FAQ FOR PARENTS AND VISITORS
Frequently Asked Questions – Parents and Third Parties
Are there rights for my son or daughter who has been a victim of incidents of sexual, domestic or dating violence and stalking concerns?
Yes, we have a full process that guide our efforts and have recently established an office for compliance and equity of sex and gender based concerns.
Are there rights for my son or daughter who has been accused of such incidents?
Yes, please see the rights of reporting and responding student section or title ix policy for a list of rights.
My friend or family member has been subject to sexual misconduct, what should I do?
Believe. Someone affected by sexual violence needs to know that their friends and family believe them.
Where can I find the RU Campus Annual Security Report (ASR)?
The Annual Campus Safety and Security report is published to provide information including crime statistics and policies and procedures concerning alcohol, drugs, sexual assault and general safety on The Rockford University campus. The report can be accessed by going to the Campus Safety and Security Website . Anyone, including prospective students and employees, may obtain a paper copy of the report by contacting Campus Safety and Security.
How is a Title IX investigation different from a criminal investigation?
A criminal investigation undertaken by the police seeks to determine whether an individual violated criminal law. An individual who is found guilty of such a crime following a police investigation and trial may be imprisoned. In contrast, Title IX investigations conducted by Rockford University determine whether a respondent has violated the University policy on sexual misconduct and what disciplinary actions are appropriate. The University follows a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, which requires the evidence supporting a finding of responsibility to be more convincing than the information in opposition to it or, in other words, that it is more likely than not the alleged conduct occurred.
An individual has the right to pursue a university investigation by filing a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator and to pursue criminal charges through the police. A complainant may elect to file a complaint with the University, the police or both at the same time. While Rockford University may provide information or support, university and criminal investigations are independent and distinct.
What should I do if I witness sexual misconduct?
If you witness sexual misconduct you should first determine whether it is safe to intervene. If it is not safe for you to intervene, immediately report it to Campus Safety and Security. If the affected party is not in imminent danger, notify the Title IX Coordinator (TitleIXCoordinator@rockford.edu).
Is there a time limit for making a report?
There is no time limit for making a report, however, the University encourages reporting an incident as soon as possible in order to maximize the ability to respond effectively. If the respondent is no longer connected with the University, the Office of Compliance and Title IX could be limited in its ability to respond.
What should I do if I, or a friend, have been sexually assaulted and it happened within the past 1-3 days?
- Ensure Safety. If you or a friend has been sexually assaulted the most important thing is that you get to a safe place. If possible, call the Campus Safety and Security-if the victim chooses to do so, or contact the Title IX Coordinator, a friend, relative, other University resource (i.e. Lang Health and Counseling Services) or someone that you trust. In an emergency, call 911 or as soon as possible.
- Seek Medical Attention. If you are the survivor of a sexual assault, consider getting medical attention. The University Lang Health and Counseling offers urgent medical and counseling appointments to all students. You also have the right to go to the Emergency Room at OSF Medical Center or Swedish American Hospital to meet a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to both collect forensic evidence and provide medical care and support to you. Our campus can provide students with an escort to the hospital.
- Preserve Evidence. Try to save a record of unwanted contact or communications. Avoid showering or cleaning before seeking medical treatment or contacting authorities in order to preserve physical evidence.
Other Actions Immediately After a Sexual Assault or Rape
If you or someone you know has recently been assaulted:
- Go to a safe place as soon as you can.
- Call the Campus Safety and Security Department.
- Try to preserve all physical evidence.
- Try not to wash your face or hands, bathe, brush your teeth, drink or eat, douche, or change clothes if you can avoid it. If you do change your clothes, put all clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault in individual paper bags (not plastic). It is important to preserve as much evidence as possible should you later decide to press criminal charges.
- Seek medical attention. The (University Lang Health Center) offers urgent medical and counseling appointments to all students. You also have the right to go to the Emergency Room to meet a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to both collect forensic evidence and provide medical care and support to you.
- When you feel ready, please contact the resources below for ongoing support.
File a Report with the Title IX Coordinator or Other Campus Official
The Title IX Coordinator is charged with investigating and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. We understand the sensitivity surrounding your decision to report. Our goal is to empower you by making you aware of your rights, available support resources and options through the University reporting processes. We will support you with compassion and equity while respecting your privacy.
Reporting Options: What is a Confidential Source?
Talk with a Confidential Resource
Rockford University understands that some survivors of harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct or other violations of this policy may not be ready or willing to report through a channel that could result in university action. For such individuals, the following confidential resources are available:
- University Counseling, Health and Wellness Center
All Lang Staff Members are Confidential Source
A student reporting to any of the above confidential resources may request complete confidentiality, meaning that the staff in question will not share reported information with University officials without the student’s consent. Please note that these resources may have obligations under University policies, state or federal laws that prevent them from maintaining absolute confidentiality.
- Absolute Confidential Resource (Confidential Advisor-RSAC)
Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling
Maintain total confidentiality because of their rape counseling privilege and status in the state of Illinois. This means your information will never be shared with anyone unless you give written consent-not even in the court of law. And at that moment of your written consent you also give up the absolute privilege. This can be explained further by the Title IX Coordinator or other confidential staff person.
Reporting Option: Anonymously
File an Anonymous Report
You may file an anonymous complaint directly to the Title IX Coordinator or via online anonymous reporting form. While all complaints will be reviewed, the University’s ability to investigate anonymous reports may be limited when the identity of the complainant is unknown.
This form will allow the reporter to give only the details they are comfortable sharing at the time of the report.
Reporting Options: Report to RU Public Safety or Rockford City Police
File a Criminal Complaint with the Police
Community members impacted by sexual violence are strongly encouraged to report all allegations of Prohibited Offenses to RU Public Safety and Security of Rockford City Police as soon as possible, regardless of where the offense took place. RU Public Safety and Security can:
- escort the affected party to a local hospital;
- provide full investigation of reports by specially trained officers;
- offer information about criminal prosecution and University disciplinary alternatives;
- accompany and provide transportation to all court sessions both on and off campus;
- offer assistance in obtaining a Harassment Protection Order; No Contact Order; and/ or Restraining Order through the appropriate system.
Reporting a sexual assault to RU Public Safety and Security does NOT commit the affected party to future legal action.
Please note that RU Public Safety and Security will report incidences of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator so the University may investigate and respond. If the incident is a crime, Campus Safety and Security will include it in an annual security report without identifying the victim in accordance with the Clery Act.
Reporting Options: Responsible Employee
Report to Faculty or Staff
All faculty and staff are considered “responsible employees” and are required to report information to the Title IX Coordinator. Only those individuals who are statutorily prohibited from reporting, such as health professionals and counselors. As such, any reports of sexual misconduct made to faculty or staff will be directed to the Title IX Coordinator who will review and respond accordingly based on information received, the impacted parties and the university community.
Do I have the right to learn more about the Title IX process if I have not been the victim of an incident of assault or battery?
Yes. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator; parents, friends, community members, students, employees, contractors, vendors, and alumni are all welcomed to learn about the Title IX process and to know how we mange these concerns on campus.
What does reporting to the Title IX Coordinator do for students and employees?
Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Compliance and Title IX will allow you to learn about safety measures, reporting options, investigative procedures and potential pathways for resolution. The Title IX Coordinator can also implement interim measures as necessary.
There are a number of other protections to report for those who have experienced or witnessed sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence or other conduct that violates the Title IX policy.
Office of Compliance and Title IX at TitleIXCoordinator@rockford.edu, (815)226-2842
Resources. Contact any of the listed on- or off-campus resources to get information, support, counseling, medical treatment or legal advocacy.