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Dec 9, 2022
Title IX Sexual Harassment ...
College Hall B18
All Gallaudet and Clerc Center employees (faculty, teachers, staff, administrators) are required to report actual or suspected sexual harassment or retaliation to appropriate officials immediately, though there are some limited exceptions.
In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources.
Different employees, including student employees on campus have different reporting responsibilities, and varying requirements to maintain your confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the University. When consulting campus resources, University community members should be aware of the expectations concerning confidentiality and privacy, and that many employees and some student employees are mandatory reporters, in order to make an informed decision.
Privacy and confidentiality have distinctive meanings; privacy generally means that the information will be shared with a limited number of individuals with the “need to know” in order to perform their assigned responsibilities, while confidentiality means that the information cannot be revealed to any other individual without the expressed permission of the individual. Gallaudet is committed to protecting the confidentiality and privacy of all individuals involved in a report of sexual harassment. On campus, some resources may maintain your confidentiality completely, offering you options and advice without any obligation to tell anyone, unless you want them to. Other resources are expressly there for you to privately report crimes and code of conduct violations, and they will take action when you report to them.
When information is shared with a confidential resource identified in this policy, it does not have to be reported further, and will not result in an investigation by the University. Exceptions where a confidential resource will not honor confidentiality are when there is an imminent danger to oneself or to others, or when there is reasonable cause to suspect abuse of a minor. If you desire that details of the incident be kept confidential, you should speak to the following on-campus confidential resources:
Office of the Ombuds, Ely Center 113, (202) 559-5079 (VP), Contact. The Office of the Ombuds is where students can go to get confidential, impartial, independent, and informal assistance and conflict resolution.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, 3rd Floor, (202) 250-2300 (VP), Contact. Counselors are available during the day and may be contacted for emergency situations after office hours by the Department of Public Safety. CAPS provides confidential crisis management, short-term therapy, and group therapy (depending on the number of students with similar concerns/issues). CAPS also provides a referral list of area agencies and private practitioners.
Office of Campus Ministries, Ely Center 114-118, (202) 651-5102 (V), Contact. The Office of Campus Ministries (OCM) provides a variety of confidential counseling services to students, including personal counseling and crisis management in either individual or group settings. Members of the clergy acting in their official capacity of providing spiritual counsel, support, or ministry (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. The OCM also makes referrals and works with other on-campus and off-campus offices and agencies to meet the needs of individuals in crisis.
Student Health Service, Peter J. Fine Health Center, (202) 651-5090 (V), Contact. During hours of operation, Student Health Service (SHS) provides confidential first aid and referral services for students who experienced sexual harassment. SHS also screens and treats sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and provides appropriate follow-up care.
Employee Assistance Program, (800) 607-1552 (V) The Employee Assistance Program provides assistance to employees who may be experiencing personal difficulties. The program, under APS Healthcare, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is provided to employees at no cost.
Employees who are confidential and who receive reports within the scope of their confidential roles will timely submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes unless they believe it would be harmful to their client, patient, or parishioner.
Additionally, all of the off-campus resources listed in the Off-Campus Confidential Resource section are confidential resources.
University community members or third parties who wish to directly report a concern or complaint relating to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct may do so by reporting the concern or complaint to the Title IX Coordinator. Individuals may also report a concern or a complaint to any of the non-confidential resources listed on the On-Campus Resources section with their contact information as well as to “mandatory reporters” on campus. Reports or disclosures made to any other non-confidential University employee will be directed to the Title IX Coordinator for further review. If personally identifiable information must be shared, it will be shared with as few people as possible (on a need-to-know basis), and reasonable efforts will be made to protect privacy.
University employees, with the exception of confidential resources as identified in this policy, are mandatory reporters, which means that they are required to share the known details of a report with the Title IX Coordinator, including the names of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, specific location, and nature of the alleged incident. To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling Gallaudet’s response to the report.
The following offices and individuals will provide privacy, but not confidentiality, upon receiving a report of conduct prohibited under this policy:
Title IX Coordinator, College Hall B18, (202) 759-1734 (videophone), Contact.
Director, Student Accountability and Restorative Practices, Ely Center 103, (202) 759-5598 (videophone), Contact.
