Guidelines for University Employees

As an OSU employee, when an incident of sexual harassment or other crime is reported to you, there are four simple steps that you should follow to ensure that you have fulfilled your obligations. If a crime is currently ongoing or if you feel that there is an emergency, call 911.

1.     Inform the individual you must report the incident.

2.     Get the facts.

3.     Provide the individual with resources.

4.     Report the incident to the appropriate individuals.

1. Inform the individual you must report the incident

Please ensure that you tell the person reporting the incident to you that you must report what happened.  An example of what to say:

“I need to let you know that I am required to report what you have shared with me to the OSU police department for the purpose of crime statistics. I will not be reporting your name to OSU PD unless you provide consent for me to do so. However, OSU policy and federal laws require that I report all of what you have shared with me to the appropriate university officials [Title IX Coordinator, Student Conduct].”

There is a distinct difference between what the Clery Act requires university officials to report to OSUPD and what Title IX requires university officials to report internally.

When reporting to the police, the Clery Act does not require the victim’s name unless the victim consents. If more information is needed after you report, you might be asked to follow up with the victim or ask to share their name so the police can follow up. Know that the data compiled at the end of the year in the annual security report contains no names. 

When reporting to the Title IX Coordinator or Student Conduct, Title IX requires that you provide both the victim and alleged individual’s names and details of what you know. The university is required to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what occurred and take prompt and effective action to:

•       End the harassment,

•       Prevent any recurrence, and

•       Remedy the effects.

The university will not be able to fulfill its federal requirements and maintain a safe living and learning environment if you do not share all the information.

2. Get the facts

Assuming that there is not an ongoing emergency, you must first get the facts of the incident. Key facts include:

·         the date and time the incident occurred,

·         where the incident occurred,

·         the details of what occurred, and

·         the date it was reported to you.

This information is critically important to determine if this incident has been previously reported by others.

DO NOT INVESTIGATE. You do not have to prove what happened or who was at fault, the appropriate and appointed individuals will investigate. In addition, do not try to apprehend the alleged individual of a crime.

3. Provide Resources

There are a number of campus and community resources available to victims of crimes. Please inform the individual about their option to report directly to law enforcement themselves; however, you do not need to convince the person reporting the incident to you to speak to the police if they are unwilling to do so. Please review information provided at http://1is2many.okstate.edu with the individual. Information to cover could include victim advocates, interim measures, reporting and resources.

4. Report the incident to the appropriate individuals.

After the facts have been collected and the individual has been informed of the report and provided resources, you now must report the incident to the appropriate officials.

Who to Contact about Sexual Violence
Student Involved Student Conduct (405-744-5470) & OSUPD
No Student Involved Title IX Coordinator (405-744-9153) & OSUPD
Who to Contact about Sexual Harassment
Student Involved Student Conduct (405-744-5470)
No Student Involved Title IX Coordinator (405-744-9153)

Clery Reporting

University employees’ obligations to report criminal activity extend beyond the obligation to report sexual violence. Under the Clery Act, university employees are also required to report the following crimes to the OSU Police Department: 

  • Sex offenses
  • Stalking
  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Aggravated assaults
  • Hate crimes
  • Burglary
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Robbery
  • Arson
  • Criminal homicide
  • Arrests and disciplinary referrals for violations of liquor, drug and weapon laws

Definitions of these crimes are provided online at http://safety.okstate.edu. The reporter does not need to make a determination on the specific crime; they just need to report it. 

Generally speaking, the Clery Act has exhaustive guidance regarding locations of crimes and what must be reported. In order to simplify this guidance, if you become aware of one of these crimes on campus (or off campus but closely related to the university) err on the side of caution and report it.

Under normal circumstances when a crime is reported, the police are called and speak to all involved parties. Once the police are called your reporting requirements are met. But there are times when victims simply are not ready to speak to the police. This is not uncommon; do not coerce individuals to report.

