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Oklahoma State University

Guidelines for University Employees

Complete this form to formally submit information about Title IX allegations: Title IX Reporting Form

As an OSU employee, when an incident of sexual violence, sexual misconduct; sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or any other Clery crime (listed below) is reported to you, there are five 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. Safety
  2. Explain your responsibilities
  3. Get the facts.
  4. Share Resources
  5. Reporting

 

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.

 

The following is NOT RECOMMENDED when interacting with a victim of sexual violence:

 

  • “Why” questions
  • Questions about what a person was wearing or how much they had to drink
  • Any statement that begins with “at least…” or “if only you hadn’t…”
  • Any question that asks if they are sure it was sexual assault
  • Any statements that normalize sexual assault (“it happens,” “it’s just sex,”)
  • Any statement that you cannot be sure of (“I know it will be ok,” “I promise you everything will work out,” “Everything happens for a reason”)

 

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.