George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

What is Confidential?

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For any report under this Policy, every effort will be made to respect and safeguard the privacy interests of all individuals involved in a manner consistent with the need for a careful assessment of the allegation and any necessary steps to eliminate the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings under this Policy.

1.    Privacy

 Information related to a report under this Policy will only be shared with those University employees who need to know in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report. If the decision is made to pursue disciplinary action against a Respondent, information related to the report will be shared with the Respondent. Information regarding a report will not be shared with either the Complainant or Respondent’s parents or guardians unless: the party is a minor (and sharing is permissible under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)); the party has signed a waiver that is compliant with FERPA; or there is an articulable threat to the health or safety of the party or other individuals.

2.    Confidentiality

Information shared with Confidential Resources (specially designated campus or community professionals) will only be disclosed with the individual’s express written permission, unless there is a continuing threat of serious harm to the patient/client or to others or there is a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., where there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor).

3.    Records

The Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics office will maintain records of all reports under this Policy and their outcomes.

4.    Release of Information

If a report of Prohibited Conduct discloses a serious and immediate threat to the campus community, GMU Department of Police and Public Safety will issue a timely notification to protect the health or safety of the community as required by the Clery Act. The notification will not include identifying information about a Reporting Party.

Pursuant to the Clery Act and the 2013 Amendments to the Violence Against Women Act, anonymous statistical information regarding reported criminal incidents must be shared with GMU Department of Police and Public Safety for inclusion in the Daily Crime Log. This information will also be included in the University’s Annual Security Report (http://police.gmu.edu/annual-security-report/). The University may also share aggregate and not personally identifiable data about reports, outcomes, and sanctions.

No information, including the identity of the parties, will be released from such proceedings except as required or permitted by law or University policy.

 

Confidentiality and Reporting

Every employee is either a “confidential employee” or a “responsible employee.”

A confidential employee is (1) any employee who is a licensed medical, clinical or mental-health professional (e.g., physicians, nurses, physicians’ assistants, psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors and social workers, and those performing services under their supervision), when acting in that professional role in the provision of services to a patient who is a student (health care providers); and (2) any employee providing administrative, operational and/or related support for such health care providers in their performance of such services. A confidential employee will not disclose information about prohibited conduct to the university’s Title IX Coordinator without the student’s permission (subject to the exceptions set forth in the confidentiality section of this policy).

A “responsible employee” is any university employee who is not a confidential employee. A responsible employee is required to report to the university’s Title IX Coordinator all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about an incident of prohibited conduct that involves any student as a complainant, respondent, and/or witness, including dates, times, locations, and names of parties and witnesses. Responsible employees include faculty, staff, resident assistants, graduate teaching assistants, and all other student employees, when disclosures are made to them in their capacities as employees.

Responsible employees are not required to report information disclosed (1) at public awareness events (e.g., “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak-outs” or other public forums in which students may disclose incidents of prohibited conduct; collectively, “public awareness events”), or (2) during a student’s participation as a subject in an Institutional Review Board-approved human subjects research protocol (“IRB Research”). The university may provide information about students’ Title IX rights and about available university and community resources and support at public awareness events, however, and Institutional Review Boards may, in appropriate cases, require researchers to provide such information to all Student subjects of IRB Research.

Responsibility to report prohibited conduct in which either the complainant or the respondent Is an employee

Under this policy, supervisors, management and human resources professionals are required to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about an incident of Prohibited Conduct where either the Complainant or the Respondent is an Employee. Reporting is required when such supervisors, management and human resource professionals know (by reason of a direct or indirect disclosure) or should have known of such Prohibited Conduct. For academic faculty, supervisors include department chairs, deans, and other unit administrators.

Reporting of any prohibited conduct on certain university property

Consistent with the requirements of Va. Code § 23-9.2:15 (the “Virginia Reporting Statute”), responsible employees are also required to report to the Title IX Coordinator all information obtained, from any source, about alleged prohibited conduct that occurs anywhere on the university campus (including residence halls); on any contiguous (off-campus) property owned or controlled by the university; on any property controlled by a student organization (including fraternity houses) or frequently used by students, wherever located; and public property (including streets, sidewalks and parking facilities) that is within or immediately adjacent to, and accessible from, campus.

Reporting to law enforcement

Under the Virginia Reporting Statute, the university is required to report information about certain allegations of prohibited conduct to the law enforcement agencies and the prosecuting authorities who would be responsible, respectively, for investigating and prosecuting such allegations.

Clery Act reporting

Pursuant to the Clery Act, the university includes statistics about certain offenses in its annual security report and provides those statistics to the U.S. Department of Education in a manner that does not include any personally identifying information about individuals involved in an incident. The Clery Act also requires the university to issue timely warnings to the university community about certain crimes that have been reported and may continue to pose a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Consistent with the Clery Act, the university withholds the names and other personally identifying information of complainants when issuing timely warnings to the university community. Find more information about Clery Act Reporting.

Confidential Resources

Consistent with the definition of confidential employees and licensed community professionals, there are a number of resources off campus where students and employees can obtain confidential, trauma-informed counseling and support. These are limited to staff in Counseling and Psychological ServicesStudent Health Services, and Student Support and Advocacy Center.

Additional Resources and Information

Services