The UConn Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to approve a new Sexual Assault Response Policy that requires virtually all university employees, except those who hold a statutory privilege, to report to one of three designated offices on campus any sexual assault observed by or reported to them. The three offices are the Office of Diversity and Equity, the Office of Community Standards, and the University’s Title IX Coordinator. This reporting obligation includes instances of observed or reported sexual assaults of minors.
Employees in several departments are still required to inform the police of a reported sexual assault, including certain employees within Public Safety, Residential Life, Student Activities, Greek Life, Athletics, Student Services, and the Student Union, among others.
The Board also approved the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Policy, which clarifies the obligations of University employees who are “mandated reporters” under the law, and explains reporting obligations to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and includes the definitions of child abuse or neglect under the law. In addition, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Policy encourages employees who are not mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse to DCF’s 24-hour hotline, and reminds all employees that they are entitled to protection under the law for all such reports made in good faith, even if that report is later found unsubstantiated.
Training related to these new policies through UConn’s Office of Audit, Compliance, and Ethics will supplement the mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training that the University has required of employees for the past several years.