Sharing educational records often requires student consent. There are some circumstances, such as the college being aware of a potential sexual predator, in which the college has the right to warn others.
“We may deem, in a certain situation, that disclosure was important to provide because of the potential impact elsewhere,” Putnam said. The college can notify a third party if the college feels it is in the best interest of society. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
There may be incidents in which one is deemed responsible for a sexual assault policy violation that never went to the police. According to Putnam, some complainants want some kind of justice but choose to not involve the police and make the incident public. Even if such an incident does not go to the criminal justice system, thus leaving a responsible party without a public criminal record, that person may still pose a threat.
When a complaint is brought to the PPD, the length of every investigation, as well as the approach to each complaint, is based upon its own merit. Bokinsky added that every incident is investigated to exhaustion. The point of every criminal investigation is to seek the truth.
The majority of sexual assaults occur between people who know each other. For college students, the issue may hinge on whether or not consent is given. Central provides seminars to students to try to educate them about the importance of consent, and ongoing clarity in a relationship of how intimacy can advance.
Students are taught that they need clear consent from the other party. The fact that alcohol can play a role in alleged sexual assault incidents can complicate the matter. Confusion and misunderstandings can take place when one is drunk, the Central's policy clearly indicates that inebriation – on the part of either party – is not an excuse in these incidents.