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If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, call 504-920-9900 to speak privately with someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or, fill out our reporting form.

To learn more about the changes to the University Sexual Misconduct/Title IX resolution processes, please visit our update page.

Disclose to Tulane

Make a Disclosure to Tulane Now

When a person experiences sexual violence or harassment, it can feel as though your power—your choices—have been taken away from you. When you disclose to Tulane, we want you to get your power back. That's why disclosing to Tulane means that you have choices to make about what the next steps look like.  Choosing to disclose sexual harassment or violence, let alone file a formal complaint to initiate a grievance procedure, is a personal decision. Tulane wants to ensure that students are well informed and supported in their decision to disclose and in their decisions around participating in a grievance procedure. Watch the video and read the FAQs below to learn more about your disclosure and investigation options at Tulane.

What is a disclosure vs. a report vs. a formal complaint?

A disclosure occurs when a member of the Tulane community tells a non-confidential employee about an incident or potential incident of sexual harassment or violence.  With the exception of staff at the Counseling Center and the Health Center and clergy, all other Tulane employees, including student employees such as resident assistants (RAs), are required to share that disclosure with Tulane through a Care Connection.  A Care Connection will result in Case Management and Victim Support Services reaching out to any impacted students to offer supportive services and to the Office of Institutional Equity reaching out to any impacted employees to offer supportive services.  You can learn more about Care Connections in the next sections. 

Disclosing to Tulane does not mean that you are automatically initiating a formal complaint and grievance procedure.  It also does not mean that you have to share the name the name of the person who harmed you.  A disclosure is not the same as filing a police report.  Disclosing simply means that you are letting us know you experienced sexual harassment or violence.  Often, disclosing is a way for you to seek resources and support. After a disclosure is made, a victim can choose whether to move forward with a formal complaint and grievance procedure.  You can make a disclosure using the Concerns Form at tulane.edu/concerns or using the Make a Disclosure Now button above.

 

You may see the term report being used.  This terms comes from the May 2020 Title IX regulations.  A report occurs when any official notification is made to the University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator regarding incidents that of sexual discrimination, harassment, or violence so that we can ensure that we provide all community members with their rights under Title IX. 

 

A formal complaint, as defined by the May 2020 Title IX regulations, is a document submitted to the University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator by a victim/complainant alleging that a member of the Tulane community engaged in conduct prohibited under Tulane's Title IX policies and requesting an investigation. A formal complaint will initiate a grievance procedure.  To file a formal complaint, click here

 

For Students: What happens if I disclose to Tulane?

The disclosure is shared with Case Management and Victim Support Services (CMVSS), who will reach out to you to offer support. Learn more about what support looks like in the Get Help section of this website.  CMVSS will explain your options for investigation and resolution, including the Tulane process and reporting to law enforcement. They can connect you to our Office of Student Conduct (for cases against students) or our Office of Institutional Equity (for cases against faculty/staff) and can connect you to the police. You choose whether to proceed forward with a university case or a criminal case.  Disclosing to Tulane does not initiate the conduct process or criminal process.  Disclosing to Tulane is not the same as filing a police report.

You can make a disclosure using the Make a Disclosure Now button above; by walking into Suite G02 of the LBC, which houses Case Management and Victim Support Services and the Office of Student Conduct, Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm; or by calling the Student Affairs Professional on call 24/7 at 504-920-9900.  You choose whether to proceed forward with a university case or a criminal case--or both at the same time--or neither.  Supportive outreach is offered to all students and employees, regardless if the incident falls within the jurisdiction of Title IX or the Code of Student Conduct.

The disclosure also goes to the University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator, who is responsible for ensuring that every disclosure receives a response and then collects data on incidents of violence so that we can track where, when, and whom these incidents impact.  You can also disclose directly to the University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator.  Tulane's University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator is Meredith Smith; she can be contacted at (504) 865-5615 or msmith76@tulane.edu

 

Does Tulane grant amnesty for people disclosing sexual violence?

