Confidentiality and Reporting a Complaint
Oakton encourages student victims of sexual discrimination, harassment and/or misconduct, including sexual violence, to talk to somebody about what happened so that you can get the support you need and so that the college can respond appropriately. You have the choice to seek private counselling or to file a report, but who you tell about the incident is very important for your confidentiality.
By law, different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a student complainant’s confidentiality:
- Employees in mental health counseling are required to maintain near complete confidentiality.
- Employees who work in the Student Affairs office may talk to a student complainant in confidence and generally only report that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information.
- Responsible Employees—faculty, staff and administrators (not employed in mental health counseling or Student Affairs) are required by law to report all the details of an incident (including identities of the student complainant and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX coordinator. Reporting to any of these employees constitutes a report to Oakton and generally obligates the college to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation. Before a student complainant reveals any information to a Responsible Employee, he or she should be made aware of the employee’s reporting obligations, and if the complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, he or she should be directed to the confidential resources (listed above).
Regardless of to whom a report is made, Oakton is obligated to provide you with concise information, written in plain language, concerning your complainant’s rights and options to pursue. The various reporting and confidential disclosure options available are set forth in further detail below.
Responsible Employees (most people employed by Oakton):
By law, Responsible Employees must report a complaint. These employees have the authority to redress sexual discrimination, harassment or misconduct, and have the duty to report incidents of student misconduct.
When a student complainant tells a Responsible Employee about an incident of sexual discrimination, harassment or misconduct, the complainant has the right to expect Oakton 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 victim. The College will need to determine what happened, including the names of the victim and 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 Oakton’s response to the report.
If the student victim wants to tell the Responsible Employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the student that Oakton will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the college will be able to honor it. In reporting details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the Responsible Employee will also inform the Title IX Coordinator of the student complainant’s request for confidentiality.