Responding to Sexual Misconduct

Our community regulations and expectations of conduct are updated and outlined in the Almanac.

If you or a friend experiences sexual assault...

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Call for assistance. Ask any trusted friend or adult for help. Go to the Health Center (3226) and ask for a counselor. If it’s urgent, call Security (0).

  • Seek medical attention. Ask for help from the Health Center, call the Health Center (3226), or come directly to the Health Center.

If you were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of the incident, you will NOT face discipline for a drug/alcohol violation. Read the "Health Center Policy" on page 39 of the Almanac.

What if I feel I cannot reach out to anyone on campus?

If you or a friend feels that you cannot talk to anyone on campus, there are resources to help. Rainn.org is a resource that supports people dealing with sexual assault. RAINN created the National Sexual Assault Hotline and offers a private online chat.

What happens if I file a report?

If a report has been filed, is it confidential?
If you report an alleged sexual assault, we are obligated to inform local law enforcement. This doesn’t mean that charges will be filed or that you will have to speak with the police. On campus, we will respect your privacy to the extent that it doesn't interfere with our ability to investigate the incident. As a matter of policy and prudence, we will notify your parent or guardian and relevant School administrators, but we will keep you apprised of who is being informed and why.

What if I am not sure if I experienced sexual assault?

If you believe you have had an experience of non-consensual sexual contact, or if you aren’t sure, you should talk to someone about the events that transpired.

Contact the Health Center (3226) and ask to speak to a counselor, who may be able to help you define and clarify the event.


For the Adults in Our Community

Steps We Take To Educate Students

  • In Class Meetings during the fall, we will explain the laws of the State of Connecticut regarding consensual sexual activity. These meetings will include discussions about what sexual consent and statutory rape mean.
  • Also in Class Meetings, students will be reminded that as a matter of policy and prudence, we often notify parents when we encounter students who may have had sexual contact, and we always notify parents if the consensual activity trips the state's three-year limitation and is considered statutory rape in the state of Connecticut. The definitions can seem complicated based on the ages of the people involved. The most relevant point is that the State's three-year limitation applies when the younger person is 13-15 years old and the older person is more than three years older. If the person is under 13, there are different criminal statutes.
  • We would like our students to understand that they -- especially when one student is more than three years older -- are at risk of being reported to local authorities for criminal prosecution if the encounter meets a definition of statutory rape; sometimes the School may act as the reporter, even if the actions were consensual. The reporter may also be the younger student or the younger student's parents.
  • We invite speakers with training and specialties in adolescent behaviors to come to discuss topic and encourage greater understanding. Speakers have included: Cindy Pierce, noted specialist in human sexuality; Hakeem Rahim on mental health awareness, depression, and suicide prevention; Matt Bellace on the prevention of substance abuse; and Jennifer Finney Boylan, noted speaker on issues of LGBTQ awareness; and health education consultant, Justine Fonte, who addresses healthy decision making and consent.
  • Through Human Development classes, lower mids will also learn about bystander training, and other ways to help keep themselves and their friends safe.

Faculty and Staff Training

We continue to train our faculty and staff members regarding the following:

  • All new faculty and staff members receive training about their obligation under Connecticut law to report when they suspect or believe that a child under 18 has been abused, neglected, or placed in imminent risk of serious harm.
  • The School's Community Conduct Council (Almanac, page 49) also regularly reviews policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct, and makes recommendations for faculty training and to improve our response to incidents.
  • Faculty members have been instructed to relay swiftly any concerns, knowledge, or suspicions relevant to student safety to the Dean on Duty and the Dean of Students, who will in turn notify the local authorities, as needed.
  • All faculty and staff members review and sign the Code of Ethical Conduct for Employees in Relation to Students (Almanac, page 49). All reports of alleged violation are reviewed and responded to by the Community Conduct Council (CCC).

Our Policies

Our Community Regulations are outlined in the Almanac. You can find the following regulations and policies on these pages:

  • Sexual Misconduct Statement, page 63
  • Community Regulation, Major Offense: Sexual Misconduct, page 41
  • Commitment to Ethical Conduct, page 3
  • Code of Ethical Conduct and Community Conduct Council, page 49
  • General Harassment Policy, including sexual harassment, page 61

Resources for Parents

Parents and families are students' most important guides. We encourage all parents to have conversations about healthy relationships with your students.

We encourage all parents to understand the laws in Connecticut.
Read about what constitutes statutory rape and the age of consent in Connecticut.

Here are three great resources for parents from Dr. Richard Weissbourd at Harvard's Making Caring Common Project: Tips for Parents, Guiding Teens and Young Adults in Developing Healthy Romantic Relationships, and Reducing and Preventing Misogyny and Sexual Harassment Among Teens and Young Adults.

Contact the Health Center

Wieler Health Center
Phone: (860) 435-3226
Fax: (860) 435-2422

E. Quincy McLaughlin, MSW
Dean of Student Well-being
(860) 435-3234
qmclaughlin@hotchkiss.org

Danielle Shippey, BSN, RN
Director of Nurses
(860) 435-3232
dshippey@hotchkiss.org

Jodi von Jess, LCSW
Director of Counseling
(860) 435-3659
jvonjess@hotchkiss.org

Jared Zelman, MD
School Physician
(860) 435-3226
jzelman@hotchkiss.org

Catherine Hosterman, APRN
Nurse Practitioner
(860) 435-3226
chosterman@hotchkiss.org