File a Report: Student Procedures
If you make a report of prohibited conduct to the university, the university’s Office of Title IX will work with you to evaluate your care and support needs and discuss your options under university policy. Reporting prohibited conduct to the university empowers you to obtain the care and support you need and enables the university to respond appropriately, including conducting a prompt, thorough, and equitable investigation and, if warranted, taking disciplinary action against a respondent.
The university recognizes that your decision on how to proceed after reporting an incident is a process that may unfold over time; thus, at the time a report is made to the university, you do not have to decide whether to request or choose any particular course of action. Regardless of which course of action you choose, the university will provide you with care and support even if the university ability to investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary or other remedial action is limited.
Title IX Process
University Support and Interim Measures
After you report the incident to the university, the university can support you in a variety of ways:
- Informing you of your rights under the university’s Title IX grievance procedures
- Issuing a no-contact directive to the respondent, which prohibits the respondent from having verbal, physical, or written contact with you for a definite or indefinite period of time
- Providing medical and counseling services
- Assisting you in reporting an incident to law enforcement, if you want to report the incident
- Exploring changes in living and working arrangements
- Arranging appointments with follow-up services on or off campus.
- Exploring changes in class schedules, including adjustments so that you and the respondent do not share the same classes
- Assisting you in communicating with faculty
- Providing academic support, including tutoring
- Exploring the options of retaking a course, dropping a course, or withdrawing for a semester without penalty
These support services are available to you even if you do not want to report the incident to the Police Department.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Confidentiality and privacy are uniquely different. Confidentiality is limited to someone who, by law, can keep information confidential. Information communicated to Title IX or other mandatory reporters will be kept private and shared only with university employees who need to be involved in responding to or addressing a report. For more detailed information, call the Office of Title IX.
Other university employees who are not confidential resources will protect the privacy of your report to the maximum extent possible under the circumstances and share the information you reported only within the limited circle of university employees who need to be involved in responding to the report.
If you report an incident of prohibited conduct to the university, you have the right to:
- Request that your name not be disclosed to the respondent
- Request that the university not investigate the incident further or pursue disciplinary action against the respondent
- Decline to participate in a university investigation or disciplinary proceeding
- Decline to disclose the identity of the respondent to the university
The university (typically the Title IX coordinator) will evaluate a request that your name not be disclosed to the respondent or a request that the university not investigate the incident further or pursue disciplinary action against the respondent. If the university honors such a request, then the university’s ability to respond fully to the incident (e.g., to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the respondent or take other remedial action) may be limited.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, personally identifiable information concerning a student report to a university official who is not a law enforcement officer (for example, to the Office of Title IX) will not be disclosed to third parties outside the university without the consent of the student except in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or as otherwise required or allowed by law.
If during a university investigation of misconduct a respondent makes a request to review documents concerning the investigation, FERPA requires that the university grant the student’s request to inspect and review records that relate specifically to him or her, but the university will redact the complainant’s name and any other identifying information to the maximum extent possible. In addition, after the university has formally charged a student or employee with violating university policy, the respondent will have a due process right to be informed of the nature of the allegations against him or her, including the identity of the person who accused him or her of misconduct.
In contrast to a report to a university administrative official, incident reports prepared by the safety, security, emergency management for law enforcement purposes are generally considered public records under the Tennessee Public Records Act and are not protected by FERPA, which means they will be made available to any Tennessee citizen upon request unless the report is part of an ongoing criminal investigation. In addition, the office of safety, security, emergency management is required by federal law to report the occurrence of certain crimes on campus, including sex offenses, in an annual report of crime statistics, but the report does not contain any personally identifiable information.
The University of Tennessee and Title IX prohibit retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct. The university will take reasonable steps to prevent retaliation and will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.
If you were using alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the incident, the university does not want that to keep you from reporting. The university will not pursue disciplinary charges against you for personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” —Title IX
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, UT policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity. Reports or complaints of sex discrimination or prohibited conduct, or questions about the university’s policies, procedures, resources, or programs concerning any of those issues, may be directed to the university’s Title IX coordinator or one of the university’s deputy Title IX coordinators.