Reporting Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct

Different people on campus have different reporting responsibilities, and different abilities to maintain your confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the University. When consulting campus resources, students should be aware of confidentiality, privacy, and mandatory reporting, in order to make informed choices.

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 misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking. 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.

Individuals who consider making a disclosure to University resources should make sure they are aware of the expectations concerning confidentiality and privacy. The University is committed to providing all possible assistance in understanding the expectations regarding confidentiality and privacy and helping individuals to make informed decisions. Should individuals desire to discuss an incident or other information only with persons who are subject to a legal confidentiality obligation or prohibition against reporting, they should ask for information about such resources, which are available both on and off campus.

The student has the right to decline to notify police or campus authority of an incident allegedly in violation of this policy.  Making the decision whether or not to report a sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking incident is the beginning of the process by which many students get back control over their lives. Though the reporting can be difficult, it is often worth the effort. Students sometimes feel empowered by their attempt to bring the responsible party to justice. The decision whether or not to report has numerous economic, psychological, social, and emotional consequences. Students must make the decision which best allows them to continue a healthy and productive life.

CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS

When information is shared with a confidential resource identified in this policy, it does not have to be reported further, and will not initiate further action from the University. The only exception where a confidential resource will not honor confidentiality is when there is an imminent danger to the student or to others. If you desire that details of the incident be kept confidential, you should speak with the Ombuds, on-campus counselors at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or staff at the Student Health Services (SHS), Office of Campus Ministries, DAWN (on or off campus), or an off-campus rape crisis resource such as the D.C. Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC). CAPS counselors are available to help you free of charge, and can be seen on an emergency basis. In addition, you may speak on- and off-campus with members of the clergy and chaplains, who will also keep reports confidential.

NON-CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND FORMAL COMPLAINT OPTIONS

Students who wish to directly report a concern or complaint relating to sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking may do so by reporting the concern or complaint to the University Title IX Coordinator: Sharrell McCaskill, by e-mail at sharrell.mccaskill@gallaudet.edu, by phone at (202) 651-5462, by VP at (202) 559-5683, or in person at College Hall, Room 312. 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 (Department of Public Safety, Health and Wellness Programs, Residence Life and Housing, Office of Student Conduct), as well as faculty and staff 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.

The Title IX Coordinator may delegate investigations to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) as appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy Title IX Coordinators are responsible for receiving and conducting an administrative investigation of all reports of sexual misconduct or violations of no-contact orders filed on campus by students and employees and are available to discuss options, provide support, implement interim remedies or accommodations, explain University policies and procedures, and provide education on related issues.

You have the right and can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking to be taken seriously by Gallaudet when reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures.  Reporting a possible sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking incident does not mean that your report will be confidential, but it does mean it will be kept private and only the people who need to know will be told, and information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused.  The circle of people will be kept as limited as possible, to preserve your rights and privacy. Students also have the option of reporting the incident to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

FEDERAL STATISTICAL REPORTING OBLIGATIONS

Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential. 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 to be 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.

FEDERAL TIMELY WARNING REPORTING OBLIGATIONS

Students making complaints of sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, 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 University will make every effort to ensure that a student's name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community member to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

OFF-CAMPUS INCIDENTS

Students who wish to report off-campus incidents should report to the local police in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. The student may also choose to report a sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking incident to the on campus resources listed below. As described in the Jurisdiction section in the Interim Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures, the University reserves the right to review and make a decision on whether to adjudicate any occurrence of off-campus student behavior in violation of this policy or the Student Code of Conduct that may directly impact or have a significant effect upon the University or members of the University community.

LENIENCY FOR STUDENTS MAKING A REPORT

The University community encourages the reporting of conduct code violations and crimes by students who may have experienced sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking. Sometimes a student is hesitant to report to University officials because they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. It is in the best interest of this community that as many students as possible choose to report to University officials. To encourage reporting, the University pursues a policy of offering students who may have violated the code of conduct themselves leniency from alcohol and/or other drug policy violations related to the incident. The seriousness of gender-based and sexual misconduct is a major concern and the University does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of gender-based or sexual misconduct.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST A FACULTY OR STAFF MEMBER

Students who wish to file a formal complaint of sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking against a faculty or staff member should contact the University Title IX Coordinator directly: Sharrell McCaskill, by e-mail at sharrell.mccaskill@gallaudet.edu, by phone at (202) 651-5462, by VP at (202) 559-5683, or in person at College Hall, Room 312. Title IX Coordinator Sharrell McCaskill will consult with the appropriate administrative officer (or his/her designee) to determine how the investigation will be conducted.

EFFECTIVE DATE: JUNE 30, 2015
UPDATED: AUGUST 12, 2015