All GC employees are mandatory reporters under Title IX; however, some student employees are unsure how far these requirements extend into their lives.
Maegan Stephens, a Spanish and liberal studies double major, is a student employee who works as a student assistant in the honors office, a supplemental instruction leader at the Learning Center and a student ambassador.
She says being a mandatory reporter and a student employee comes with a grey area. Stephens is required to report sexual assaults when she’s working, but what about when she is not working?
“If I had a friend come to me with information regarding [sexual assault], and I’m not in the office or on the clock, am I required to report it because I’m hired by the university both on and off the job?” Stephens said. “It’s kind of a grey area, and I’m not exactly sure where I fall.”
Cyndi Johnson, the equity compliance investigator at the GC office of legal affairs, says the USG has outlined requirements in their sexual misconduct policy that advise all employees of GC to report any sexual assaults they hear about.
“In accordance to the USG 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy ‘When sexual misconduct does occur, all members of the USG community are strongly encouraged to report it promptly through the procedures outlined in this Policy,’” Johnson said. “The purpose of this Policy is to ensure uniformity throughout the USG in reporting and addressing sexual misconduct.”
When students are hired as employees of the university, they must complete a training session that covers FERPA and Title IX policy.
GC Human Resources requires that all student employees must complete this training to know what to do in case a student is sexually assaulted.
If a student employee is alerted while they are on duty to a sexual assault that happened to a student, the student employee is required to report it to the immediate supervisor, and the information goes to the Title IX office.
Unlike community advisers who are mandatory reporters whether they are on or off duty, student employees have designated hours where they are employed by the campus, with the rest of their time being regular students.
Rachel Miller, a nursing major, works as a student assistant at the payroll office. She said she does not remember being given clarification about being a mandatory reporter during her orientation.
“Nobody has clarified if I am or I am not a mandatory reporter even when I am not working,” Miller said.
Professors here at GC are also mandatory reporters, regardless of whether they are in or out of the classroom.
Alesa Liles, an assistant professor of criminal justice, said she thinks the rules for being a mandatory reporter can be harmful to the students in an emotional way.
“It’s a difficult balance because we know that most survivors of sexual assault will immediately tell at least one person,” Liles said. “If you’re a student employee and someone discloses [a sexual assault] to you because they feel comfortable with you, it can feel like a betrayal of their trust because you’re mandated to tell, but at the same time, is that person comfortable enough to end up talking to someone else?”