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Responsible Employees

When individuals experience sexual misconduct, they may turn to a trusted faculty or staff member or colleague to talk about their experience.

Most Utah State University employees are “responsible employees” under federal Title IX law and must report any form of sexual misconduct (sexual harassment, gender discrimination, sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking) they hear about or witness in the campus community. As a responsible employee, you must share everything you know.

When you report sexual misconduct, the Office of Equity reaches out to the individual who experienced the misconduct to let them know about support services and reporting options. However, that does not mean they are obligated to respond to the invitation to meet with the Office of Equity.

Reports from responsible employees ensure the university can take prompt and effective steps to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects. The only exceptions are for confidential resources - those who provide health care, mental health services and victim advocacy - as well as for most student employees.

If an individual discloses an incident to you, follow these steps:

Step 1: Inform

Inform them you will respect their privacy, but you may have to share some of what they tell you with the Office of Equity. You may have to interrupt them early in the conversation to do this.

For example, you could say: “It sounds like you’re about to share something very important. Before you continue, I would like to let you know the limits of my confidentiality. I may need to report certain information you tell me to the Office of Equity. How can I support you?"

Step 2: Listen

Listen if they would still like to discuss their experience with you. Avoid questioning or placing blame on them.

Step 3: Refer

Refer the individual to services listed in the Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide.

Step 4: Report

Report the disclosure online at equity.usu.edu within 24 hours. 

If you have questions or concerns about reporting, please contact the Office of Equity (Title IX Coordinator):
titleix@usu.edu | 435-797-1266

Your report to the Office of Equity will provide a first step for the Title IX Coordinator to contact the individual who experienced the misconduct.

Frequently Asked Questions

When am I required to report information that I receive as a responsible employee?

As a responsible employee, when you become aware that a member of the USU community (student, faculty, or staff) has experienced sexual misconduct, then you must report that information to the Office of Equity. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and/or stalking.

You are only required to report information that you receive in your role as an employee. This means you are not required to report information that you learn about at other times (e.g. when you are spending time with a coworker or with a friend who is a USU student outside of work hours).

Example: You are in your office when a student walks in and tells you that their partner was so upset last night that they threw their phone across the room and it barely missed hitting them. You stop the student and tell them that this sounds like relationship violence and you will need to report the information to the Office of Equity.

Am I required to report information that I receive from a third party?

Yes, you are required to report information that you receive from a third party. As a responsible employee, you are not obligated to verify the validity of the information that you receive from the third party; that is the role of the Office of Equity.

Example: A graduate student whom you advise stops you after class and asks you for advice. They tell you their friend, who attends USU, is being exploited by an ex-boyfriend for pictures they sent while they were dating. The graduate student is concerned about their friend. You tell your graduate student you are a responsible employee and need to report this information to the Office of Equity.

Am I required to report information concerning sexual misconduct that occurred prior to when an individual was connected to USU?

Yes, you are required to report to the Office of Equity when you receive information that an individual experienced sexual misconduct before that individual was connected to USU. Although the Office of Equity may not have the ability to investigate these types of incidents, individuals may still be able to receive supportive measures and can participate in USU advocacy and counseling services regardless of when the incident happened.

Am I required to report information if I know that other responsible employees have been told about the experience?

Yes, every responsible employee who learns information about a sexual misconduct incident is required to report that information to the Office of Equity, even if they know that other responsible employees have been told about and/or reported the incident. Sometimes, each responsible employee learns something unique about the person's experience, which means that receiving multiple reports about the same incident gives the Office of Equity a more complete picture of the situation.

Example: A responsible employee tells you that another staff member is experiencing sexual harassment at work. Their coworker is constantly commenting on their body, stands close to their desk, and talks about their sex life. As a responsible employee, you need to report that information (even if you do not know the name of the individual doing the alleged behavior) to the Office of Equity.

Am I required to report sexual misconduct that I experience?

No, as a responsible employee, you are not required to report sexual misconduct that you experience. We encourage you to report so you can have access to supportive measures, resources, and reporting options. You can learn more about USU and community support resources at sexualassault.usu.edu.

How much information do I need to provide on the sexual misconduct reporting form?

You are required to provide as much information about the incident as possible on the sexual misconduct reporting form. This, at a minimum, includes your name and contact information, when and where the incident occurred, and a narrative about the incident. As a responsible employee, it is not your role to ask questions in order to learn more details about the incident or to provide commentary about whether you think the information you received about the incident is accurate, but you are required to report all the information you have about the incident.

Example: You hear from a coworker about an incident that occurred at a USU sponsored event, but you do not know the names of the individuals who were involved in the incident. You know where and when the incident took place and two other individuals who may have been present when the incident occurred. You must provide all of that information when you report to the Office of Equity.

What is the difference between reporting to the Office of Equity (Title IX) and filling out the "Student of Concern" report?

The Office of Equity (Title IX) reporting forms should only be used for incidents involving discrimination and/or sexual misconduct. This includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking.

The Student of Concern reporting form should be used for any other behaviors or incidents that indicate a USU student is in distress, including academic, physical, safety, and psychological distress. You can learn more about how to assist a student in distress and how to submit a "student of concern" report at the USU Office of Student Conduct's website.

If you are unclear as to where to report the information, you can report to either office.


Responsible Employee Handout