Mandated Reporting and Confidentiality

Mandated Reporting

College faculty, staff, and student employees when working, are expected to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to appropriate officials immediately, though there are some limited exceptions. 

In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment. They may offer options and resources without any obligation to inform an outside agency or campus official unless a Complainant has requested the information be shared. 

If a Complainant expects formal action in response to their allegations, reporting to any Mandated Reporter can connect them with resources to report crimes and/or policy violations, and these employees will immediately pass reports to the Title IX Coordinator (and/or police, if desired by the Complainant), who will act when an incident is reported to them. 

The following sections describe the reporting options at College for a Complainant or third-party (including parents/guardians when appropriate):

If a Complainant would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the Complainant may speak with: 

Student Counseling Center

Rebecca Romberger, PsyD, Director
Haverhill A (next to Campus Safety Office)
562.907.4239
rromberger@whittier.edu
24-hour On-Call Counselor 562.907.4211 

Whittier College Student Health and Wellness Center

562.464.4548 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Please contact Human Resources to get information about the confidential Employee Assistance Program at 562.907.4208. 

Project Sister

Provides a 24-hour hotline, accompaniment program, information and referral services, professional counseling series, support groups, and a walk-in clinic. P.O. Box 1369 Pomona, CA 91769-1369 24 Hour Hotline: 909.626.4357  info@projectsister.org 

East Los Angeles Women’s Center

Provides free, confidential, bilingual (Spanish) crisis response and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking.  1255 South Atlantic Boulevard Los Angeles, CA  90022 800.585.6231 

Peace Over Violence

Provides comprehensive, free treatment for sexual assault survivors, including 24-hour emergency medical care and forensic services, counseling and psychotherapy, advocacy, and accompaniment services.

West San Gabriel Valley Center
892 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Suite D Pasadena, CA 91103-3046
310.392.8381
213.626.3393
626.793.3385

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

A confidential, anonymous national sexual assault hotline.

1.800.656.4673 

Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center

Provides comprehensive, free treatment for sexual assault victims, including 24-hour emergency medical care and forensic services, counseling, psychotherapy, advocacy, and accompaniment services. 

1250 16th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 310.319.4000, Ext. 3 

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Provides support and advocacy services for LGBT community members.

1625 N. Schrader Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323.993.7400 

All of the above-listed individuals will maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, except in extreme cases of

All employees of the College (including student employees), with the exception of those who are designated as Confidential Resources, are Mandated Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment.

Employees must also promptly share all details of behaviors under this policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not reported to them by a Complainant or third-party. 

Complainants may want to carefully consider whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential Mandated Reporters, as those details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. 

Generally, disclosures in climate surveys, classroom writing assignments or discussions, human subjects research, or at events such as “Take Back the Night” marches or speak-outs do not provide notice that must be reported to the Coordinator by employees, unless the Complainant clearly indicates that they desire a report to be made or a seek a specific response from the College.

Supportive measures may be offered as the result of such disclosures without formal College action.

Failure of a Mandated Reporter, as described above in this section, to report an incident of harassment or discrimination of which they become aware is a violation of College policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply. 

Though this may seem obvious, when a Mandated Reporter is engaged in harassment or other violations of this policy, they still have a duty to report their own misconduct, though the College is technically not on notice when a harasser is also a Mandated Reporter unless the harasser does in fact report themselves. 

Finally, it is important to clarify that a Mandated Reporter who is themselves a target of harassment or other misconduct under this policy is not required to report their own experience, though they are, of course, encouraged to do so. 

There may be circumstances where the College is obliged to report an incident of violent crime, hate crime, or sexual assault immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, to local law enforcement. The the College has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Whittier Police Department to enhance communication, coordination, collaboration.  

