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Harassment

Harassment

Incidents of harassment often first come to the attention of the McNeese Police Department even though there are various avenues of addressing these types of issues. The information on this page is provided to assist members of the community in understanding the different types of harassment and how and to whom to report such incidents.

There are two kinds of harassment recognized by civil law: harassment by creation of a hostile environment and sexual harassment which amounts to coercion of an individual. Harassment by creation of a hostile environment is typically not predicated by a single incident unless it is unusually severe. There generally needs to be several incidents, properly documented to include time, place, specific actions and the reactions of the victim. Although these incidents may not be criminal in nature, the McNeese Police Department can take the necessary information and make sure that the proper referrals are made to appropriate University administrators including the McNeese Office of Human Relations and Social Equity

Some kinds of harassment which are often passed over as just something you have to put up with may actually involve violations of criminal laws and McNeese University administrative policies.

Examples might be:

  • epithets shouted on campus

  • damage to property or graffiti

  • epithets or threats written on dorm property

  • threats or epithets made by phone or left as voice mail or e-mail messages

  • threats made against individuals or their property

  • assaults and/or batteries against a person whether or not there is a serious injury

Any incident that is in progress or that involves danger or threats to a person should be reported immediately. Use any campus emergency phone or dial 111. The dispatcher will ask for your name and where the incident is occurring. Stay on the line with the dispatcher until the police arrive or the dispatcher terminates the call. Incidents such as larceny or vandalism should be reported as soon as it comes to your attention. You may use an emergency phone, 111, or call 475-5711 and ask for an officer to take a report.

All information in reports concerning victims or witnesses is kept confidential. That information will not be given to the press or to the suspects unless required by a court proceeding or with the victim/witness' permission. However, this information is made known to certain University administrators with a legitimate need to know (i.e. Student Affairs personnel for matters involving student judicial proceedings) and to other Police personnel, as necessary. If you are especially concerned about your identity being known, you can provide McNeese Police with as much information as you are comfortable. You don't have to provide your name unless you wish.

The McNeese Office of Human Relations and Social Equity has the primary responsibility for investigating harassment. Phone (337) 475-5428

SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY

On college campuses, acquaintance and date rape are more apt to occur than rape by strangers. Research on college women indicates as many as 20 percent of the female population may at some point be sexually coerced by acquaintances. 

While some students may not think of forced sexual relations as rape, such action constitutes a serious crime and is a felony under Section 14:42 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. 

If You Are the Victim of Sexual Assault 

Contact a friend to help you collect your thoughts and focus on your needs. If the assault occurred on campus, call the MSU Police Department at 475-5711 or at 911. If the assault occurred off campus, call the Lake Charles Police Department or the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office (911) or the Rape Crisis Center at 494-7273. 

Obtain Medical Care

Quickly obtain medical care from a hospital emergency room. Do not bath, shower, douche, or change clothes before seeking medical attention. The treatment for rape may require an examination at a designated hospital, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, medication to prevent pregnancy and documenting evidence so you can decide whether to pursue prosecution. 

Assist in the Investigation 

It is a personal decision whether to report a rape or sexual assault to police, but you are strongly encouraged to do so. The primary concern of the police is your safety and well-being; the second and third concerns are apprehending the assailant and preserving the evidence of the crime.

Seek Counseling 

Whether or not you report the assault or pursue prosecution, you should consult a trained counselor for help in dealing with the emotional aftermath of a rape. Trained counselors are available at the MSU Counseling Center and the Rape Crisis Center. Talking with a counselor or psychologist in no way compels a victim to take further action.

A victim may choose to pursue action through the campus judicial system if the offense was committed by another student. The Office of Student Services (475-5706) is available to advise victims of their rights under the Code of Student Conduct. Even if you choose not to pursue disciplinary action, you are encouraged to report your experience to the Office of Student Services.