FAQ's for Employees
How can I best support the student?
The best way to support a student who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct is to believe, listen, and respect.
- Don’t question the validity of the student’s experience by asking questions like "How much were you drinking?" or "Are you sure you're not overreacting?"
- Remember to listen to what the student has to say about the incident, their emotions, and their reactions. There are a variety of possible emotions and reactions to incidents of sexual misconduct and one way to best support is to accept all of them.
- It is important to respect the decisions made by the student after they disclose this very personal information. Whether or not you think a student should follow through with certain actions like reporting, going to the police or seeking help, you don’t get to decide. Support each decision the student decides to make after the incident and let them know about both confidential and non-confidential resources offered on campus.
What do I do if a student tells me about an incident of sexual misconduct?
If a student discloses to you that they have experienced an act of sexual misconduct and you are not a confidential resource (this only includes: licensed medical, clinical or mental health professional staff in Student Health Services, the Counseling Center, the WCU Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) Clinic), you are considered a 'responsible employee.’ As a responsible employee you are required to report the incident. If you are not a confidential resource it is important to let the student know as soon as possible that you are required to report the incident. You can report the incident online or you can contact Lynn Klingensmith, the Title IX coordinator, atLKlingensmith@wcupa.edu
Keep in mind that West Chester University’s policy requires you to report to the university NOT to the police. Therefore, reporting does not mean that students will have to appear in court, be in contact with the accused or share their story with anyone else.
When a student has decided to share an incident, let them know of the resources provided for them, free of charge, on campus. To best do so, familiarize yourself with the resources page. Let students know that there are resources that will remain confidential and that there are resources they can use to better understand the processes on campus.
I've never heard the term 'responsible employee.' What is a responsible employee?
A responsible employee is any university employee that is required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator via the incident report form or visit wcupa.edu/sexualmisconductreport. The phrase 'responsible employee' is used to indicate any role on campus that is required to report acts of sexual misconduct.
Am I a responsible employee?
ALL university employees are considered responsible employees. The only exception to this rule is those employees who work for the Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services and the WCU Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) Clinic – these resources are considered confidential.
When and how do I disclose to a student that I am a responsible employee?
Your syllabus statement offers to students information on required reporting. However, at any time if you feel a student is going to disclose information regarding sexual misconduct, share as soon as possible that you are required to report the incident to the Title IX office/Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
If a student has already disclosed to you an incident of sexual misconduct let them know immediately that you are required to report the incident.
Do I always have to report?
The only exception to reporting is for faculty. Faculty do not have to report when incidents of sexual misconduct are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. This exemption does not pertain to office hours or conversations elsewhere.
What happens after I report?
After you report an incident of sexual misconduct the Title IX coordinator or designee will reach out to the student. This point of contact is to offer students options and resources. At this point the student has full control over what, if anything, is done next. If the student does not want further support and does not want to report through Student Conduct or criminally then the process stops there. The report is kept on file for data collection purposes. If the student wishes to follow through with possible ‘next steps’ the Title IX coordinator will be able to direct and assist in doing so.
What if I’m not sure if an incident would be considered sexual misconduct?
If you’re unclear if something would be considered sexual misconduct read the umbrella terms defined under sexual misconduct. If you’re still unsure after reading the definitions contact Lynn Klingensmith, Title IX coordinator, atLKlingensmith@wcupa.edu
It is important to remember that even if you're unsure it is in the best interest of the student and the university that you report.
Why do I have to report?
It may be difficult to understand but required reporting is important for the safety of all students at the university and is required by both federal and state law. West Chester University's required reporting policy has been implemented to ensure the overall campus climate. Often time’s individuals who commit acts of sexual misconduct are likely to do so again or already have. Because of that phenomenon, required reporting helps track those individuals who may become a threat to the university as a whole.
Required reporting also ensures that students know what resources are offered to them. After a report is made the Title IX coordinator reaches out to the student providing them with resources and information. This contact may be the first and last thing that is done if that’s what the student prefers.
What students and employees may not realize is that students are entitled to parking, class and living accommodations to ensure safety on campus. Accessing these accommodations DOES NOT require students to follow through with student conduct or criminal charges but can only be attained if the Title IX office is aware of the incident.
What resources are available for students?
There are various on-campus resources offered to students free of charge. Let the student know that many of these resources are confidential and any information shared will remain between the student and the resource. You can find details about each resource here.
What if the accused and complainant(s) are in my class?
If you become aware that the complainant(s) and the accused are in the same class it's recommended that you consult with the Title IX Coordinator/Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Director Lynn Klingensmith atLKlingensmith@wcupa.edu
, (610) 436-2433.
Is there a space for employees to get involved in prevention, training, and education?
Becoming Green Dot trained is a great step in prevention for employees to take.
The Center for Women and Gender Equity is a great place to get information on other involvement options. Contact Dr. Sendy Alcidonis, Senior Director of the Center for Women and Gender Equity, at 610-436-2122 if you think you may be interested.
If you are interested in getting involved with the procedures that follow the report of an incident you have a few options. You may consider aiding in the conduct process as a hearing board member by contacting Christina Brenner, Director of Student Conduct, at (610) 436-3511 or aiding in the fact finding process by contacting Lynn Klingensmith, the Title IX coordinator, atLKlingensmith@wcupa.edu
Where do I go if I have experienced sexual harassment by a Faculty or Staff member?
If you think you have experienced an act of sexual harassment contact Lynn Klingensmith, the Title IX coordinator, atLKlingensmith@wcupa.edu
or 610-436-2433. Further information detailing employee processes can be found here.
Where can I go to get further information?
For further information read through the sexual misconduct website. If you would prefer to speak with an individual consider contacting either of the following individuals:
Lynn Klingensmith, Title IX Coordinator, atLKlingensmith@wcupa.edu
Sarah Ryan, Compliance and Database Coordinator atSRyan2@wcupa.edu