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Resources for Reporting Discrimination and Harassment

From: 
Jennifer Ng, Interim Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity
Sent: 
Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 6:12 p.m.
To: 
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff

Sent on behalf of Jennifer Ng, Interim Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity

Dear campus colleagues,

The University of Kansas holds steadfast in the belief that an array of values, identities, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich our learning and workplace environment. When acts of harassment or discrimination occur, however, they undermine this commitment and should not be tolerated. Please review the information below as a starting point for understanding what resources exist and how you can play a role in ensuring that our campus remains safe and conducive to the well-being of all.

Mandatory reporting to the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA)

With only a few exceptions, all KU employees are “mandatory reporters.” Mandatory reporters are required to report incidents of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence, to the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access at 785-864-6414, ioa@ku.edu, or an online reporting form at ioa.ku.edu. If a student, faculty member, or staff member reports concerns about discrimination or sexual harassment, you should make clear your mandatory reporter status and report the discussion to IOA.

The IOA can offer assistance and protective measures to students, faculty, and staff targeted by harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and retaliation. It provides information about health, safety, advocacy, and support resources for members of the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. As necessary, it also performs formal investigations to detect, discontinue, and prevent violations of the Non-Discrimination Policy and Sexual Harassment Policy and ensures University compliance with state and federal civil rights laws.

Regardless of whether an IOA complaint or criminal complaint has been filed, the IOA is able to offer or impose a variety of interim measures to assist people and keep them from harm. Examples of interim and protective measures include, but are not limited to, contact restrictions placed on relevant parties, academic accommodations, alternative housing placements, alternative work schedules/locations, course schedule changes, legal assistance referrals, student financial aid assistance, health and mental health support, visa and immigration assistance, and course withdrawal/load reductions.

Campus resources beyond IOA

While not an exhaustive list, the following resources can also be helpful to know about:

  • KU Public Safety | emergency: 911, non-emergency: 785-864-5900
    • Police officers in the KU Office of Public Safety are fully commissioned law enforcement officials certified by the State of Kansas and are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • University Ombuds Office | 785-864-7261 or ombuds@ku.edu
    • University Ombuds Office is a safe place where members of the campus community can seek informal, independent, confidential and impartial assistance in addressing conflicts, disputes, or complaints without fear of retaliation or judgment. The purpose of the Ombuds Office is to act as “an ear to the people,” and the Ombuds is exempt from mandatory reporting.
  • Student Affairs Assists | studentaffairs.ku.edu/student-affairs-assists
    • Student Care Referral Team (SCRT) is an interdisciplinary, administrative team that through referrals identifies students who may be experiencing difficulty coping with their environment and/or life circumstance, assesses those referrals for needs and risk, and develops intervention and outreach plans in collaboration with Student Support and Case Management.
  • CARE Coordinator | 785-864-9255 or care@ku.edu
    • The CARE (Campus Assistance, Resource, and Education) Coordinator’s primary role is to provide institutional support for students who have been impacted by any form of violence. Services are free and confidential, and the CARE Coordinator is also exempt from mandatory reporting to University officials or organizations. The CARE Coordinator offers individualized therapeutic support, education and assistance navigating campus and community resources; support during the reporting process (both KU and criminal), and interim assistance with academic or housing needs.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services | 785-864-2277
    • CAPS Personal Counseling Services can help students with issues related to adjusting to college and other psychological, interpersonal, and family problems. Individual and group sessions are available. CAPS staff are also available for consultation with students, staff, and faculty who may have concerns about another student or friend, or about a particular situation.
  • Office of Diversity & Equity | 785-864-4904 or diversity@ku.edu
    • In cases of non-emergencies, the Office of Diversity & Equity can help people understand what resources exist and what options might be relevant to address harassment or discrimination concerns. The Office of Diversity & Equity can also assist in the coordination of multiple university resources that might be involved after an incident.

How to respond if someone shares a concern or incident with you

What constitutes harassment or discrimination is not always clear, so how we respond to others who share their experiences or concerns with us is important. The following tips are useful to consider:

  • Listen carefully and avoid interrupting if possible.
  • Avoid statements that suggest judgement, and refrain from minimizing the experience.
  • Explain your obligations as a mandated reporter.
  • Do not make assumptions about how a person wants a situation to be resolved. Ask what they would like to happen next and comply when possible.
  • Do not make promises about possible outcomes or resolutions if they are not in your control.
  • Offer to accompany the person to appointments with other offices if helpful.
  • Ask about the person’s support system. If you are concerned with someone’s apparent lack of support, consider KU resources including CAPS and Student Affairs Assists.
  • Check in regularly to ensure appropriate measures have taken place.
  • Apart from mandatory reporting obligations, respect the person’s privacy and refrain from sharing information with others unless absolutely necessary.

Best,

Jennifer Ng
Interim Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity
Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Office of the Provost
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