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FAQs for Faculty, Coaches, Administrators

What are my obligations?

In general, most College employees do not have legally protected confidentiality. Under Title IX, a College is required to take immediate and corrective action if a Responsible Employee knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking.
A Responsible Employee includes any employee who:

• Has the authority to take action to redress the harassment;
• Has the duty to report to appropriate school officials sexual harassment or any other misconduct by students or employees; or
• A student could reasonably believe has the authority or responsibility to take action.

Using this lens, employees with supervisory and leadership responsibilities on campus are considered Responsible Employees. This includes, for example, faculty, coaches, administrators, Resident Directors, and Resident Advisors.

If you become aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct that involves a student member of the Union College community, you must promptly inform the Title IX Coordinator, Melissa Kelley ((518) 388-6865)/kelleym2@union.edu) or the Director of Campus Safety, Chris Hayen ((518) 388-6911), of the situation, share whatever information you have learned, and strive to follow the guidance provided below.

  • Be open about your obligation to share what you have learned with the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Campus Safety. The person you are talking with may be concerned about the loss of confidentiality and/or control. You can offer assurances that College officials are mindful of these concerns and, except in cases of serious threat to the complainant or campus community, they will not take action or share information without the complainant’s knowledge and consent. The information you share will be treated as confidentially as possible.
  • The Title IX Coordinator or the Campus Safety Director may need to consult with other administrators including the Vice President of Student Affairs.
  • The Vice President of Student Affairs may need to take action in the interest of safety, but in planning any response the wishes of the complainant are given full consideration.

What if I have questions about an account of sexual misconduct?

Feel free to call the Title IX Coordinator, the Senior Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct, or the Director of Counseling Services. Any one of these administrators can answer questions, identify options, and help the discussion go smoothly.

General strategies to keep in mind

Recognize that the person talking with you is likely in need of support as well as information.

  • Listen attentively and non-judgmentally.
  • Take note of any information shared with you but do not push for details.
  • If you are talking with a potential complainant, do what you can to let that person make decisions about what happens next while being mindful of the requirement to report any alleged incident.

Affirm that Union College takes sexual misconduct very seriously and that the College policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports an incident of sexual misconduct.
You can describe the available resources and options on this Sexual Assault Resource website and on a helpful brochure found at the right. Resources and options include:

  • Union College's Sexual Assault Support 24-Hour Hotline 388-6600 provides strictly confidential professional counseling and/or medical services.
  • People wishing to file a complaint can go directly to the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Safety, or the Dean of Students Office. All of these persons will coordinate with one another as necessary. People can go to wherever they feel most comfortable.
  • There are internal disciplinary procedures for sexual misconduct, as well as the option for criminal investigation with the Schenectady Police Department or the New York State Police. Criminal and disciplinary options can be pursued simultaneously.
  • There are accommodations, called Interim Measures, for persons who have experienced sexual misconduct and steps the Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students Office can take to minimize the impact of an incident and to provide a safe educational environment. Accommodations include, but are not limited to, no-contact orders and changes to academic and/or living arrangements.
  • You can also alert the person to the Complainant’s Bill of Rights contained in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

What details do I need to provide to the Title IX Coordinator?

You must share whatever information has been shared with you including the names of any individuals involved, the details of the incident, and the complainant’s wishes regarding next steps.

What kinds Of sexual misconduct do I need to report? 

You need to report any incident that might fall within Union College’s definition of sexual misconduct including: sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, relationship violence, or stalking. For more details see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

What happens after I file a report?

The Title IX Team, which includes the Title IX Coordinator, the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct, and the Director of Campus Safety, will assess the information you have provided and, with input from other College officials, will take appropriate action. If your report includes names or other identifying details, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to anyone experiencing sexual misconduct to make sure they have access to accommodations, support, and options for taking action. The Title IX Coordinator will not contact any individuals accused of committing sexual misconduct until a complaint has been filed or an investigation has been initiated.

Once I have filed my report, do I have other responsibilities?

  • No. Once you have filed a report, your reporting obligations are complete. You should preserve any notes you may have taken or give them to the Title IX Coordinator.
  • The Title IX Coordinator will provide updates to the complainant and respondent. You may continue to talk with the person who shared the information with you. Please keep the Title IX Coordinator updated if you learn new details or if the situation evolves.

Will the Title IX Coordinator update me on what happens?

  • No, due to the need to protect the privacy of the parties involved and the confidentiality of Union College’s sexual response system.
  • However, you may be involved in some of the next steps; e.g. helping to arrange an accommodation, speaking with a fact-finder, or even serving as the complainant’s advisor if the person seeks your assistance.

Who do I contact if I have a question or concern regarding Union College's policy on sexual misconduct or this guidance and FAQ document?

You may contact the Title IX Coordinator, Melissa Kelley at (518) 388-6865 or at kelleym2@union.edu.