- Associated Press - Saturday, September 13, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - All Indiana University employees who work with students directly, including instructors, advisers, athletics department workers and residential hall staff, are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to a Title IX coordinator under a new guide the university has prepared.

The guide is part of an effort to prevent and respond to sexual violence at IU and comes after the U.S. Department of education’s Office for Civil Rights released documents this spring detailing how it expects universities to interpret Title IX. The federal law prohibits sex discrimination by educational institutions and programs that receive federal aid.

Emily Springston, IU’s associate general counsel, told The Herald-Times (https://bit.ly/1uIAZaf ) the guide is designed to clarify reporting duties and is not the result of a May report that put IU on a list of 55 colleges being reviewed for Title IX compliance. University officials have said the review is a compliance check and not the result of a specific incident.

The guide is being given to employees at training sessions and meetings. It is also part of the newly unveiled stopsexualviolence.iu.edu website, which offers safety tips and guidance on what to do in cases of sexual violence.

The guide instructs employees to provide support and encourage students to seek help but to avoid counseling or pressuring them. It also says employees should remind students that they are obligated to report such incidents.

Licensed mental health counselors and staff “specifically designated as nonprofessional sexual assault advocates for students” are exempt from the rules, according to the guide.

Springston said the guide may be revised as laws change. But she said that doesn’t mean only obligated employees should report sexual misconduct.

“We feel everyone has an ethical responsibility to report,” she said.


Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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