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Employee Title IX Policy - Disclosures, Confidentiality, and Preservation of Evidence

IV. Disclosures, Confidentiality, and Preservation of Evidence

DePauw strongly encourages anyone who experiences or Witnesses prohibited conduct to talk with someone promptly about what happened and disclose the conduct to the University so that they can get any support they need and so DePauw can respond appropriately.  Section XVII of this policy identifies community and campus resources, including emergency resources, medical resources and Confidential Resources.

Options for Disclosing or Seeking Assistance:

A Complainant or Witness may choose to:

  • Seek assistance from a Confidential Resource (see below), who will not report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator;

  • Disclose incidents of conduct prohibited under this Policy directly to the Title IX Coordinator or a Designated Employee (see below), who is obligated to report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator; 

  • Report incidents of conduct that may violate state law to DePauw Police (the University’s police department), who are obligated to report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator, or to another appropriate external law enforcement agency.

A Complainant or Witness may make a disclosure to the University, report to law enforcement, to neither, or to both. The Title IX Process and law enforcement investigations operate independently of one another, although the University will coordinate information with DePauw Police where the Complainant or Witness has elected to report to law enforcement or as otherwise required by law.

Privacy and Confidentiality:

The University is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a disclosure of prohibited conduct under this Policy.  Except as otherwise permitted by law, as required to conduct an investigation or Decision Panel Meeting under this Policy, and as required in an external legal proceeding, the University will not share the identity of a Complainant, Respondent or Witness. The University will also maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to the Complainant, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the University’s ability to provide the Supportive Measures.  All Employees who are involved in the University’s response to harassment and discrimination, including the Title IX Coordinator, investigators and adjudicators, receive specific training and guidance about safeguarding private information, including the protections set forth in Title IX, the Clery Act and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).  The University is precluded by law from restricting the parties’ ability to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence, although the University may encourage privacy to maintain the integrity of the investigation.  

Privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings under this Policy.

Privacy: refers to the discretion that will be exercised by the University in the course of any investigation or disciplinary processes under this Policy. Information related to a disclosure of prohibited conduct will be handled discreetly and shared with a limited circle of University Employees or designees who need to know in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the disclosed conduct and related issues.

Confidentiality: refers to the statutory protections provided to individuals who disclose information in legally-protected or privileged relationships, including professional mental health counselors, medical professionals, and ordained clergy (Confidential Resources). These Confidential Resources must maintain the confidentiality of communications disclosed within the scope of the provision of professional services. Confidential Resources will not disclose protected information unless: 1) given permission by the patient/client; 2) there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others; 3) the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor under 18 year of age; or, 4) as otherwise required or permitted by law or court order.  Similarly, medical and counseling records cannot be released without the individual's written permission or unless permitted or required consistent with ethical or legal obligations. 

Employee Disclosure Responsibilities:

Different University employees have different abilities to maintain information as confidential. Confidential Resources, as defined below, are not required to share any information with the Title IX Coordinator. Other University employees, referred to as Designated Employees, are required to immediately share with the Title IX Coordinator all known information, including the identities of the parties, the date, time and location, and any details about the disclosed incident with the Title IX Coordinator.  Employees with reporting obligations will only share the disclosure with the Title IX Coordinator (and no other administrators) unless otherwise required by law.  The report of a disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator does not obligate a Complainant to take any action or participate in any process unless they voluntarily choose to do so.

Seeking Assistance from a Confidential Resource:

A Complainant or Witness may seek assistance from an individual who has the legally protected ability to maintain the confidentiality of the conversation, identified above as Confidential Resources. University Employees who are Confidential Resources include ordained clergy acting in a pastoral care capacity. University Employees may consult Confidential Resources through their employment benefits or otherwise whom they may use for support and guidance, regardless of whether they make a disclosure to the University or participate in a University investigation. Complainants can reach the Center for Spiritual Life at 765-658-4615.

Designated Employees:

Designated Employees include all faculty and staff who are not otherwise Confidential Resources. 

Designated Employees may provide support and assistance to a Complainant, a Witness, or a Respondent, but because of their roles at the University, they cannot promise confidentiality or anonymity or withhold information from the Title IX Coordinator about prohibited conduct which is disclosed to them in the course of their employment.  Some Employees, because of the nature of their positions, may also be required to report to the Title IX Coordinator disclosures of prohibited conduct of which they learn even outside of the scope of their employment.  Employees with these enhanced reporting obligations include all administrators, department chairs and program directors, supervisors, human resources staff, DePauw Police personnel, and Campus Security Authorities.

Even when information is shared by a Designated Employee with the Title IX Coordinator, the Complainant retains the discretion to choose whether to file a Formal Complaint.  In some instances, the Title IX Coordinator may file a Formal Complaint on behalf of a Complainant.  Where a Complainant requests to maintain their anonymity, or not to pursue an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the Complainant’s request can be honored as described further below.

