Disclosure and Reporting

All forms of sexual violence, should be reported, no matter the severity. Oklahoma State University’s primary concern is safety; therefore, individuals should not be deterred from reporting even if the use of alcohol or other drugs was involved. The university has a Good Samaritan policy, which provides amnesty for minor conduct violation to students involved in a more serious incident.

The university encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to someone about what happened so that they can receive support and so the university can respond appropriately. The university offers both confidential services and non-confidential reporting options. It is important to know that different individuals may have different responsibilities regarding confidentiality, depending on their position. Under state law, some individuals can assure confidentiality for a victim, including counselors and victim advocates. In general, however, any other university employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, unless specifically provided by law. The university must balance the needs of the individual victim with an obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the community.

Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a victim’s request for confidentiality.

  • Some are required to maintain near complete confidentiality; talking to them is sometimes called a “privileged communication.”
  • Other employees may talk to a victim in confidence and generally report only that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these employees will not trigger a university investigation into an incident against the victim’s wishes. This report is done through a Clery Report and does not include the victim’s name or other identifying information.
  • Some employees are required to report all the details of an incident (including the identities of both the victim and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator. 

Confidential Services

Confidential service options provide students with the ability to confidentially share and discuss an instance of sexual violence, without their information being shared with others. Please note that confidential services limits the university’s ability to respond to incidents. 

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 about an incident to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator without the victim’s permission. These individuals are also not required by the Clery Act to report. This would include counselors in the University Counseling Center, Psychological Services Center and Counseling Psychology Clinic. 

OSU Victim Advocates

The university treats the OSU Victim Advocates as a confidential reporting option. Victims can visit with a victim advocate to learn about resources available on campus. The victim advocates are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator without a victim’s permission. However, the victim advocates will report incidents, without personally identifiable information, to OSU Police for the purpose of the Clery Act. Additionally, the victim advocates will report quarterly to the Board of Regents on statistical trends of incidents. 

University Health Providers

University Health Service providers are a confidential service option. They are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator without a victim’s permission. However, they will report incidents without any personally identifiable information to OSU Police for the purpose of the Clery Act.

While these professionals, non-professional counselors, health providers or victim advocates may maintain a victim’s confidentiality, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law, such as mandatory reporting to law enforcement in case of minors, imminent harm to self or others or requirement to testify if subpoenaed in a criminal case.

Non-Confidential Reporting Options

The Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges and the Clery Act require all employees (excluding counselors, health care providers and victim advocates) who become aware of an instance of sexual violence to report the instance to OSU Police and victim advocates. The victim’s name should not be reported to the police without the victim’s permission. The report should include the nature, date, time and general location of an incident. This is a limited report that includes no information that would directly or indirectly identify the victim. This allows for the university to track patterns and develop appropriate campus-wide responses.

If the university determines that the alleged individual(s) pose a serious and immediate threat to the campus, the university may issue a timely warning to the community. Any such warning will not include any information that identifies the victim.

When an instance of sexual violence is reported to a “responsible employee,” a student can expect the incident will be reported to the university’s Title IX Coordinator or Student Conduct. A “responsible employee” is an employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence, has the duty to report incidents of sexual harassment and other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. Examples include, but are not limited to, faculty members, advisors, employees in student services offices and anyone in a supervisory role.

A responsible employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator or Student Conduct all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the victim including names, date, time, and specific location of the alleged incident.

To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the university’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information about the victim to law enforcement unless a victim requests the employee to do so.

When a victim tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual violence, the victim has the right to expect the university will investigate the alleged sexual violence, end any sexual violence, prevent the sexual violence from recurring, and educate on sexual violence.

Before a victim reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the victim understands the employee’s reporting obligations and if the victim wants to maintain confidentiality, then the victim should be directed to a confidential resource. 

Requests for No Action

When Student Conduct is made aware of an alleged sexual violence situation, a victim will be sent resources via their university email address.

  • If there is no response from the victim, Student Conduct will contact the alleged individual(s), if known, to discuss the concern and educate on sexual violence prevention.  The information collected will be documented.
  • If the victim requests that no action be taken, Student Conduct and the university must weigh that request against the obligation to provide a safe environment for all students, including the victim. No action request could include the following:
    • A request to not contact the alleged individual(s),
    • A request for no investigation from the university, or
    • A request for no conduct action to be taken.

If the university honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the university’s ability to meaningfully investigate and respond to the incident may be limited.

Although rare, there are times when the university may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe environment for all students.  When weighing a victim’s request for no action the following will be considered:

  1. The increased risk that the alleged respondent will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:
  • whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged respondent;
  • whether the alleged respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
  • whether the alleged respondent threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;
  • whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple respondents;
  1. whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
  2. whether the victim is a minor;
  3. whether the respondent participates in university-approved student activities (e.g., athletics, band, ROTC, etc.);
  4. whether the university possesses other means to obtain relevant information of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras, personnel, physical evidence); and,
  5. whether the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.

The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the university to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue conduct action.  If none of these factors is present, the university will likely respect the victim’s request for no action.

If determined that the university cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the university will inform the victim prior to starting an investigation. The university will remain ever mindful of the victim’s well-being   and will take ongoing steps to protect the victim from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. The university may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or conduct process. Retaliation against the victim, whether by students or university employees, will not be tolerated. 

Reporting to the Police

The university strongly encourages individuals to report sexual violence and any other criminal offenses to the police. This does not commit a victim to prosecute but will allow the gathering of information and evidence. The information and evidence preserve future options regarding criminal prosecution, university conduct actions and/or civil actions against the perpetrator.

On campus incidents can be reported to the OSU Police Department in 104 USDA Building or at 405-744-6523. If the incident occurred elsewhere in Stillwater, it can be reported to the Stillwater Police Department at 723 S. Lewis or at 405-372-4171. If the incident happened anywhere else, it can be reported to the local law enforcement with jurisdiction in the location where it occurred.

Please know that the information reported can be helpful in supporting other reports and preventing further incidents.

Reporting to Student Conduct

Anyone can report instances of sexual violence to Student Conduct Education and Administration in 328 Student Union or at 405-744-5470. A complaint should be filed as soon as possible, preferably within 180 calendar days of the incident. A complaint can be filed online at http://studentconduct.okstate.edu or in person in the office of Student Conduct Education and Administration.

If either the victim or the respondent is a student, the incident will be addressed through the student conduct process once a complaint is filed.

The university strongly encourages individuals to report any instance of sexual violence to the police.