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Section III: Options for Reporting & Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence

The University encourages students who are reporting students of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened in order for them to receive the support they need, and so the University can respond appropriately.  Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a reporting student's confidentiality. 

•·         Some are required to maintain near complete confidentiality; talking to them is sometimes called a "privileged communication."

•·         Other employees may talk to a reporting student in confidence, and generally only report to the University 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 reporting student's wishes, except in certain circumstances discussed below.

•·         Some employees are required to report all the details of an incident (including the identities of both the reporting student and all other students involved) to the Title IX Coordinator.  A report to these employees (called "responsible employees") constitutes a report to the University - and generally obligates the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.

This policy is intended to make students aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they want to report an act of sexual violence.  The University encourages such students to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.

The Options

•A.         Privileged and Confidential Communications

  

•·      Professional Counselors.  Professional, licensed counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community (and 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 a student's permission.  Following is the contact information for these individuals:

Counseling Services

                     202 Thompson Bldg., Mail Stop 0080

(775) 784-4648

Hours:  M-Th 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fri. 8 am - 5 p.m.

After hours:  (775) 297-8315

www.unr.edu/counseling 

 

Student Health Center

(775) 784-6598

Hours:                 M-Th 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

                            Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed evenings and weekends

www.unr.edu/shc/      

 

UNR Psychological Services Center

206 Cain Hall

(775) 784-6668

 

Victims of Crime Treatment Center

Lorraine Benuto, Ph.D.

Cain Hall Room 206

(775) 682-8684

A student who reports an act of sexual violence to a professional must understand that, if they  want to maintain confidentiality, the University will be unable to conduct a full investigation into the incident and will likely be unable to pursue disciplinary action against the identified student..

A student who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the school or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated. 

NOTE:  While these professional counselors may maintain a reporting student's confidentiality vis-à-vis the University, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law.  For example, there may be an obligation to report child abuse, an immediate threat of harm to self or others, or to report in the case of hospitalization for mental illness; for the exceptions to confidentiality, see NRS 49.213, NRS 49.245, and NRS 432B.220 in Appendix 2. 

ALSO NOTE:  If the University determines that the student identified as committing the offensive conduct  poses a serious and immediate threat to the University community, University of Nevada, Reno Police Services may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the community.  Any such warning will not include any information that identifies the reporting student.

A reporting student and/or a responding student may choose to consult with a non-University pastoral counselor and is encouraged to discuss confidentiality with that individual.

 

•B.         Reporting to "Responsible Employees."

A "responsible employee" is a University employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

When a student reports an incident of sexual violence to a responsible employee , the student has the right to expect the University to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.

A responsible employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the reporting student and that the University will need to determine what happened - including the name(s) of the reporting student and responding student(s) or other alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the 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 responsible for handling   the University's response to the report.  A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the reporting student's consent or unless the reporting student has also reported the incident to law enforcement.

The following employees (or categories of employees) are the University's responsible employees:

Title IX Coordinator

Anyone in a supervisory, managerial, administrative or executive role or positions, such as a provost, vice provost, vice president, dean, department chair, supervisor, director of a unit, resident director, resident assistant, or supervisor.  

Before a reporting student reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee will inform the student of the employee's reporting obligations.  If  the student wants to maintain confidentiality, the employee will direct the student to confidential resources.

If the student wants to tell the responsible employee what happened but also wants to maintain confidentiality, the employee will inform the student that the University will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the University will honor it.  In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Coordinator of the student's request for confidentiality.

Responsible employees will not pressure a reporting student regarding the extent of the report the student wants to make.  Responsible employees will not pressure a student to request confidentiality, but will honor and support the student's wishes, including for the University to fully investigate an incident.  By the same token, responsible employees will not pressure a reporting student to make a full report if the student is not ready to make such a report.

Requesting Confidentiality From the University:  How the University Will Weigh the Request and Respond.

If a reporting student discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the University will weigh that request against the University's obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the reporting student.

If the University honors the request for confidentiality, a reporting student will be informed that the University's ability to investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the identified student may be limited.

There are times when, in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, the University may not be able to honor a reporting student's request for confidentiality.  The University has designated the following individual to evaluate requests for confidentiality made by a reporting student: 

Title IX Coordinator Denise Cordova 682-6708

When weighing a student's request for confidentiality or a student's request that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including the following:

•·      The increased risk that the identified student will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:

•o     whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same student;

•o     whether the identified student has a history of arrests or other records  indicating a history of violence;

•o     whether the student identified as committing the offensive conduct threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the reporting student or others;

•o     whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple persons;

•o     whether the circumstances of the incident indicate that the behavior was planned by the identified student or others;

  

•·      whether the reported sexual violence was committed with a weapon;

•·      whether the reporting student is a minor;

•·      whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the reported sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);

•·      whether the reporting student's information reveals a pattern of behavior (e.g., illicit use of drugs, alcohol, coercion, intimidation) at a given location or by a particular group;

•·      other factors determined by the Title IX Coordinator that indicate the identified student may repeat the behavior or that others may be at risk.

Based on one or more of these factors, the Title IX Coordinator may decide that the University will investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action even though the reporting student requested confidentiality or requested that no investigation or disciplinary action be undertaken.  If none of these factors is present, the University will likely respect the reporting student's request for confidentiality.

If the Title IX Coordinator decides that a reporting student's confidentiality cannot be maintained, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the reporting student in writing or via email prior to starting an investigation and the University will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the University's response.

The University will inform the responding student that retaliation against the reporting student is prohibited and will take ongoing steps to protect the reporting student from retaliation or harm and work with the reporting student to create a safety plan.  Retaliation against the reporting student, whether by students or University employees, will not be tolerated.  The University will also:

•·         assist the reporting student in accessing other available advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance  both on and off campus (see portion of policy identifying these);

•·         provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the responding student pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and

•·         inform the reporting student of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement - and provide the reporting student with assistance if the reporting student wishes to report a crime.

The University will not require a reporting student or a responding student to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. 

Because the University is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the University to consider broader remedial action - such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/ student surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

If the University determines that it can respect a reporting student's request for confidentiality, the University will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the reporting student.

Miscellaneous

Take Back the Night and other public awareness events,  Public awareness events such as "Take Back the Night," the Clothesline Project, candlelight vigils, protests, "survivor speak outs" or other forums in which students disclose incidents of sexual violence, are not considered notice to the University of sexual violence for purposes of triggering the University's obligation to investigate any particular incident(s).  Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts, and the University will provide information about students' Title IX rights at these events.

Off-Campus Counselors and Advocates.  Off-campus counselors, advocates, and health care providers will also generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the University unless the reporting student requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form.

Following is contact information for these off-campus resources:

 

                        Crisis Call Center:  (775) 784-8085  (Reno)

                                                    (775) 784-8085  (Sparks)

                                                    24 hour Help Hotline:  1 (800) 273-8255

NOTE:  While these off-campus counselors and advocates may maintain a reporting student's confidentiality vis-à-vis the University, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law.  For example, there may be an obligation to report child abuse, an immediate threat of harm to self or others, or to report in the case of hospitalization for mental illness; for the exceptions to confidentiality, see NRS 49.213, NRS 49.245, and NRS 432B.220 in Appendix 2.  

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