Fulfilling Your Role as a Responsible Employee
Best Practices and Responsibilities for Faculty, Staff, and Administrators
This page provides information and resources for faculty, staff, and administrators who receive reports of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking from students. This page is not meant to be a subsitute for formal training. To request a training or to sign-up for an upcoming workshop, please visit I'm Here For You, Loyola's Responsible Employee Training.
Know that if a student discloses that they have experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking to you, they likely see you as a person they can trust and research indicates that the way you support a student can positively impact their recovery. You are not alone and there are campus resources to support you and the student.
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 syllabi about your role. Here is some recommended language:
"Loyola University Chicago faculty are committed to supporting our students and upholding gender equity laws as outlined by Title IX. Therefore, if a student chooses to confide in a member of Loyola’s faculty or staff regarding an issue of gender-based misconduct, that faculty or staff member is obligated to tell Loyola’s Title IX Deputy Coordinator. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator will assist the student in connecting with all possible resources for support and reporting both on and off campus."
If a student does choose to disclose to you, please keep the following in mind when speaking with, listening to, or otherwise supporting a student who has experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking:
1. You are mandated to notify the University when a student discloses to you an incident of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, or discrimination or misconduct based on actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or parenting status.
While there are confidential resources on campus (trained advocates, mental health and medical professionals), the majority of University employees are designated as "responsible employees" 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 Ethicsline Report within 24 hours of receiving a disclosure at www.luc.edu/ethicsline or by calling 855-603-6988. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator receives all EthicsLine reports that deal with gender-based 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 or Campus Safety in an event where a student says they are going to hurt themselves or someone else. Campus Safety can be reached at 773-508-6039 or 44-911 from a campus phone.
2. Inform students of your role as a responsible employee.
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 misconduct, 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 those numbers."
3. Remember your role.
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.
4. Keep the student's wishes and needs at the center of the process.
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.
5. Establish clear boundaries and be a bridge to other forms of support.
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 Sexual Assault Advocacy Line at 773-494-3810 or reaching out to the Senior Health Educator and Advocacy Coordinator, Robin Berman at email@example.com or 773-508-3196.
6. After fulfilling your role to notify the University, keep the student's information private.
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.
7. Support is available for you.
Receiving reports of gender-based 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 Sexual Assault Advocacy Line at 773-494-3810 or reaching out to the Senior Health Educator and Advocacy Coordinator, Robin Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-508-3196.
You can also reach out to the Associate Dean of Students and Interim Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Tim Love at email@example.com or 773-508-8840. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator receives all EthicsLine reports that deal with sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.