As an employee of Sarah Lawrence College, you are a mandated (non-confidential) reporter of any allegations of sexual assault, misconduct and/or harassment that occur on campus or between two Sarah Lawrence College students. As such you have an absolute obligation to report any knowledge, indication or complaint about sexual assault, misconduct or harassment that you hear about to the Title IX Coordinator (914-395-2527). This document will provide you with the information you need in order to fulfill the college’s reporting policy and help to maintain a safer campus.
When you become aware of an alleged act of sexual assault, misconduct, or harassment, you must promptly contact the Title IX Coordinator (914-395-2527). The Title IX Coordinator will guide you with regard to how much detail is needed in an initial report. Subsequent to an initial report, campus officials may need additional information in order to fulfill the College’s obligations under Title IX. In taking these subsequent actions, the College will always be guided by the goals of empowering the student and allowing the student to retain as much control over the process as possible, but no employee (other than Health & Wellness Center professionals) can or should promise confidentiality.
Students must be made aware that any information they share with you about this type of incident will be communicated to college administrators. Many students will assume that they can speak to you confidentially about any topic. While we encourage this type of honest communication, it is imperative that students be made aware of the limits of your ability to maintain confidentiality. When and if you think that a student may be about to report an act of sexual assault, misconduct, or harassment, then you should, if at all possible, tell the student that you cannot maintain complete confidentiality and are required to report to the College the allegation and the names of the parties involved. One way of avoiding a difficult situation is for those who meet regularly with students to begin their first meeting by reviewing the kinds of information they cannot keep confidential. If this is not practical, then it is incumbent on the faculty or staff member to listen carefully and stop the student if they determine or perceive that something confidential is about to be revealed.
Explain that you think they may be about to tell you something that you would not be able to keep confidential. Let them know that you appreciate their trusting you with this information, and that it is entirely their choice to continue. However, if they do tell you about an incident involving sexual misconduct, you are obligated to notify the Title IX Coordinator.
Let the student know that if they would rather talk to a confidential resource—someone who may keep what they tell them confidential—you would be happy to direct them to the Health & Wellness Center (914-395-2350) so they can share their experience with a non-mandated reporter. If you can, offer to actually take them there; if not, please give them directions to the Health & Wellness Center. You can also offer to give them the phone numbers of available confidential resources, listed below. It is very important that the student not feel shut down, but that they feel empowered to make their own decision about how to proceed and who to tell.
- Sarah Lawrence College Health & Wellness Center (914) 395-2350 (Lyles House)
- Westchester County Victims Assistance Services (914) 395-9111
- My Sisters Place Domestic Violence Shelter and Hotline (800) 298-SAFE (7233)
- New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project Hotline (212) 714-1141
Non-Confidential Resources on Campus
- Dean of Student Affairs (914) 395-2575
- Title IX Coordinator (914) 395-2527
- Dean of the College (914) 395-2303
- AVP for Public Safety (914) 395-2384
Formal Complaint Process
Faculty and staff should be familiar with the College’s complaint and disciplinary process in case they are asked about it. The process is published in the Student Handbook.
Reports made directly to members of the Health & Wellness Center are considered confidential and do not move forward to the Title IX Coordinator unless the student so decides.
Reports made to a resident advisor, faculty member, security officer, or any other staff member must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.