What if I am aware of a friend who is reluctant to disclose information about an incident of sexual misconduct?
Please see How to Help a Friend. Additionally, you can consult resources on campus for information and support. If a friend wants to remain anonymous, you can relay information and resources on their behalf. The college will work with you to gather information necessary to support your friend, while doing the best to respect the desire for anonymity.
What if I am also pursuing criminal charges with law enforcement?
The college will assess the timing of its investigation and work with law enforcement authorities, the Title IX Officer, and relevant parties to balance the need to continue the campus investigation without compromising the criminal investigation.
What is mandatory reporting?
The University of Puget Sound has decided to adopt a policy that defines university employees as mandatory reporters. This means that if you learn about sexual harassment, discrimination, or sexual assault, you are expected to inform relevant administrators. When reporting these incidents, you may initially be able to omit personally identifiable information (the name of the victim, and the name of the accused). You will be given guidance on how much detail is needed in an initial report, and the Title IX Coordinator and/or designee will follow up if more information is needed in order to fulfill obligations under Title IX. The college will be guided by the goals of empowering the victim and allowing the victim to retain as much control over the process as possible.
What do I do if a student approaches me with information regarding sexual misconduct?
Inform the student before they disclose any more information that you have an obligation as a Puget Sound employee to tell someone about the sexual misconduct. If they prefer to have a completely confidential conversation, direct the student to Strictly Confidential resources. If they are OK with you letting relevant administrators know, then you should inform your department chair, Provost Laura Behling, or Deputy Title IX Coordinator Sandra Braedt within 24-48 hours, or sooner if the incident requires urgent attention.
What types of incidents of sexual misconduct do I need to report?
- Incidents involving a student victim with another student, either on or off-campus
- Incidents involving a student victim with a non-student, where the student victim appears to be in crisis or in need of support
- Incidents involving students accused of sexual misconduct, either on or off-campus with a student victim
What can I do to support my child if they are a victim of sexual misconduct?
While no one can tell you what is best for your child, there are several resources and guides to help you support a loved one who has disclosed this information to you. The U.S. Department of Justice provides information on what to do to support victims. Additionally, encouraging your child to meet with Student Conduct, or a confidential resource on campus (e.g. meeting with a counselor in Counseling, Health & Wellness, or meeting with the University Chaplain) can help your student receive information and options so that your child can make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue a conduct process at Puget Sound, pursue legal action through the Tacoma Police Department, or seek out resources to heal and feel safe on campus.
What can I do to support my child if they have been accused of sexual misconduct?
The best way to support your student is to help ensure an understanding of how to navigate the college’s conduct process. Encourage your student to become familiar with the Policy Preventing Harassment and Sexual Misconduct and to contact Student Conduct or the Dean of Students Office if your student has questions or would like clarifications about the policy, hearing procedures, or the outcome of any conduct proceedings.
My child would like me to be involved and aware of the conduct proceedings for their sexual misconduct case. How can I be granted permission to information pertaining to their case?
Students’ records are protected under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. If your child would like you to have information pertaining to a conduct proceeding and/or an incident of sexual misconduct that they have officially reported to the college, your student will need to contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 253.879.3360 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign an Authorization for the Release of Information.