Students who were drinking under the age of twenty-one or under the influence of drugs when they experienced or witnessed sexual violence might be concerned about disclosing what they have experienced or seen because of the fear of "getting in trouble" for the alcohol or drug consumption. Please know that Tulane's Code of Student Conduct grants amnesty in these situations.  The University will provide similar amnesty during the 2020-2021 academic year to any student who had engaged in behavior in violation of the social distancing and public health measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Amnesty applies to anyone making a disclosure, victims of incidents, and witnesses to incidents. 

For Students: What's a Care Connection?

Employees (including Resident Assistants) who are not confidential are required to make a “Care Connection” via the Tulane Concerns Form (tulane.edu/concerns) when they learn of a potential instance of sexual harassment or violence so the University may make supportive outreach to any known impacted individuals. Supportive outreach for students comes from the Office of Case Management & Victim Support Services (CMVSS). The University Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Coordinator is copied on Care Connections and will gatekeep whether the incident falls within Title IX or not so that CMVSS may fully discuss which (if any) university resolution and grievance processes are available to to the impacted student.

Supportive outreach is offered to all students and employees, regardless if the incident falls within the jurisdiction of Title IX or the Code of Student Conduct. Students can decline to meet with CMVSS about the incident in the Care Connection. If student declines to meet, they will receive an email outlining options for support if the student would need assistance in the future.

For Employees: How do I handle someone disclosing to me?

It can be difficult to know what to do or say to help when someone you care about has been harmed and is struggling with hard emotions like confusion, anger, blame, sadness, fear, helplessness. But there are ways for you to give support. First, remain calm and focus on actively listening to what the victim shares with you. Respond with empathy and offer physical comforts, such as a seat, a cup of cool water or hot tea, and a box of tissues. Some examples of empathetic responses include, “I’m so sorry about what happened to you. It was wrong, and I’m glad you felt comfortable telling me about it. What can I do to help right now?” and “It’s understandable that you’re so upset. What happened to you was not your fault. Why don’t you sit down while I grab you something to drink? Then we can talk about what would help you most right now.” While it can be natural to want to ask questions to learn more about what happened, try to limit your questions to those focused on the victim’s needs. Some examples of questions that help clarify the victim’s needs include: “Do you feel safe right now?” and “What can I do to help right now?” Do not make any statements or ask any questions that could be interpreting as blaming or judging the victim. If the victim requests help in locating resources or figuring out their options, you can use the All In website to learn more about these resources and options. Encourage them to connect with a counselor or advocate for professional support and further help in understanding and evaluating their options. Finally, be sure to take care of yourself. Providing support to someone who has been a victim of sexual harassment or violence can bring up a lot of difficult emotions for you. Most of the resources listed on the All In website, such as Case Management and Victim Support Services and the Counseling Center, offer support and services to all students, and resources like the EAP offer support to all employees.

How do I tell a student about my Care Connection obligation?
If you are an employee with an obligation to make a Care Connection, it is important to let a student know as soon as reasonably possible about this obligation so that the student remains in control of how much information is shared with the university.  This is why faculty are asked to put the Title IX language in their syllabus, so that every student knows of their rights and your responsibilities under Title IX similar to the ADA.  That being said, letting a student know about this obligation too quickly in a conversation can also have the effect of making a student feel like you are uncomfortable with their disclosure and, even worse, that they shouldn’t tell people about what happened to them.  While every conversation will be different, it’s important to try to strike a balance between offering an empathetic listening ear and letting a student know that you will need to make a Care Connection so that they are offered supportive services.  Here’s an example of how you can balance both of these needs: “I’m so sorry that that happened to you, and I’m glad you felt comfortable telling me.  I want to make sure you get connected with the support that you need right now, and to that end, Tulane requires me to make a Care Connection.  This means that I will share what you’ve just told me with the professional advocates on-campus at Case Management and Victim Support Services (CMVSS) so that they can offer to talk with you about the full range of resources and options available to you.  What questions do you have about that?”  You can also share with the student that they can decline to meet with CMVSS when they reach out.  Depending on the student’s needs, you may also offer to call the Counseling Center together to request an emergency appointment or to call CMVSS together to make an immediate Care Connection.  

