Faculty and staff members have two main responsibilities if an individual discloses an experience of sexual violence to them: to provide resources and support, and to share that report with the Office of Title IX & Equity.
The only confidential resources on campus are the Chaplain staff in the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the medical and counseling staff in the Hamre Center for Health & Wellness. All other faculty and staff are non-confidential and mandatory reporters of sexual violence. Faculty and staff are required by law to report any information they receive–from students, colleagues, or anyone else within the Macalester College community–to the Office of Title IX & Equity.
More detailed information can be found in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. The information in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, as well as other policies governed by Federal or State law, has universal application for all Macalester employees and students.
Faculty Resource Guide on Supporting Survivors
Over the spring and summer of 2017, a focus group of faculty, staff, and student survivors of sexual violence at Macalester collaborated with the Office of Title IX & Equity to create a faculty-specific resource guide on how to respond to a disclosure and support student survivors in the classroom. This faculty resource guide includes:
- Advice for facilitating difficult conversations in class
- Practical classroom and syllabus suggestions from survivors
- Overview of faculty responsibilities as mandatory reporters
- How to report when a student discloses to you
- Review of relevant campus and community resources and support
Download faculty resource guide (PDF) Supporting Student Survivors in the Classroom or email Sexual Violence Prevention Program Coordinator Laura Linder-Scholer at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a hard copy.
Confidential & Non-Confidential Resources
Confidential resources. Confidential communications are those communications that legally cannot be disclosed to another person, without the reporter’s consent, except under very limited circumstances, such as allegations involving the physical or sexual abuse of a child or vulnerable adult or an imminent threat to the life of any person. Those who want the details of sexual misconduct to be kept confidential should speak with a confidential resource. These resources include:
- Macalester College Center for Religious and Spiritual Life Contact: Kelly Stone, College Chaplain and Associate Dean for Religious & Spiritual Life, email@example.com, 651-696-6298.
- Macalester College Hamre Center for Health & Wellness counselors, physicians, registered nurses, or nurse practitioners, 651-696-6275.
- SOS Sexual Violence Services of Ramsey County Trained advocates offer information, referrals, legal advocacy, support groups, one-on-one counseling off-campus, and a 24-hour confidential hotline at 651-266-1000.
Non-confidential resources. Only confidential resources can promise confidentiality. All other College employees who become aware of incidents or allegations of sexual misconduct are required to report the matter to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. The information given to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators must include all relevant details, including:
- The name of the individual reporting the allegation of sexual misconduct.
- The name(s) of the person(s) accused of the misconduct.
- Other people involved in the incident.
- The date, time, and location of the incident.
Allegations of policy violations will be considered private and will only be shared with other College employees on a need-to-know basis. The allegations will not be shared with law enforcement without the consent of the individual who has alleged the sexual misconduct.
If you are not a confidential resource, you are asked to make every effort to refer an individual to the confidential resources described above before the individual has disclosed an incident that requires reporting to the Title IX Coordinator. If you sense that an individual is about to disclose something regarding sexual misconduct to you, you may say:
“I apologize for interrupting, but I want to let you know that I am not a confidential resource on campus, which means that I will need to share anything you may tell me about an experience of sexual misconduct with our Title IX Coordinator. This is our College policy, which aims to ensure you receive the resources and support you may need. I can let you know who the confidential resources on campus are, or connect you with them. I want you to be able to make a choice about who you feel comfortable sharing with.”
We strongly recommend letting students know upfront in your interactions with them (in class, in conversation, or in your syllabus or workspace) that you are not a confidential resource. However, it is not always possible to know when or how a student may disclose to you. If a student does tell you about an experience of sexual misconduct, please let them know that you will need to share this information with the Title IX Coordinator. Explain why, and let them know you will not share with anyone else. You can then refer them to other resources on and off campus: view Support Resources.
How to respond to a disclosure of sexual misconduct
Faculty and staff frequently serve as the initial contact person for students’ disclosure of experiences with sexual misconduct. Many students do not choose to file a report with law enforcement, often because they do not think the incident was serious; they are fearful of repercussions or retaliation; they are afraid of parents and friends finding out; or because they fear that they will not be believed or will be treated with hostility. If someone is sharing with you, they likely consider you a trusted advisor.
