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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Reporting Options

Who to contact?

CAIR (Confidential and Impartial Resolution Resources):

Confidential CAIR Info Line: 458-5800

CAIR Resources are trained and ready to…

  • ASSIST YOU in UNDERSTANDING the University Policy concerning Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation and Sexual Misconduct.
  • EXPLORE and FACILITATE YOUR OPTIONS for informal or formal resolution, which may include:
    • Local support services (counseling, health care…)
    • Facilitated communication between those who feel they have been subjected to harassing or discriminatory conduct, and those accused of that conduct. CAIR resources can...
      • take an oral or written statement
      • assist with informal resolution
      • contact the other person, and either take that person’s oral or written statement, or refer that person to another CAIR Resource
    • Shuttle diplomacy between two people
    • Explore other means to achieve your desired resolution
    • Confidential dispute resolution service for those who jointly seek an alternative to formal disciplinary investigation and proceedings, or assistance in initiating professional mediation
    • Formal proceedings, including
      • assistance in initiating a hearing via the SFHB
      • assistance in filing charges with local law enforcement authorities

Formal Reports

On- and off-campus judicial options are available for students who choose to formally report an incident of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, harassment or stalking.

On Campus—Student Faculty Hearing Board (SFHB)

  • The SFHB may find culpability and impose sanctions when it finds reasonable evidence of a violation of W&L policy.
  • Sanctions can include, but are not limited to: counseling, probation, educational programming, suspension or dismissal.
  • Note that Virginia law is not enforced by the SFHB, nor are decisions made by the SFHB binding in a Virginia court or vice versa. Different standards are used for evaluating cases by the SFHB vs. courts of law.

How to File a Complaint with the SFHB

  • To initiate the process for a SFHB hearing, a student should file a written complaint with a CAIR Resource.
  • The Associate Dean of Students receives the complaint from the CAIR Resource.
  • The Director of Public Safety (or designee) conducts an investigation. Public Safety talks to both parties and other relevant witnesses.
  • The investigator’s report is presented to SFHB and a hearing is scheduled. To the extent possible, all investigations and hearings are kept confidential.
  • A law student advocate is appointed for each person to help advise about procedures.

Off-Campus—Virginia Legal Action

You may decide to file a civil or criminal case. The standard of proof in a VA court of law is often more stringent than that used by W&L, and if a student is found innocent of a crime or civilly not responsible, that student may still be subject to discipline by the SFHB.

A CAIR resource can direct you to the Lexington City Police or Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office, or the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Project Horizon’s Legal Advocate is also available at 463-2594.