Requests for Confidentiality 

Complainants have the right to decide if they want to make a report to the police and/or speak with the police. The College will try to honor requests for confidentiality. Campus and local law enforcement agencies are prohibited from disclosing information about most sexual assaults if the Complainant requests anonymity. When information is shared with law enforcement, such reports will include (when the Complainant has consented to being identified): 

  • The name and characteristics of the alleged victim; 
  • The name and characteristics of the alleged perpetrator if known; 
  • Description of the incident, including location and date and time; and 
  • Any report number assigned to the police incident report documenting the investigation being conducted by the jurisdictional agency.

If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and to comply with state or federal law. 

The Title IX Coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether the College proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so, and the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a grievance process upon completion of an appropriate violence risk assessment. 

The Title IX Coordinator’s decision should be based on results of the violence risk assessment that show a compelling risk to health and/or safety that requires the College to pursue formal action to protect the community. 

A compelling risk to health and/or safety may result from evidence of patterns of misconduct, predatory conduct, threats, abuse of minors, use of weapons, and/or violence. Colleges may be compelled to act on alleged employee misconduct irrespective of a Complainant’s wishes.

The Title IX Coordinator must also consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and the College’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively. 

When the Title IX Coordinator executes the written complaint, they do not become the Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy. 

When the College proceeds, the Complainant (or their Advisor) may have as much or as little involvement in the process as they wish. The Complainant retains all rights of a Complainant under this Policy irrespective of their level of participation. Typically, when the Complainant chooses not to participate, the Advisor may be appointed as proxy for the Complainant throughout the process, acting to ensure and protect the rights of the Complainant, though this does not extend to the provision of evidence or testimony. 

Note that the College’s ability to remedy and respond to notice may be limited if the Complainant does not want the College to proceed with an investigation and/or grievance process. The goal is to provide the Complainant with as much control over the process as possible, while balancing the College’s obligation to protect its community.

In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow the College to honor that request, the College will offer informal resolution options, supportive measures, and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action. 

If the Complainant elects to take no action, they can change that decision if they decide to pursue a formal complaint at a later date. Upon making a formal complaint, a Complainant has the right, and can expect, to have allegations taken seriously by the College, and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures. Please consider that delays may cause limitations on access to evidence, or present issues with respect to the status of the parties.

Federal Timely Warning Obligations

Parties reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking should be aware that under the Clery Act, the College, must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. 

The College, will ensure that a Complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger. 

False Allegations and Evidence

Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination.

Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence, or deliberately misleading an official investigating can be subject to discipline under College policy. 

Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses

The College community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to College officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.

It is in the best interests of the College community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to College officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process. 

To encourage reporting and participation in the process, College maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from some policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to the incident. 

Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to a Respondent  the same way it is to a Complainant.

Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations

Certain campus officials – those deemed Campus Security Authorities – have a duty to report the following for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act):

  • All “primary crimes,” which include homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson;
  •  Hate crimes, which include any bias-motivated primary crime as well as any bias motivated larceny or theft, simple assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property;
  • VAWA-based crimes, which include sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; and
  • Arrests and referrals for disciplinary action for weapons-related law violations, liquor-related law violations, and drug abuse-related law violations.

All personally identifiable information is kept private (except as noted in the section on reporting to local law enforcement, above),, but statistical information must be shared with [campus law enforcement] regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus or in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the Annual Security Report and daily campus crime log. 

Preservation of Evidence

The preservation of evidence in incidents of sexual assault is critical to potential criminal prosecution and to obtaining restraining orders, and particularly time-sensitive. The College will inform the Complainant in writing of the importance of preserving evidence by taking the following actions:

  1. Seek forensic medical assistance at the hospital, ideally within 120 hours or sooner of the incident 
  2. Avoid showering, bathing, washing hands or face, or douching, if possible, but evidence may still be collected even if you do. Try not to urinate.
  3. If oral sexual contact took place, refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, or brushing teeth.
  4. If clothes are changed, place soiled clothes in a paper bag  
  5. Seeking medical treatment can be essential even if it is not for the purposes of collecting forensic evidence. 

During the initial meeting between the Complainant and the Title IX Coordinator, the importance of taking these actions will be reiterated, if timely.

 

This policy was updated on November 12, 2020