Faculty and Staff Toolkit


Tips for faculty and staff when speaking with students

Don’ts- If a student discloses an incident of sexual misconduct you should NOT:

Do not insist on calling the police, this is a personal decision made by the victim/survivor

Do not involve more people than necessary. You may be tempted to get someone in your “chain of command involved”, think VERY critically of WHO truly needs to be involved (we recommend the Title IX Coordinator is your first
call)

Do not investigate the matter. BU’s standard operating procedure is to not ask any questions and to just listen. The questioning takes place if there is an investigation.

Do not ask victim blaming questions, i.e., “What were you wearing?”, “How much did you have to drink?”

Do not panic. Remember the 3 C’s! Calm, cool, collected. An individual has determined that you are a safe person to speak with and that they are comfortable with you. Use that to reassure yourself that you have the ability to support the individual.

Do’s- If a student discloses an incident of sexual misconduct you SHOULD:

Ask the student if they are in immediate danger (if they are then call the police)

Ask the student if they need immediate medical attention

Let the student know that you believe them and that you are there to listen non-judgmentally

Ask if they would like to reach out to the Title IX Coordinator or have you reach out on their behalf (if the Title IX Coordinator is not available try the Office of the Dean of Students or Women’s Resource Center)

Encourage the individual to seek assistance regardless if alcohol/substances were involved- BU does not focus on any potential policy violations

Report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator (call or email)

Defining Title IX, mandatory reports and policies

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits any person in the United States from being discriminated against on the basis of sex in seeking access to any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education, which enforces Title IX, has long defined the meaning of Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination broadly to include various forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence that interfere with a student’s ability to equally access educational programs and opportunities.

On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that:

  • Defines the meaning of “sexual harassment” (including forms of sex-based violence) that are reflected in the definitions of Regulatory Quid Pro Quo or Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Dating or Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking in this Policy
  • Addresses how the University must respond to reports of misconduct falling within the definitions of “sexual harassment” under this Policy, and
  • Mandates a grievance (or resolution) process the University must follow before issuing a disciplinary sanction against a person accused of “sexual harassment” under this Policy.

All employees, with the exception of those identified as confidential, must promptly report all known information in regards to Title IX or sexual misconduct.

Please review these important and related policies online:

PRP 2412 - Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
PRP 4790 - Sexual Misconduct Policy
PRP 4802 - Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Process
PRP 5202 - Timely Warnings

Individuals that would like to speak with someone in relation to incidents or situations that do not fall within Title IX definitions could go through first the “chain of command” or Human Resources.

Student rights

Reports and Formal Complaints have different meanings. An individual has a right to make a report of sexual misconduct to the University, which may be accompanied by a request for Supportive Measures. An individual also has a right to make a Formal Complaint of sexual misconduct, which is a request to initiate the University’s informal resolution process or a formal disciplinary process, which includes an investigation and may proceed to a hearing.

Prior to the conclusion of a sexual misconduct investigation, the Complainant may request to withdraw the Formal Complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator/designee in writing. The Title IX Coordinator/designee will determine whether to close the case or conclude the investigation without the Complainant’s continued participation.

An individual also has the right to report sexual misconduct to law enforcement, separate and apart from any report or Formal Complaint made to the University.

Victims and witnesses of sexual misconduct have the right to be assisted by the University in notifying law enforcement authorities of sexual misconduct or they can decline to notify such authorities.

Witnesses and Parties cannot be compelled to participate in the hearing, and have the right not to participate in the hearing free from retaliation.

Each Party who is charged with a violation of this Policy where jurisdiction is appropriate has a right to a hearing and for an Advisor to cross-examine Parties and Witnesses.

At the time a report is made, the reporting party does not have to decide whether to file a Formal Complaint or make a report of sexual misconduct to law enforcement.

An affected party has the right to request Supportive Measures from the University, which may include interim contact restrictions.

The reporting party has the right to seek medical treatment to address physical and mental health and to preserve evidence.

Parties may also have options to file civil actions in court or with administrative agencies.

To file a Formal Complaint, please contact the Title IX Coordinator/designee.

Recommended Syllabus Statement

Bloomsburg University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to comply with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University’s commitment to offering supportive measures in accordance with the new regulations issued under Title IX, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University's Title IX Coordinator. The only exceptions to the faculty member's reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth at: https://intranet.bloomu.edu/title-ix-report-formal