Disclosing Prohibited Conduct to the Title IX Coordinator:

DePauw strongly encourages Complainants and third-parties to immediately disclose incidents of prohibited conduct to the Title IX Coordinator. An individual does not need to know whether they wish to request any particular course of action or how to label what happened in order to disclose an incident of prohibited conduct.  A Complainant is advised to seek immediate medical treatment and preserve physical evidence following an incident of prohibited conduct even if they have not decided whether they wish to disclose the incident or make a Formal Complaint with the University.  When a disclosure is made to the University, the Complainant will receive written notification about Supportive Measures and resources within the University and community. The University will make reasonable efforts to respond to disclosures of prohibited conduct, regardless of how the information was brought to the University's attention or the extent to which the Complainant wishes to participate or be involved. An individual may disclose prohibited conduct in person, by telephone, or online as follows:

Interim Title IX Coordinator: Angie Nally
Email: adnally@depauw.edu or titleixcoordinator@depauw.edu
Phone: 765-658-6395     
Online: Report An Incident Of Sexual Misconduct 

Timeframe for Disclosing: 

Complainants and other disclosing individuals are encouraged to disclose any violation of this Policy as soon as possible in order to maximize the University's ability to respond promptly and effectively. There is no time limit for disclosing; an individual may disclose prohibited conduct under this Policy at any time without regard to how much time has elapsed since the incident(s) in question.  If at the time of disclosure, the Complainant is not participating in, or seeking to participate in, the University’s Education Program or Activity, the ability to file a Formal Complaint may be limited.  If the Respondent is no longer actively employed at the time of the disclosure, the University may not be able to take disciplinary action against the Respondent.  In all reports of prohibited conduct, however, the University will still seek to provide reasonably available Supportive Measures for the Complainant, and take steps, as available and appropriate, to address the concerns raised. In addition, the University will assist the Complainant in identifying and contacting law enforcement and other external enforcement agencies.

Reporting Potential Criminal Conduct to Law Enforcement:

A Complainant has the right to report, or decline to report, potential criminal conduct to law enforcement.  The University will upon request assist a Complainant in contacting law enforcement at any time, including during a Title IX Process. Under limited circumstances that are deemed to pose a threat to the health or safety of any University community member, the University may independently notify law enforcement.

If a criminal complaint is made, it must proceed via the county, state, or federal criminal justice system with jurisdiction over the conduct. DePauw Police Officers are fully sworn law-enforcement officials and may take reports and complete criminal investigations. Employees interested in filing criminal charges may also seek assistance directly from other law enforcement agencies. DePauw Police can assist the Complainant with the involvement of local police. The filing of criminal charges does not preclude pursuing the administrative Title IX process.

In instances where a criminal complaint is made against a current Employee, and where the conduct occurs on campus or elsewhere within the United States as part of the University’s Education Program or Activity, a concurrent Title IX Process will also commence where a Formal Complaint is filed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator. DePauw Police investigators will share available information with the Title IX Office to aid in the administrative process.

Definitions of crimes involving sexual or interpersonal violence under the Indiana Criminal Code can be found here:

http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2017/ic/titles/035#35-42-4

Anonymous Disclosures:

An individual can make a disclosure of conduct prohibited under this Policy to the University without disclosing one’s name at http://www.depauw.edu/studentacademiclife/title-ix/report-an-incident-of-sexual-misconduct or by calling the Campus Conduct Hotline at (866) 943-5787.  Depending on the level of information available about the incident or individuals involved, the University’s ability to respond to or investigate an anonymous disclosure may be limited.

Preservation of Evidence:

It is important to preserve all evidence related to any disclosure of prohibited conduct, including but not limited to letters, notes, emails, text messages, social media posts, and/or voicemails.  Employees should comply with any University directive issued regarding document holds or other preservation of evidence contained within University information technology systems or physical facilities that could be relevant to a Formal Complaint.  Employees are encouraged to seek prompt medical attention in cases of sexual assault and to preserve all evidence of the incident. 

Clery Reporting:

Campus Security Authorities (CSA) include members of DePauw Police or other individuals who have responsibility for campus security, as well as other individuals to whom students or Employees may disclose crimes, as well as individuals who have significant responsibility for student campus activities. They are all required to share nonidentifiable information for consideration of Timely Warnings and inclusion in crime statistic data.

Any disclosure of alleged sexual assault or interpersonal violence shall be included in crime statistics in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act). These statistics will be made without disclosing the names of either the Complainant or the Respondent. If the University determines that matters of public safety are involved, the University may disclose the name of an Employee who has been reasonably deemed to pose an active threat to the campus in Timely Warning or Emergency Notifications if this information is necessary to address that threat.