About Mandatory Reporting
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about mandatory reporting. It can also be a difficult step in the process of assisting an individual in need, so we have added some tips to help you when confronted with incidents of discrimination, harassment and bias. If you have questions regarding Mines’ reporting, please contact our office.
What is Mandatory Reporting?
The Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) utilizes fair and unbiased processes for addressing reports of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, based on a protected class, and related retaliation for both students and employees The purpose of reporting is to ensure safety and prevent further harm, offer supportive measures, resources, understand the scope of the problem and determine options for resolution.
Who is a Mandatory Reporter?
Unless otherwise specified, if you are a Mines employee or a student employee*, you are considered a mandatory reporter. According to Mines policy, it is your responsibility to promptly report any instances of sexual misconduct, discriminatory harassment, bias, or retaliation. This ensures that appropriate actions can be taken to address and resolve these issues. If you are unsure if a situation requires reporting, we always suggest that you report to be on the safe side and the OIE team will respond to the issue and provide resources and options to the impacted party.
Failure to report can result in sanctions for employees who do not report.
*Student employees are mandatory reporters only when they are working, not at other times.
Why is Mandatory Reporting so Important?
When you do not report, you take options and resources away from the person sharing their situation with you.
OIE staff are trained to provide trauma support and resources to those in need. It is important to note that when meeting with OIE, it is up to the impacted party to decide how to proceed.
When to report
If a student, faculty or staff member expresses to you that they experienced an incident of sexual misconduct, discriminatory harassment, bias or retaliation, inform them that you are a mandatory reporter and that you will share this with the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) in order to provide resources and options based upon their situation. They are not required to file a formal complaint — OIE will work with them to help them decide their best options.
When in doubt, REPORT!
What/Who is a Protected Class?
The Mines Discrimination policy applies to all protected classes at the federal and state levels. Protected classes include: race, color, religion or creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression), marital status, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, ancestry, and veteran status or military service. This policy applies to all staff and students, volunteers, contractors, potential employees, and students.
How to report
To report an incident, choose the type of report the most appropriate for the situation: Discriminatory Harassment, Bias and Retaliation Reporting Form or Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form. If you’re uncertain whether an incident should be reported, it’s always advisable to err on the side of caution and make a report.
What happens after I submit a report?
Once a report has been submitted, OIE staff will reach out to the impacted party to discuss resources and options and offer facilitation of process and supportive measures. We start with the impacted party and they have agency on how to proceed. Please note the staff of the Office of Institutional Equity is protective of individual’s privacy and once reported, you will likely not receive any further outreach or updates.
Is the Office for Institutional Equity an advocacy office?
No. OIE is a non-bias, investigative office for reports of sexual misconduct, discriminatory harassment, bias and retaliation. If a process is selected by the impacted party, OIE will facilitate a neutral and equitable process for all parties.
We will provide resources and options to impacted parties, and we work closely with campus departments including Student Life, Campus Safety, Student Outreach and Support, Human Resources and many more to provide the proper services to our Mines community members.
Ready to report? Visit our reporting page.
Still have questions? Contact us at OIE@mines.edu
How to Respond When You Receive a Disclosure
When someone trusts you with a difficult situation or opens up about a personal struggle, it’s important to handle the situation with care and sensitivity. Here are some valuable tips to guide you through this delicate situation:
- Validate their Feelings and Experience
Acknowledge and validate their emotions and the significance of their experience. Let them know that you understand and appreciate their courage in sharing this with you.
- Ensure Their Immediate Safety
If the situation requires immediate attention or poses a threat to their safety, dial 911 or the appropriate emergency number in your country. Their safety should be the top priority.
- Provide Campus Resources
Offer them a list of available resources that can assist them in dealing with their situation. A list of campus resources can be found at: www.mines.edu/oie/on-and-off-campus-resources
- Inform the Individual of Your Obligation to Report to OIE
Explain to them that you have a responsibility to report the disclosure to the appropriate office, such as the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) or a relevant authority. Assure them that trained staff will contact them to provide further guidance, options, and additional resources.
While it’s important to ask basic questions to ensure the person’s safety and well-being, avoid asking investigative questions that could potentially cause further harm in a fragile situation. Focus on providing support and understanding rather than probing for details.
- Confront Other Parties
Exercise caution when considering confronting the individuals involved in the situation. Instead, prioritize the well-being and safety of the person who confided in you. Encourage them to seek appropriate channels, such as reporting to authorities or seeking professional advice, if necessary.
- Share Disclosure with Others
Respect the individual’s privacy and confidentiality by refraining from sharing their disclosure without their explicit consent. It’s crucial to prioritize their autonomy and trust.
- Ignore Your Own Self-care
Receiving disclosures can have a significant impact on you as a listener. It’s essential to prioritize your own well-being and self-care. Recognize the potential emotional toll it may take, and seek support from trusted friends, family, or professional resources as needed.