Title IX Information
Sexual Misconduct & Sexual Assault
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to providing an environment that is supportive and comfortable for you to discuss your concerns regarding individual treatment in the workplace, educational setting, equal employment opportunity, and diversity.
Every effort will be made to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all involved parties during the complaint investigation process. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine requests that discrimination, harassment, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, disability and any other complaints of unlawful discrimination be filed within 30 days from the date of the alleged incident(s) with:
Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Vice President of Human Resources
Equal Opportunity and ADA Coordinator
What To Do If You Are Assaulted
Helpful Information if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted:
- First, remember that what happened is not your fault. You did not cause the assault, and no matter what happened, you did not deserve it.
- Get to a safe place.
- Try not to change anything at the location where the assault occurred.
- Remember that eating or drinking, showering, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, and changing or altering your clothes could destroy physical evidence that may be helpful if you later decide to pursue legal action.
- Consider contacting the Family Refuge Center to talk about and possibly report the assault. These agencies can provide you with medical attention, emotional support, and law enforcement services and can help you explore your various options.
Family Refuge Center Numbers
- Toll Free (866) 645-6334
- Greenbrier County (304) 645-6334
- Pocahontas County (304) 799-4400
- Monroe County (304) 772-5005
- Even if you don't want to file a police report, consider receiving medical attention. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will help ensure that you are healthy, provide options to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, and collect valuable evidence that may be useful in the future, even if you are unsure about pursuing legal action now. Physical evidence can only be collected for 96 hours post-assault, but here is no statute of limitations on reporting sexual assault in West Virginia.
- Victims are often concerned about how the costs of the examination will be covered. The West Virginia Forensic Medical Examination Fund was established by the state legislature (WVC§61-8B-16) to pay for "all reasonable and customary costs of a forensic medical examination." No payment from the fund is provided for non-forensic procedures or treatment—therefore, victims will most likely be responsible for any medical treatment, either through private pay or private insurance. Victims who report the assault to law enforcement within 72 hours (unless just cause exists) can apply to the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund for reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical costs.
- You have a right to be believed and to receive appropriate medical, emotional, and legal support if you choose such options.
How to support someone who has just been sexually assaulted:
- Believe them.
- Listen -- without judging.
- Let them know that you support and care about them, that they are not responsible for the incident.
- Emphasize that there is help available.
- Let them know they are not alone.
- Let them know about the services of the Family Refuge Center (www.familyrefugecenter.org).
- Tell them about the Family Refuge Center crisis number answered 24-hours a day at (866) 645-633.
Medical Treatment and Counseling Information
Medical assistance in emergency situations can be obtained by dialing 9-1-1. WVSOM Security is also available by calling 304-647-8911. Medical assistance is available at:
- Greenbrier Valley Medical Center -304-647-4411 – Incidents of sexual assault should go directly to the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center Emergency Room.
- Robert C. Byrd Clinic – 304-645-3220
Counseling assistance is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week from:
- Family Refuge Center (FRC), a community-based domestic violence and sexual assault program serving Pocahontas, Greenbrier, and Monroe Counties in southeast West Virginia committed to ending physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in families. FRC encourages and promotes healthy family life based on mutual respect and support for all family members. 304-645-6334
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network - National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine also offers the services of on campus licensed professional counselors for student issues. If you would like professional counseling services please contact the Aspire Office
You do not have to formally report an incident to seek medical attention or receive counseling support services.
When to Contact a Coordinator
Any student, faculty or staff member, or applicant who has concerns about sex discrimination or sexual misconduct is encouraged to seek the assistance of the Title IX Coordinator.
Contact a coordinator if you:
- Wish to understand your options if you think you may have encountered sex discrimination or sexual misconduct;
- Learn of a situation that you feel may warrant a WVSOM investigation;
- Need help on how to handle a situation by which you are indirectly affected;
- Seek guidance on possible informal remedies or administrative measures to de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation;
- Have questions about WVSOM's policies and procedures.
How to File a Complaint
Any student, faculty or staff member, or applicant who believes they are a victim of sex discrimination or sexual misconduct may file a complaint.
If you choose to file a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will:
- Walk you through the complaint process
- Ask you to complete the complaint form or provide a signed, written statement about the incident (s)
- Provide an opportunity for you to identify witnesses or individuals who will support your claim
- Investigate the allegations of the complaint
- Keep you informed of the progress of the investigation
- Advise you of the outcome of the investigation
- Direct the findings of the investigation to appropriate West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine personnel for review and appropriate action
Alcohol or Drug Use
Alcohol or drug use by the accused and/or the complainant are not defenses to discrimination or harassment, sex discrimination or sexual harassment (including acts of sexual violence).
