by Alex Melnick
arts & life editor
As our campus starts another exciting school year, the P&W finds that it’s useful to refresh returning students’ memory of the sexual misconduct policy at Millsaps, and also to more fully explain the policy to incoming students. While our publication has nothing but the highest regarding for the student body of leaders and scholars, it’s still necessary for the school to be completely aware of what to do in the unfortunate case of sexual misconduct.
First of all, if a sexual assault occurs on campus or a Millsaps student commits sexual assault anywhere, the person alerted to the event should take a few steps. The victim should be placed in a safe, secure area immediately while someone contacts campus security. Additionally, medical and legal services should immediately be contacted to come to campus, or a trusted person should prepare to take the victim to the emergency room in their vehicle. Campus security will need to take a statement from the victim, and legal consul should be given. Campus security will keep the victim’s information anonymous and his or her name will not be released under any circumstances.
Please do not allow the victim to shower or change clothes until medical evaluation has been completed so that evidence can be gathered in the event that the victim wishes to press charges. Hospitals also offer counselors, sexual-assault caseworkers, and information about various resources for the victim. Millsaps’ Director of Health Services Lori Genous has a wide variety of resources for sexual assault follow-up and can be contacted via email or by going to student life. In addition, College Chaplain Chris Donald and any resident assistants are resources a victim could speak to that are independent of any legal processes.
The official Millsaps stance on sexual misconduct is that, as quoted verbatim from our website, “Any member of the Millsaps community who is charged with sexual misconduct may be prosecuted under Mississippi criminal statutes. Even if the criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute, the College can pursue disciplinary action. This disciplinary action could range from probation to expulsion from the College. Additionally, the College may elect to suspend the accused during the investigation.”
In order to protect victims, self-incrimination (getting in trouble for breaking a rule on campus while reporting a crime) will not occur. This means if sexual misconduct occurred while a student was drinking underage, and drinking was not already reported, then no self-incrimination will occur while reporting their case. If a rule violation was already reported prior to the sexual misconduct, the victim will have their violation treated as a totally separate issue. Students involved with a sexual misconduct case are also permitted to request different living or academic arrangements as well, as long as it’s a possibility to do so. (This means you can ask to move dorms, not have the school pay for you to live off campus.)
The rules regarding sexual misconduct in detail can be found here , along with a variety of hotlines of resources. Remember Millsaps: If you see something, say something. Stand up for your classmates.