The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




Reporting Sexual Misconduct on UNG Campuses


Research conducted this year by American Association of University Women states that two-thirds of college students have experienced sexual harassment.

Title IX is of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Public and private elementary schools, secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities that are receiving Federal funds must comply with this law. This law states that the discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence i.e.: rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. 

The University of North Georgia has a Sexual Misconduct policy. Students can find more information about UNG’s policy here.

According to UNG’s Sexual Misconduct policy, sexual indecency includes, but is not limited to, such unwanted behavior as dating violence, domestic violence, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual penetration, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment and stalking.

Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct that can include gender stereotypes. It also includes anything that is objectively offensive or would deny a person equal access to participate in programs or activities.

“The policy exists to outline what falls under sexual misconduct and the process for adjudication.” -Misty R. McDonald, Title IX Coordinator for the Title IX Office in the Division of Student Affairs on Gainesville Campus. 

McDonald has been working for UNG for little over six years now. Her job is to handle the intake of reports, reaching out to the complaints to offer them support and resources, and conducting interviews for reports that go to the investigation stage. She analyzes the collected data, does presentations to educate others about sexual misconduct, and offers the complaints options regarding if they want their reports to be investigated by the university.

She said the Dahlonega campus has the most reports of sexual misconduct. Gainesville campus has the second most reports of sexual misconduct. Oconee is third, Cumming is fourth, and   Blue Ridge has the least amount of reports.

This is data collected from the reports showing several types of allegations. Graph by Rebecca Ansley.
This is data collected about the outcome of the alleged charges. Graph by Rebecca Ansley.

The data collected by UNG’s Title IX Office is from July 1 through Nov. 9 of this year. There have been 76 reports of sexual misconduct at the university. Out of all the reports, the complaints were made by 69 females and 7 males while the perpetrators were 59 males and 7 females. Sexual harassment is the allegation to be the most reported.

Even though there are 76 reports of sexual misconduct, 12% are still open whereas 63% have no investigations. McDonald said this is because 46% of complainants don’t respond when reached out to, 33% of complainants asked for the case to be closed, 4% of the perpetrators weren’t enrolled or employed at the university, 29% of the perpetrators are not affiliated to the university, and 15% of these reports have come to an informal resolution.

12% of reports that are open, two of them are moving forward with the investigation while the other seven are still in process.

McDonald said that investigating these reports is time-consuming even though their goal is to be less than 122 days. It depends on when the time of the year that these incidents occurred, the communication between the complainants, how many witnesses were there, the willingness to schedule and meet with everyone involved, and collecting evidence.

The data collected from the reports that don’t lead to investigations. Graph by Rebecca Ansley.
There are several different ways students can report incidents of sexual misconduct to the university. They can fill out the sexual misconduct form that is located on UNG’s website. They can report it to the See Something Say Something app that is controlled by UNG’s Public Safety. McDonald said that she has also received emails and phone calls of reports.
Students who report their incidents of sexual misconduct are given support services and interim measures from the university and outside resources. She said, “the purpose of providing resources to students is to ensure students know where and how they can find support.”
All new students are required to complete an online sexual assault prevention program that is paired with Everfi. There is additional in-person training conducted for key populations at the university such as the Corps of Cadets, residential assistants, athletes, fraternity and sorority members. There are a number of departments that have required such training for their staff and students.
“To create a safe environment, all members of the university need to play a role of addressing behaviors. Report potential violations,” McDonald continues to say, “Be supportive. Engage in bystander intervention.”
Leave a Comment
Donate to Vanguard

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of North Georgia. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Rebecca Ansley, Staff Editor
My name is Rebecca Ansley, and I am located on the Gainesville campus. I am a junior majoring in Communications with concentration in Multimedia Journalism. I am into photography and film. I love journalism because it allows me to see the different perspectives of those around me. I love being able to give people their voices through my writing and to show the different perspectives of people who have different experiences than me. I want to give the communities their voices back and understand how certain events impact all of us. I also want to show that side to my photography as well. Photojournalism gives me that chance to have my camera lens look into the soul of the person's eyes, to understand their emotions, and to let others see that side of them too.
Donate to Vanguard

Comments (0)

All Vanguard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Reporting Sexual Misconduct on UNG Campuses