Important message for all GTAs: Sexual Misconduct and Relationship


November 2016

To all of our Graduate Teaching Assistants, lecturers and instructors,

Graduate Teaching Assistants, lecturers and instructors are an integral part of the instructional program that we offer our students.  As such, the positions carry a number of responsibilities.  One of these important responsibilities is that you are in a roll of being a “Mandatory Reporter” for the students in your classes under our university’s policy prohibiting Sexual Misconduct and Relationship.  Requirements and guidelines for Mandatory Reporters can be found in the policy at page 47:  http://sexualassault.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2015/08/sexual_misconduct_policy.pdf.  Following is a brief review of your obligations in the event a student in your class notifies you of an incident that may involve sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, domestic and relationship violence and stalking:

  1. If it is an emergency situation, call 911.
  2. Keep in mind that we want to assist the student and provide the student with information about options.
  3. Make the student as comfortable as possible. Advise the student that you are a Mandatory Reporter under the university’s policy, and that you will need to notify appropriate administrators of the incident.  You may not keep the information “confidential.”
  4. Let the student know that if they do not wish to tell you more, there are employees and resources available who can promise them confidentiality (see page 24): http://sexualassault.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2015/08/sexual_misconduct_policy.pdf
  5. Encourage the student to report to law enforcement.
  6. If it is possible given the circumstances of the report, provide them with a copy of, or a link to, the following resource (You Are Not Alone): http://sexualassault.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2016/10/263908-YouAreNotAloneBklt_FINAL.pdf
  7. Report the incident to the University. Call 974-HELP (Center for Health Education and Wellness) or 974-2498 (Office of Equity and Diversity, Title IX Coordinator).
  8. Evaluate whether the report involves a child. Consult University Safety Policy 0575 to determine whether you have a further obligation to report.

This is not an easy situation for the student or for you.  We encourage you to contact the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) if you have questions about the best way to help a student.  You can reach us at 974-2498.  We appreciate your help with this very important effort.

Sincerely,

Jennifer L. Richter                                                                                     Erin Stoner

Associate Vice Chancellor                                                                      Sr. Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Title IX Coordinator                                                                                   estoner@utk.edu

jrichter@utk.edu

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