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"Confidential" v. "Required Reporting"

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For both security and legal reasons, most College employees are required to report instances of sexual misconduct that they become aware of. The distinction of who is required to report and who can maintain complete confidentiality can be confusing. These explanations should help. If you still have questions about confidentiality, any members of the Sexual Misconduct Support Team can explain further.

"Confidential" Support People

Carleton’s Student Health and Counseling Staff (Psychologists, Nurses, Director) and Chaplain are Confidential Support People. This means that in most circumstances* they have a professional and legal obligation not to reveal information shared in the course and scope of performing their duties. When students talk to a Confidential Support Person about a possible violation of the sexual misconduct policy, that support person will not reveal or report this conversation in any identifying manner. The Confidential Support Person will however report the incident in a non-identifying manner to be part of the College's end-of-term Report on Sexual Misconduct, in compliance with state and federal laws.

Talking to a Confidential Source is not a Complaint under the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures, so will not start the investigation and adjudication process.  Complaints must be filed with the College’s Complaint Process Coordinator.  See the Student Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures for additional detail.

Non-identifying information on Community Concern forms will also be used for monitoring incidents of sexual misconduct in order to be in compliance with state and federal laws.

*Confidential support people do have a duty to report to someone when they have reasonable cause to believe that the person sharing information with them is dangerous to themselves or others. Student Health and Counseling counselors will review their confidentiality obligations with you when you meet with them.

"Required Reporting"

Faculty and Staff

When a student or another member of the College community discusses or reports possible sexual misconduct to any College employee, that employee is expected to complete a Community Concern form. The form can be completed with identifying information about the incident (contact information, nature of concern and description of incident, approximate date of incident, and location of incident). The form is not a Complaint and will not automatically initiate an Investigation, although the Dean of Students Office may decide it is necessary to follow up on the Community Concern, and may request more information including the names of the parties involved.

This required reporting also applies to staff members involved in the complaint process, including the Coordinator of the Complaint Process, SMS Advisors, and the Chair of the CBSM. These resources can provide valuable information and support; they will exercise discretion and will not share your information inappropriately with others.

Peer Leaders with advisory/mentoring  roles (RAs, SWAs, GSCAs, IPLs)

When a student or another member of the College community discusses or reports possible sexual misconduct to an RA, SWA, GSCA, or IPL, that peer leader is expected to:

  • complete a "Community Concern" form with non-identifying information about the incident (Contact information, Nature of Concern and Description of incident, approximate date of incident, and location of incident); and
  • inform their supervisor, in non-identifying terms, that they have knowledge of possible sexual misconduct. Their supervisors will then confer with a Confidential Support Person to ensure that the issue is being handled appropriately; and
  • contact a Confidential Support Person to discuss the incident and the individuals affected.

A Community Concern form is not a Complaint and will not automatically initiate an Investigation, although the Dean of Students Office may decide it is necessary to follow up on the Community Concern, and may request more information.  Non-identifying information on Community Concern forms will also be used for monitoring incidents of sexual misconduct in order to be in compliance with state and federal laws.

Why are faculty, staff, and peer leaders with advisory/mentoring roles required to report?

Faculty, staff, and peer leaders are required to report incidents of possible sexual misconduct because Carleton College desires to maintain a community free of sexual misconduct. Safety is a main consideration, and in order for the Dean of Students office to assess and address potentially harmful acts, they need to have information about these incidents and behaviors. The College has both an ethical and legal duty to respond promptly and appropriately to any behavior which may threaten the community or violate Carleton’s Policies Against Sexual Misconduct.

Also, under Title IX, a federal law, the College is required to take action when they learn of possible sexual misconduct.  Faculty, staff and peer leaders are obligated to report under that law.

What about other students on campus that aren’t Peer Leaders with advisory/mentoring roles?

Students/peers, including volunteer CAASHA peer advocates, are not obligated to report discussions or reports of possible violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy to anyone, but are encouraged to complete Community Concern forms to inform the Dean of Students office of troubling behavior.