Title IX - Stop Sexual Violence
Q. What does the term “sexual misconduct” include?
Foothill’s policy governs all sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic assault, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and stalking.
Q. What is the difference between Title IX and Clery?
What is Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, and accordingly Foothill must respond promptly and effectively to sexual harassment, including sexual violence, that creates a hostile environment. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which puts forth guidance for institutions in meeting Title IX obligations, states that any “Responsible Employee” that knows or should know about possible sexual harassment or sexual violence must report it to the college Title IX Coordinator or other school designee ( Title IX Coordinators), so that necessary and appropriate actions can be taken to respond appropriately. Responsible Employees include any employee who has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence; who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate college designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. At Foothill, Responsible Employees include, but are not limited to:
- All instructors, including full-time professors, adjuncts, lecturers, AIs, and any others who offer classroom instruction or office hours to students;
- All advisors;
- All coaches, trainers, and other athletic staff that interact directly with students;
- All student affairs administrators;
- All residential hall staff;
- Employees who work in offices that interface with students; and
- All supervisors and college officials.
Confidential Employees (those specifically identified on each campus as mental health counselors, those working in campus health care centers, and victim advocates) do not have an obligation to report information know to them, and students may speak to them with anonymity if desired. Confidential Employees may not share personally identifying information with college officials without an individual’s consent.
What is Clery? The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery”) requires that Foothill collect and publish statistics for crimes reported to have occurred on our “Clery Geography” (i.e., occurring on campus, on public property within or immediately adjacent to campus, and on other noncampus Foothill property), for the purpose of informing current and prospective students and employees. Each campus publishes an Annual Security Report, which contains these crime statistics as well as campus specific information on resources, campus emergency responses, safety and security policies, and disciplinary procedures. Clery also requires “timely warnings” be issued to the campus community for crimes occurring on Clery Geography that are considered a serious or continuing threat to students or employees. Under Clery, any good-faith report of a crime must be included in the statistics.
Campus Security Authorities (CSA) are those employees who have the responsibility under Clery of ensuring that information regarding a crime reported or known to them, is conveyed to the college for record keeping and reporting purposes. At Foothill, CSAs include, but are not limited to:
All Foothill College Police Department employees;
- All advisors;
- All athletic directors, coaches, trainers and other staff that have significant student responsibilities;
- All faculty and staff advisors to students;
- All residence hall staff;
- All student discipline and judicial proceeding employees;
- And any Foothill employee with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.
Typically, this does not include instructors who don’t otherwise have responsibilities for student or campus activities outside the classroom. Under Clery, only licensed mental health counselors and pastoral counselors, acting within the scope of that role, are exempt from reporting statistical information for Clery.
What’s the difference? While Clery’s purpose is to disseminate information about certain crimes (including sexual-based crimes) occurring on campus, Title IX’s purpose is to ensure the college appropriately responds and prevents incidents of sexual misconduct (both sexual harassment and sexual violence). Both require that certain employees report information known to them to the appropriate campus officials designated to receive that information.
Additional information on the Clery Act, including definitions of terms can be found here.
(See Question 4 below for more information on reporting sexual misconduct if you are both a CSA and a Responsible Employee.)
Q. What obligations do I have as a Responsible Employee under Title IX?
Most importantly, if there is an emergency, or a serious and continuing threat to anyone, call 911 or the police immediately.
When a Responsible Employee is made aware of sexual misconduct, the college is considered to be on notice and must therefore act promptly and appropriately. As a result, employees who are Responsible Employee (see no. 1 above), have an obligation to promptly contact their campus’ Title IX Coordinator or the college Title IX Coordinator, to report what they know about an incident of sexual misconduct when it involves students or college employees. This includes even when the misconduct has been perpetrated against or by a third party.
By reporting, you are not only helping to ensure that the college meets its obligations in regard to properly responding to these incidents, but more importantly, you are ensuring that victims are connected with those trained to assist and responsible for responding promptly, and ensuring the safety of the victim and others within our college community.
Q. What if I am both a Responsible Employee for Title IX and a CSA for Clery?
Again, if there is an emergency, or a serious and continuing threat to anyone, call 911 or the police immediately. If FHDA Campus Police respond, they will ensure that the appropriate officials on campus are informed as well, including the Title IX Coordinators.
Otherwise, in non-emergencies or when the incident was responded to by a non-FHDA police department, report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator for your campus as a Responsible Employee, (described above in no. 3). As part of their duties, the Title IX Coordinator for each campus will ensure that any reports received about a sex offense (as defined by the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, will be reported to the appropriate Clery officials for their campus. By reporting the information to the Title IX Coordinator for your campus, you have fulfilled both your obligation as a responsible employee and a CSA, and made it possible for the individual to receive the resources they need.
Q. What if I am considered a Confidential Employee under Title IX, but I do not meet the exemption criteria under Clery?
Some Confidential Employees under Title IX (see no. 2 above) are not exempt from reporting Clery information to FHDA Police. Specifically, any Confidential Employee who is not a licensed mental health counselor or pastoral counselor serving in those roles, must still provide non-identifying aggregate information regarding any Clery crime known to them directly to FHDA Police.
Q. How do I find the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator for my campus and the college Title IX Coordinator?
All of these individuals and their contact information is identified under the “Employee Resources” tab, “Title IX Coordinators” page, on the Foothill College Stop Sexual Violence website.