The Clery Act also includes requirements regarding reporting of missing students. Any employee who receives a report of a missing student should call OSUPD immediately.

Victim Interaction

If approached by a victim of sexual violence it is important to be aware that the individual is choosing to tell you about a very traumatic incident. Active listening will be a key skill as well as emotional support, guidance and direction. The following is recommended when interacting with a victim of sexual violence:

  • Address the victim by name
  • Introduce yourself by name and position and explain your role at the university. This is also the time to tell the victim of your reporting obligations and whether or not you can maintain confidentiality. Victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence need clear boundaries and role definitions from those professionals who offer help because their personal boundaries have been violated.
  • Be non-judgmental. Do not blame the victim in any way for his or her experience.
  • Be mindful that the victim may be emotionally distraught or even in shock.
  • Share with the victim available resources both on-campus and off-campus. Resources can include reporting to the police or filing a formal complaint with Student Conduct. Other resources include the university Victim Advocates, Counseling Services, and interim safety measures provided by Student Conduct. Inform the victim of resources that are confidential and those that are not.
  • Be patient, and if necessary, repeat what options are available. A victim may be in shock therefore may not hear everything the first time you say it.
  • Provide the victim with a Sexual Violence Resource Booklet that outlines all of the resources and information you have shared with them.
  • Follow your specific reporting obligations if you have them.

Faculty and Staff Complaint Process

If an OSU employee believes that they have been the victim of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or has information about discrimination/harassment in the university community, they may promptly report, without fear of reprisal, the facts of the incident and the name(s) of the individual(s) involved to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity, located in 408 Whitehurst, or at 405-744-9154.  This report initiates a complaint. 

Alternatively, an employee may report the situation to their immediate supervisor, department head or Dean, who will immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator of the report. This report initiates a complaint.  Supervisors must immediately report any complaints they receive of incidents of alleged harassment or discrimination they witness to the Title IX Coordinator.

The Title IX Coordinator (or an alternate investigator, where appropriate) will promptly, fairly and thoroughly investigate all claims of harassment and discrimination, regardless of whether such complaints are reduced to writing. All complaints of discrimination and harassment will be treated in the strictest confidence possible under the particular circumstances. 

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator (or alternate investigator) will make every effort, within thirty calendar days, to complete a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the allegations. However, if additional time is needed to conduct a thorough investigation, the Title IX Coordinator may, in their discretion, extend the time for completing the investigation as reasonably necessary. In this case, the complainant and the respondent will be notified of the estimated time needed to complete the investigation. 

The investigation will include interviews with the complaining party, the respondent and any material witnesses identified, as well as a review of any documents or other evidence. The complaining party and the respondent will be kept apprised of the conduct of the investigation and will be given the opportunity to provide any additional relevant information to the investigator, including the names of additional witnesses to contact and/or additional documents to review before the investigation is closed. The complainant and respondent will be promptly notified of the final determination. The Title IX Coordinator has no independent authority to impose sanctions. 

If the Title IX Coordinator finds that there has been a violation and if the Dean or division head seeks advice regarding the appropriate penalty, the Title IX Coordinator may provide a recommendation as to the appropriate sanction. The Dean or division head will then be responsible for deciding upon and imposing disciplinary action as soon as reasonably possible.

Sanctions imposed on those individuals who have been found to be in violation of the university’s nondiscrimination policy shall be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the conduct, and shall be adequate and sufficient to prevent such conduct in the future. Staff members who receive disciplinary penalties under this policy may consult Human Resources for information about the grievance process, which may be used to challenge alleged violations, misinterpretations, or inequitable application of policies or procedures. Faculty members who receive disciplinary penalties under OSU’s nondiscrimination policies may contact the Provost for information about the grievance process.

Please refer to OSU’s Gender Discrimination/Sexual Harassment Policy and Title IX Grievance Procedure 1-0702 for more detailed information.