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All forms of sexual harassment including sexual violence should be reported, no matter the severity. Oklahoma State University’s primary concern is safety; therefore, individuals should not be deterred in reporting even if the use of alcohol or other drugs was involved.
The university encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to someone about what happened so they can receive support and so the university can respond appropriately.
Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a victim’s request for confidentiality.
- Some are required to maintain near complete confidentiality; talking to them is sometimes called a “privileged communication.”
- Other employees may talk to a victim in confidence, and generally report only that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these employees will not trigger a university investigation into an incident against the victim’s wishes. This report is done through a Clery Report and does not include the victim’s name or other identifying information.
- Thirdly, some employees are required to report all the details of an incident (including the identities of both the victim and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX coordinator.
Confidential Reporting Options
Confidential reporting options provide students with the ability to confidentially report and discuss an instance of sexual harassment including sexual violence without their information being shared with others. Please note confidential reporting limits the university’s ability to respond to incidents.
Professional and licensed counselors who provide mental-health counseling (including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator without the victim’s permission. These individuals are also not required by the Clery Act to report.
This would include counselors in the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Clinic and OSU Physicians.
OSU-CHS Victim Advocate
The university treats the OSU-CHS Victim Advocate as a confidential reporting option. Victims can visit with the victim advocate to learn about resources available on campus. The Victim Advocate is not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without a victim’s permission. However, the victim advocate will report incidents, without identifiable information, to OSU-CHS Security for the purpose of the Clery Act. Additionally, the Victim Advocate will report quarterly to the Board of Regents on statistical trends of incidents.
If the university determines that the accused individual(s) pose a serious and immediate threat to the campus community, the university may issue a timely warning. Any such warning will not include any information that identifies the victim.
Non-Confidential Reporting Options
The Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges and the Clery Act require all employees (excluding counselors, health care providers and victim advocates) who become aware of an instance of sexual harassment including sexual violence to report the instance to OSU-CHS Police. The victim’s name should not be reported to the police without the victim’s permission. The report should include the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident. This is a limited report that includes no information that would directly or indirectly identify the victim. This allows for the university to track patterns, evaluate the program, and develop appropriate campus-wide responses.
When an instance of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is reported to a responsible employee (an individual who has the duty to report incidents of sexual harassment or other student misconduct), a student can expect the incident to be reported to the university’s Title IX Coordinator or Student Conduct.
A responsible employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator or Student Conduct all relevant details about the alleged sexual harassment or sexual violence shared by the victim including names, date, time and specific location of the alleged incident.
To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people in charge of handling the university’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information about the victim with law enforcement.
When a victim tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence, the victim has the right to expect the university to investigate the alleged sexual harassment, end any sexual harassment, prevent the sexual harassment from recurring, and educate the accused individual(s) on sexual harassment.
Requests for Confidentiality from a Non-Confidential Reporter
If a victim discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation or conduct action be taken, the university must weigh that request against the obligation to provide a safe environment for all students, including for the victim.
If the university honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the university’s ability to meaningfully investigate and respond to the incident may be limited.
Although rare, there are times when the university may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe environment for all students.
When weighing a victim’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or conduct process be pursued, the following will be considered:
- The increased risk that the alleged respondent will commit additional acts of sexual
or other violence:
- there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged respondent;
- the alleged respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence
- the alleged respondent threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others
- the sexual violence was committed by multiple respondent
- the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon
- the victim is a minor
- the university possesses other means to obtain relevant information of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras, personnel, physical evidence)
- the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration by the accused (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the university to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue conduct action. If none of these factors is present, the university will likely respect the victim’s request for confidentiality.
If determined that the university cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the university will inform the victim prior to starting an investigation. The university may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or conduct process. The university will remain ever mindful of the victim’s well-being and will take ongoing steps to protect the victim from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the victim, whether by students or university employees, will not be tolerated.
Reporting to the Police
The university strongly encourages individuals to report sexual violence and any other criminal offenses to the police. This does not commit a victim to prosecute but will allow the gathering of information and evidence. The information and evidence preserve future options regarding criminal prosecution, university conduct actions and/or civil actions against the perpetrator.
If the incident happened on campus, it can be reported to the OSU-CHS Security on the first floor of the CAME Building or at 918-625-8592. If the incident occurred elsewhere in Tulsa, it can be reported to the Tulsa Police Department at 600 Civic Center or at 918-596-9222. If the incident happened anywhere else, it can be reported to the local law enforcement with jurisdiction in the location where it occurred.
Please know that the information reported can be helpful in supporting other reports and preventing further incidents.
Reporting to Student Conduct
Anyone can report instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence to Student Conduct. Students, faculty and staff can report incidents to:
A complaint should be filed as soon as possible, preferably within 180 calendar days of the incident.
If either the victim or the accused is a student, the incident will be addressed through the Student Conduct process once a complaint is filed with the Student Conduct Office.
The university will not tolerate retaliation against a person who, in good faith, brings a complaint forward. Retaliation against an individual who has brought a complaint forward or against an individual who has participated in an investigation or conduct process is prohibited. See Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges Policy Manual, 3.11 Non-Retaliation for more information.