Q. How should I respond if someone shares information with me about an incident of sexual misconduct?
When someone shares this information, they are sharing something very personal and traumatic. It is important to respond in a way that will help the person start the process of healing. Here are some important tips:
- Be supportive in your words and actions
- Listen without judgment
- Avoid questions – especially those that may imply blame or second guessing their behavior
- Avoid using words that question their actions or prescribe a certain a response like “Why did (or didn’t you)?” or “You should…” You ought to….”
- Ask how you can help
- Remind them that the incident is not their fault
Remember to be patient. It may be hard for the person to describe what happened in words and they may seem confused. Memories are often fragmented and a victim may often present information and facts out of order. They may also blame themselves for what happened.
(IU has trained medical and counseling staff that can assist the person with dealing with traumatic events, and we encourage you to refer them or assist them in locating that resource on campus.)
Q. What should I say to someone who tells me about an incident of sexual misconduct?
Listen and focus on what that person may need in the moment. There is no need to investigate or ask for more specific information. To be supportive and reassuring, consider the following:
- “I am sorry this happened to you.”
- “How can I help?”
- “Do you have a safe place to be?”
- “Have you had a chance to see a doctor?”
- “I am glad you shared this with me.”
- “Thank you for telling me.”
- “What happened is not your fault.”
Q. Do I need to let the person know I will be reporting information to the Title IX Coordinator?
Yes. It is important the person sharing information with you understands that you will be informing the Title IX Coordinator of this information (including their name and nature of the incident), why you are sharing this information (obligation to provide to those on campus in a position to respond), and what will happen next (that the Title IX Coordinator will be reaching out to them to provide support and information).
If you anticipate someone may want to share information with you about a particular incident, consider gently asking them to pause and explain to them the following: “I want to let you know that given my role on campus, I have an obligation to share information about incidents of sexual misconduct with our Title IX coordinator. The college needs to make sure you have information about local resources that might be helpful, and must make sure that you and others on campus are also safe. They will work with you to understand what you’ve experienced, to help you understand your options and resources, and to respond appropriately. You can decide how much or how little you want to share with them – that is up to you. It is just my job to let them know.”
Q. What if the person reporting asks me to keep what they told me confidential?
If they express a desire for confidentiality or that they don’t want the college to investigate the matter, you must still report their information as required, and inform the individual that while specific college administrators need to receive the information from you, you will convey their concerns and they will certainly consider their requests and desires.
You cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality (see no. 8 above), but you can offer that you and the college will uphold the person’s privacy and confidentiality as much as possible, and only share with those who have a need to know in order to respond. You can explain that the Title IX coordinator will weigh requests for confidentiality against the college’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator for your campus, make sure you share the person’s concerns about confidentiality along with the information you learned about the incident.
If the person has not shared any details about an incident of sexual misconduct, but asks if they can tell you something in confidence, be sure to let the person know your obligation to report as explained in Question 7 and above. Suggest that they instead consider talking to one of the Confidential Employees on your campus (found under the “Employee Resources” tab on the Foothill College Stop Sexual Violence website).
Q. What should I tell the person will happen next?
Explaining the college process may help the person feel more comfortable with your reporting obligations to the Title IX Coordinator for your campus. Let them know that after you report to the Title IX Coordinator for your campus, the will notify the college Title IX Coordinator.
You can also explain that the Title IX Coordinator for your campus (or another appropriate member of the campus) will typically reach out to the individual to ensure they have access to available resources (e.g., counseling services) and interim measures (e.g., no contact orders and assistance with changing living, academic, work, and/or transportation situations). They will also explain to the individual their rights and options, including the procedure for pursuing an institutional complaint against the individual or student organization as well as filing a criminal complaint.
Be cautious about overwhelming the student with information about a process that you may not manage or have direct experience. Be comfortable saying “I do not know the answer to your question, but I will help connect you to those who do.”
Q. Are there any resources I should share with them?
Yes. We encourage you to find and familiarize yourself with the information provided on this Foothill College Title IX Stop Sexual Violence website. We encourage you to share specific information about available counseling and medical attention when speaking with the person. Campus specific resources and contact information can be found on the If You Experience Sexual Violence and Prevention and Resources pages.
You can also let students know they can report the incident directly to the campus authorities identified on Report an Incident page. It is helpful to reassure them that the individuals in these offices are there to assist.
Q. Should I investigate for more details?
No. The investigation of reports of sexual misconduct and other responsibilities required to respond appropriately to these incidents, require significant and specific training. Your job is not to investigate, determine if a crime has been committed or a college policy violated, or be a counselor. Those responsibilities are assigned to specific offices on campus and in the community:
- The police will investigate complaints of a crime
- Campus Title IX officers will investigate violations of college policy and help arrange accommodations and other measures of assistance
- Medical professionals will address the physical needs
- Advocates can assist with resources and reporting options
- Mental health professionals are available to support the process of recovery
Q. What do I do if the person seems suicidal or a danger to himself/herself or possibly to others?
Q. Who else do I need to tell other than the Title IX Coordinator for my campus?
No one. Once you have reported the incident to the Title IX Coordinator for your campus, you should NOT share the information with anyone else.
In all cases it is your obligation to keep the information confidential, except for your reporting obligations required under Title IX and the Clery Act (as described above). If your supervisor, or someone else within your reporting line, has an expectation that you would share such a report with them, you can let them know that you’ve made a report (without sharing specifics) and give then the name of the college Title IX Coordinator, so s/he may follow-up directly with any concerns or questions.
You are encouraged to explore this site for more information on Foothill College's commitment to fighting sexual violence and available resources on campus and in the community.