Who are Mandatory Reporters?
A mandatory reporter is a WFU employee designated by the University who is required to report incidents of alleged discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender to the University. This includes, but is not limited to, alleged sexual assault. Mandatory Reporters must report this information to the University Title IX Office.
To see a list of Mandatory Reporters, please visit WFU’s Title IX policy (pp. 6–7).
A Note about Professors
Faculty members are not considered mandatory reporters unless they fall under one of the categories listed above. That said, all faculty members are strongly encouraged to report alleged crimes, harassment, and discrimination to the University and/or the police. Not being a Mandatory Reporter does not prevent faculty members from reporting unless they carry a confidentiality obligation (see below).
When and What to Report
Mandatory Reporters must report information to the Title IX Office as soon as they become aware of alleged discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. This includes, but is not limited to, alleged sexual assault.
As a Mandatory Reporter, if you are unsure if an incident is reportable or if you do not have all the information to make that decision, go ahead and submit the information you have to the Title IX Office.
Incidents may be disclosed to you in many different ways, including within a class assignment or shared during a discussion. Potential violations may also be observed or reported to you through another person.
Informing Others of Your Duty to Report
Mandatory reporters are encouraged to talk about their reporting requirement with others. Include information in course syllabi, orientations, and bring it up in group conversations with students and co-workers to make sure everyone is informed. For assistance in crafting language for other types of documents, please contact the Title IX Office.
If you anticipate that a conversation may lead to a disclosure, Mandatory Reporters should inform the person of your reporting duties so that they can decide if they would like to share more information with you. Do not try to force the person to share anything further. Provide confidential resources in case they are interested in talking with someone without the concern of reporting. Some sample language includes:
- “It sounds like you want to talk about a sensitive situation. Can we pause so I can share my role as a mandatory reporter with you?”
- “Before we go further, I want to let you know I’m a mandatory reporter, and this is what that means…”
Wake Forest has designated the following employees as confidential resources for students. These people do not have mandatory reporting obligations:
- Deacon Health Staff
- University Counseling Center Staff
- Chaplain’s Office Staff
- Safe Office Staff
- Sports Psychologist
- Medical providers employed by the University
Reporting to the Title IX Office
Mandatory reporters are required to report to the Title IX Office any relevant information that is shared. This includes the name of the individual making the complaint, all individual(s) involved in the complained conduct, and any incident details shared. There is no need to ask for more information than what someone is comfortable sharing. Mandatory Reporters are not investigating.
After a Report
It is likely that the University will not share any further information with Mandatory Reporters after they report information to the Title IX Office. This is to protect the privacy of the involved parties. If you believe someone needs additional support, provide a referral to Campus Resources (thrive.wfu.edu) or contact the Title IX Office.
Always remember that there are many ways that you can support others. Needs and coping after an incident is different for each person. Listen so you can provide the support that a student or co-worker asks for. Examples of ways to support others:
- Give an extension on assignments
- Excuse an absence
- Allow your student to come in early to class to choose a seat or leave early to avoid interacting with another person involved in the Title IX case
- Provide an alternate workspace for an exam
- Arrange remote participation for class
- Reschedule a meeting or presentation
- Assist with a project
- Provide an alternate workspace
- Accompany your co-worker to spaces where others involved in the Title IX case may be present
Example of Mandatory Reporter Reports:
The field hockey coach has been told by a student athlete that she has been in an abusive relationship with another WFU student. The coach should report this information to the Title IX Office by calling or emailing their office. The coach will report regardless of whether the student athlete chooses to file a report with law enforcement or the University Title IX Office.