AS FACULTY GIVE HELP TO A STUDENT
UA faculty and staff members that see students regularly are in a unique position to detect behavioral changes, increased stress levels or academic deterioration. These changes can signal a serious problem.
University Staff Required to Report
Under no circumstances should the victim be told that your conversation will be confidential.
As a "responsible employee" of The University of Akron you are required to report all information of which you are aware, regarding sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
This duty applies to all University of Akron employees. Some student employees, such as resident assistants (RAs), are also required to report. However, all administrators, supervisors, managers, faculty and staff, unless they are specifically identified as confidential, are required to report.
However, employees are not required to investigate, ask for additional information, question or compel a student to share information.
More about reporting and confidentiality.
Questions about reporting should be directed to:
Conduct that must be reported
The type of conduct that is required to be reported includes but is not limited to:
- Sexual misconduct (sexual assault, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure)
- Intimate partner violence or interpersonal violence (dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, battery)
- Sexual harassment (quid pro quo, hostile environment, retaliation)
- Gender-based discrimination
Additional information about reporting requirements including a complete list of students who are required to report is provided in the Gender-Based Misconduct and Title IX Policy and Protocol.
View Gender-Based Misconduct and Title IX Policy and Protocol
View Employee Responsibility to Report (pdf)
Indicators of Distress
Any one of these indicators could mean distress related to sexual misconduct, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking or other trauma. Alone these signs require additional monitoring, support and attention. When multiple academic, communication, or physical indications are evident, it is time to take additional action.
These indicators can help identify a distressed student:
- Deterioration in quality of work and classroom performance
- Drop in grades
- Repeated requests for extensions
- Missed assignments
- Repeated absences
- Disorganized or erratic performances
- Creative work or writing with themes of extreme hopelessness, isolation, rage, fear or despair
- Direct statements about distress because of problems with family, friends or boyfriend/girlfriend
- Unprovoked anger or hostility
- Exaggerated or uncharacteristic personality traits – suddenly withdrawn or more animated than usual
- Excessive dependency
- Expressing hopelessness, fear, worthlessness
- Classmates expressing concern about student
- Deterioration in physical appearance
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Excessive fatigue
- Visible weight changes
Safety Risk Indicators
If any one of these safety risk indicators are evident, it is time to take additional action.
- Any written or verbal statement with a suicidal tone or sense of finality
- Writing that focuses on despair, suicide, violent behavior or death
- Statements about "going away for a long time"
- Giving away valuable possessions
- Self-injury or self-destructive behavior, including abusing drugs or alcohol
If you feel comfortable, approach the student directly and express your concerns. You are not expected to take on the role of counselor, but be prepared to listen carefully. Share helpful information with your students about the resources available at UA, especially if a student approaches you for help.
You are also encouraged to call the Dean of Students Office to consult 330-972-6048.
Tips for Sensitive Conversation with Students
Students value faculty and staff opinions. Continue to work with the student as you have in the past ensuring they have your encouragement. When possible, be mindful and supportive of the recovery and healing process. If the person who you are supporting is faculty or staff similar assistance is provided by the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees.
- As soon as prudent, inform them that while your conversation will be private, it will not be confidential, given your status as a Responsible Employee. The university takes these matters very seriously and after your conversation, you will be calling the Dean of Students Office.
- Listen without judgment and offer your support. "I'm sorry that this happened. I appreciated you telling me and would like to help. Is there anything I can do that would be most helpful to you right now?"
- Address any safety or medical concerns. Inform them of the importance of preserving evidence. A person does not need to make a report or press charges to receive medical care.
- The Dean of Students Office will offer support and accommodations. Support is individually tailored to each students needs. Options include counseling, no-contact directives, schedule changes, financial assistance and adjustments to work or living situations.
- Explain what will happen after the conversation: that you will contact the Dean of Students, offer to call after they leave or while they sit with you, and the Dean of Students office will contact them directly. They will have choices moving forward about whether to respond to outreach or seek assistance with The Dean of Students or any other offices – that will be completely up to them.
- Encourage the student to report the misconduct directly to both police and Dean of Students.
- After you have reported to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator these situations should be kept on a "need to know" basis to protect the parties' privacy and the integrity of any investigations.
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