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

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

Sexual misconduct, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. A Title IX investigation is separate from a criminal investigation by the police and courts. Institutions receiving federal funding must adhere to Title IX regulations.

Bloomsburg University often uses the term, sexual misconduct interchangeably with sexual harassment and Title IX which includes, but is not limited to: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation.

As described in the Harassment and Discrimination Policy (PRP 4789), all employees, with the exception of those identified as confidential or limited 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 4789 - Harassment and Discrimination Policy
PRP 4790 - Student 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

Students have the right to:

  1. Report the sexual misconduct;
  2. Have every effort made to respect their privacy;
  3. A fair, prompt, and impartial process;
  4. Resources such as counseling or medical treatment;
  5. Request accommodations such as: a change of living arrangements and/or academic schedules, or no contact letters;
  6. Be free from intimidation or harassment by the alleged respondent or others;
  7. Have an advisor or advocate throughout any University process;
  8. Receive consideration for amnesty for conduct violations  (i.e. alcohol policy) related to the same incident in question;
  9. Seek Student Code of Conduct charges and:
    1. Provide input on whether or not to move forward with Student Code of Conduct charges and/or participate in a hearing;
    2. Have the option to actively participate in the entire student conduct hearing, including the opportunity to              present evidence and witnesses;
    3. Have a conduct hearing decided by the preponderance of evidence standard (i.e. it is more likely than not the Student Code of Conduct violation occurred);
    4. Protection against discussion of non-relevant past sexual history during a hearing;
    5. An appeal process
  10. Receive written notification regarding options and procedures;
  11. A remedy for any discriminatory effects and steps to prevent recurrence.


Recommended Syllabus Statement

Faculty may feel free to use the below statement on class syllabi.  (Use of the statement is optional.)

Bloomsburg University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students.  In order to meet this commitment and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, 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.

Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available for students is set forth at:  http://www.bloomu.edu/Title_IX.