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Clerc Center, KDES, Room 3202, (202) 651-5788 (voice), (202) 250-2960 (videophone), Contact
Title IX Investigator for Clerc Center, MSSD, Room 214F , (202) 250-2798 (videophone) , Contact
Department of Public Safety, Carlin Hall Basement, (202) 651-5555, Contact.
The University considers complaints and investigations conducted under this policy to be private matters for the parties involved. When a complaint is made the University will take reasonable steps to protect the privacy of all involved. Only the people who need to know as part of their professional responsibilities will be told, and information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, the Complainant and the Respondent.
The Complainant, Respondent and any witnesses will be notified of the potential for compromising the integrity of the investigation by disclosing information about the case and the expectation that they keep such information, including documents they may review, confidential. They are encouraged to exercise discretion in sharing information in order to safeguard the integrity of the process and to avoid the appearance of retaliation. The Complainant and Respondent should understand that the failure to maintain discretion and privacy may result in negative consequences impacting the adjudication of the complaint, and that over-sharing can result in unintended consequences such as retaliation, the creation and exacerbation of a hostile environment, and may damage the credibility and integrity of witnesses or information relevant to the resolution of the complaint.
While discretion regarding the process is important, complainants and respondents are not restricted from discussing and sharing information, such as with others who may support or assist them as advisors or support persons or with their families or guardians.
All individuals involved in the process should understand that any and all documents provided to and maintained by the University – including complaints, responses, statements, investigative reports, documents, and other information in a case file may be subject to disclosure by subpoena or court order at any time. The University will inform the appropriate party of such a request unless otherwise prohibited by law.
When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed
If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and to comply with state or federal law.
The Title IX Coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether the Institution proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so, and the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a grievance process upon completion of an appropriate violence risk assessment.
The Title IX Coordinator must also consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and Gallaudet or the Clerc Center’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively.
When the Title IX Coordinator executes the written complaint, they do not become the Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy.
When the Institution proceeds, the Complainant (or their Advisor) may have as much or as little involvement in the process as they wish. The Complainant retains all rights of a Complainant under this Policy irrespective of their level of participation.
Note that the Institution’s ability to remedy and respond to notice may be limited if the Complainant does not want the Institution to proceed with an investigation and/or grievance process. The goal is to provide the Complainant with as much control over the process as possible, while balancing the Institution’s obligation to protect its community.
In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow the Institution to honor that request, the Institution will offer informal resolution options (see below), supportive measures, and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action.
If the Complainant elects to not to request an investigation, they can change that decision if they decide to pursue a formal complaint at a later date. Upon making a formal complaint, a Complainant has the right, and can expect, to be treated with respect by the Institution, and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures. Please consider that delays in pursuing a Formal Complaint may cause limitations on access to evidence, or present issues with respect to the status of the parties.
The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose information about campus crime. Gallaudet files a report of campus crime statistics annually with the Department of Education. The report includes crime statistics for the past three calendar years, and does not include any identifiable information (e.g. names, addresses, etc.). For more information, visit the DPS website at http://www.gallaudet.edu/public-safety.
Certain campus officials have a duty to report the following for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act):
All personally identifiable information is kept private. Statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on- or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. The information shared includes the date, the location of the incident and the crime (using Clery location categories). This reporting protects the identity of the student and may be done anonymously.
University community members reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking should also be aware that University administrators may issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them, especially those that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the University community. The Department of Public Safety makes such determinations. The University will make every effort to ensure that an individual’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. In instances where an alleged incident occurs between two individuals and no ongoing threat to other Gallaudet community members is present, a timely warning notice would not be distributed.
False Allegations and Evidence
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith even where those allegations are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination
Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation can be subject to discipline under the Institution’s policies. A determination regarding responsibility, standing alone, is not sufficient to find that a party has violated this requirement
Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
The Institution community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to Gallaudet or Clerc Center officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.
It is in the best interests of the Institution community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to Institution officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process.
To encourage reporting and participation in the process, Gallaudet maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to the incident.
Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to a Respondent with respect to a Complainant.
Sometimes, students are hesitant to assist others for fear that they may get in trouble themselves (for example, an underage student who has been drinking or using marijuana might hesitate to help take an individual who has experienced sexual assault to the Department of Public Safety)
Gallaudet maintains a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need. Although policy violations cannot be overlooked, Gallaudet may provide purely educational options with no official disciplinary finding, rather than punitive sanctions, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.
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