Employees are key in helping students who report harassment

Students at EMU

The UO’s Title IX office is reminding employees of the university’s updated policies and processes in cases of discrimination and sexual assault and offering a slate of resources.

Last fall, the University of Oregon implemented the Student Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Complaint and Response Policy. The policy updated responsibilities of employees when a student discloses an incident of sex- or gender-based discrimination, including sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, harassment or bullying, and stalking.

It applies only to student disclosures of incidents. Other reporting responsibilities have not changed. To learn more about reporting all other forms of prohibited harassment and discrimination, visit the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity website.

The updated policy establishes three categories of employee reporting obligations: designated reporters, confidential employees and student-directed employees. The Title IX website outlines what every employee needs to know and needs to do.

Under the policy, most employees are student-directed employees, which means they have two key obligations.

First, student-directed employees are required to provide students who disclose incidents with information regarding all available campus resources and reporting options, ask the student whether they would like to share information with the university, and assist the student if they wish to report.

Second, consult with a confidential employee in crisis intervention to ensure the employee is supported and has all information necessary to help the student and to assess any risks.

The confidential consultation is a critical part of the student-directed employee’s obligation. The Title IX website provides guidance, including a helpful checklist and resources for employees to meet their responsibilities. The website also includes a video presentation that reviews the student response policy within the context of other employee reporting obligations.

“The policy is intended to encourage reporting by students who have experienced prohibited conduct because it makes all employees at the institution part of the solution,” said Darci Heroy, associate vice president and Title IX coordinator. “Employee involvement is key to ensuring a culture of safety and respect.”

Heroy emphasized that understanding the policy and meeting responsibilities is critical to demonstrating the university’s strong commitment to campus safety and establishing confidence in university’s support and services.

Deputy Title IX coordinators are assigned across the university to support the work of the Title IX office.  Reports of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence can be made directly to deputy Title IX coordinators, who will connect students and employees with appropriate resources. The coordinators regularly meet with the Title IX coordinator to discuss concerns related to their constituencies and bring important issues to the attention of senior leadership. A current list of deputy Title IX coordinators is maintained on the Title IX website.

Employees needing assistance understanding their role and responsibilities should contact the Title IX office by phone at 541-346-8136 or by email at titleixcoordinator@uoregon.edu.