and regulations governing interpersonal behavior. In creating a community free from violence, sexual assault and nonconsensual sexual contact, the University deems respect for the individual and human dignity to be of paramount importance.
The state of New Jersey recognizes that the impact of violence on its victims and the surrounding community can be severe and long lasting. Thus, it has established a Bill of Rights to articulate requirements for policies, procedures and services designed to ensure the needs of victims are met, and that the colleges and universities in New Jersey create and maintain communities that support human dignity.
Bill of Rights
The following rights shall be accorded to victims of sexual assault that occur:
- On the campus of any public or independent institution of higher education in the state of New Jersey.
- Where the victim or alleged perpetrator is a student at that institution.
- When the victim is a student involved in an off-campus sexual assault.
Human Dignity Rights
- To be free from any suggestion that victims must report the crimes to be assured of any other right guaranteed under this policy.
- To have any allegations of sexual assault treated seriously; the right to be treated with dignity.
- To be free from any suggestion that victims are responsible for the commission of crimes against them.
- To be free from any pressure from campus personnel to:
- Report crimes if the victim does not wish to do so.
- Report crimes as lesser offenses than the victim perceives the crimes to be.
- Refrain from reporting crimes.
- Refrain from reporting crimes to avoid unwanted personal publicity.
Rights to On & Off-Campus Resources
- To be notified of existing campus and community-based medical, counseling, mental health and student services for victims of sexual assault whether the crime formally reported to campus or civil authorities.
- To have access to campus counseling under the same terms and conditions that apply to other students in their institution.
- To be informed have and assisted in exercising:
Campus Judicial Rights
- Any rights to confidential or anonymous testing for sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency virus and/or pregnancy.
- Any rights that may be provided by law to compel and disclose the testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases.
- To be afforded the same access to legal assistance as the accused.
- To be afforded the same opportunity to have others present during any campus disciplinary proceeding that is allowed the accused.
- To be notified of the outcome of the sexual assault disciplinary proceeding against the accused.
- To have any allegation of sexual assault investigated and adjudicated by the appropriate criminal and civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which the sexual assault was reported.
- To receive full and prompt cooperation and assistance of campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities.
- To receive full, prompt and victim-sensitive cooperation of campus personnel with regard to obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence, including a medical examination when it is necessary to preserve evidence of the assault.
Campus Intervention Rights
- To require campus personnel to take reasonable and necessary actions to prevent further unwanted contact of victims by their alleged assailants.
- To be notified of the options and provided assistance in changing academic and living situations if such changes are reasonably available.
- Each campus must guarantee that this Bill of Rights is implemented. It is the obligation of the individual campus governing board to examine resources dedicated to services required and to make appropriate requests to increase or reallocate resources where necessary to ensure implementation.
- Each campus shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that every student at that institution receives a copy of this document.
- Nothing in this act or any Campus Assault Victims' Bill of Rights developed in accordance with the provisions of this act shall be construed to preclude or in any way restrict any public or independent institution of higher education in the state from reporting any suspected crime or offense to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
- University Public Safety and Security: Victims are urged to report sex offenses to the Department of Public Safety & Security, (973) 761 - 9300. A representative of the Public Safety & Security department will come to students when called, and security personnel will summon the police to campus upon request.
- Police: Victims are strongly encouraged to report sex offenses to the South Orange Police Department, (973) 763 - 3000. The department is located two blocks west of Seton Hall on South Orange Avenue.
- Community Development: Victims may also report offenses to this department. Community Development is responsible for the enforcement of the University Community Standards of Conduct. The phone number is (973) 761 - 9076.
- Medical Treatment: Professional personnel at Health/Counseling Services treat injuries, offer health care, facilitate transport to a local hospital/rape crisis center, and sensitively prepare the victim for the examination and treatment required.
- Counseling: Health/Counseling Services provides intervention in the immediate situation and the ongoing support necessary for recovery to take place.
- Spiritual Counsel: Campus Ministry can assist regarding the roll that faith and/or one's spiritual life may sometimes play in recovery from a trauma such as rape.
- Housing: Victims who would like to move from their present University housing assignment can be accommodated by the Department of Housing and Residence Life.
- No Contact Order: The Department of Housing and Residence Life or the Department of Community Development will issue a no contact order which prohibits contact between the accused and the victim.
- Hospital: The rape crisis facility for this area is St. Barnabas Medical Center, (973) 322-5180. The hospital is located in Livingston.
- Rape Crisis Center: Located in Westfield, the Rape Crisis Center offers individual and group counseling, accompaniment to the hospital and a 24-hour hotline. To contact the center, call (908) 233- 7273.
University Community Standards Proceedings in Sex Offense Cases
The following section is intended to provide a general overview of the Community Standards process. Students should see the entire Community Standards process. The community standards process is the University's mechanism to adjudicate students' violations of the University's code of conduct. The University community standards process is not a substitute for the filing of a criminal or civil complaint by the victim or for a criminal prosecution by the state.
The complainant and the respondent each are permitted one adviser from the University community during the course of the University Community Standards Review Process. The adviser may be an administrator, faculty member or another student. Attorneys who are not Seton Hall University community members are not permitted to represent or be present during any part of the hearing.
A student must speak on his or her own behalf and is not to be counseled by an adviser. Students wishing to have an adviser must inform the Department of Community Development that they will be accompanied by an adviser to the review. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the adviser of the date, time and place of all review proceedings. A review will not be canceled or postponed due to an adviser's inability to accompany a student.
January 1, 2010
Office of Dean of Students and Community Development
Bishop Dougherty University Center