Reporting and Resolution Options
Reporting concerns of discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct will allow you to connect to resources and support, and if you choose, to explore your options for possible resolution.
If the reporting party requests that the report remain confidential, the university will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request consistent with and subject to the university’s obligation to respond to reports of this nature.
Report and informally resolve incidents of alleged bias
What Happens After a Report is Made
Not all reports have to become or will become formal complaints. When a report is made to the Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX, someone from the Institutional Equity and Title IX Office will reach out to the impacted party and provide them with information about the supportive measures available, as well as options for resolution and next steps.
You choose what happens next. Sometimes, people may just want to register their concerns with us. Often, people want to seek out support but do not want the university to take any further action. Other times, people may want to pursue some sort of resolution through the university, the courts, or both. We will make sure that you understand your options, and what happens next is up to you.
In very limited circumstances, the university may be required to take additional steps to protect the campus community. For example, the university may need to investigate if there are multiple reports of similar conduct against one individual. Additionally, if there is a crime reported to have occurred on or near campus that represents a possible threat to the community, the University Police Chief may send a timely warning to the community; the warning will not include identifying information about the impacted party.
Additional Reporting Options
You may also make a report by contacting any of the individuals or organizations listed below. All reports made to the individuals/organizations listed below will be shared with the Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX.
- Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, 412-268-2075, Warner Hall 301
- Office of Community Standards & Integrity, 412-268-2142, Morewood Gardens, Student Life Suite
- Your Housefellow, Community Advisor or Resident Assistant
- University Police Department, 412-268-2323, 300 South Craig Street - Filmore Street Entrance
Any member of the campus community may also make reports pertaining to Title IX, and other types of concerns, through the Ethics Reporting Hotline. Students, faculty and staff can anonymously file a report by calling 844-587-0793 or visiting cmu.ethicspoint.com. All submissions will be shared with appropriate university personnel. The hotline is NOT an emergency service. On-campus emergencies should be reported directly to University Police at 412-268-2323 and off-campus emergencies should be reported directly to 911.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct and Sex Discrimination
Sex-based discrimination means being treated worse in your education or employment on the basis of:
- biological sex;
- gender identity or expression; and/or
- sexual orientation.
Sexual misconduct is an extreme form of sex-based discrimination, which includes:
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Sexual Harassment
- Dating and Domestic Violence
What concerns should I report to The Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX?
You should make a report to the Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX if you believe that you or someone you know has been
(or is being):
- discriminated against on the basis of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation;
- harassed on the basis of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation; and/or
- impacted by sexual misconduct, which includes:
- sexual harassment,
- sexual assault,
- dating or domestic violence,
- stalking, and/or
- sexual exploitation.
What happens when I file a report about something that impacted another person?
We will respond to you to acknowledge the report and provide information about support and next steps. Our preference is to contact the impacted person directly, so we can talk through the options and resources above. However, if need be, we can work with you to provide you with the information to pass along. Our most important goal is to make sure that the impacted person knows about the resources and supportive measures available, as well as their options. If you do not have mandatory reporting expectations, you can consult with us without disclosing the name of the person or persons who have been impacted.
What happens when I file a report about something that impacted me?
What happens if a report is filed about me?
We know that it can be scary to be accused of harming another person. As a member of our community, we will provide you with the same support and resources we offer to a complainant. It is crucial for you to be able to meaningfully participate in the process.
The Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX records information provided by the complainant or a third party. Based upon our experiences, often complainants are seeking supportive measures only, in which case you would not be notified that a report has been made. Our records are private, and we do not disclose or confirm the existence of a report to community members or third parties (student organizations, other educational institutions or employers) except as required by law, subpoena, search warrant or court order. In very limited circumstances, when necessary to safeguard the community, such reports may be shared with Senior Leadership at the University who need to know including, University Police and/or the Dean of Student Affairs.
If a complainant does choose to pursue investigation and/or resolution (or if there are multiple reports of a similar nature that suggest a possible threat to the community), someone in the Office for Institutional Equity and Title IX will reach out and ask to meet (whether in person, by Zoom or by phone). It is important that you respond to any such outreach. During the meeting, we will talk with you about the nature of the concerns, the complainant’s wishes, and the next steps. We will also give you a chance to respond to the concerns. You are presumed not to be responsible for policy violation(s) unless and until either (1) you voluntarily accept responsibility or (2) you are found responsible after a fair and impartial investigation and determination of facts.
Punitive actions cannot and will not be taken against you unless you’ve either voluntarily accepted responsibility or you’ve been found responsible for a policy violation. In very rare circumstances, the University may take action to protect the safety of the community, which may negatively impact you (such as an interim removal from campus or interim restrictions on your ability to access campus property and/or University events). In such instances, you will be provided with notice and the opportunity to appeal as set forth in the university’s Safety Intervention Protocol.
What are my options for resolution?
- No Resolution: You can simply share a concern and access support and resources. The University will not take any further action.
- Formal Resolution at the University: If you choose, you may file a Formal Complaint to initiate an investigation of the concerns and there will be a formal process to determine whether any University policies have been violated, and if so, what the appropriate outcomes would be. This is the only way that punitive or disciplinary outcomes can be imposed against a University community member.
- Informal/Alternative Resolution at the University: This can be a resolution that is agreed upon by the parties and does not include the formal resolution process. Examples may include: providing an educational intervention or experience for the responding party; implementing a No Contact Agreement and agreeing upon measures to reduce possible interactions; and/or programming or training for a group (department, student organization, residence hall, et cetera).
- External Options: In addition to (or instead of) University resolution, individuals may also seek resolution in the world outside of Carnegie Mellon. Examples include:
- Criminal Justice System: Some conduct that violates University policy may also violate the criminal law. You may file a police report and go through the criminal justice process.
- Civil Courts: You may always seek relief by filing a complaint in a civil court. In some circumstances, you may be able to seek a Protection from Abuse or Restraining Order.
- National Science Foundation's Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI): The office is charged with enforcing Title IX among NSF grantees. To file a complaint, or for more information on Title IX, contact (703) 292-8020, e-mail email@example.com or complete and submit this form
- Office for Civil Rights at U.S. Department of Education (“OCR”): If you believe that the school has violated your Title IX rights, you may file a complaint with the OCR.
- Other University’s Title IX Processes: if the responding party is a student or employee at another school, we can work with you to report your concerns to the Title IX Coordinator at another school.