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Guidelines for University Employees
Formally submit information about Title IX allegations on the Sexual Violence Reporting Form
All forms of sexual violence should be reported to the University, no matter the severity. Oklahoma State University’s primary concern is safety. The University encourages those impacted by sexual violence to talk to someone about what happened so they can receive support and the University can respond appropriately. When an incident of sexual violence is reported to any employee, the employee is strongly encouraged, if not required, to report the incident.
University’s Employees Obligation in Reporting
Confidential service options provide students and employees with the ability to confidentially share and discuss an incident of sexual violence without the reporting party’s information being shared with the University. While these individuals are not required to report to the University, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law, such as mandatory reporting to law enforcement in cases involving minors, imminent harm to self or others, or requirements to testify if subpoenaed in a criminal case.
- Professional Counselors – Professional and licensed counselors who provide mental-health counseling (including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information. Included in this category are counselors at the University Counseling Center, Psychological Services Clinic and those provided by the Employee Assistance Plan.
- OSU Victim Advocates – A Victim Advocate is not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator unless the victim provides permission. However, the Victim Advocate will report incidents, without personally identifiable information, to the OSU Police for the purpose of compliance with the Clery Act.
- University Health Providers – University Health service providers are a confidential service option.
When an incident of sexual violence is reported to any employee, the employee is strongly encouraged, if not required, to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Required to Reporters
- Campus Security Authorities – In compliance with the Clery Act, some employees are identified as a Campus Security Authority (“CSA”). CSAs are identified through the Clery Act and outlined in the University’s Annual Safety Report, available on the University’s website. These individuals are required to report instances of sexual violence, along with other misconduct, to OSU Police for statistical purposes. CSAs must report all relevant details about the allegations shared by the victim, including names, date, time, and specific location of the alleged incident to the OSU Police and to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
- Responsible Employees – Responsible Employees are those who are mandated to report to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator when they become aware of an incident of sexual violence. University employees in a supervisory role over employees or students are considered Responsible Employees. Employees with supervisory authority include, but are not limited to: unit heads, academic administrators, faculty members engaged in supervising student workers, intercollegiate athletic administrators and coaching staff members. Responsible Employees who become aware of developing situations, or who desire assistance in appropriately responding to such situations, may seek assistance from the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Failure by a Responsible Employee to promptly report or seek assistance regarding sexual violence may result in corrective action.
Any person may report an incident, whether or not the individual reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of the incident. Below are five simple steps that you should follow to best support a student and/or ensure that you have fulfilled your obligations. If a crime is currently ongoing or if you feel that there is an emergency, call 911.
- Explain your responsibilities
- Get the facts.
- Share Resources
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If the student is in IMMEDIATE DANGER, contact the OSU Police Department:
(405) 744-6523 / osupd.okstate.edu
104 USDA Building
Campus Security Authority or a Responsible Employees, ensure that you tell the person reporting the incident to you that you must report what happened to the Office of Student Support & Conduct or the Title IX Coordinator. 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 OSUPD 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 Support & 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 office of Student Support & Conduct or Title IX Coordinator, 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.
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.
Try to attain a brief overview of the situation. 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.
There are several 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. Encourage the student to contact an OSU Victim Advocate. A Victim Advocate is someone who can talk with an individual about resources on campus as well as the different processes an individual may or may not want to consider. Victim Advocates are also confidential, meaning they cannot disclose information shared with them to anyone. Victim Advocates can be contacted at (405)-564-2129 for more information and resources.
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 General Academic Building, or at 405-744-7773. This report initiates a complaint.
Please refer to OSU’s Interim Title IX – Sexual Misconduct Policy for more detailed information.