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Guide to Reporting Allegations of Sexual Misconduct


MSU Denver cannot ensure confidentiality of a complaint. If you request confidentiality, MSU Denver may be limited in its ability to take disciplinary action against the alleged Respondent. Moreover, if you request confidentiality, MSU Denver must evaluate your request in the context of its commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment for the campus community. Information may be shared to the extent necessary for MSU Denver to pursue other steps to attempt to limit the effects of the alleged misconduct and work toward preventing its recurrence.

If you desire that details of the incident be kept confidential, there are several resources on campus that may be able to assist you. Counselors in the MSU Denver Counseling Center as well as licensed medical staff and victim assistance providers at the Health Center at Auraria will maintain confidentiality to the extent possible by law. Counselors in the Counseling Center are available to help students free-of-charge and can be seen on an emergency basis.

Being an MSU Denver student, you can also contact the Phoenix Center at Auraria for confidential victim assistance to the extent possible by law. The Phoenix Center can assist in reporting and can connect you to both on campus and local resources. The Phoenix Center provides advocacy services for victims that includes: Accompanying victims to the hospital to receive an examination and evidence collection, court advocacy for orders of protection or through criminal proceedings, and advocacy through the reporting process.

Faculty and staff members not affiliated with the MSU Denver Counseling Center, licensed Health Center at Auraria, and Phoenix Center at Auraria, are required to notify the Title IX Coordinator/Equal Opportunity Office or the Dean of Students Office if they become aware of a complaint of sexual misconduct.

An individual who speaks to one of the confidential resources noted in this section must understand that, if the individual wants to maintain confidentiality, the University will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or, if the alleged conduct is substantiated, pursue disciplinary action against the alleged Respondent. An individual can speak to a confidential resource and then later decide to file a report with the University to have the incident fully investigated. For questions about confidentiality when filing a complaint with the University, please contact the MSU Denver Dean of Students Office at 303-615-0220. 

You have the right to notify or decline to notify law enforcement.  As a way to follow all appropriate steps to end the sexual violence, eliminate the hostile environment, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects, MSU Denver encourages all Complainants to notify law enforcement as soon as possible. 

The incident can be reported to the Auraria Police Department or your local police department, even if you have not determined if you desire to take legal action through the law enforcement/criminal justice system. Auraria Police can be reached by calling 911 from any campus phone or by calling 303-556-5000 from a non-campus phone. If the incident took place off campus, Auraria Police and/or the Dean of Students Office can assist you in contacting police who have jurisdiction over that area. A student may file a police report even if she or he chooses choose not to pursue action with the University. If you would like to file a report with both law enforcement and the University, contact the Dean of Students Office through the above listed options.

Individuals who experience sexual misconduct are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical attention in order to treat injuries, test for and treat sexually transmitted infections, and access emergency contraception (if requested). In addition, a hospital can perform a sexual assault evidence collection procedure. If possible, an individual who has been sexually assaulted should not shower, bathe, douche, change clothes, or wash any bedding articles before going to the hospital or seeking medical attention. If the individual decides to change clothes, she or he should not wash the clothes worn during the assault and should bring them to the hospital or medical facility. Do not delete emails, texts, voicemails, or social media messages as evidence may exist in those formats.

These steps are important to help preserve evidence for possible use in legal actions or requests for a civil restraining order or order of protection. Because evidence dissipates quickly, individuals who wish to preserve evidence are encouraged to seek medical attention within 48 hours of the incident.

MSU Denver community members can contact the Health Center at Auraria by calling 303-615-9999 or 303-615-9911 (after hours) in order to seek treatment or support in accessing other medical or community resources. The Auraria Health Center can provide transportation support to a local hospital for a sexual assault examination or other medical services.

MSU Denver strongly encourages prompt reporting of information related to any possible sexual misconduct. Although there is no time limit on the reporting of formal complaints with the University, the institution may ultimately be limited in its investigation if too much time has passed or if the accused is no longer affiliated with the University. Additionally, prompt reporting supports the preservation of evidence. Even if the incident occurred off campus, MSU Denver is required to investigate any allegation of sexual misconduct regardless of the location.

