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INTERIM University Policy 340: Required Reporting of Sexual Misconduct

Covered Individuals: All Employees
Responsible Executive: President
Policy Custodian: Executive Director of the Office of Equity
Last Revised: 2022/07/01
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340.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE

Utah State University is committed to providing a learning and working environment free from Sexual Misconduct, defined as conduct on the basis of sex including Relationship Violence, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Sex-based Stalking, as defined in the Definitions Section at the end of this Policy. To this end, the University encourages all individuals who have experienced Sexual Misconduct to report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible so that the University can take appropriate steps to support the individual and address the Sexual Misconduct. For additional information on the University’s Sexual Misconduct policies, see USU Policy 339: Sexual Misconduct in an Employment or Education Program or Activity (Title IX), USU Policy 339A: Sexual Misconduct outside an Employment or Education Program or Activity (Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct), and USU Policy 339B: Sexual Misconduct in a Study Abroad Program (Study Abroad).

This policy explains individuals’ options for disclosing Sexual Misconduct. Although the University encourages individuals who have experienced Sexual Misconduct to report such incidents directly to the Title IX Coordinator, the University has different reporting options, including Reporting Employees and Designated Confidential Resources. Individuals who wish to disclose an incident of Sexual Misconduct should review this policy to understand under what circumstances information will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator and under what circumstances information will not be shared and will remain confidential. Disclosing Parties who are uncertain about a University employee’s reporting obligation should ask the employee before disclosing information they wish to keep confidential.

This policy also provides details relating to the responsibilities of each designated group of employees when a Disclosing Party shares information about Sexual Misconduct with them. All employees should review this policy carefully to ensure they understand their responsibilities as either a Reporting Employee or a Designated Confidential Resource. Questions about employee reporting obligations under this policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equity.

340.2 POLICY

2.1 Reporting Employee

To ensure that the University can provide persons who have experienced Sexual Misconduct with Supportive Measures and information about resources, reporting options, including the option of filing a Formal Complaint, certain University employees are designated as Reporting Employees.

Not all employees are designated as Reporting Employees. The Title IX Coordinator, working with the Office of Human Resources, identifies Reporting Employees. The specific procedures governing the identification of Reporting Employees are provided in USU Procedures 340: Required Reporting of Sexual Misconduct. Reporting Employees include, but are not limited to, those employees who have the authority to institute corrective measures concerning allegations of Sexual Misconduct, such as, Campus Security Authorities, University Police, Supervisors, faculty, campus administrators, employees in the Athletic department, resident assistants, and other similar individuals. Employees with an ongoing ninemonth contract are considered Reporting Employees for a full twelve months.

2.1.1 Reporting Employee Obligations

Reporting Employees are required to report all information they receive concerning incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.

All Reporting Employees must submit an Incident Report with information about Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours of receiving the disclosure. All Reporting Employees must also provide the Disclosing Party with information about support services and reporting options. If an individual is in immediate danger, the Reporting Employee must call 911.

Reporting Employees must submit Incident Reports using the online form at equity.usu.edu and must include all information disclosed to the Reporting Employee, including:

  • The name of the person who experienced the Sexual Misconduct;
  • The name of the person who reported the Sexual Misconduct to the Reporting Employee, if different from the person who experienced it;
  • The name of the person(s) alleged to have engaged in Sexual Misconduct;
  • The name of any witnesses or individuals who have information about the incident(s);
  • The date, time, and location of the alleged incident(s);
  • The nature of the incident(s);
  • A description of the incident(s);
  • All documentation the Reporting Employee has received related to the incident (including all written notes);
  • The date the incident was reported to the Reporting Employee; and,
  • All other relevant information known to the Reporting Employee.

Reporting Employees may not report anonymously. The Incident Report must include the Reporting Employee’s name and contact information. A single Incident Report can be submitted by an individual Reporting Employee or multiple Reporting Employees, as long as all Reporting Employees are named on the Incident Report and every Reporting Employee has provided all information known in the Incident Report concerning the Sexual Misconduct. The Office of Equity will document each Incident Report received by the office in its case management system.

2.1.2 Notice to Disclosing Party of Reporting Employee Reporting Obligations

Reporting Employees should inform the Disclosing Party of the Reporting Employee’s obligation to report the disclosure of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, along with information to assist the Disclosing Party to connect directly with the Office of Equity and other support resources. Reporting Employees receiving such a disclosure should not investigate allegations of Sexual Misconduct.

