Each university has the authority to set its own policies for students behavior, both on and off campus. Indeed, a student may be penalized for a violation even when it occurs off-campus, such as an act of sexual assault. For those attending college, understanding your university’s on- and off-campus policies is essential. Here are some basic policies that most universities have in place as they pertain to Greek Life–
The majority of universities across the country have anti-hazing policies in place for those who are rushing or participating in Greek life (sorority and fraternity) activities, as well as all others on campus. These policies are designed to protect students, and put an end to fraternity hazing deaths. Unfortunately there have been several high profile deaths involving hazing over the past year. In fact, just this year there have been multiple fraternity, hazing-related deaths reported. Most campuses outright prohibit acts of hazing (and have harsh penalties in place) both on and off campus.
If you have been a victim of or have witnessed hazing, you should report it to the university administration, even anonymously if that is the only way possible.
Sexual Assault Policies
In addition to anti-hazing policies, universities also have sexual assault and harassment policies in place, and are required to quickly investigate any allegations of sexual assault per federal laws (Title IX). With the number of on- and off-campus sexual assault cases on the rise, many universities have adopted stricter policies. Some suggested policies and procedures from the American Association of University Professors can be read online. As a note, statistics show that instances of sexual assault are more common amongst fraternity members and more likely to occur within fraternity houses; however, sexual assault is not only a fraternity and sorority problem.
A sexual assault is traumatizing no matter when or where it occurs. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, you should seek medical attention. Make the medical personnel aware of the situation so that they can preserve any evidence and conduct the necessary examinations. This will most likely be an uncomfortable but necessary step. The medical staff will call the authorities if you have not already done so. It is important for you to have emotional support, you are not alone.
Protecting Yourself if Harmed
Students have a duty to follow campus policies, both on and off campus. When these policies are violated and someone is harmed, in an alcohol-related incident, sexual assault incident, or something else entirely, the responsible party should be held accountable for their actions.
If you have been harmed in a university setting or by the actions of another university student, contact our law offices today for a free case evaluation to learn more about your rights and options. The consultation is completely confidential and you are under no obligation to move forward. After speaking with one of our experienced attorneys, if you did decide that mediation or a lawsuit is the best course of action for your circumstances, there would be no upfront legal fees.
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