How to Talk to A Student as a Responsible Employee
If a student begins to disclose to you an incident that violates Lewis & Clark’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (such as any nonconsensual sexual activity, sexual harassment, stalking, prohibited relationships, or exploitation):
Action: Compassionately interrupt them.
Response: “I’m a responsible employee, which means I have to take what I learn and report it to the Title IX coordinator. All that means is the person most equipped to offer options and resources can reach out and ensure you know about all your options and choices. That said, I want you to be able to make an informed choice about who you feel comfortable sharing this incident with, so here are your options:
- You can continue disclosing the incident to me, and then we can contact the Title IX coordinator together by calling them on the phone, sending an email, walking over to their office in person, or making an online report. Filing a report does not automatically initiate an investigation. You have choices on how to proceed.
- You can continue disclosing the incident to me, and I can contact the Title IX coordinator on my own. You have choices on how to proceed.
- You can decline to continue speaking with me and I can let you know who the confidential resources are on campus, and connect you with them if you want.”
If the student wants to continue speaking with you:
Action: Let them share their story, listen well and without judgement. Believe them.
Response: Let the student know the violence/abuse was not their fault. Reassure the student that you care about them, and you want to offer your support.
When there is an appropriate pause or end to the story:
Action: Report to the Title IX coordinator.
Response: “Would you like to contact the Title IX coordinator or fill out the reporting form together?”
Action: Contact the Title IX coordinator together by calling, emailing, going in person, or filing a report online.
Response: “How else can I help you right now? Would you like to reach out to a Confidential Advocate? Would you like me to walk you to the Counseling Center?”
Action: Contact the Title IX coordinator yourself by calling, emailing, or filing a report online.
Response: “That’s ok, I can contact them myself. How else can I help you right now? Would you like to reach out to a Confidential Advocate? Would you like me to walk you to the Counseling Center?”
If the student does not want to continue speaking with you:
Action: Point them to confidential resources on and off campus.
Response: “That’s ok. There are many confidential employees on campus and confidential resources off campus who you can speak with without needing to contact the Title IX coordinator. A list of these contacts is available at www.lclark.edu/healthy_relationships.
Action: Stay in touch with the student if they give you permission.
Response: “Is it ok with you if I keep in touch and check in on you?”