If the Disclosing Party tells the Reporting Employee that they do not want contact from the Title IX Coordinator, then the Reporting Employee will report as required by this section and state in the Incident Report that the Disclosing Party does not want to be contacted by the Title IX Coordinator. Under limited circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator may reach out to the Claimant (for example and without limitation, when there is a University-driven Investigation, when information is shared with local law enforcement, etc.), but otherwise the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, will provide information to the Reporting Employee, including support services and various reporting options to share in writing with the Disclosing Party. The Reporting Employee must inform the Title IX Coordinator, in writing, that they provided the information to the Disclosing Party.

2.1.3 Exceptions to Reporting Employee Reporting Obligations

A Reporting Employee’s obligations do not apply when the disclosure of information about Sexual Misconduct is made in the following circumstances:

  • The Reporting Employee is the Claimant;
  • Human subject research, subject to the review of the University’s Institutional Review Board. For example, a survey to collect data about trauma given to participants that ask if they experienced sexual violence;
  • A Pastoral Counselor who is associated with a religious order or denomination, recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling, and is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a Pastoral Counselor;
  • Privileged requests for legal advice;
  • A person who receives a disclosure while employed by or volunteers at a rape crisis center who has a minimum of 40 hours of training in counseling and assisting victims of sexual assault and who is under the supervision of the director or designee of a rape crisis center;
  • Protected Health Information (PHI) generated by clinical care teams who are providing services subject to HIPAA that are designated as “Healthcare Provider Covered Components” in the University’s Hybrid Entity Declaration (clinical care teams include but are not limited to faculty, clinicians, student trainees, and support staff engaged in Covered Component work), except where such PHI may be evidence of Sexual Misconduct between a client or patient and a member of a clinical care team; or
  • A spouse, domestic partner, individuals living like domestic partners, dating partner, or family member by their spouse, domestic partner, dating partner, individuals living like domestic partners, or family member.

In addition, there is no Reporting Employee reporting obligation when the disclosure of information about Sexual Misconduct is made through the following unless the Respondent is identified as a current Student or Employee:

  • Applications to the University or a specific program offered by the University;
  • Job applications and interviews;
  • University-led focus groups related to Sexual Misconduct;
  • Sexual Misconduct prevention trainings provided by designated prevention specialists;
  • Public awareness events; or
  • Work submitted in course assignments and discussions related to course materials.

When the disclosure of information about Sexual Misconduct is made in the following circumstances unless the Respondent is identified as a current Student or Employee:

  • A Process Advisor and/or Support Person serving in that role in an Office of Equity Formal Investigation or Alternative Resolution process;
  • The Claimant was not a Student or Employee when the Sexual Misconduct occurred; or
  • Certain designated teams defined in USU Procedures 340 that routinely review health information and/or records pursuant to a limited release of information agreement.

If the Reporting Employee is unsure whether to report the information to the Title IX Coordinator, they should err on the side of reporting the information. When an exception applies, Reporting Employees are still obligated to provide any Student, program participant, or Employee with information about support services and various reporting options.

2.1.4 Consequences of Failing to Report

Reporting Employees who fail to report may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment, under USU Policy 311: Setting Expectations and Managing Performance, if they are a non-faculty staff member, or USU Policy 407: Academic Due Process – Sanctions and Hearing Procedures, if they are a faculty member.

2.2 Designated Confidential Resources

Designated Confidential Resources are responsible for providing confidential advocacy and other professional services to the Disclosing Party. This includes the University’s medical professionals and medical staff, professional counselors, non-professional counselors, and Sexual Assault and Anti- Violence Information Office (SAAVI) advocates.

Designated Confidential Resources provide critical support services to the Disclosing Party in a confidential and professional setting. Individuals who wish to seek support following an incident of Sexual Misconduct may generally, with a few exceptions as described below, disclose information to Designated Confidential Resources and the disclosure will remain confidential (i.e., it will not be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or result in an Office of Equity response).

The scope of confidentiality exists only in relation to the University. Designated Confidential Resources will explain the scope of confidentiality to any Disclosing Party. All non-professional counselors must explain to a Disclosing Party that their notes and information are not privileged and therefore may be discoverable in any legal action.

