Mandatory Reporting Under Title IX
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT UNDER TITLE IX – ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT EXPERIENCED BY ANY MEMBER OF PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY’S COMMUNITY
Each of us – whether faculty, administrator, or staff – is obligated to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct of which we become aware. This obligation extends to all of us (except Health Services, Counseling Services, Campus Pastor, and the Confidential Advocates – these entities are considered confidential reporting sources) because of the University’s responsibility under Title IX to:
+ Stop the conduct
+ Prevent its re-occurrence
+ Remedy its effects
+ Provide care and support for the reporting person
+ Take steps to insure the safety and security of our community
The University has adopted the term Mandatory Reporter to describe this obligation that extends to all individuals “who a student could reasonably believe has the authority or responsibility” to address these incidents. (U.S. Department of Education / Office for Civil Rights: REVISED SEXUAL HARASSMENT GUIDANCE: HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS BY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES, OTHER STUDENTS OR THIRD PARTIES) By reporting what you know to the appropriate University officials especially trained to respond, you support students and others who have experienced this conduct. You also protect yourself from potential liability because when you know, the University is also considered to know. The University’s obligation to respond begins the moment the University retains “actual knowledge” that a member of our community has experienced sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual assault.
Most student employees are NOT mandatory reporters under this policy. A small group of student employees (all student employees in Campus Safety and Residential Life RAs) have been designated and trained as mandatory reporters.
How to Work with a Student or Other Reporting Person Who Requests Confidentiality:
As Mandatory Reporters, we can no longer have confidential conversations with students or other reporting persons about their experiences with sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or sexual assault. The University recognizes the significant trust relationship with students and the difficult situation you are placed in when a student requests that you keep the disclosure confidential. To help mitigate this challenge, PLU students have been informed that all faculty, staff, and administrators must share their information with University authorities, and that students have the option to report confidentially to designated offices and individuals if they do not want their information to be shared. These confidential reporting sources are listed below.
If you believe a student or other reporting person is about to disclose to you their experience of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault, you can explain to that person, before they make the disclosure, that you are a “Mandatory Reporter” and must share the information with the University so officials can offer care, support and resources, as well as share about the options for having the situation addressed and resolved within the University. You can explain that even though you are obligated to share the information with University officials especially trained to respond, their privacy will be respected; identities and details will be shared only with those who need to know to support the impacted person and to address the situation through the University’s processes. You can tell the person that someone will explain these processes in detail and that they will be involved in decisions about what happens as a result of the disclosure. If the reporting person does not wish to disclose to you as a Mandatory Reporter, you can refer the person, or offer to accompany the person to a confidential source within Health Services, Counseling Services, Campus Ministry, or the Confidential Advocacy Office.
Whether or not the student or reporting person decides to disclose to you or to a confidential source, please assure the person that they will receive care and support as requested, both within the University and in the local community.
To Whom to Report and When to Report:
As Mandatory Reporters, at the earliest possible time after you receive information that someone has experienced this conduct, you must forward the information to one of these Title IX resources: University Title IX Coordinator, Campus Safety, Student Rights and Responsibilities Office, or Human Resources.
What Happens After You Report:
For student-student incidents, the contacted office will communicate with Student Rights and Responsibilities to facilitate immediate care and concern, support and resources for affected students and discuss the University’s process for gathering facts about and responding to the incident. For all other incidents (student-faculty, student-staff, faculty-faculty, staff-staff, etc.), the Title IX Coordinator will contact the impacted individual and facilitate support for all parties involved.
At all times, the privacy of the parties will be respected and safeguarded. Information will be shared only with those University officials who need to know to assist in gathering facts about and resolving the complaint.
After a report is received by one of the offices specially trained to respond, the impacted individual will be contacted to discuss the process and options for having the report investigated and resolved within the University. Sometimes the reporting person requests that their identity or the identity of the accused remain confidential or that the University not pursue an inquiry. This request must always be balanced with the University’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for the reporting person and the community. The University will take reasonable steps to conduct an inquiry and respond to the complaint consistent with the person’s request for confidentiality. However, under compelling circumstances – including evidence of a pattern of repetitive behavior, the use of or threat of force, or the use of a weapon by the accused – the University may conduct further inquiry or take other appropriate measures without the reporting person’s consent. The reporting person will always be informed whenever possible of any action the University takes to resolve the complaint, including further inquiry and corrective action or sanctions.
Confidential Reporting Sources:
If a student or other reporting person requests that you keep the disclosure confidential, before the disclosure is made to you, please refer – or assist the person to contact – one of these resources:
|Confidential Reporting Sources
|Advocacy Services at PLU - Center for Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability
|PLU Health Services
|PLU Counseling Services
|PLU TimelyCare Services
|PLU Crisis Line
|PLU University Pastor
|Rebuilding Hope: The Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County
|Pierce County Domestic Violence Helpline