Title IX Reporting Obligations
Information about alleged sexual violence or misconduct that is shared by an individual with most University faculty or staff is required to be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity by law and UNM Policy. However, it is still the full choice of the individual who has experienced sexual violence or misconduct to make a report with UNM Police Department or to participate in an administrative investigation with OEO. UNM faculty/staff receiving information about cases of sexual violence or misconduct involving students must report within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible what they have learned to the Office of Equal Opportunity at 505-277-5251 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Reports made by faculty or staff to OEO will include the nature, date, time, location, as well as the identities of all involved parties. While faculty and staff must report this information to OEO, this information is still considered confidential and will only be shared by OEO with those who have a legitimate need-to-know and as authorized by University policy and applicable federal and state law.
If you do not know if you are required to report, please contact the Title IX Coordinator to learn more. To request a presentation or invite the Title IX Coordinator to speak at a meeting, please contact OEO at email@example.com or 505-277-5251.
Talking Points - Sexual violence and my obligation to report
- I appreciate that you trust me enough to share with me and I want you to make a fully informed decision about what you tell me. So, I want you to know that I have to report things like sexual misconduct to the University's Title IX coordinator.
- UNM takes these concerns very seriously and has a process in place to address them.
- I have to report this to OEO. OEO is the neutral investigator and will contact you to inform you of your rights, the process and procedure and your options.
- Your report will remain confidential and only shared with those who have a legitimate need to know to perform UNM’s responsibilities.
- You are not required to talk to OEO or participate in any process.
- You are not required to go to the police.
- Retaliation is strictly prohibited. UNM can issue no-contact orders or ban someone from campus.
- Academic, housing and other adjustments can be made for you.
- There are anonymous, free counseling and advocacy services available through the Women’s Resource Center (277-3716), Student Health and Counseling (277-3136), LGBTQ Resource Center (277-5428) and LoboRESPECT (277-2911). They will not disclose what you tell them without your written permission.
Recommended Syllabus Language to Notify Students of Responsibility to Report
Currently, under policy, faculty would have to report instances of gender discrimination that are revealed through coursework. However, common sense dictates that our policy needs to be tightened up so as not to allow this ambiguity and to not disturb the academic process. If it happens in the course of academic coursework, faculty do not need to disclose or report those to OEO. So if it is part of class discussion or papers or other assignments, no need to disclose. However, if a student reports something as it relates to needing ‘help’ related to the issue, academic accommodations, extensions, etc., then yes, that will have to be reported as that experience is impacting their academic environment.
In an effort to meet obligations under Title IX, UNM faculty, Teaching Assistants, and Graduate Assistants are considered “responsible employees” by the Department of Education (see pg 15 - http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/qa-201404-title-ix.pdf). This designation requires that any report of gender discrimination which includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence made to a faculty member, TA, or GA must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at the Office of Equal Opportunity (oeo.unm.edu). For more information on the campus policy regarding sexual misconduct, see: https://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/2000/2740.html
Our classroom and our university should always be spaces of mutual respect, kindness, and support, without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence. Should you ever need assistance or have concerns about incidents that violate this principle, please access the resources available to you on campus, especially the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center and the support services listed on its website (http://loborespect.unm.edu/). Please note that, because UNM faculty, TAs, and GAs are considered "responsible employees" by the Department of Education, any disclosure of gender discrimination (including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence) made to a faculty member, TA, or GA must be reported by that faculty member, TA, or GA to the university's Title IX coordinator. For more information on the campus policy regarding sexual misconduct, please see: https://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/2000/2740.html.
Email Template to Notify Student of Obligation to Report
Thank you for following up with me regarding your situation and I'm glad to hear that you are sorting things out. I am happy to meet with you and we can work out ways to accommodate you for some of the missed work. We can set up a time to talk after class.
Student, what happened to you is really serious and I want to make sure you have all the support you need. I am obligated by University Policy to report such an incident to the University and I have done so. Student, you are going to get an email from the Office of Equal Opportunity which will provide you with potential resources to help you if you need support. Please note that you do not have to respond to the email from OEO, but it provides you information if you so choose to get additional support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the University have a "Reporting Policy"?
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination of sex in educational settings for any entity that receives federal financial assistance. Under Title IX, schools have the responsibility of taking appropriate steps to investigate any allegations pertaining to Title IX violations and take prompt effective action to end any misconduct that occurred, remedy its effects and prevent its recurrence. In order to fulfill its federal responsibilities, the University must have an effect Reporting Policy in place in order to help students learn about their reporting options and for University employees to learn about their reporting responsibilities.
Why can't the University refer these matters to the police?
Under Title IX regulations mandated by the federal government, all institutions and their Title IX obligations must exist separately and independently from any law enforcement action. All institutions must have an administrative investigative component in order to comply with Title IX regulations. The criminal justice system uses different evidentiary standards with different rules, purposes, and outcomes than an internal administrative process which has a lower preponderance of the evidence standard.
Who is subject to the University's Reporting Policy?
All University employees are designated either as a "Confidential Employee" or a "Responsible Employee". Anyone who is designated as being a "Responsible Employee" is required to report any allegations pertaining to Title IX to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Who is a "Confidential Employee"?
A "Confidential Employee" is any employee who is a licensed medical, clinical or mental-health professional such as nurses, counselors, social workers, physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists when acting in his or her professional role. Confidential Employees do not report information regarding Title IX allegations without permission from the person who disclosed the information. At UNM, Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) and Counseling, Assistance and Referral Services (CARS) have medical and mental-health professionals who can assist you confidentially. Ombuds Services at UNM is also confidential. UNM has also designated several locations on campus as advocacy centers which are "confidential" - these offices have trained staff who can act as professional advocates and are NOT required to report incidents of sexual misconduct. All employees working in these offices are considered "confidential" and will not disclose information about you without your signed permission. Our advocacy centers are LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, Women's Resource Center and the LGBTQ Resource Center.
Who is a "Responsible Employee"?
A "Responsible Employee" is any employee who is not a confidential employee. Responsible Employees are required to report Title IX allegations to the Office of Equal Opportunity in order to fulfill their reporting obligations and allow the University to begin its internal administrative process, as mandated by Title IX regulations.
Are there any exceptions to the reporting obligations for Responsible Employees?
If a Responsible Employee is made aware of any allegations from public events, academic works, or human subjects research protocols the employee does not have the obligation to report.
What information does an employee report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Title IX Coordinator?
Responsible Employees are required to report allegations pertaining to sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating/intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment. Once an employee receives information regarding these allegations, the employee is required to disclose as much detailed information to the Office of Equal Opportunity as possible. Things such as: date of occurrence, time, location, should be provided to the Title IX Coordinator so that the University can fulfill its obligation of reaching out to the student regarding the incident. Once the Title IX Coordinator receives the information, the Title IX Coordinator will assess the allegations to determine jurisdiction and appropriate action.
When should Responsible Employees file a report with the Title IX Coordinator?
Employees must report information regarding Title IX allegations within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible in order to allow the University to take appropriate action and steps to investigation what occurred and end any misconduct that may have occurred and meet its federal obligations.