Guide for Responsible Employees (Faculty and Staff) Who Learn of Sexual Misconduct or Violence Affecting the Campus Community

The University has an obligation under a federal law known as Title IX to keep the University’s environment free from unlawful sexual discrimination.  Unlawful sexual discrimination includes allegations of sexual violence or harassment, domestic violence, stalking or misconduct occurring both on and off campus, when the conduct impacts the University environment.  The University is required to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct or violence, and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.  This guide provides some practical advice on what to do when you, as a responsible employee, learn of alleged sexual misconduct or violence involving a member of the University community.

What should you do when faced with an allegation that a member of the University community has been a victim of sexual misconduct or violence?

  1. As a responsible employee, you are required to contact Pitt-Titusville’s Title IX Liaison promptly at (814) 827-4474.  If you believe there is a risk of imminent harm to someone, you should also contact Campus Police immediately at (814) 827-4488.
  2. Early in the conversation with the victim, explain that you are obligated to report the incident to the Title IX office and that you cannot maintain complete confidentiality but will respect their privacy and only inform those who you legally must be told. 
  3. If the victim wants to talk with someone who can maintain complete confidentiality, direct the victim to confidential resources such as the Counseling and Student Development Center at (814) 827-4465. 
  4. If the victim wants to tell you what happened, but also wants to maintain confidentiality, you should tell the victim that the University will consider the request, but that you must report to the Title IX office and cannot guarantee that the University will be able to honor the request for confidentiality.
  5. If the victim proceeds, listen empathetically.  Encourage, but do not pressure, the student to seek help, counseling or medical assistance if appropriate, and/or to contact the Office of Student Conduct or the Title IX office.
  6. Encourage the victim to contact law enforcement so that the situation can be addressed and prevented in the future. 
  7. Ask about any immediate needs of the person. 
  8. Resource you should provide the student:  
    “Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention” at: 
    http://www.upt.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/SexualVioleceTitusville.pdf
  9. After the student leaves, call the Title IX office at (814) 827-4474. Provide all details.
  10. Contact/inform your immediate supervisor or Dean to let them know you have made a report to the Title IX office.  In most cases, it is not necessary to provide the names of people involved to your supervisor. 
  11. Do not try to mediate or resolve the issue yourself nor suggest that the parties involved resolve the situation between them.

After reporting to Title IX, what ongoing responsibilities do you have? 

After meeting with the victim and reporting the matter to the Title IX office, you have fulfilled your primary responsibility.  The University, through its Title IX Officer and sometimes the Office of Judicial Affairs and/or Campus Police, will then take prompt action to respond to the matter which may include an appropriate investigation, the provision of support and resources, and resolution.  These University offices have considerable, specialized experience and expertise in handling these matters.

While the University is responding, you may need to play a limited role, such as helping effectuate interim measures or potentially serving as a witness.  If this occurs, you should coordinate closely with the Title IX and Student Judicial offices, because of their expertise and experience, to make sure you are acting in compliance with University protocol and the law.  Unless there is an issue that demands immediate attention due to time constraints, do not try to handle these issues alone. 

In addition:

  1. Watch the University environment for any signs of any ongoing problems.  Be alert for retaliation, which is prohibited.
  2. Immediate interim measures (steps taken right away to mitigate any effects on the education environment) may be appropriate, such as separating the alleged perpetrator and victim.  Unless there is an urgent, time-sensitive issue, you must coordinate these activities with the Title IX office.
  3. Keep the allegations as confidential as possible (no office chatting). 
  4. Treat the people involved fairly and respectfully. 
  5. Be mindful of the rights of all parties.
  6. Do not take sides.  

UNIVERSITY RESOURCES

 

Title IX Liaison
Ms. Elaine Osborn
osborn@pitt.edu
Room 102, Broadhurst Science Center
(814) 827-4474    (8:30 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)

Campus Police
Bennett Davis Hall
(814) 827-4488 (24-hours)
4488 from a campus phone

Counseling and Student Develpment Center
Ms. Sommer Elliott-Disque
selliott@pitt.edu
Room 218, Student Union
(814) 827-4465   (8:30 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)

Office of Student Conduct
Dr. David Fitz
dfitz@pitt.edu
Office of Student Affairs, 2nd Floor Student Union
(814) 827-4469  (8:30 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)

Health Services
Barbara Mozdy
mozdy@pitt.edu
Health Center, Room 219 Student Union
(814) 827-4467  (8:30 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Crisis Response Lines
Emergency Housing at St. James/YWCA: (814) 827-2746 Ext. 102 

Women's Services:

24-Hour Hotline:  888-881-0189
Titusville Office:  814-775-0445

Titusville Area Hospital
406 West Oak Street
(814) 827-1851

Titusville City Police
911