At Franciscan University of Steubenville, ensuring student safety is an important priority. We take reports of sexual assault and harassment seriously and respond with care and compassion for all parties involved. The University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, which has been in place since 2014 and updated in 2017, sets forth robust investigation and response protocols that are consistent with Federal law and our Catholic and Franciscan identity.
We encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward and make a report. We also recommend that victims report to local law enforcement. This recommendation is explicit in our Policy, which outlines a range of options for contacting law enforcement. We also assist victims in making law enforcement reports when they are ready. When a report is made to law enforcement, we cooperate to the extent permitted by law.
To facilitate cooperation with law enforcement, in 2015, the University and Steubenville Police Department entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing that:
- Sexual violence reported to the University will be handled in a manner consistent with the alleged victim’s wishes unless otherwise required to be reported by law.
- In the event the alleged victim wishes to pursue criminal charges, the University agrees to assist in making contact with law enforcement.
- The University and law enforcement will coordinate to ensure an appropriate and responsible investigation into reported incidents of sexual violence offenses.
Apart from conducting our own investigation and encouraging victims to report to police, the University offers support to victims, including medical, counseling, and pastoral services, as well as academic and housing accommodations. These support services are provided on an optional basis and are never mandated. These services, and other options for victims, are outlined in our Policy, which is provided to persons who report sexual misconduct.
We also strive to protect the privacy of all parties in sexual misconduct cases, as required by Federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Anyone who experienced or is aware of sexual misconduct at Franciscan University is encouraged to make a report to the University or the Steubenville Police Department (740-282-5353). Anonymous reports may be made to the University through EthicsPoint (EthicsPoint.com or 844-521-7816). To speak to someone at Franciscan directly, contact the Title IX Office, (HR@franciscan.edu; 740-283-6238).