2.2.1 Designated Confidential Resource Obligations

All Designated Confidential Resources must provide the Disclosing Party with: (1) information about support services and reporting options; (2) notification that their disclosure to a Confidential Resource will not result in a report to the Title IX Coordinator or result in an Office of Equity response; and (3) an explanation that their personally identifiable information will remain confidential.

2.2.2 Professional Counselors and Medical Professionals and Staff

Professional counselors are not permitted to report to the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, except where required by state law, any information that a Disclosing Party shares with them about an alleged incident of Sexual Misconduct without the Disclosing Party’s permission. Absent such permission, information disclosed to a professional counselor, or an employee working in the office of a professional counselor, will not result in an Office of Equity response under USU Policies 339, 339A, and 339B.

The Professional Counselors in the following offices are Designated Confidential Resources:

2.2.3 Non-professional Counselors and Advocates

Non-professional counselors and advocates can provide support and advocacy services without revealing any personally identifiable information to the University. Pursuant to the Clery Act and USU Policy 533, non-professional counselors and advocates are required to provide anonymized information about Sexual Misconduct that has been revealed to them as having occurred on Clery Geography, see USU Policy 533, including incident date, time, and location, to University Police. USU Police must then file an Incident Report as Reporting Employees to the Title IX Coordinator so that the Title IX Coordinator can track patterns and trends in the University community.

Absent an immediate, ongoing, or significant threat to physical health or safety, or a pattern of Sexual Misconduct by Respondent, information shared with non-professional counselors and advocates will not initiate an Office of Equity response but may require a timely warning notification be sent to the campus community. Non-professional counseling and advocacy services available at the University that are Designated Confidential Resources include:

2.2.4 Designated Confidential Resources Reporting Obligations

Designated Confidential Resources are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator all information concerning allegations of Sexual Misconduct that are alleged to have been committed by another Designated Confidential Resource.

An individual’s medical, psychological, and other similar treatment records should not be shared by a Designated Confidential Resource directly to the Office of Equity without the individual’s voluntary, written consent, except where such records may be evidence of Sexual Misconduct committed by a Designated Confidential Resource against a client or patron of a Designated Confidential Resource.

2.3 Other Employees

An employee who is not categorized as a Reporting Employee or Designated Confidential Resource does not have obligations under this policy.

2.4 Additional Reporting Obligations

Reporting Employees and Designated Confidential Resources may have additional reporting obligations under University policy and state law. See, e.g., USU Policy 533.

2.5 Training Requirements

Reporting Employees, Designated Confidential Resources, and other Employees are required to complete all training requirements as outlined in Procedures 340. Supervisors of these employees must ensure that this training is completed.

340.3 RESPONSIBILITIES

3.1 Office of Equity, Executive Director, and Title IX Coordinator

The Office of Equity is responsible for enforcing this policy.

3.2 Supervisors

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring their direct reports are knowledgable about and compliant with this policy and complete all training required by this policy.

3.3 Employees

Employees that are classifed as a Reporting Employee or Designated Confidential Resource are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy and related procedures. Employees are responsible for completing all training required by this policy.

3.4 The Office of Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for working with the Title IX Coordinator to publish the employee lists once a year and to maintain the lists of Reporting Employees and Designated Confidential Resources.

340.4 REFERENCES

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964
  • Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972
  • The Clery Act
  • Confidential Communications for Institutional Advocacy Services Act, Utah Code 53B-28-201 et seq.

340.5 RELATED USU POLICIES

340.5 DEFINITIONS

Advocate. An individual who is employed by or volunteers for the University, acts under the supervision of the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information Office’s (SAAVI) director, and has completed at least 40 hours of training in counseling and assisting victims who have experienced Sexual Misconduct.

Alternative Resolution. A voluntary process in which parties agree to resolve a Formal Complaint without completing an investigation, or at any time prior to the conclusion of the investigation and hearing process. An Alternative Resolution agreement may be facilitated through arbitration, mediation, restorative justice, or another appropriate method that is agreed upon by the parties and the Title IX Coordinator. Such an agreement may not include Sanctions or other disciplinary measures unless the Respondent agrees to such sanctions or disciplinary measures.

