BY THE SMART BOARD
Augsburg’s Sexual Misconduct Awareness Raising Team (SMART) wants to answer your questions about consent! We will be answering the questions bi-monthly in the ECHO.
Today, we’re addressing some myths about reporting sexual misconduct to the University and providing real facts.
Myth: In order to report a sexual assault, I need to go to the dean or someone in a powerful position.
Fact: If you need to report sexual assault or abuse to the University, you can take it to someone you are comfortable with. If you have a professor or mentor who you trust and would be more comfortable going to them, you may! Another option: if you don’t want to tell anyone in person or want remain anonymous, there is an online form to report. You can find this completely confidential and anonymous form here: http://inside.augsburg. edu/studentaffairs/harassment-and-sexualharassment-reportingform/
Myth: If I was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of an assault, I can get in trouble with the University for underage drinking or drug use if I report.
Fact: According to the Augsburg University Sexual Misconduct Policy, the reporter will be “granted amnesty for drinking under age, being intoxicated, or using illegal drugs.” The University’s first priority is your safety and wellbeing, so you don’t have to worry about being disciplined for underage drinking or illicit drug use if you report that you were intoxicated at the time of the assault. Myth: The survivor has to report the assault, no one else can report. Fact: According to the Augsburg University Process & Ways to Report, there are many ways to report an assault. A survivor can talk to the dean as well as a trusted faculty or staff. The reporter can email the dean, fill out the anonymous form or have a trusted friend report for them. Having someone else report for a survivor is called third party reporting. A survivor may remain anonymous through third party reporting depending on their wishes. A person reporting for a survivor should keep information confidential to other students, faculty or staff since a survivor is trusting this person with information that they may not want everyone to know. No matter if a survivor chooses to report or not, it is always their choice, and no one should pressure them either way.
Questions for SMART’s monthly column can be submitted to smarteam@ augsburg.edu. They will be printed anonymously and kept confidential.
SMART meets every other Monday in OGC 100 from 7pm–8pm, and holds recap meetings in the Marshall Room during chapel time on the first Wednesday of every month. Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming events. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on their email list.
This article first appeared in the Friday, December 1, 2017, Edition of The Echo.