Guidance for Faculty and Staff

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As a faculty or staff member, you may learn from a student that he or she has been the victim of a sexual assault.  The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion can help to guide you in providing the right support and assistance. 

How to Respond to a Sexual Assault Disclosure

If a student discloses to you that he or she experienced a sexual assault, you can help in a number of ways:

  • Listen to the student.  Try not to ask questions about what happened, and allow the student tell you as much as he or she feels comfortable sharing.
  • Refer the student to available resources.  You could provide a link to the Sexual Violence Response Policy and encourage the student to contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for assistance.  You may offer to call EDI on speakerphone with the student in your office, to allow the conversation between the student and EDI to begin without identifying the student.
  • Offer academic accommodations.  Under Title IX, UB must provide academic accommodations to victims of sexual assault.  These may include excusing absences, allowing students to make up missed work or tests, or extending deadlines to submit material.  If you have any concerns about a request for academic accommodations, please contact EDI.
  • Contact EDI to report any situation involving the UB community.  Even if the reporting party does not want to proceed with an investigation, reporting to EDI is an important way to ensure that the University's response is appropriate.  EDI will respect a reporting party's request that no action be taken unless doing so poses a danger to the victim or others.  Your report also can help to identify trends or patterns and ensure that we are taking effective action to maintain a safe community. 
  • Keep the matter confidential.  It is important that you do not discuss the student's disclosure with colleagues.  You can and should share the disclosure with EDI, and complete a Sexual Assault Anonymous Report form

Reporting Sexual Assault

All UB Employees who do not have significant counseling responsibilities (licensed/certified counselors) are strongly encouraged to provide University Police with information when they are notified of a sexual assault.  The Sexual Assault Anonymous Report form allows you to report an assault while maintaining a victim’s confidentiality.  You can fill in as much information on the form as you know and/or as the student is willing to have you disclose.

All academic faculty members and professionals in academic advisement, career services, continuing education, financial aid, instructional support, athletics, residential life, or student activities/affairs who witness, or who receive a report from a student of, violence or harassment on the basis of sex or gender prohibited by Title IX are required to notify EDI.  Contact an EDI representative at (716) 645-2266 to make a report.   Please be assured that EDI will keep the information you provide private, and will only proceed with an investigation with the consent of the student, or if there is a risk to the health or safety to the reporting student or others if UB does not take action.   

Teaching Violent or Sensitive Content

UB's courses include a range of topics and materials, and instructors may assign readings or films in some courses that include graphic depictions of violence, rape, or other potentially loaded subject matter.  Academic freedom permits the use of these materials when they are course-related, and UB does not have a policy requiring content warnings.  At the same time, instructors should be aware that there are likely to be people in their classes who have experienced sexual violence and for whom these materials may be re-traumatizing, especially when they are unanticipated.  A simple descriptive acknowledgment prior to presenting sensitive material can enable students to prepare themselves in order to participate in the learning experience when they might otherwise not be able to do so successfully. It is good practice to advise the class ahead of time when assigning material that includes graphic depictions of rape or other forms of violence in order to allow students to take steps to ensure their own well-being.

If You Experience a Sexual Assault

You have a right to redress, support and assistance if you experience a sexual assault.  UB provides protections and resources for faculty and staff, as well as students.  The University Police Department, Employee Assistance Program and EDI can help.