WPI is dedicated to providing each member of the WPI community the opportunity to participate in its educational and employment programs and activities in a discrimination- and harassment-free environment, in order to reach their fullest potential.
WPI has resources and support for those experiencing discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking or retaliation.
Below are resources for those experiencing a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy:
When anyone experiences any kind of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or stalking and feels medical services are needed, they should seek medical care. Students may also seek medical attention, support, and treatment at Student Health Services. Staff there can arrange transportation to a hospital if needed.
If Health Services is closed, students should go directly to a hospital. Staff members or faculty in need of medical services are strongly encouraged to seek medical attention from one of the hospitals listed below, a local hospital emergency department, or through their primary care physician.
Three nearby hospitals have been designated by the State of Massachusetts and have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) (a specially trained nurse who may be able to collect evidence, treat injuries, STDs, and provide pregnancy intervention options) on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A person may refuse any part(s) or all of a SANE exam and still receive treatment. A person can have a SANE exam performed anonymously. The SANE nurse will explain this option.
These SANE-staffed hospitals are:
- UMASS University Hospital
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
Contact info: www.umassmed.edu/contactus
- UMASS Memorial Hospital
119 Belmont Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Main phone number: 508-334-1000
Read here for more information about SANE locations.
Many people who experience sexual harassment in the classroom or workplace setting feel powerless or want to delay reporting to see if the problem solves itself. Dr. Julie Shaw, psychological scientist, suggests the following, if you are experiencing harassment:
1. After an event, write down everything that happened before you speak to anyone. (This is the best way to ensure an accurate account of what happened.)
2. If possible, time stamp this writing in some way. For example, you can email yourself or send yourself a text message.
3. Make sure that what you are writing down is relevant. Things to include: what happened, who was present, time and date, location, who you told, how it made you feel, and include any evidence you can think of (emails, video surveillance, etc).
Having written documentation of the harassment you experience will be helpful if you decide to pursue a complaint at a later date.
Confidential Resource Advisors (CRAs)
CRAs are specially trained employees who can assist respondents with making decisions. They are available to both students and employees, and your conversations will remain confidential, and no report will be made to the Title IX Office. CRAs can continue to be a source of support throughout the process. They can provide info about the investigative and disciplinary process, counseling services, medical and health services, academic accommodations, and legal process carried out through law enforcement. They can also assist with coordinating accommodations and interim measures to change academic, living, campus transportation, or working arrangements in response to participating in the investigative and/or disciplinary process. A full list of CRA's for the current academic year can be found here.
Find more information about ongoing support.
Emergency WPI Counselor on call – contact through WPI Police, 508-831-5555 (5555 from campus phone); also, blue light emergency phones.
List of other counseling and support options.
For more information, see Sexual Assault & Violence Education (SAVE).
How to Collect Evidence
- Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected within 120 hours; however, anyone experiencing sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or stalking is also strongly encouraged to seek medical attention after that time period.
- It is important that those seeking a SANE examination not wash themselves or their clothing before going to the hospital, though doing so does not always destroy evidence, which may still be collectible.
- To the extent possible, persons should refrain from drinking, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash or combing their hair. Changing clothes is not advised. If someone has already changed their clothing, place the clothing and other items (sheets, blankets) in a brown paper bag (plastic bags may destroy evidence).
- Information shared for the purposes of obtaining medical attention will be considered confidential. Non-identifying information may be shared in compliance with federal law, but such information sharing will not initiate a Title IX process and will not identify you without your express permission.
Preserving Other Evidence
While someone experiencing sexual assault, intimate violence, or gender-based stalking may not want to report the matter immediately, it may be important to preserve evidence. If the person then determines that reporting the instance is the best choice for them, less evidence will be lost to time. Steps may include:
- Write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident, including a physical description of the assailant. You should attempt to do this even if you are unsure about reporting the incident in the future.
- Physical evidence can be preserved even if you choose not to go to the hospital for a forensic exam. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Put each item in a separate paper bag (do not use plastic bags). Save all bedding (blankets, sheets) and put each in a separate paper bag.
- Take photographs of any visible physical injuries (bruising, scratches) for use as evidence. If you report to law enforcement, they may want to take their own photos as evidence.
- Evidence such as texts, emails, Facebook posts, chats, pictures, videos, or other forms of electronic communication can be helpful in a college or criminal investigation. Download, save to a .pdf, take screen shots, or use other methods to preserve electronic evidence.