Fulfilling Your Role as a Responsible Campus Partner
This page provides information and resources for faculty and staff who may receive reports of sexual misconduct (sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment) from students. This page is not meant to be a subsitute for formal training. For more information about upcoming trainings, contact McKenna Rogan at email@example.com.
If a student discloses sexual misconduct to you, they likely see you as a person they can trust. Research indicates that the way you support a student can greatly impact their healing process. See below for some best practices for responding to disclosures.
*Adapted from Humboldt State Univeristy, Best Practices for Implementing Your Role as a Mandated Reporter or Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking
One of the ways you can empower students is with information. Telling students up front about your duty to notify can inform what and if they share with you. One of the ways you can do this is providing language in your syllabus about your role. Here is some recommended syllabus language:
"As an instructor, I am considered a Responsible Campus Partner (“RCP”) under Loyola’s Comprehensive Policy. While my goal is for you to be able to share information related to your life experiences through discussion and written work, I want to be transparent that as a RCP I am required to report all disclosures of past or recent sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner/dating violence, and/or stalking to the University’s Title IX Coordinator.
As an instructor, I also have a mandatory obligation under Illinois law to report disclosures of or suspected instances of child abuse or neglect (https://www.luc.edu/hr/legal-notices/mandatedreportingofchildabuseandneglect/).
The purpose of these reporting requirements is for the University to inform students who have experienced gender-based violence of available resources and support. Such a report will not generate a report to law enforcement (no student will ever be forced to file a report with the police). Furthermore, the University’s resources and supports are available to all students even if a student chooses that they do not want any other action taken. Please note that in certain situations, based on the nature of the disclosure, the University may need to take additional action to ensure the safety of the University community. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact the Office for Equity & Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-508-7766.
If you wish to speak with a confidential resource regarding gender-based violence, I encourage you to call The Line at 773-494-3810. The Line is staffed by confidential advocates from 8:30am-5pm M-F and 24 hours on the weekend when school is in session. Advocates can provide support, talk through your options (medical, legal, LUC reporting, safety planning, etc.), and connect you with additional resources as needed. More information can be found at luc.edu/coalition or luc.edu/wellness."
Do your best to ensure that the student knows that you are mandated to notify the University before they disclose an incident that you must report. If you sense that a student is about to tell you something highly personal, you might say,
"Thank you for coming to me. Before you start, I want to let you know that if you share that you have experienced gender-based violence, I have to let someone on campus know so that they can provide you with additional resources. If you'd like to first explore options for support with someone who can keep the information confidential, I'm happy to give you the number for The Line (773-494-3810), where you can speak with a confidential advocate."
With very limited exceptions, all Loyola faculty and staff employees must report any known, disclosed, alleged, or otherwise reported (formally or informally) incidents of sexual misconduct that satisfies any of the following criteria:
- Sexual misconduct against any individual who is currently a minor by any individual
- Sexual misconduct against any individual who is or was a student at the time of the incident
- Sexual misconduct by any individual who is or was a student or employee (faculty or staff) at the time of the incident
While there are confidential resources on campus (trained advocates, mental health, and medical professionals), the vast majority of University employees are designated as "responsible campus partners" and federal and state law requires that you notify the University when a student discloses to you any of the aforementioned incidents.
To fulfill your responsibility to notify the University, submit an Maxient Report within 24 hours of receiving a disclosure. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator receives all Maxient reports that deal with sexual misconduct. Upon receiving a report, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will contact the student to provide information on the student’s rights and resources.
Immediately contact a Wellness Center mental health professional (773-508-2530) and/or Campus Safety (773-508-7233) in an event where there is a life-threatening risk to the student or someone else.
You are not a counselor nor an investigator. You are a bridge to connect students with additional resources and people with the expertise to best service the student in the aftermath of a trauma.
Thus, it is important not to ask prying questions, not to detail what the student should have done differently, and not to name, analyze, nor define the student's experience.
Someone who has experienced a violation like sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking has had power and control taken away from them. One of the ways you can be helpful is to support the student in whatever choices they make moving forward. Healing is a highly individual process and whichever decisions the student makes are the right ones for them at that time. Here are some Dos and Don'ts that can help:
DO listen and believe the student. Very few people lie about these types of violations. Consider how difficult it must be to recount what has happened and be humbled that a student has chosen you to share this with.
DO remind the student that it is not their fault. The responsibility lies with the perpetrator making the decision to violate the integrity, privacy, and body of another person. No matter what the person was wearing, how much they had to drink, nor any other decision that was made leaves one deserving of being abused, assaulted, stalked, or discriminated against. Asking questions like, "Why didn't you..." is victim-blaming and extremely harmful to survivors.
DO let the student know that you care using a calm and compassionate tone.
DON'T overly express your own feelings or detail a similar personal experience. This conversation is not about you. The student deserves a space to themselves. By reacting strongly or sharing your own story, the student may feel like they need to care for you in this moment, rather than get the support they desire.
DON'T define their experiences for them. Many survivors shy away from such words like "rape, "violence," or "stalking" because these words carry a lot of stigma and fear. Use the same words that the student is using.
Recognize that there are limits to the level of support you can provide. You may be able to offer extensions on a deadline or allow a student to take time off from a work schedule, but you are not expected nor should you be their sole source of support. Trained confidential advocates on campus can ensure that a student is well-resourced. You can connect a student with an advocate by calling The Line at 773-494-3810.
Let the student decide when to tell other people in their life. If the student's performance comes up in other contexts, provide the minimum information needed to support the student. Allow the student to approach you about further assistance rather than continuously checking in on them.
Receiving reports of sexual misconduct can be distressing. You are not alone and there are people on campus who can help you process what you've heard and help you to continue to support the student. You can connect with an advocate by calling The Line at 773-494-3810.
You can also reach out to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator receives all Maxient reports that deal with sexual misconduct.