An Augustana College administrator confirmed Tuesday that the college’s Title IX coordinators and the Rock Island Police Department are investigating the report of a sexual assault that occurred during an off-campus event Jan. 1.
“Police will do their investigation and we will work alongside of them,” said Wendy Hilton-Morrow, who is associate dean of the college as well as one of the four Title IX coordinators.
“We also do our own investigation and work hard not to compromise the police investigation,” Hilton-Morrow said.
When Rock Island Police detectives complete their investigation, their reports and information will be forwarded to the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office for evaluation. It will be up to Rock Island County prosecutors to determine if any criminal charges will be filed and, if any charges are forthcoming, what those charges will be.
It is not known how long either investigation will take.
“The question is where do we go as a campus, how do we move forward as a campus,” Hilton-Morrow said.
In a time when sexual assault is becoming a big topic of discussion and victims are speaking out, students have been making their voices heard, she said.
“We are happy the students are asking questions,” Hilton-Morrow said. “We welcome their scrutiny and we’re moving the conversation forward.”
Along with that conversation is information about the college’s Title IX coordinators, their function and how to report an incident, she said.
Hilton-Morrow said the college is continually reviewing the processes for reporting incidents of sexual misconduct and domestic violence, “and making sure we involve our students and invite their input.”
“We have a range of options for students in how they might report a sexual assault, or any violation of Title IX policy to the college,” she said. From online forms that can be completed and submitted to meeting with the Title IX coordinators to talking with faculty and staff and counselors.
All employees of the school are extensions of the Title IX coordinators, and any time they learn of a possible violation of the Title IX policy it has to be reported to a Title IX coordinator, Hilton-Morrow said.
The college also utilizes SafePath Survivor Resources and has a domestic violence and sexual assault confidential counselor on campus, she said. There also is a counselor that will meet people at the hospital.