Campus Security Authority. As defined by USU Policy 533: Public Safety, Response, and Reporting, a Campus Security Authority is any employee of the University’s Public Safety Department; any individual who has responsibility for campus security but who is not an employee of the Public Safety Department, such as an individual who is responsible for monitoring entrance into University property; any individual or organization specified in USU Policy 533 as those to which students and employees should report criminal offenses; and any official of the University who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. If such an official is a Pastoral Counselor, as defined below, or professional counselor, as outlined in USU Policy 533, the official is not considered a Campus Security Authority when acting as a Pastoral or professional counselor.

Claimant. A person who is alleged to have experienced conduct that could constitute Sexual Misconduct. Referred to as “complainant” in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30 (2020).

Designated Confidential Resources. The University’s professional counselors, non-professional counselors, and advocates. They provide critical support services to campus community members in a confidential setting and do not share disclosures of Sexual Misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator or with law enforcement unless they receive express written permission to do so from the Claimant.

Disclosing Party. An individual who provides information about Sexual Misconduct to a University employee.

Employee. A full-time or part-time University faculty, staff, professional research staff, or post-doctoral fellow. For purposes of this policy, a Student Employee may be designated as both a Student and an Employee.

Employment or Education Program or Activity. All operations of the University in the United States including buildings, locations, events, and University computers, internet networks, and remote learning platforms; off-campus settings in which the University has substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the Sexual Misconduct occurs, including University computers and internet networks and digital platforms; off-campus buildings owned or controlled by a student organization officially recognized by the University.

Formal Complaint. A signed document that indicates the University will proceed with a Formal Investigation of Sexual Misconduct or an Alternative Resolution. A Formal Complaint may be signed by the Claimant or, for University-driven Formal Investigations, by the Title IX Coordinator. The Formal Complaint signed by the Claimant must: 1) state the Respondent’s name (if known); (2) cannot be anonymous; (3) state Sexual Misconduct that would be covered by this policy; (4) request an Alternative Resolution or Formal Investigation; (5) must be signed by the Claimant. In the event that the Title IX Coordinator signs the Formal Complaint, the University shall not act as the Claimant, does not have the rights of a Claimant, and shall not otherwise be treated as a party to the investigation.

Formal Investigation. The evidence-gathering process that begins with the filing of the Formal Complaint by a Claimant or Title IX Coordinator and ends when the Appeal process is complete. This process includes interviewing parties and Witnesses, and gathering other Relevant evidence, exculpatory and inculpatory. There is a live hearing, and a Hearing Panel determines whether or not there is a Preponderance of the Evidence of a policy violation. The parties can Appeal the finding and decision under limited circumstances.

Grievance Process. The process undertaken by the Office of Equity from the filing of a Formal Complaint through to the resolution of any Appeals. The Grievance Process may include a Claimant- or University-driven Formal Investigation and Hearing, or an Alternative Resolution.

Incident Report. A report of alleged Sexual Misconduct filed online, via email, by phone, by mail, or inperson to the Office of Equity, Title IX Coordinator, or a Reporting Employee.

Pastoral Counselor. A person, who is associated with a religious order or denomination, recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling, and is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a Pastoral Counselor.

Process Advisor. Any person, including an attorney, chosen by a Claimaint or Respondent to advise and assist the selecting party in any part of the Grievance Process, including any meeting with the Office of Equity, the Formal Investigation and/or hearing, the Alternative Resolution process, including in conducting questioning of another party and Witnesses on behalf of the selecting party. A Process Advisor may be a parent, legal guardian, a USU faculty or staff member, a USU Student Association (“USUSA”) Student Advocate, an attorney, or any other person with whom a Claimant or a Respondent wishes to consult during a disciplinary proceeding. A Process Advisor may accompany a student in a disciplinary proceeding and must adhere to the rules of the proceeding.

Relationship Violence. Includes Dating Violence and Domestic Violence.

  • Dating Violence. Dating violence includes violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Claimant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (a) the length of the relationship, (b) the nature of the relationship, and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed against the Claimant by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Claimant, by a person with whom the Claimant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the Claimant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Claimant under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or by any other person against an adult or youth Claimant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. A criminal charge or conviction is not a predicate for an allegation of Domestic Violence to be brought under this policy.

Reporting Employee. An employee that is required to report all information they receive concerning incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. See the Reporting Employee Policy.