- Listen, without judgment. Listening is the single most important thing you can do. No one deserves to be the victim of violence, regardless of the circumstances. Avoid blaming the person for what occurred or asking questions that could imply fault, such as “How much were you drinking?” or “Why didn’t you call the police?” Let the individual know that what happened was not their fault, and thank them for sharing with you. You do not need to repeat the explicit terms of the experience (e.g. rape, sexual assault, exploitation); just say, “I’m sorry you experienced that” or “I’m sorry that happened to you. No one deserves to experience that.”
- Thank them for telling someone. Acknowledge the act of disclosure and affirm that even telling someone about their experience takes strength and courage. You can simply say, “Thank you for trusting me and sharing that with me.”
- Tell them that you hear them and will support them. Victims of sexual violence are often met with doubt or disbelief when they decide to tell someone. Remember, you are not an investigator tasked with determining what happened, or if it really happened, or who is responsible. You are a trusted advisor they turned to for support; let them know that you hear them and will support them.
- Refer the person to designated resources. You are note expected to be an expert on these issues; however, you can direct the victim to the appropriate Support Resources on campus or in the community. If the incident involved bodily harm, you can let them know where they can access immediate medical attention.
- Support their decisions about how to proceed. Avoid giving advice or telling them what that they “should” or “must” do. You can encourage the person to report the incident or seek medical attention, while still respecting that the final decision is for them to make. One of the most important things you can do is let a survivor take back the power they lost in the incident(s). It is critical that a survivor feels empowered to make their own decisions about what their options are, and when and how they will choose to pursue them.
- Submit a report to the Title IX Coordinator. As mentioned earlier, all College employees who are not confidential resources must report information they have received about reported sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, ideally within 24 hours of learning about an incident. The information given to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators must include all relevant details, including the name of the individual reporting the allegation of sexual misconduct, the name(s) of the person(s) accused of the misconduct, other people involved in the incident, the date, time, and location of the incident.
- Follow up with the individual after the disclosure. Letting the person know that you take their disclosure seriously and that you care about their well-being can be extremely validating for a survivor. For example, begin the conversation with “I was thinking about the conversation we had the other day. Do you want to touch base about how you are doing? If not, that’s okay too.” It’s important to show your care, but also to offer real choices and to respect their wishes.
- Obtain information and support for yourself. Being exposed to issues related to sexual violence can be difficult and it is not uncommon for first responders to experience secondary/vicarious trauma. It may help to discuss your experiences or feelings with a professional.
Sexual Misconduct Definitions
All definitions are outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, which applies equally to students, staff, faculty, and all members of the Macalester College community.
Sexual Misconduct refers to all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating and intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Sexual Violence is a broad term used to describe hurtful acts of physical or emotional harm through the use of power, control, and/or intimidation. Sexual violence includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating and intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Sexual Harassment is any sexual or gender-based verbal, written, or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Sexual Assault is defined as any sexual touching (fondling) or sexual penetration (rape) made without consent. Consent needs to be affirmative and given freely, with overt words or actions communicating a person’s clear sexual boundaries and desires.
Sexual Exploitation is nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of a person for the advantage or benefit of someone else.
Dating/Intimate Partner Violence and Domestic Violence refer to an ongoing pattern of controlling and abusive behaviors that individuals use against their intimate partners. These behaviors include physical, sexual, or emotional attacks and/or economic control.
Stalking is repeated behaviors directed at a specific person that cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Title IX and Bias Harassment Coordinator, 651-696-6258
Office of Student Affairs, 651-696-6220
Campus Security, 651-696-6555
Hamre Center for Health & Wellness, 651-696-6275
Center for Religious & Spiritual Life, 651-696-6298
View the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Website
View the Sexual Assault & Harassment Support Team (SAST) Website
Emergency police or medical attention, 911
St. Paul Police Department, non-emergency, 651-291-1111
Regions Hospital Emergency Room, 651-254-5000
United Hospital Emergency Room, 651-241-8260
SOS Sexual Violence Services of Ramsey County, 651-266-1000 (24-Hour Crisis Hotline)