Use of drugs or alcohol may, however, affect the alleged victim's and/or accused's memory which may impact the investigation and final outcome of a complaint.
Various State and Federal laws, including but not limited to Title IX, and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine prohibit retaliation against any individual who files or participates in the investigation of a discrimination, harassment, sex discrimination or sexual harassment complaint.
The Title IX Coordinator will investigate retaliation complaints and report the findings to appropriate West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine personnel for review and applicable action. If you feel that you have been retaliated against for filing a complaint or otherwise participating in a complaint investigation process, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.
The Title IX Coordinator attempts to balance the needs of the parties for privacy with the institutional responsibility of ensuring a safe educational environment and workplace.
Confidentiality is an aspiration, but is not always possible or appropriate. An individual's requests regarding the confidentiality of reports of discrimination, or harassment including but not limited to sex offenses will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the institution's legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination or sexual misconduct and the due process rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source.
Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation and to insure that the institution meets its obligations under Title IX. The institution may be limited in its response and investigation if confidentiality is requested.
Complaints may be filed after 30 days however, individuals are encouraged to report incidents as soon as possible because the passage of time may affect the institution’s ability to investigate the incident.
Complaints against the Title IX Coordinator or the Equal Opportunity and ADA Coordinator
If the complaint is against a Title IX Coordinator or the Equal Opportunity and ADA Coordinator, please file your complaint with:
Dr. Craig Boisvert
Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean
400 Lee Street North
Lewisburg, WV 24901
Additional information regarding the enforcement of State and Federal anti-discrimination/ harassment/retaliation laws and complaint procedures may be obtained from the following agencies:
U.S. Department of Education
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
1321 Plaza East – Room 108A
Charleston, WV 25301
Toll Free: 888-676-5546
801 Market Street, Suite 1300
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127
The complainant is at all times free to pursue a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (responsible for enforcing Title IX), the United States Department of Labor (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs), or by consulting a labor/employment attorney at her or his own expense.
Policy and Response Oversight
WVSOM has established a Coordinated Campus Response Team, and the Title IX Coordinator participates as a member of the Greenbrier County Sexual Assault Response Team which is coordinated by the Family Refuge Center. For additional information, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.
The Investigative Process
During the investigation process, and in accordance with existing policies and laws, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine will make every reasonable effort to protect the privacy of all parties involved in the investigation, and to keep the information confidential to the extent required by law. However, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine cannot guarantee that any or all of the information will remain confidential.
During the investigation process, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is required to:
- Provide an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation, including the opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence;
- Designate reasonably prompt timeframes for the major stages of the complaint process;
- Provide notice to the parties of the outcome of the complaint investigation and disposition and the opportunity for the parties to appeal the findings; and
- Assure that the appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision-maker.
The individual filing the complaint is referred to as the "Complainant". The accused is referred to as the "Respondent".
Anyone accused of discrimination or harassment is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct.
Generally, an investigation will result in a written report that, at a minimum, includes a statement of the allegations and issues, a summary of the information considered, findings of fact, and a determination by the investigator as to whether the institution's policy has been violated. For allegations of discrimination or harassing behavior, there are three possible findings:
- Substantiated: It is more likely than not that the allegation is true. (preponderance of the evidence standard)
- Unsubstantiated: It is not possible to determine whether the allegation is true or untrue. There is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove that the allegation is true.
- Unfounded: It is more likely than not that the allegation did not constitute a policy violation. A finding that the allegation is unfounded does not indicate that the complaint was improper or knowingly false.
The report, the complaint, the response and any other evidence obtained during the investigation of the complaint may be used as evidence in other related procedures, such as subsequent complaints, grievances and/or disciplinary actions.
The report also may contain recommendation for actions to resolve the complaint, including but not limited to educational programs, counseling/coaching, mediation, remedies for the complainant, and a referral to institutional disciplinary procedures, as appropriate.
The complainant and the respondent shall be concurrently informed in writing of the completion of the investigation and the outcome of the investigation. The complainant shall be informed of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, if any, that are directly related to the complainant, such as a recommendation that the accused not contact the complainant.
The complainant and the respondent shall be informed of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified generally of referrals for disciplinary action and recommended action.
