FAQ

The information provided below reflects the current UNC policy and does not capture the work or policy recommendations of the Title IX Task Force.  This document will be updated to reflect changes that are made to the UNC policy as soon as those revisions take effect.

What Should I Do If I Am Sexually Assaulted?

Carolina offers a variety of services and resources to assist any individual who has been sexually assaulted.  The following are steps that you may wish to take following an assault:

  •  Contact the Police: If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately.  The police can provide protection from the assailant(s) and can collect evidence and testimony for potential criminal charges.  The University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) are sworn police officers who are trained to assist students who experience sexual assault.  If the incident occurred off campus, DPS officers will connect the student to the police department or law enforcement agency in the correct jurisdiction.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Go to the UNC Hospitals Emergency Department or Campus Health Services, where forensic nurses can collect evidence, treat injuries and offer medication for sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy prevention.  Counselors are also available for emotional support. If you are not in the Chapel Hill area, please go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Contact the University: Call the Office of the Dean of Students; the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Howie Kallem; or the University’s Student Complaint Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Officer, Ew Quimbaya-Winship.  Contact information for each of these resources is provided below.

Office of the Dean of Students
Student and Academic Services Building North
Suite 1106
(919) 966-4042
dos@unc.edu

Representatives from the Dean of Students Office can provide assistance and support directly and in collaboration with other University resources, including academic relief and protective measures.

Howie Kallem
Title IX Coordinator
100 E. Franklin St., Unit 110
(919) 962-2099
howard.kallem@unc.edu

Ew Quimbaya-Winship
Deputy Title IX/Student Complaint Coordinator
Student and Academic Services Buildings North
Suite 1125
(919) 843-3878
eqw@email.unc.edu

Ew works with students who experience sexual assault to coordinate protective measures and other timely services, to provide information about available resources, and to explain the reporting process. Ew can also assist students who wish to contact law enforcement. You can learn more about available resources at http://safe.unc.edu/resources/.

  • Seek Counseling: Confidential counseling is available through the UNC Hospitals Emergency Department or the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services.  Additional resources are available in the community, including through the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.

Assistance for Individuals Who Experience Sexual Assault

The University is deeply committed to providing support and care to students who experience sexual assault. Because sexual assault survivors may experience a wide range of responses, Carolina offers different services and resources to meet individual needs. A sexual assault resources guide may be found at: http://campusconversation.web.unc.edu/resources/

Key Facts:  How the University Handles Sexual Assault Complaints

  • Filing a Report: Any student who experiences sexual assault is encouraged to contact the University for information about support, resources, and options.  The following individuals are available to assist students:

Howie Kallem
Title IX Coordinator
100 E. Franklin Street, Unit 110
(919) 962-2099
howard.kallem@unc.edu

Ew Quimbaya-Winship
Deputy Title IX/Student Complaint Coordinator
Student and Academic Services Buildings North
Suite 1125
(919) 843-3878
eqw@email.unc.edu

Office of the Dean of Students
Student and Academic Services Building North
Suite 1106
(919) 966-4042
dos@unc.edu

  • Assessing the Risk: The University’s Department of Public Safety follows up on reports of sexual assault to ensure there is no ongoing threat to the campus community.  No information about the identity of the reporting party is released publicly unless necessary to avoid an imminent threat to the health and safety of others.
  •  Investigating the Report: The University investigates reports of sexual assault to determine if there is good cause to move forward.  If so, the student who filed the report may choose to pursue an informal resolution through the Dean of Students Office or request a formal hearing before the Student Grievance Committee.
  • Student Grievance Committee: Formal hearings are handled by a three-person panel that includes one student, one faculty member and one staff member.  These individuals receive specialized training to help them understand the complexities of sexual assault cases.
  • Appeals Process: Either party can appeal the panel’s decision if the grounds for appeal are met. Appeals are first directed to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.  In certain cases, further appeals may be made to the University’s Board of Trustees or to the UNC Board of Governors.

Frequently Asked Questions:  How The University Handles Sexual Assault Complaints

With whom can I speak confidentially about sexual assault?

Students who experience sexual assault can receive confidential counseling and support from the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Health Services, the UNC Hospitals Emergency Department and local support organizations, such as the Orange County Rape Crisis Center and The Compass Center for Women and Families. Students can also speak confidentially with the  University’s Ombuds Office, an impartial, informal and independent resource.

Are sexual assault cases handled by the Honor System?

No.  All sexual assault cases that proceed to a hearing are now heard by the Student Grievance Committee.

Did the Honor System handle sexual assault cases in the past?

Yes.  The Honor System previously handled all cases involving student conduct.  However, the University recognizes that sexual assault issues are more complex and require special expertise and training.  In January 2012, the University instituted an interim process that required all sexual assault cases to be heard by a five-member University Hearings Board that included 2 students, 2 faculty members and 1 staff member.  In August 2012, the University formalized the current policy that requires all sexual assault cases – and all reports of discrimination and harassment – to be handled by the Student Grievance Committee.  For more information about the Honor System, visit: http://studentconduct.unc.edu/honor-system.

Why did the University change how it handles sexual assault cases?

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights directed colleges and universities nationwide in April 2011 to review their policies and procedures regarding sexual assault.  At the time, the University was in the process of changing its procedures.  The University since has removed sexual assault cases from the jurisdiction of the Honor System.

Other changes in policies include the adoption of a lower standard of proof (students may be found responsible for sexual assault based upon a “preponderance of the evidence”) and a new appeals process that allows either party to appeal the Student Grievance Committee’s determination if the grounds for appeal are met.  These changes are consistent with the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Why are sexual assault cases handled by the University and not the police?

Students who experience sexual assault may pursue criminal charges in addition to, or instead of, pursuing cases through the University process.  The University encourages students to contact the police and pursue criminal charges and will assist students with that decision.

The University can provide students with additional remedies that are not available through law enforcement.  For example, the University can provide academic accommodations, safe housing, and campus-based no contact orders for students.

How is the University working to change the campus climate about issues related to sexual assault?

The University has retained Gina Maisto Smith, a former prosecutor and national expert on college sexual abuse, to help guide campus-wide conversation about how sexual assault affects campus and culture.  Her work is an instrumental part of the University’s efforts to strengthen current processes and to change the culture on campus.  (Refer to Chancellor Thorp’s March 8, 2013, message to the campus community for additional context.)  Additionally, a 22-member task force which includes students, faculty members, staff members, and a community representative has been working to make recommendations for changes to the University’s policy on addressing student reports of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.