The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers sexual assault prevention training but it is not in-person and does not appear to include bystander intervention training. They do not provide a definition of sexual assault. They have an affirmative consent policy, however, their definition of affirmative consent only partially matches EROC’s. The university does not provide a definition of retaliation or explicitly forbid retaliation against survivors.
The investigation process is confusing and unclear. The university states that the Equal Opportunity & Diversity (EO&D) investigator provides a draft of his/her investigation to the EO&D Executive Director to determine whether the event occurred. If the director determines that it occurred, they select a 3-person hearing panel to hear the case and “make a decision.” It is unclear whether the hearing panel makes a final decision on responsibility and the university does not specify whether a decision requires a majority vote or whether it would require unanimity. The panel can recommend sanctions to the EO&D director if there was a policy violation. The Vice Chancellor/Provost will review the panel’s report and may either accept, modify, or reject the panel’s determination and recommendation. The university does not provide a sanctioning code and does not publicize information on the number of cases and sanctions. They stipulate that an attorney can be present during this process, but do not specify a timeline for investigations. The Chancellor hears appeals and the University of Massachusetts Amherst does not specify whether sanctions are on hold during the appeal process or whether they go into effect immediately. They explicitly forbid mediation in cases of sexual assault and state that their investigators are survivor-centered and trauma-informed.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst provides accommodations to survivors outside of the adjudication process. The university has a student health center that has emergency contraception and a sexual assault center where survivors can have an evidentiary exam performed for free. The university also has a civilian advocate on campus and a crisis hotline through the women’s center. The university provides information on local rape crisis centers, but does not state whether campus police are trauma informed.
March 1, 2017
https://www.umass.edu/uhs/services/pharmacy/contraception https://www.umass.edu/uhs/services/womenshealth https://www.umass.edu/umpd/advocacy-services-violence-and-abuse-victims https://www.umass.edu/umpd/sexual-assault-resources https://www.umass.edu/titleix/sites/default/files/documents/sexual_violence_resource_guide-09-15.pdf https://www.umass.edu/titleix/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/hearing_board.pdf https://www.umass.edu/titleix/sites/default/files/documents/informal_complaint.pdf https://www.umass.edu/titleix/reporting/my-reporting-options/if-i-want-investigation-who-will-handle-it https://www.umass.edu/titleix/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/hearing_board.pdf