University Clarifies Sexual Violence Reporting Requirements

All university employees, including student employees, are responsible for reporting sexual discrimination, including incidents of sexual harassment and sexual and relationship violence, to the university's Title IX coordinator under a DePaul policy that recently was revised to further comply with new federal legal guidance.

The reporting requirements are tied to Title IX, the federal law that protects people from discrimination based on gender in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Under Title IX, when an individual who is a "responsible employee" learns of sex discrimination, the responsible employee is required to promptly report specific information about the sex discrimination to DePaul's Title IX coordinator, currently DePaul's Dean of Students Ashley Knight.

At DePaul, all faculty, staff and student employees are responsible employees.

The requirements apply when people disclose to DePaul employees events that may have occurred to them, events they witnessed, or events that they may have been accused of committing.

Employees must disclose to the Title IX coordinator the name of the person reporting the sex discrimination, the name of the alleged perpetrator, if known, the names of anyone else involved, and any relevant facts that are known, such as date, time and location of what happened.

The policy also requires employees to report incidents when the person confiding about an incident wishes to remain anonymous.

"If a DePaul employee senses that a conversation may be about an experience of sexual violence, we're encouraging people to pause the conversation and let the person know that they are obligated to report," Knight says. "This gives a person time to consider whether he or she would prefer to speak to one of DePaul's confidential reporting resources."

Confidential reporting resources for students are: Survivor Support Advocates in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness; counselors in University Counseling Services; pastoral counselors in University Ministry; and attorneys in Student Legal Services.

Once a report is made to Knight, the Title IX coordinator, she decides the most appropriate next steps for responding. That could include any combination of contacting the survivor, placing him or her in contact with Public Safety and/or the Chicago Police Department, connecting the survivor with support services and other resources, providing interim measures and lasting remedies, and initiating the student conduct process. When appropriate, the Title IX coordinator will coordinate with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity or Human Resources for situations that involve DePaul employees.

To help DePaul employees learn about the new requirements, Compliance and Risk Management, in collaboration with Health Promotion and Wellness, has offered training to roughly 600 budget managers and supervisors as part of Management Standards Training. In April, which was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, 205 managers attended the training.

Representatives from Health Promotion and Wellness also have held information sessions with faculty and staff in individual centers, offices and departments. A department can request a presentation and information session by contacting the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness at (773) 325-7290 in Lincoln Park or (312) 362-8066 in the Loop, or by contacting the office's director, Shannon Suffoletto, at ssuffole@depaul.edu or (773) 325-7290. 

CLARIFIED REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Who is required to report?
All university employees, including student employees

How do you make a report?
Contact the university's Title IX coordinator:
Dean of Students Ashley Knight 
Email: titleixcoordinator@depaul.edu
Loop campus phone number: (773) 325-7290
Lincoln Park campus phone number: (312) 362-8066

What is required of employees who are designated Campus Security Authorities, or CSAs, under the Clery Act?
CSAs have the additional responsibility of reporting pertinent information about certain reportable crimes to Public Safety in a timely manner, although CSAs are not required to report personally identifiable information.

What are options for confidential reporting?
1. Survivor Support Advocates in DePaul's Office of Health Promotion and Wellness - available to students and employees
2. Pastoral counselors in University Ministry - available to students and employees
3. University Counseling Services - available to students
4. Student Legal Services - available to students
5. University Ombudsperson - available to employees