(A) Privacy and Confidentiality: Treatment of Reported Information
1. Requests for Confidentiality or No Investigation. The College will act with discretion with regard to the privacy of individuals and the sensitivity of the situation when it receives a report of conduct that could trigger the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Absent special circumstances, Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators will share information with College personnel who assist in implementing the College’s policies and procedures.
There are certain instances in which the College has a broader obligation to the College community and may need to override an individual’s request for privacy or a request that the College not investigate a matter or a request not continue with an investigation where a Complaining Party is unwilling to participate in further investigation. Because such requests could impact the College’s ability to appropriately address and resolve the behavior in question, the College will weigh these requests very carefully.
In the case of sexual misconduct allegations, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the request for confidentiality or that an investigation/discipline not occur by considering a range of factors including, but not limited to, whether:
- There have been similar complaints about the same individual
- There appears to be a pattern of perpetration
- The alleged responding party has a history of violence
- The alleged responding party threatened further or future violence
- The misconduct was alleged to have been committed by multiple perpetrators
- The alleged responding party holds a position of power over the alleged victim or others
- The alleged victim is a minor
- Whether the alleged behavior may constitute Quid Pro Quo Harassment or create an Inappropriate Environment Based on Sex
- The College possesses no other means to obtain relevant evidence
The presence of one or more of these factors may lead the College to commence an investigation independently or continue an investigation. If so, the College will inform the Complaining/Reporting Party prior to proceeding and will to the extent possible share information only with the individuals responsible for handling the College’s response and others involved in the investigation. In the event that a Complaining/Reporting Party requests that the College inform the Responding Party that the Complaining/Reporting Party asked the College not to investigate or seek discipline, the College will honor the request and inform the Responding Party that the College made the decision to proceed.
If the College does not proceed, the College will consider broader remedial action, such as increased or targeted education or prevention measures, increased monitoring, security or supervision, conducting surveys and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
2. Disclosure of Sexual Misconduct at Public Awareness Events. Public awareness events such as “Take Back the Night”, candlelight vigils, “survivor speak outs” and other public forms in which individuals disclose incidents of sexual violence, dating or domestic violence or stalking are not considered notice to the College to trigger an obligation to investigate. However, such events may inform the College’s prevention and education efforts.
(B) Duty to Report Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation
All members of the College community are encouraged to report incidents of unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, including, but not limited to, on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital or parental status, as well as sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking, and retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Each College trustee, administrator, faculty member, or employee, other than the confidential resources described above, are considered “responsible employees.” This means that when they learn of an allegation of unlawful sex discrimination or sexual harassment (including, but not limited to, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating and domestic violence, and stalking), or retaliation toward any member of the College community, they are required to notify the Title IX Coordinator promptly. In addition, College employees who are designated as campus security authorities (CSAs) for the purposes of the Clery Act must provide the Department of Public Safety with non-identifying statistical information regarding all reported incidents of Clery crimes (including, but not limited to, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and hate crimes). Any questions about the reporting or confidentiality status of an individual should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator.
College employees who serve in professional roles in which communications are provided confidential status under the law (e.g., licensed mental health care providers, licensed medical providers, pastoral counselors and clergy) are not obligated to report identifying information about behavior that may implicate the Sexual Misconduct Policy without the consent of the individual who supplied the information in question or otherwise in compliance with law. However, these confidential resources are instructed to inform individuals of their right to file a complaint under the Sexual Misconduct Policy and may assist in that process. Please note that such employees who receive reports when not functioning in their licensed or confidential capacity (e.g., when teaching a course) are not prohibited from making a report. Finally, confidential resources may, consistent with their legal obligations and ethical requirements, provide limited statistical information about incidents without revealing personally identifiable information regarding the identities of the individuals involved to the Title IX Coordinator/Clery Act Compliance Coordinator.
Any questions as to the reporting or confidentiality status of an individual should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator.
For requirements regarding mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect, please see the Policy on Protection of Children at https://www.holycross.edu/compliance-and-risk-management/policy-protection-children.
(C) Crime Log, Statistical Reporting, Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings
The Clery Act requires the College to maintain a daily log of certain reported crimes that occurred on campus, College-controlled property, and public property immediately adjacent to campus, to publish an Annual Campus Crime Report concerning those reported crimes, and to issue emergency notifications and/or timely warnings. The current Annual Campus Crime Report can be found on the webpage of the Department of Public Safety. In connection with such reports involving sexual assault, dating or domestic violence or stalking, Public Safety will include the reported crime in its crime log and annual campus crime report statistics without identifying the alleged victim-survivor or other information prohibited by law. Public Safety will also issue emergency notifications and/or timely warnings, as appropriate, without the name or other personally identifying information about the alleged victim-survivor.
(D) Consensual Sexual Relationships Involving Employees
- Employee Relationships with Students. The personal relationships that a student develops with employees may play a fundamental role in that student’s education at the College. Given the inherent authority that employees may have over students, a sexual, dating or romantic relationship between a student and an employee can easily raise concerns about sexual harassment. In light of these considerations and the fact that an employee might be called upon to teach, advise, evaluate or supervise any student, Holy Cross administrators, faculty, and staff should be aware that the College prohibits employees (excluding student employees) from engaging in sexual, dating, or romantic relations, even if consensual, with any College student. Any employee engaging in sexual, dating, or romantic relations with a student, even if consensual, may be found in violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. The College may make exceptions to this prohibition on a case-by-case basis and only in coordination with the Director of Human Resources and the Title IX Coordinator.
- Relationships between Supervisory Employees and Others. Amorous relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between supervisors and individuals whom they supervise. Such relationships are fundamentally asymmetric and unprofessional, and they raise serious concerns about validity of consent, conflict of interest and fair treatment. In addition, such relationships are to be avoided because they may create an impression on the part of colleagues of inappropriate or inequitable professional advantage or favoritism that is destructive of the working or learning environment and may raise doubts about the integrity of work performed. In addition to the prohibition of employee/student relationships described above, Holy Cross administrators, faculty, and staff should be aware that any sexual, dating or romantic involvement with any individual, including faculty, staff, or person engaged as volunteer, intern, or independent contractor, over whom they have direct supervisory responsibility, even if consensual, is prohibited by this policy. Even when both parties have initially consented to such a relationship, it is the administrator, faculty member, or staff member who, by virtue of his/her special supervisory responsibility, will be held accountable for the unprofessional relationship or abuse of authority. The Title IX Coordinator, together with either the Provost/Dean of the College with respect to faculty members, or the Director of Human Resources with respect to other employees will make exceptions to this prohibition in appropriate circumstances (e.g., a dual career couple recruited to work in the same scholarly area), with implementation of any necessary measures to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest.
Confidential resources will generally not share identifiable information without the reporting individual’s permission, unless:
- Sharing is required to address an imminent risk of harm to the safety of the community at large, the individual sharing the information, or another member of the community; or
- The individual alleged to have been harmed is a minor (under 18), in which case the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families must be notified.
- Elder or disabled individual abuse has been alleged.
Please note that such employees who receive reports when not functioning in their licensed or confidential capacity (e.g., when acting as an administrator or teaching a course) are not prohibited from making a report.