A CLOSER LOOK: U of A frat members encouraged to report sexual assault

A Closer Look

U of A Greek Life personnel train campus fraternity leaders on how to prevent and report sexual assaults.

university of arkansas, campus, old main, fayetteville, u of a_9189911189010860761

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Fraternity members at the University of Arkansas are encouraged by school officials to report any acts of rape or sexual assault committed by fellow frat members.

“[Greek Life] does a significant amount of training with fraternity membership to report to the university,” said Tyler Farrar, U of A Title IX coordinator. “They do a lot of prevention work with the universities, but beyond that, they also do a number of training, speaking to the leadership about how to report.”

Fraternity leaders participate in various training courses, including sexual assault prevention, how to report sexual assault, bystander prevention and more. Fraternity members are also encouraged to participate in It’s On Us Week, a campaign to raise awareness and help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses, according to Patrice Bowser, U of A Greek Life Leadership Center director.

“Students are strongly encouraged to report any knowledge they may have as it relates to sexual assault. They may report directly to University Police Department and/or to our Title IX office,” Bowser said.

Fraternity members who are aware of a sexual assault occurring typically report the assault to the Greek Life director. Title IX requires that Greek Life personnel inform the Title IX office about the reported sexual assault, according to Farrar.

“Generally speaking, students do not have the same reporting obligations under Title IX and campus policy to report allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator.
So employees have this obligation under the law and under policy to report what they know or suspect about sexual misconduct,” Farrar said.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance investigates sexual misconduct allegations made against university faculty and staff. Title IX Office investigates sexual misconduct allegations made against students, Farrar said.

“We have a Title IX investigator who will make contact with the person who may have been the victim, which we call the complainant,” Farrar said. “We’ll make contact with [the complainant] to give them resources, the ability to file a formal complaint with the university and go over policies and procedures with that student.”

The Title IX Office’s investigation is not a criminal investigation, but rather an investigation of a potential campus policy violation that could result in the accused student being suspended or expelled if the student is found to have committed the violation.

“Sometimes there are allegations of sexual misconduct that are not reported to UAPD that may be reported to the Title IX office. There may be things that are reported to police that aren’t initially reported to the Title IX office,” Farrar said.

Title IX personnel notify the university’s police department about any sexual assault reports they receive. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires employees designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSA), such as Title IX Office staffers, to report any crime that they become aware of, according to Capt. Gary Crain with UAPD.

Title IX personnel encourage sexual assault complainants to also report the sexual assault to either campus police or Fayetteville police if they haven’t already.

“The alleged victim has to be willing to talk to us. If they say to a CSA that they are a victim of a sexual assault and they do not want to talk to police, then nobody is going to try to force them to talk to police,” Crain said. “The information we get from CSAs is sometimes very minimal, and sometimes we get quite a bit of information.”

If the UAPD receives a report of a sexual assault that hasn’t been brought to the Title IX office’s attention, then UAPD personnel will notify the Title IX office about the alleged incident, according to Crain.

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