Westfield State University Statement Regarding Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
Westfield State University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning, living and working environment that is free from all forms of gender-based misconduct. Consistent with this commitment, the University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that we operate, and are required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) to not discriminate in such a manner. The requirement not to discriminate in the education program or activity extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application or Title IX to the University may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, or both.
The Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy (“policy”) prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and retaliation as defined under Title IX and outlines the procedures for resolution of reports of these behaviors. The University provides educational and prevention programs, services for individuals who have been affected by discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, and accessible, timely and equitable methods of investigation and resolution of complaints.
Previously known as the “Sexual Violence Policy,” the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy has been amended, and renamed, to be consistent with the Title IX Regulations that became effective August 14, 2020. Additionally, this policy is intended to comply with the Violence Against Women Reauthorized Act of 2018 (“VAWA”), including the Campus SaVE Act, and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”). The Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy replaces and supersedes the “Sexual Violence Policy” previously contained on pages 13-45 of the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan (“EO Plan”).
NOTE: While federal and state laws require that a sexual harassment policy be in place for Westfield State University, all forms of discrimination based upon race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, parental and veterans status are also prohibited by law. The state's Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan, of which the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy is a part, may be used as a resource for all forms of discrimination including how to report such conduct.
Title IX Coordinator
The University has designate a Title IX Coordinator, who has the primary responsibility for coordinating the University’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX.
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment. Reports may be made in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed below, electronic form, or by any other means that results in the Title X Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the reporting options available at the time of the report. Reports do not constitute a formal complaint under this Policy unless they meet the criteria specified in the Title IX Complaint and Resolution Procedures.
The Title IX Coordinator will assist Complainants in notifying law enforcement, if requested by the Complainant.
The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures and is responsible for receiving and responding to requests for disability accommodations related to supportive measures and participation in the grievance process. The Title IX Coordinator may collaborate with other appropriate offices on campus to provide necessary accommodations under this policy.
Equal Opportunity and Compliance Programs Investigator
Human Resources, Equal Opportunity, & Office of Title IX
Medical and Counseling Support Resources
The safety, health and well-being of the campus communities are of paramount importance to the University. Any person who experiences any form of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or retaliation, or similar harmful behaviors regardless of whether they are expressly prohibited by the Policy. Is strongly urged to speak with someone to get the support they need, no matter when or where the incident occurred.
Medical attention is strongly encouraged to treat any possible injuries, including internal injuries, or infections. Please note that there are some medical actions that are more effective if taken within a few days after an offense, such as preventative treatment for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, evidence collection, and toxicology testing, if there are signs that drugs or alcohol facilitated the offense. One may generally discuss the incident with licensed medical personnel confidentially.
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are specially trained, certified professionals skilled in performing quality forensic medical-legal exams.
Generally, one may discuss the incident with a license mental health counselor, or a counselor recognized by religious order or denomination on a confidential basis. These counselors are good options if one wishes to discuss one’s situation with someone who can keep information about an incident as confidential as possible while assisting in determining next steps, such as obtaining further counseling, seeking medical attention, preserving evidence, and/or reporting to the University or law enforcement authorities then or at a later time.
- Health Services, x 5415 or (413) 572-5415
- Baystate Medical Center Emergency/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – (413) 794-3233
- Noble Hospital Emergency Room (24 Hours) – (413) 568-2811
- Cooley-Dickinson Hospital/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (24 Hours)-(413) 582-2000
Counseling Services and Support
- Counseling Services, Lammers Hall Annex - x5790 or (413) 572-5790
- Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center, (413) 572-5567
- AllOne Health - Employee Assistance Program (employees), 800-451-1834
- YWCA of Western, MA (Springfield, MA) – (800) 796-8711
- New Beginnings Shelter – (413) 562-5739
- Domestic Violence Shelter Services and 24 Hour Hotline:
- Day number – (413) 732-3121
- (24 Hour Hotline) – (413) 733-7100
- SafeLink (Employees) – 1-877-785-2020
- Center for Women and Community (Amherst) Resource and Referral – (413) 545-0883
- (24 Hour Hotline) – (413) 545-0800
As the above contact information may be subject to change, current contact information on rape crisis centers in Massachusetts can be found at Mass.gov.
Complainants may file a criminal complaint with Westfield State University Public Safety, the local police department where the incident occurred, and/or other state and federal law enforcement agencies. Complainants can make both a criminal report and a report to the University and do not have to choose one or the other. The University encourages victims of crimes to report incidents to the
Police so that appropriate measures can be taken to help victims and prevent future crimes. In addition to the Title IX Coordinator, Public Safety will help in filing a report with local law enforcement, should the Complainant request assistance, and can also assist in the process of obtaining protective restraining orders and abuse prevention orders for sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Westfield State University Police - x5262 or (413) 572-5262
(NOTE: IF YOU WISH FOR THE REPORT YOU MAKE TO THE POLICE TO ALSO BE SHARED WITH THE UNIVERSITY TITLE IX COORDINATOR, YOU MAY BE ASKED TO PROVIDE WRITTEN PERMISSION TO DO SO.)
Local Police information is as follows:
- City of Westfield Police Department (Emergency) – 911
- Hampden County District Attorney/Westfield Office – (413) 572-1454
- Massachusetts State Police (Russell Barracks) – (413) 863-3312
Complainants are never required, however, to report an incident to Public Safety or local law enforcement. If a Complainant elects not to make a criminal report, the University will respect that decision, however the University may have an obligation under the Clery Act to inform Public Safety of an alleged crime but will not disclose the Complainant’s name.
Reports to law enforcement and/or criminal complaints do not constitute a formal complaint to the University under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy unless they meet the criteria specified in the Title IX Complaint and Resolution Procedures.
If one wishes to file a complaint of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation outside of the University or in addition to a complaint filed under the University’s Complaint Investigation and Resolution Procedures, the following agencies may provide additional resources:
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
33 Arch Street, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02119-1424
(617) 289-01111, TDD (877) 521-2172
U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women
Office on Violence Against Women
145 N St., NE, Suite 10W.121
Washington, D.C. 20530
Fax: (202) 305-2589
Persons who have questions or who wish to file a complaint of gender discrimination or sexual harassment under state law may contact the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination:
One Ashburton Place Rm. 601
Boston, MA 02108
Worcester City Hall
484 Main Street, Rm. 320
Worcester, MA 01608
436 Dwight Street, Rm. 220
Springfield, MA 01103
New Bedford Office:
800 Purchase Street, Rm. 501
ew Bedford, MA 02740
Employees with complaints, questions or concerns about gender discrimination, sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation may also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, (800) 669-4000, TTY (800) 669-6820.
The University ensures that Title IX Coordinators, Administrative Investigators, Decision Makers, Appellate Administrators, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process receive annual training on:
· The definition of sexual harassment under this policy
· The scope of the University’s education program or activity
· The Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures, including how to conduct investigations, hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable
· How to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias
The University ensures that investigators receive training on issues of relevance to create an Investigative Report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.
The University ensures that Decision Makers receive training on any technologies to be used at a live hearing and on issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.
All available materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, Administrative Investigators, Decision Makers, Appellate Administrators, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process will be made publicly accessible below:
- Karen Leary (2022)
- Brittany Rende Training (2021)
- Jill Moffitt Training (2021)
- Shannon Green Training (2020-2021)
- LaNell Shirley - Appeal Officer
- Darci Heroy