Reporting to College Officials
- A student may report a sexual assault to a college official immediately or at any time in the future.
- Reporting to the college does not obligate the student to pursue an honor case through the college judicial board. A reporting student may engage the honor process at any time. The college itself may initiate the honor process or take other actions consistent with applicable law.
- Reporting to the college does not prevent reporting to police, immediately or in the future. A reporting student may report to the police at any time.
- Reports to college officials are protected in the same way that all student information is protected and details of the report, including the student’s name, may only be disclosed as permitted under privacy laws, college policy, and as necessary to comply with the law.
A student may report a sexual assault to any college official, including the Title IX Coordinator, The Health & Counseling Center (HCC), Community Safety Director, community safety staff, a member of the dean of students’ office, residence life staff (including residence directors and house advisors), student services staff, or faculty. While students are encouraged to make reports as soon as possible, a report of a sexual assault may be made at any time after the incident.
When a student reports a sexual assault to a faculty or staff member, including the Title IX Coordinator, a community safety officer (CSO), residence director (RD), or a house advisor (HA), but with the exception of Health & Counseling staff, that staff or faculty member is required to act. At a minimum, the college is required to do the following:
- Forward the report to the vice president and dean of student services (VP/DOS).
- Investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
- If sexual violence occurred, take prompt and effective steps to end the sexual violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, based on a threat assessment and other information.
- Take steps to protect any students involved.
Notification to the Vice President/Dean of Student Services (VP/DOS)
Regardless of where the report is first received, with the exception of the HCC, college officials are required to forwarded the report to the VP/DOS for review. The VP/DOS will make every effort to proceed in a manner consistent with the student’s expressed wishes. If, in the VP/DOS’s judgment, and/or based on a threat assessment, there exists a significant risk of repeat assaults and/or danger to other community members, the VP/DOS will respond accordingly. This response may include any one or more of the following: legal, campus administrative, and/or campus judicial action. Typically, the reporting student is consulted regarding these options. College staff will make every effort to protect the student and preserve confidentiality. The student’s name and details about the assault are released only when necessary to protect her/him or other members of the community, or as required by law.
Investigation of a report of sexual assault by the college is not the same as a criminal investigation by police. Reporting to community safety or another college official is not the same as reporting to police. Investigations of sexual assault by the college are conducted by community safety, under the direction of the VP/DOS, and these investigations are conducted primarily to facilitate threat assessment and safety planning. In some cases, community safety investigations may be used to inform the honor process and a judicial case, and/or may be forwarded to police. As with notifications to the VP/DOS, College officials will make a concerted effort to proceed in a manner consistent with the student’s expressed wishes. Investigation by community safety may include interviewing the reporting student, witnesses, and the alleged assailant(s), as appropriate to the situation.
In every case of a reported sexual assault impacting a Reed student or the college, a threat assessment will be conducted to determine whether or not, and to what extent, there is an ongoing or potential future risk to the reporting student and/or the community. While the VP/DOS and community safety have primary responsibility for threat assessments, a preliminary threat assessment may be performed by any college staff member by use of the Sexual Assault Immediate Threat Assessment tool. If a report is initially made to a college official who is not able to do the threat assessment, the report will be forwarded to an official who can, typically a community safety officer, or a member of the VP/DOS’ staff.
If a reported sexual assault and subsequent threat assessment reveal an ongoing or potential future threat to the reporting student and/or the community, appropriate safety planning measures will be taken. Community safety has a comprehensive safety planning checklist that is also available to the DOS’ staff and all available steps will be taken, as appropriate to the circumstances. Safety planning steps may include, but are not limited to the following:
- temporary change of residence
- no-contact orders
- exclusions (partial or complete)
- safety escorts
If a student reporting a sexual assault is not sure how to proceed, please contact the staff of Reed’s Health & Counseling Center (HCC). All conversations with HCC staff are completely confidential and students can discuss options in an effort to decide what will best meet the student’s needs. Only if the clinician has the student’s consent and/or if the clinician determines that there is a serious and imminent threat to the safety of the community will s/he report to the dean. Clinicians can be reached after business hours and on weekends (during the academic semesters) by contacting community safety (503/771-1112 x0) and asking to speak to the counselor on call. Students do not need to give their name to access a counselor on call.