You are permitted to have a representative of your choice, including legal counsel (paid for at your own expense), at any stage of the investigation process.
Acts of sex discrimination or sexual harassment, including but not limited to acts of sexual violence, may also constitute acts of criminal conduct.
Any individual may report an incident alleging criminal conduct by calling 9-1-1 in an emergency or by contacting the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Security at: 304-647-8911. The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Security Office and/or other law enforcement authorities may be notified if a complaint contains allegations of criminal conduct.
Pursuant to the federal law known as the Jeanne Clery Act (20 USC § 1092(f)), any campus security or law enforcement personnel or any West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine employee who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities (including but not limited to faculty advisers to student groups, coaches and a student activities director) who has witnessed or been informed of an alleged incident that constitutes a crime for the purpose of the Clery Act including but not limited to a forcible or nonforcible sex offense or a hate crime, whether a criminal or administrative complaint has been filed, must:
- follow West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine procedures for making a report for the annual crime statistics report. Reports should be made to:
- Larry Ware
Security Officer - VP for Finance & Facilities
- Larry Ware
- and notify the Title IX Coordinator so that any applicable administrative, investigative or other resolution procedures may be initiated.
Employees may be obligated to report to law enforcement the fact that an alleged Clery Act Crime has been reported, but the name or other personally identifiable information about the complainant will be provided only with the consent of the complainant, except as may be required or otherwise permitted by law.
The administrative investigation of complaints filed with the Title IX Coordinator is different from a law enforcement investigation. The technical rules of evidence and procedure do not apply.
A law enforcement investigation will not take the place of an investigation or disposition of a complaint filed with the Title IX Coordinator and the results of a law enforcement investigation or adjudication are not determinative of whether an individual is responsible for discriminatory/harassing/retaliatory conduct.
An investigation by the Title IX Coordinator may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus or that affects the campus community and such cooperation may require the institution to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of the administrative investigation while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering information.
Suspensions of investigations typically last from three to ten days but may be extended depending upon the circumstances of each case.
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine will promptly resume its administrative investigation as soon as notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the evidence gathering process.
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine may at any point in the complaint process elect to place the respondent on investigative leave, reassignment, temporary suspension from classes or authorize other types of temporary measures while an investigation is pending, including but not limited to "no contact" directives.
When the Title IX Coordinator receives a report of harassment or discrimination, s/he will undertake an appropriate inquiry and take such prompt and effective action as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances to support and protect the complainant, the campus community and to avoid retaliation against the victim(s) before the final outcome of the investigation or full implementation of the complaint process.
Interim measures may be implemented without prior notice to the accused whenever there is reason to believe, based on available facts, that the continued presence of the student poses a substantial threat to himself/herself, to others, to college property, or to the stability and continuance of normal college functions.
If the allegation constitutes a sex offense as defined by the Clery Act, the College will change the victim's academic situation after an alleged Clery Act sex offense if those changes are requested by the victim and are reasonably available.
When taking steps to separate the complainant and the accused, the Title IX Coordinator will seek to minimize unnecessary or unreasonable burdens on either party; provided, however, that every reasonable effort will be made to allow the complainant to continue in his or her academic and/or campus employment arrangements.
Violation(s) of the Title IX Coordinator's directive and/or protective actions will constitute related offenses that may lead to additional disciplinary action.
Interim measures that may be implemented include but are not limited to:
- Temporary suspension of an employee's employment as well as denial of the employee's access to Institution facilities or property including but not limited to any institution housing;
- Temporary suspension or limitation of an individual's eligibility to enjoy certain privileges, or participate in or attend certain events (or certain kinds of events) without the suspension of employment or enrollment. This action may prohibit an individual's presence on institution property or in certain facilities, or impose conditions that must be met in order for the individual to enjoy certain privileges, participate in activities, or attend events;
- Temporary suspension of a student's eligibility for enrollment or attendance, as well as denial of access to facilities or property including but not limited to housing;
- Implementation of a "no contact" directive.
The Title IX Coordinator is empowered to hear allegations of, and to recommend sanctions for, conduct that violates any institution rule regulation or policy including but not limited to employee handbooks and/or any student conduct code directly related to the alleged discriminatory/harassing/retaliatory conduct.
The Title IX Coordinator may refer the complaint to other college departments for disposition pursuant to other disciplinary procedures if the conduct does not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment but does violate other institutional rules, regulations or policies.