Confidentiality and the Requirement to Report
Whittier College is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. The College will work to protect the identities and privacy of the students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct. However, federal laws places limits on the confidentiality of individuals whom students may contact for assistance. Different people, depending on their positions, have different obligations with regard to confidentiality.
Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:
- Psychological counselor (including counselors in Counseling Center)*
- Health care provider (including medical professionals at the Student Health Center)*
- Personal attorney*
- Religious/spiritual counselor*
*Exceptions to confidentiality exist when:
- The individual poses a danger to self or others or
- Is gravely disabled or
- Is made aware of elderly or child abuse or
- Presented with a court-issued subpoena for your records.
Whittier College is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. The college will safeguard the identities of the students who seek help or who wish to confidentially report sexual misconduct. While the aforementioned employees can guarantee confidentiality, all employees will seek to keep the information private. Information is disclosed only to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities. Of course, Whittier College must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well being of the community as a whole. As a result, depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.
Once made aware of an alleged sexual assault, all employees are required to ensure that incidents of sexual misconduct are reported, per federal law. Reports may be made, anonymously, to Campus Safety providing only broad/generic information (e.g. date, time, nature of the incident, general location) about the incident. This report is for statistical purposes, no names are involved, unless the victim chooses to make such a report.