FAQ FOR MANDATORY REPORTERS AT MUHLENBERG COLLEGE
Who is a Mandatory Reporter at Muhlenberg College?
All College employees (faculty, staff, and student employees) are mandatory reporters of identity- based discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, retaliatory harassment, and criminal behavior that they become aware of occurring on College property, at a College event, or allegedly involving a member of the College community (faculty, staff, or student).
Why are we Mandatory Reporters of these incidents?
The College has legal obligations under certain federal civil rights laws such as Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, the Clery Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Age Discrimination Act, among other applicable laws, to promptly address any incident of certain discrimination or criminal behavior prohibited by these laws and put in place measures to prevent recurrence. The College has determined that given the small and close-knit nature of Muhlenberg’s campus and the resulting close relationships that faculty, staff, and students can develop with each other, all employees are designated as mandatory reporters of all incidents described above.
Is there anyone who is not a Mandatory Reporter?
Yes. Employees who are specifically trained and licensed to be confidential are not mandatory reporters when they are acting in a confidential capacity. The following are confidential employees:
- Health providers
I am a Mandatory Reporter – where do I report?
- Report identity-based discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, and retaliatory harassment to the Office of Equity & Title IX.
- Report criminal conduct, including sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, and retaliatory harassment to Campus Safety.
- Filing an online incident report for non-emergencies will satisfy your mandatory reporting obligation to the Office of Equity & Title IX and Campus Safety: www.muhlenberg.edu/report
What information do I include in a report?
Include in your report as much information as you have. Mandatory reporters should not conduct their own investigation, however, if you learn of the following information, please include in your report:
- names of all involved parties including the complainant, accused, and witnesses
- date, time, and location of alleged incident
- any details of the incident shared by the complainant
- whether the complainant requested confidentiality
- whether the complainant requested no action be taken
- any other relevant facts
If someone is talking to me and I start to realize it’s going to be a mandatory report, should I say anything?
You are not required to disclose you are a mandatory report to someone who is giving you information. Usually, it is helpful in maintaining a trusting and reliable relationship to disclose that you are a mandatory reporter. Here are some suggestions as to what you can say:
“I am sorry this happened to you. It sounds like a stressful situation. As you may know, I am a mandatory reporter for any incident I learn of that is [insert issue], and I want to make sure you are connected with the appropriate resources on campus. I have to report this to the Office of Equity & Title IX [and Campus Safety] but they will reach out to you first before anything else happens (unless there is clear threat or evidence of present harm to self, others, or community, in which case you would immediately call Campus Safety). If you want to keep it confidential, please let them know. We also have confidential resources on campus at the Counseling Center, Health Center, or our College or Jewish Chaplain if you would like confidential support.”
Are there any times where I am not a Mandatory Reporter?
You are a mandatory reporter when you are acting in your capacity as an employee, or perceived to be acting in your capacity as an employee. Additionally, disclosures made at community-wide awareness events such as candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak outs,” or other community-wide events or forums in which students may disclose an incident does not trigger a mandatory reporter’s reporting obligation. The Director of Equity and Title IX and Campus Safety should be made aware of such events so that the respective offices can provide resource information to students at these events.
I have developed trusting relationships with students and I am worried that students will not trust me if I am required to report what they are telling me. Can I withhold reporting if someone asks me not to report it?
No. You are still required to report information you become aware of. However, you may provide support to the student who has disclosed an incident by letting them know about confidential resources - who are not mandatory reporters - on campus:
- Counselors at the Counseling Center
Health providers at the Student Health Center
- College Chaplain or Jewish Chaplain
You can also let the student know that information in the report is only disclosed to the Office of Equity & Title IX and Campus Safety whose offices treat the information as privately as possible. The Office of Equity & Title IX and Campus Safety may also be able to provide interim accommodations that can help the student. Finally, the student who disclosed (absent evidence of harm or threat to self, others, or community, pattern, predation, violence, or use of weapon) has the power to decide if they want the College to do nothing or if they want the College to move forward with further action. You may accompany the student as an advisor/support person if they would like you to act in that capacity.
I became aware of an incident but I am not sure if it is identity-based discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, retaliatory harassment, or criminal behavior that triggers my mandatory reporting obligation. Who should I talk to?
- Interim Director of Equity and Title IX – Christine Wechsler at ChristineWechsler@muhlenberg.edu
or 484- 664-3562
- Director of Campus Safety – Brian Fidati at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-664-3112
- Vice President of Human Resources – Jill Walsh at email@example.com or 484- 664-3165
- Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students – Allison Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-664-3182
- Provost – Laura Furge at email@example.com or 484-664-3134