Respondent. An individual who is alleged to have committed Sexual Misconduct.

Sex-based. The University considers actions based on someone’s sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation to be sex-based.

Sex-based Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person or persons, based on sex, that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or for the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking may occur in person, by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media, or any other action, device, or method.

A course of conduct is two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through a third party, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, intimidates, harasses, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media, or any other action, method, device, or means.

Sexual Assault. Includes any sexual act or attempted sexual act, including Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Assault with An Object, or Fondling, directed against another person without their Consent. This includes instances where the person is incapable of giving Consent because of their age or because of Incapacitation. Sexual Assault also includes unlawful sexual acts, such as Incest and Statutory Rape.

  • Rape. Sexual intercourse with another person without their Consent.
  • Sodomy. Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person without their Consent.
  • Sexual Assault with An Object. The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person without their Consent.
  • Fondling. The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification without their Consent.
  • Incest. Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law (e.g., a sibling or parent/child relationship).
  • Statutory Rape. Sexual intercourse with a person who is under Utah’s statutory age of Consent.

Sexual Harassment. Includes Hostile Environment and Quid Pro Quo.

  • Hostile Environment. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an Employment or Education Program or Activity.
  • Quid Pro Quo. An employee’s conditioning the provision of a University aid, benefit, or service on a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Sexual Misconduct. Referred to as “sexual harassment” in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30 (2020). Sexual Misconduct is conduct on the basis of sex including one or more of the following:

  • Relationship Violence;
  • Sexual Harassment;
  • Sexual Assault; and
  • Sex-based Stalking.

Student. A person who is currently registered or enrolled at the University for credit or non-credit-bearing course work.

Supervisor. A person who has the power to take tangible employment actions against an employee, i.e., to affect a significant change of employment status, such as to hire, fire, promote, reassign with significantly different responsibilities, or make a decision causing a significant change in benefits. Regarding a person who supervises a student, “Supervisor” means a person who assigns job duties, makes decisions about how the student spends their time, or oversees the student’s day-to-day tasks.

Supportive Measures. Short-term, non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as deemed appropriate by the Office of Equity based on the circumstances of the incident and without fee or charge to the Claimant and/or the Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s Employment or Education Program or Activity without unreasonably burdening the other party and include measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, and/or to deter Sexual Misconduct. Supportive Measures may include but are not limited to counseling, extensions of deadlines or other academic course-related adjustments, work or class schedule changes, campus security or law enforcement escort services, mutual no-contact orders, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, supplementary education about Sexual Misconduct, and other similar measures.

Title IX Coordinator. The person designated to coordinate the University’s efforts to implement and monitor compliance with the University’s Sexual Misconduct policies, including the Sexual Misconduct Policy; USU Policy 339A: Sexual Misconduct outside an Employment or Education Program or Activity; USU Policy 339B: Sexual Misconduct in a Study Abroad Program and with federal Title IX law and regulations more generally. As set forth in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the University’s prompt response to Incident Reports of alleged Sexual Misconduct, coordinating effective implementation of Supportive Measures, informing Claimants of their option to file a Formal Complaint, and informing the parties of their rights and obligations under the Grievance Process. The Title IX Coordinator works within the Office of Equity.


RESOURCES

Notice of Non-Discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

Utah State University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination including harassment in employment including in hiring, promotion, transfer, or termination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy or any other federal, state, or local law.

Utah State University does not discriminate in its housing offerings and will treat all persons fairly and equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, source of income, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Additionally, the University endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations when necessary and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:

Executive Director of the Office of Equity
Matthew Pinner
matthew.pinner@usu.edu
1475 Old Main Hill
Room 161
Logan, UT 84322
435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator
Hilary Renshaw
hilary.renshaw@usu.edu
1475 Old Main Hill
Room 161
435-797-1266

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit https://equity.usu.edu/, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
800-421-3481
OCR@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education
Denver Regional Office
303-844-5695
OCR.Denver@ed.gov

Procedures

Contacts

Executive Director of the Office of Equity
Matthew Pinner
matthew.pinner@usu.edu
1475 Old Main Hill
Room 161
Logan, UT 84322
435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator
Hilary Renshaw
hilary.renshaw@usu.edu
1475 Old Main Hill
Room 161
435-797-1266