Hampton University
Hampton University Student Government Association Town Hall 2018
02/21/2018 - #147

HAMPTON, Va. (Feb. 21, 2018)— The Hampton University Student Government Association (S.G.A.) hosted its annual Town Hall Meeting, providing an open forum for students and members of the university administration, Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the Student Center Ballroom.

Moderated by S.G.A. President Martha Baye, Hampton University students had the option to personally voice their questions or anonymously submit them to be read by student leaders to members of the University administration.  

The students posed questions about several different topics, including sexual assault, facilities dining hall and security. The administrators listened and answered questions, as well as communicated and expressed that these are matters that the administration takes very seriously.

Sexual Assault
Hampton University has had a sexual misconduct committee since Spring 1979 and has always encouraged students, faculty and staff to self-report.  Today, any report of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment should be reported to the Title IX Office.  No permission is needed from anyone to make a report or to get help.  After a report, the procedural steps to resolution are:

1.     Honor a student’s wishes NOT to move forward with an investigation, and close the case.    
2.     Provide Interim Measures while an incident is being investigated.
3.     Conduct an investigation where both parties will present facts.
4.     Submit the report to the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Committee for a hearing and adjudication of the matter.
5.     The decision of the Committee is final and the parties receive written notification of the outcome of the hearing from the appropriate administrator.
6.      The case is then CLOSED !

Title IX is a federal law that requires all campuses receiving federal funding to have a Title IX Coordinator and policies and procedures in place to handle sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in an appropriate manner.
Once Hampton University is placed on notice of an incident, we have to take steps to find out what happened and respond appropriately.
An appropriate response includes, but is not limited to, the following:

o     1. Honoring a student’s wishes NOT to move forward with an investigation, and closing the case, or,
o     2. Providing Interim Measures while an incident is being investigated. Interim Measures are individualized to the incident and based on the needs of the student, and could include the following:
§     Academic accommodations
§     Safety plan
§     Counseling
§     Housing relocation
§     Other similar accommodations

    When an investigation commences, the process works as follows:
o     Both parties will be interviewed by the Title IX Coordinator to gather facts of the incident, any supporting evidence and possible witnesses
o     In the initial intake interviews, the parties are provided oral and written information about Title IX and the policies and procedures at Hampton University.
o     Parties are instructed not to have contact with the other party involved, and it is emphasized that retaliation is prohibited in any form.
o     Following the interviews, the Title IX Coordinator will write an Investigative Report based on the facts and evidence gathered.
o     The Investigative Report is then submitted to the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Committee (“Committee”) for a hearing and adjudication of the matter. The Committee deliberates and determines if a Title IX violation has occurred, then imposes sanctions.
o     The decision of the Committee is final.
o     Following the Committee’s decision, the parties receive written notification of the outcome of the hearing from the appropriate administrator:
§     Students - Dr. Barbara Inman, VP of Administrative Services
§     Faculty - Dr. JoAnn W. Haysbert, Chancellor and Provost
§     Staff -  Mrs. Doretha J. Spells, VP for Business Affairs & Treasurer
·     The case is then CLOSED !

Hampton University offers both non-confidential and confidential resources regarding the report of sexual assault. The confidential resources are the Counseling Center, the Hampton University Health Center and the University Chaplain. All students are encouraged to seek services from Title IX as well as the campus police. Non confidential resources are Hampton University Police Department, Title IX and Faculty/staff which means these individuals are obligated to report the case.

As it relates to the current state of dormitories and reports of mold, Doretha Spells, Hampton University Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer, informed the students about the current $20 million renovation plan that has been underway for the past two years and the university’s policy when mold is reported.

“Due to the climate and a campus surrounded by water on three sides, conditions tend to be favorable for mold,” said Spells. “However, when mold is brought to our attention, the University’s policy is to handle it immediately but no later that 48 hours of the notification.”

Dining Hall
As it relates to the current state of the dining hall, a picture was circulated by a female student which showed bugs on an apple pie tartlet. The bugs were not found until after the student left the dining hall. Therefore, it is not known when the bugs got on the dessert. The same picture was also circulated by a parent of a male student indicating that her son had found bugs. This same parent presented a picture of a plate with a hair in it, but the plate in the picture is not one that is used by Gourmet Services in the dining hall. It was also stated that the dining had failed health inspections. Spells set the record straight:

“Neither the dining hall nor Gourmet Services has failed any health inspections,” said Spells. “On January 19, 2018, there was a health inspection conducted by the Virginia Department of Heath. The walkthrough inspection included the self-service counter, the bakery area in the kitchen, stir-fry station and the dish room. On January 25, 2018, there was a follow up inspection by the health inspector and the area supervisor. Once again, these high level health officials confirmed ‘Upon all inspections we have not seen signs of pests in either the self service areas.’"

As it relates to the current state of campus safety, David Glover, Chief of the Hampton University Police Department, discussed the procedures in place to best protect our students.

“The safety and well-being of our students is our first priority,” said Glover. “The standard manning of Hampton Harbor Apartments is four University police officers and four contracted officers from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. The number of incidents have reduced dramatically at this location since this procedure was put in place. The University will always err on the side of safety versus convenience.”

The Hampton University administration understands the importance of the issues and takes these matters seriously.


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