How do I know that the Care Connection will do more good than harm?  I feel like I’ve just betrayed the student’s trust!  
Trauma-informed, trained advocates can help victims on their recovery journey by providing emotional support, information about resources and options, and connections with supportive services.  They can also assist victims in navigating reporting and adjudication processes.  Research has shown that connection with a trained advocate, like the advocates at Case Management and Victim Support Services (CMVSS), has many benefits for victims and survivors of sexual violence.  One study found that rape survivors who worked with advocates reported less secondary victimization from legal and medical system personnel, among other benefits.  The study concluded that “rape victim advocates appear to provide numerous benefits and can prevent serious negative consequences for rape survivors.”

You may feel that you are betraying a student’s trust or taking control away from them by making a Care Connection.  However, the student can choose whether or not they accept outreach and support from the university.   Furthermore, we don't know what is a betrayal or not to a student; often students appreciate that their disclosure was met with care and concern by the university.  One study found that many victims of sexual violence chose not to seek university services because they didn’t think their experience was serious enough to warrant resources.  We want our students to know that any incident of sexual harassment or violence is worthy of support.  Care Connections ensure that students receive that support without any questions asked or hoops to jump through.  Students benefit from being connected with resources and support and, in most cases, are grateful for the connection.  Our advocates at CMVSS offer trauma-informed, victim-centered services that empower students to make informed decisions in their recovery process. Their goal is always to promote a student’s safety and well-being.

 

For Faculty & Staff: What happens if I disclose to Tulane?

Disclosures by faculty and staff are shared with the Office of Institutional Equity, the office responsible for investigating sexual misconduct by faculty and staff.  OIE will offer Supportive Measures and talk through your options with the process; your supervisor is not notified unless a Supportive Measure you need requires their involvement or there is an exceptional circumstance requiring their involvement.  Your disclosure also goes to the University Sexual Miscondcut Response and Title IX Coordinator, who is responsible for ensuring that every disclosure receives a response and then collects data on incidents of violence so that we can track where, when, and whom these incidents impact. Disclosures concerning students are also shared with the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Case Management and Victim Support Services.  Supportive outreach is offered to all students and employees, regardless if the incident falls within the jurisdiction of Title IX or the Code of Student Conduct.

Generally, when a disclosure is made by a faculty or staff member, the Office of Institutional Equity or the University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator will follow up with the disclosing party to discuss their options and next steps.  Visit the Get Help section of this website to learn more about support available to faculty and staff impacted by sexual misconduct. 

Faculty and staff can make a disclosure using the Make a Disclosure Now button above or by directly contacting one of the below offices:

Office of Institutional Equity
504-862-8083
1555 Poydras St., Suite 964
New Orleans, LA  70112

 

or

 

Tulane University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator
Meredith Smith
504-865-5611
msmith76@tulane.edu
Jones Hall 308

 

or

 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees
Ruth Riley
Office of Institutional Equity
1555 Poydras St., Suite 964
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 862-8083

 

 

 

Investigation & Adjudication of Misconduct

Tulane has an obligation to investigate Formal Complaints of sexual misconduct on our campus. Two offices share responsibility for investigating and adjudicating Formal Complaints of sexual misconduct at Tulane:

Formal Complaints Against Students

Office of Student Conduct (OSC)
LBC G02
504-314-2184

OSC is responsible for investigating Formal Complaints where a Tulane student is alleged to have committed an act of sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, stalking, or dating/domestic violence.

Code of Student Conduct

Formal Complaints Against Faculty/Staff

Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)
1555 Poydras St., Suite 964
504-862-8083

Equal Opportunity/Anti-Discrimination Policies

OIE is responsible for investigating Formal Complaints where a Tulane faculty, staff, or a third-party person (for example, a private security guard or a Sodexo employee from the dining hall) is alleged to have committed an act of sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, stalking, or dating/domestic violence.

OIE also investigates all allegations of sexual discrimination at Tulane, like discriminatory hiring and firing and wage discrimination.  Learn more about the OIE investigation process