Reporting of Offenses

Confidentiality and Privacy

College officials, depending on their roles at Whittier College, have varying reporting responsibilities and abilities to maintain confidentiality. In order to make informed choices, one should be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality, offering options and advice without any obligation to inform outside agency or individual unless you have requested that information be shared. Other resources exist for you to report crimes and Policy violations and these resources will take action when victimization is reported to them. 

Making a report means telling someone in authority what happened. At the time a report is made, the victim does not have to decide whether or not to pursue a particular course of action. Choosing to make a report and deciding how to proceed can be a process that unfolds over time. The College provides support that can assist each individual in making these important decisions and to the extent legally possible will respect the individual’s autonomy in deciding how to proceed. 

The following describes the three reporting options at Whittier College:

1.  Confidential Reporting

If a reporting party would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the reporting party may speak with on-campus counselors,, off-campus counselors including local rape crisis counselors, domestic violence resources, local or state assistance agencies, or clergy who will maintain confidentiality except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat of danger or abuse of a minor.  Campus counselors may be seen free of charge.  

2.  Private Reporting

Individuals in the following roles are identified as responsible employees under Title IX.  They include teachers, campus safety, administrators, health personnel, resident assistants, and peer mentors.  These individuals are required to report the who, what, when, where for sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking to the Title IX Coordinator/campus grievance officers.  If you are unsure of someone’s duty and ability to maintain privacy, ask them before talking to them. They will be able to explain and help a reporting party make decisions about who is in the best position to help. When personally identifiable information is shared, it will be shared with as few people as possible and all efforts will be made to protect privacy to the greatest extent possible.

3.  Anonymous Reports/Federal Timely Warning Obligations

Individuals may file an anonymous report regarding an act of sexual misconduct without disclosing one’s name, identifying the person who allegedly engaged in the misconduct, or requesting any action.  In this case, depending on the information provided, the College may have limited options in addressing the conduct.  Also, in such a situation,, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Director of Campus Safety, will determine appropriate steps, including notification and documentation under the Clery Act.

Victims and other third parties who report incidents under this Policy should be aware that the College must issue timely warning for incidents reported to them that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The College will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger.

External Formal Reporting Options

The College encourages all individuals to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement immediately after an incident of sexual assault to ensure preservation of evidence and a timely investigation and response.

The College also encourages all individuals to make a report to the College simultaneously with law enforcement or as soon as possible. Reporting options are not mutually exclusive. 

Victims are not required to report an incident to law enforcement authorities, but the College encourages them to report incidents of sexual assault or dating or domestic violence that may also be crimes under California law.  The College will assist a victim in making a criminal report and cooperate with law enforcement agencies if the person decides to pursue criminal action.  The College’s Policy, definitions and burden of proof may differ from California law.  A victim has a choice to seek recourse under this Policy and/or pursue criminal action.  Neither law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute an accused, respondent, nor the outcome of criminal prosecution, determine whether a violation of the Policy occurred.  Campus proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.

At the request of law enforcement, the College may agree to defer its investigation until after the initial stages of a criminal investigation.  The College will communicate with the Complainant and the Respondent regarding Title IX rights and the implementation of interim actions to ensure safety and well-being. 

The following is a list of some of the external reporting and emergency assistance options:

Whittier Police Department
13200 Penn St.
Whittier, CA  90602
Emergencies:  911

Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
Emergency Room
12401 Washington Blvd.
Whittier, CA
Has Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) available 

San Gabriel Valley Medical Center
435 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA  91776
Provides medical treatment and forensic exams
Has Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) available 

LA County/USC Medical Center
1200 N. State Street
Los Angeles, CA  90033
Provides medical treatment and forensic exams
Has Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) available

Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
310.319.4000, Ext. 3
Provides comprehensive, free treatment for sexual assault victims, including 24-hour emergency medical care and forensic services, counseling and psychotherapy, advocacy, and accompaniment services
Has Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) available 

Internal Formal Reporting Options

A student wishing to officially report an act of Sexual Misconduct under this Policy, either in addition to or instead of, local law enforcement, may do so by contacting Campus Safety and/or the designated College grievance officer.

Campus Safety is the first internal option to report an incident of sexual violence.  Campus Safety will provide transportation and will notify the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Student on-call, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

Victims are encouraged to speak with the designated College Grievance Officers identified below to make formal reports of incidents of Sexual Misconduct.  Complainants have the right, and can expect, to have complaints taken seriously by the College when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through the procedures set forth in this Policy. Formal reporting still affords privacy to the reporter, and only a small group of officials who need to know will be told. Information will, however, be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the Respondent.

Designated College Grievance Officers:

Title IX Coordinator and Complaints about Staff:
Cynthia Joseph
Director of Human Resources
Mendenhall, Lower Level

Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Complaints about students
Jeanne Ortiz, Ph.D.
Vice President and Dean of Students
Room 142, Campus Center

Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Complaints about faculty
Charlotte Borst, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty|
13406 E. Philadelphia Street

Complaints about Administration:
James Dunkelman
Vice President of Finance and Administration
13406 E. Philadelphia Street

Complaints about Admissions and Financial Aid:
Fred Pfursich
Vice President for Enrollment Management
119 Weingart Hall

Complaints involving Whittier Law School:
Nidhi Parikh
Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Relations
3333 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA  92626
714-444-4141, Ext. 122

Timeliness and Location of Incident Reporting Considerations

Incidents of sexual misconduct should be reported as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively.  The College does not limit the time frame for reporting but the longer one waits, the greater the possibility that a less effective or desired resolution may be recahed.  If the respondent is not a member of the Whittier College community, the College will seek to meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the misconduct, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its effects, although the ability to take disciplinary action against the respondent may be limited. 

The incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the College.  Off-campus conduct that is likely to have a substantial effect on the Complainant’s campus life, work, and activities or which poses a threat to other members of the community, may be addressed under this Policy.

Bystander Reports/Intervention

The welfare of all members in our community is of paramount importance.  At times, community members on and off-campus may need assistance.  The College encourages community members to offer help and assistance to others in need.  Sometimes, community members are hesitant to offer assistance to others, for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for example, an underage student who has been drinking  or a student using illegal drugs might hesitate to help take a sexual misconduct victim to Campus Safety).  The College pursues a Policy of full immunity for students who offer help to others in need.  (While Policy violations cannot be overlooked, the College will provide educational options rather than punishment to those who offer their assistance to others in need).

Reports Involving Minors or Suspected Child Abuse

Under California law, a person must make a mandatory report of suspected child abuse or neglect, including sexual assault,  when that individual, in a professional capacity, has knowledge or observes a minor under 18 whom the individual knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.

All College employees are required to immediately report any suspected child abuse o the Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Campus Safety.

The College will report all suspected child abuse and neglect, including sexual assault, to law enforcement and/or the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services.

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