As members of the Union College community, we all have a responsibility to create environments for our students that are safe and inclusive, and free from sexual violence, harassment or discrimination. As faculty and staff who work closely with students and interact with them in a variety of ways, you may find yourself in a position where a student has disclosed that they have experienced sexual violence, harassment or discrimination. All Faculty at Union College are required to report instances of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Campus Safety.
If a student discloses to you, please take the following three steps:
- Share the Resources: Union has a number of resources to support individuals who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and/or stalking. These include the Counseling Center, Health Center, Title IX Coordinator and Campus Safety.
- Share the “Your Rights” Statement: If any student discloses that they have experienced sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, you should advise them of their rights in regards to reporting by sharing the following statement: You have the right to make a report to Campus Safety, local law enforcement, and/or state police or choose not to report; to report the incident to Union College officials; to be protected by the College from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from the College.
- Submit the Report: Even if the student does not wish to report to the College or file a complaint, all Faculty, most College Administrators, and anyone a student could reasonably believe could help is legally obligated to inform the Title IX Coordinator of all relevant information, including the student’s name. You can call (518) 388-6865, use the report form on the Title IX website, or email email@example.com. Reports allow the College to take initial steps to address the incident(s), protect and support those directly affected, and enhance the safety of our community. Students can work with the Title IX Coordinator to determine the next steps that are best for them: pursuing a student judicial complaint, pursuing a human resources complaint, pursuing criminal charges, or not pursuing any formal action at all.
There are some members of the community who are considered confidential. Counseling Center staff and Wicker Wellness Center staff do not need to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator, but are highly encouraged to follow the first two steps to help connect our students to the full scope of resources available to them.
Information shared in class assignments, class discussions, and at public events do not constitute an official disclosure, and faculty and staff do not have to report these to the Title IX Coordinator. Faculty and staff should be sure that access to campus and community resources related to sexual misconduct are available to students in the case these subjects do arise. Any other disclosure to faculty and staff needs to be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Preventing sexual violence requires action from our entire community. You can learn more about Union College’s response to sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking on campus by visiting the Title IX Website, www.union.edu/titleix or reviewing our campus-wide Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Respecting Gender and Pronouns
Everyone has the right to be addressed and referred to by the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including the use of non-binary pronouns (e.g. they/them). Pronouns are not typically included on rosters, so when appropriate, ask students to indicate the pronouns that they use for themselves whenever they are asked to share their names. A student’s chosen name and pronouns should be respected at all times in the classroom.
Inclusive strategies for welcoming students include:
- Ask all students to complete index cards with contact information, the name they use/like to be called, and answers to a few other questions, on the first day. You may also invite all students to write their pronouns too. You may need to explain/give examples. (e.g. my pronouns are 'she' and 'her'; my pronouns are ‘they/them’.) If you do class introductions, invite students to use the name they wish to be called, even if it is different from what is on the roster.
- Use the name a student asks you to use, regardless of whether the roster or participation list has a different name, and regardless of whether the roster name seems to be a name associated with another gender.
- Consider using the inclusive they/them pronouns to refer to students all the time.
- Call on students using a description rather than a gender, for instance instead of saying "the gentleman in back", or "the woman in the front," say things like "the student in the purple sweater in the back row" or "the student with red eyeglasses", etc.
- Be aware of campus resources and refer students who indicate they may need support on campus.
- Put a Title IX paragraph on the syllabus or orientation/contact materials you provide to your students. There are examples below.
Simple adjustments like this will make a big difference in welcoming students into our classrooms and co-curricular learning opportunities across campus. These actions are part of the larger work of creating and sustaining an inclusive, supportive, safe, and nondiscriminatory campus community for all our students.
Information for Syllabi
Faculty are encouraged to put information related to Title IX and their reporting obligations in their syllabi each term. This helps students make informed choices about with whom they share information if they disclose incidents of sexual misconduct. Below are two samples of paragraphs faculty could include.
Brief Title IX reporting insert:
Please note that if you disclose an experience related to sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking, sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination, I am obligated to inform the Title IX coordinator, Dr. Melissa Kelley, firstname.lastname@example.org, of all relevant information, including your name. The College will take initial steps to address the incident(s), protect, and, support those directly affected, and enhance the safety of our community. The Title IX Coordinator will work with you to determine the best way to proceed. Information shared in class assignments, class discussions, and at public events do not constitute an official disclosure, and faculty and staff do not have to report these to the Title IX Coordinator. For information about campus and community resources related to sexual misconduct: www.union.edu/titleix
Detailed Title IX reporting insert:
At Union College, we believe that every individual has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and we support the creation and maintenance of a safe and positive living and learning environment. Students who experience sexual violence (including dating violence, stalking and sexual assault), sexual harassment, or discrimination based on gender or sexual identity) are encouraged to report their experience to the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Melissa Kelley, email@example.com, to explore formal and informal reporting options, including, support and resources available. The Title IX coordinator will work with you to determine the best way to proceed and enhance the safety of our community. For more information go to: www.union.edu/titleix.
Information shared in class assignments, class discussions, and at public events do not constitute an official disclosure, and faculty and staff do not have to report these to the Title IX Coordinator. For information about campus and community resources related to sexual misconduct: www.union.edu/titleix.
All faculty and staff members, except those who are listed under Confidential Resources on the Title IX website, are legally required to disclose any reports of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, and cannot guarantee confidentiality.