The University is committed to protecting the privacy of all people involved in a report of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct. Information related to a report to the University of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct will be kept private by the University unless disclosure is required by law; thus, it will be shared only with those University officials with a legitimate interest in order to assist in the investigation and/or in the resolution of the matter. Under no circumstances will the University release the name of the Complainant to the general public without the express consent of the Complainant.
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Confidential Resources: Counselors/therapists at the University Counseling Center and priests acting in a pastoral capacity
The University provides confidential resources who are outside the official reporting channels. Any community member may seek advice and counseling confidentially, including about sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct, by speaking to those University employees.
Note that confidentiality will be maintained by a counselor or therapist under all circumstances except when there is an immediate threat of serious harm to a person. This means that, in almost all circumstances, these people are not required to report any information to anyone without permission.
Nurses and Nurse Practitioners at the Student Health Center and the Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator (SARC) team
The University has designated these employees to provide immediate assistance and support to any person wishing to make a report of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. These people are required to share disclosures of sexual misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator, but generally only report that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information about the person, if requested by the reporting person. These reports to the Title IX Coordinator will include the general nature of the incident, date, time of day, and location, as well as other information needed to assess whether an on-going threat is present in order to evaluate whether a timely warning should be issued.
All other employees
All employees (except for confidential resources listed above) are required to share disclosures of sexual misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator. These reports to the Title IX Coordinator will include the name of the reporting person, general nature of the incident, date, time of day, and location, as well as other information needed to assess whether an on-going threat is present in order to evaluate whether a timely warning should be issued.
Note that physicians at the Student Health Center (M.D.s and D.O.s) are generally required by Pennsylvania law to make a report to the police department with jurisdiction, any time they receive a report of an injury caused by a criminal act, including sexual assault.
WHEN THE COMPLAINANT REQUESTS LIMITED OR NO FURTHER ACTION
If a Complainant reports an incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct and requests that no further investigation or disciplinary action be taken, the University must weigh that request against its obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees, including the Complainant.
If the University honors the request, a Complainant should understand that the University’s ability to meaningfully address the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the Respondent may be limited.
Although rare, there are times when the University may not be able to honor a Complainant’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all community members.
When weighing such a Complainant request, the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator(s) will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- The risk that the Respondent will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:
- whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same Respondent;
- whether the Respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of sexual and/or physical violence;
- whether the Respondent threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the Complainant or others;
- whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- whether the Complainant is a minor;
- whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras, eye-witnesses, or physical evidence);
- whether the Complainant’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 disciplinary action and/or involve the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction. If none of these factors is present, the University will likely respect the Complainant’s request for no further action.
When the University determines that it cannot honor a Complainant’s request for no further action (i.e., no investigation), the University will inform the Complainant and will share the University’s reasoning for needing to take some action. In such cases, the University will only share information with those needing to know in order to conduct the needed investigation and University’s response to the report of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct.
Whether a report results in an investigation or not, the University will remain ever mindful of the well-being of those involved and take ongoing steps to prevent retaliation. The University will take action to assist those involved consistent with their wishes. A variety of interim measures are available to those involved (including emotional support, adjustment to housing or class schedule, etc.). The Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator and Respondent Resource Coordinator Teams are available to assist Complainants and Respondents, respectively, in determining what measures are helpful or needed and will assist in the implementation of such interim measures.
Finally, the University is committed to a safe environment for all students and employees and to addressing issues of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct. Reports of such misconduct, provide the University with the opportunity to consider broader remedial action including increased monitoring of campus locations, additional education and prevention efforts, and climate assessments.