MSU Denver recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential Student Code of Conduct consequences for her or his personal conduct. An individual who reports sexual misconduct will not be subject to disciplinary action by MSU Denver for her or his own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health and safety of any other person at risk. MSU Denver may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding the consumption alcohol or other drugs.

Individuals have multiple reporting options and can participate in both the University and law enforcement processes simultaneously. The decision to pursue legal action through the law enforcement/criminal justice system does not impact an individual’s ability to proceed with filing a report with the University.

If you would like MSU Denver to take action on your complaint along with the Auraria Police, you have the right to contact the following offices:

  • The Dean ofStudents Office: the Dean of Students Office is responsible for investigating any allegation of sexual misconduct where the Respondent is an MSU Denver student. The Dean of Students Office can assist you in filing a report involving a student enrolled at another Auraria institution with the appropriate contacts. You can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct taken seriously and responded to quickly. Incidents will be investigated and resolved through administrative procedures as described in the Student Code of Conduct. To make a report, you have the option to: visit the Dean of Students Office in Tivoli 311 and speak to the Title IX Investigator. Alternatively, you may call the Dean of Students Office at office at 303-615-0220 or file a report online by visiting the File a Report webpage on the MSU Denver Dean of Students mainpage.
  • Title IX Coordinator/Equal Opportunity: If the Respondent involved is an MSU Denver faculty or staff member, you can file the report with the Office of Equal Opportunity. In order to file a complaint, please contact Velveta Howell. in the Office of Equal Opportunity by visiting the Student Success Building, room 440, or by calling 303-615-0036.
  • If the Respondent involved is affiliated with another Auraria campus institution, you may contact:
    • Auraria Higher Education Center Equal Opportunity Director at 303-556-3384
    • Community College of Denver Director of Human Resources at 303-352-3310
    • University of Colorado Denver Title IX Coordinator at 303-315-0512

MSU Denver community members may also contact the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The Denver OCR can be reached by calling 303-844-5695 or emailing OCR.Denver@ed.gov. The OCR National Headquarter office can be reached by calling 800-421-3481 or emailing OCR@ed.gov.

Actions and investigations initiated under the Title IX process are separate from civil or criminal proceedings that may relate to the same incident. Investigations or conduct proceedings by the University typically are not postponed while criminal or civil proceedings are pending unless otherwise determined by the Title IX Investigator.

MSU Denver prohibits retaliation against an individual for making a complaint of sexual misconduct, for resisting such behavior, or for otherwise using or participating in the grievance process. Prohibited behavior includes any form of intimidation, threats, or harassment by the individual accused of misconduct or persons acting in support of or on behalf of that individual. Acts of retaliation will be documented as a separate allegation of misconduct under the Student Code of Conduct in addition to allegations of sexual misconduct.  An individual experiencing retaliation should contact the Title IX Investigator by calling 303-615-0220.

You are able to file a complaint regarding sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and/or stalking at any time.  We encourage you to report as soon as possible and preserve any evidence associated with the incident.  MSU Denver Dean of Students staff will go over your rights, resources, accommodations, and options available. 

MSU Denver understands the importance of equal access to your academic environment and is able to offer academic accommodations and/or interim measures.  The accommodations and interim measures offered by the MSU Denver Dean of Students Office are dependent upon the situation.  These interim measures/accommodations include (but are not limited to): MSU Counseling Center, the Phoenix Center at Auraria, Health Center at Auraria, academic accommodations, safety planning, a no contact directive between students involved with the investigation, and connecting to law enforcement.  The MSU Denver Dean of Students Office will work with you on implementing the appropriate accommodations/interim measures depending on your circumstance.  If you have questions regarding accommodations/interim measures, please contact the CARE Team Coordinator in the MSU Dean of Students Office at 303-615-0220.

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