Creating and sustaining a safe, inclusive environment requires everyone’s help and commitment. While employees are required to report according to college policy, the more significant impact of reporting is that individuals are offered other support measures that are often critical to their ability to be successful on campus.
All Bellevue College employees have reporting obligations based on federal law, state law, and/or college policy. Employees are obligated to report all forms of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Submitting a report does not automatically initiate an investigation. It does provide an opportunity for the parties involved to access supportive measures and learn about their options for resolution processes.
Recognizing a Disclosure
The syllabus template includes language regarding reporting obligations. It should be included in the course syllabus, and staff can also use this language when speaking with students. However, that only provides the most basic notification. Often, faculty and staff are made aware of student situations because they have disclosed it during a conversation while explaining an absence or overdue assignment, or as they attempt to access resources or navigate a college process.
If an employee immediately recognizes the disclosure as a potential Title IX concern, it is important to validate their experience, thank them for feeling safe enough to share it with you, and tell them that the college has an office that specializes in these situations. Let the person know you are required to notify the Title IX office and that you will give them contact information for the office.
If the employee does not immediately recognize the disclosure, the Title IX staff will draft an email for the employee to send to the individual directly. When an employee expresses concern about how a student might react to their report, Title IX will coordinate with the reporting faculty/staff regarding initial contact to mitigate concerns. In the report, simply note that you would like to be contacted prior to any student outreach.
- Report the incident
- Be nonjudgmental
- Be kind
- Be informed
- Support & modifications
- Thank you for sharing your experience.
- It’s not your fault.
- I’m sorry that happened to you.
- We have an office that can help.
- Don’t interrogate or ask for specific details.
- Don’t ask “why” questions such as “why did you go there?” or “why didn’t you scream?”
- Don’t state what you would have done or what they should have done.
- Don’t tell the person how they should feel or react.
Where to Report Concerns
Bellevue College has a Report Concerns website, with full information on where to report different types of concerns.
Anyone who has experienced or witnessed possible relationship violence, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual assault, or stalking, can report using this Online Referral Form. A report does not automatically initiate an investigation.
*Employees are obligated to report.*
Anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, or another crime has the right to report to the police. A report to the police goes to the law enforcement agency where the incident occurred. This is a criminal process and separate from the college’s process.
The college is committed to addressing complaints timely and effectively, in accordance with grievance procedures, polices, and law. However, you also have the right to file complaints external to Bellevue College if you believe that the college’s procedures have not adequately address your concerns. The agencies identified below may be able to assist you further:
Office for Civil Rights
Washington State Human Rights Commission
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Seattle Field Office
ASL Video Phone: 844-234-5122
Under state law (RCW 26.44.030, 28B.10) and BC policy 1470, all administrative, academic, and athletic department employees, including student employees, are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. All other higher education employees are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the vice president of human resources within 48 hours who will assist with external agency reporting.
What you can expect after reporting a concern
When you submit a concern via the Report Concerns form, you have the choice to request a copy of the report to be sent to you. If you ask for a copy, the first thing that will happen is you will receive a copy of what you’ve submitted. If you do not ask for a copy, you will receive an automated reply saying that your report has been received. After that, several different things can happen depending on your role.
If you are reporting about someone other than yourself:
If no further information is needed from you, you may not hear anything at all about what happens after you submit a concern. Understandably, this can be frustrating at times. Please know that the CARE and Title IX teams respond to each report as determined appropriate by the team.
If you feel that you personally need consultation regarding the concern, please ask for that when you fill out the form, keeping in mind that team responses may be delayed due to triage and staffing limitations.
If you need help handling what’s happened personally, you can also contact HR to receive information about the Employee Assistance Program and other resources as applicable.
If the team needs more information or if you have requested consultation, you will hear from them! This may take longer than you might expect. If additional incidents occur, please file additional reports.
Outcomes are usually covered under privacy laws, and it is unlikely that we will be able to share outcomes with you, unless you are directly affected by them, for example, in the case of a no-contact directive that involves you personally. We know this can be frustrating.
If you are reporting about your own experience, please see What to Expect from the Process.
Last Updated August 30, 2022