Employee Guide for Reporting Sexual Harassment, Interpersonal Violence, or Sexual Misconduct

Why is reporting important?

The University requires its employees to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence that they learn about to the Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance (EORC)/Title IX Coordinator. These reporting methods serve to keep the University community safe and our institution compliant under Title IX, University policy, and state and federal law. Under Title IX, we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for members of the University community that does not interfere with their ability to pursue an education or participate in a University activity.

How to interact with the student:

First inform the student that you are required to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, or sexual misconduct.

  • If you think a student is going to reveal information that you would be required to report, do your best to help him or her understand your reporting role before the student shares the information.
  • Tell the student that you are not a completely confidential resource, and you are required to report sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, and sexual misconduct. Make the student feel like she or he can still talk to you.
  • However, tell that student to contact the University Counseling Center, Violence Intervention and Prevention Services, or the UMatter: Student Support & Advocacy Office if she or he would like to talk to a confidential source.

Remember your role.

  • You are not a counselor or an investigator. You are there to offer support and listen to the student.
  • Make sure to connect students to other resources that will be able to serve their specific needs.

Keep the student’s needs and feelings at the forefront.

  • Respectfully listen to what the student tells you.
  • Let the student know that you care.
  • Acknowledge nonverbal expressions, when appropriate.
    • Example: If anger flashes across your face, then let the student know that you are not angry at her or him, but rather you are angry that someone would choose to harm that student.
  • Do not define the student’s experiences for her or him.
    • Example: If a student does not outright say she or he was sexually assaulted, then do not tell her or him that you think it is sexual assault.
  • Use words the student chooses to use.
    • Example: If a student says, “I was taken advantage of,” then use those words instead of “rape” or “assault.”
  • Validate that what happened to the student was not OK, if and when appropriate.
    • Example: Say something like, “I am sorry that person harmed you.”

Establish clear boundaries, and act as a bridge to other forms of support.

  • Offer forms of support that are within your role.
    • Example: If you are a faculty member, then you should not try to act as a counselor, but rather extend assignment deadlines for the student.
    • Example: If you supervise the student, then try to work with his or her schedule as needed.

Even after a student gives you information that you must report, refer her or him to the University Counseling Center or the violence prevention coordinator for additional support.

Reporting

If a student discloses information about sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, or sexual misconduct, then you are required to report the instance to the Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity & Regulatory Compliance/Title IX Coordinator, Honey Ussery.

To report, you may call at (662) 915-7045, or email at hbussery@olemiss.edu.

After you fulfill your obligation as a University reporter, keep the student’s information confidential. Do not share unnecessary details if you must inform a supervisor.

Resources for Students

University Counseling Center (confidential) | (662) 915-3784 | 320 Lester Hall | counslg@olemiss.edu

Advocate from Violence Intervention and Prevention Services – Shelli Poole | (662) 915-1059 | 309 Longstreet | sapoole@olemiss.edu

Family Crisis Services (24/7) | (662) 234-9929 or 1 (800) 230-9929