Requests for Confidentiality
In some cases, an individual may disclose an incident of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence to a non-confidential source but wish to maintain confidentiality or request that no investigation into a particular incident be pursued or no disciplinary action be taken. The determination of whether a request for confidentiality can be honored is made by the Title IX Coordinator or designee. All Responsible Employees must report alleged or suspected violations of this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or designee and should inform any reporting party requesting confidentiality of their obligation to do so. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will must balance such requests for confidentiality along with the obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the campus community, including the individual who has experienced the alleged misconduct. When weighing an individual’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will consider the seriousness of the alleged conduct and the risk to the community’s safety; the reporting party’s age; whether there have been other harassment grievances against the same individual; whether the alleged incident is isolated or part of a pattern of conduct; and the reporting party’s rights for notification under federal and state law. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will also consider whether the University has other means to obtain the relevant information, as well as whether:
- The accused individual has records from a prior educational institution or elsewhere indicating a history of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence;
- The accused individual threatened further sexual misconduct or other violence against the complainant or others;
- The alleged sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was committed by multiple accused individuals;
- The alleged sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- The alleged sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was committed against a minor; and/or
- The complainant’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
Although rare, there are times when the University may not be able to honor an individual’s request for confidentiality in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that it cannot honor the request for confidentiality, or the University cannot abide by the reporting party’s requests, it will inform that party prior to initiating any investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with those responsible for handling the University’s response. Further, the University will not disclose the identity of either party except as necessary to resolve the complaint or to implement interim protective measures and accommodations or when provided by State or federal law.
If a reporting party’s request for confidentiality limits the University’s ability to investigate a matter, the University will still take any steps it deems necessary to limit the effects of the alleged or suspected sexual misconduct and prevent its recurrence. For example, the University might provide training and education, adjust policies, conduct climate surveys, or provide increased security at a given location.
Complainants also have the option to, or not to, notify and seek assistance from law enforcement authorities. Complainants are also free to explore whether they might be able to obtain a judicial no-contact order, restraining order, or protective order, or similar lawful order issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court or by the University. The Title IX Coordinator is available to assist individuals who have further questions about these issues.