Mandatory Reporting


Each of us ~ whether faculty, administrator, or staff ~ is obligated to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct of which we become aware.  This obligation extends to all of us (except the Health Center, Counseling Center, priests serving as sacramental confessor and ordained ministers in the sacred confidence capacity; these entities are considered confidential reporting sources) because of the University’s responsibility Under Title IX to:

  • Stop the conduct
  • Prevent its re-occurrence
  • Remedy its effects
  • Provide care and support for the reporting person
  • Take steps to insure the safety and security of our community

The University has adopted the term “mandatory reporter” to describe this obligation that extends to all individuals “who a student could reasonably believe has the authority or responsibility” to address these incidents. (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights: REVISED SEXUAL HARASSMENT GUIDANCE: HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS BY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES, OTHER STUDENTS OR THIRD PARTIES). By reporting what you know to the appropriate University officials especially trained to respond, you support students and others who have experienced this conduct.  You also protect yourself from potential liability because when you know, the University is also considered to know.  The University’s obligation to respond begins the moment the University is on notice that a member of our community has experienced sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual assault.     

How to Work with a Student or Other Reporting Person Who Requests Confidentiality: As mandatory reporters, we can no longer have confidential conversations with students or other reporting persons about their experiences with sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or sexual assault.  The University recognizes the significant trust relationship with students and the difficult situation you are placed in when a student requests that you keep the disclosure confidential.  To help mitigate this challenge, students have been informed that all faculty, staff, and administrators must share their information with the University, and that they can report confidentially to designated offices and individuals if they do not want their information to be shared. These confidential reporting sources are listed below.

If you believe a student or other reporting person is about to disclose to you his/her experience of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault, you can explain to that person, before she/he makes the disclosure, that you must share the information with the University so that she/he can receive care, support and resources and learn about the options for having the situation addressed and resolved within the University.  You can explain that even though you are obligated to share the information with University officials especially trained to respond, her/his privacy will be respected; identities and details will be shared only with those who need to know to support the reporting person and to address the situation through the University’s processes.  You can tell the person that someone will explain these processes in detail and that she/he will be involved in decisions about what happens as a result of the disclosure.  If the reporting person does not wish to disclose to you as mandatory reporter, you can refer the person, or offer to accompany the person to  a confidential reporting source – the Health Center, Counseling Center, a priest in the confessional or an ordained minister in the sacred confidence role.  You can also report on-line or assist the person to report, either anonymously or non-anonymously, via the on-line form. 

Whether or not the student or reporting person decides to disclose to you or to a confidential source, please assure the person that she/he will receive care and support as requested, both within the University and in the Spokane community.

To Whom to Report, What, How and When to Report:  As mandatory reporters, at the earliest possible time after you receive information that someone has experienced this conduct you must either submit an online report form or  forward the information to a Title IX Professional.

What Happens After You Report

For student-student incidents, a Student Development professional will contact the reporting person to offer immediate care and concern, support and resources and discuss the University’s process for gathering facts about and responding to the incident.  For all other incidents (student-faculty, student-staff, faculty-faculty, staff-staff, etc.), the Equal Opportunity Officer will contact the reporting person.

At all times, the privacy of the parties will be respected and safeguarded. Information will be shared only with those University officials who need to know to assist in gathering fact about and resolving the complaint. 

After a report is received by one of the offices specially trained to respond, the reporting person will be contacted to discuss the process and options for having the report investigated and resolved within the University.  Sometimes the reporting person requests that his/her identity or the identity of the accused remain confidential or that the University not pursue an inquiry.  This request must always be balanced with the University’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for the reporting person and the  community.  The University will take reasonable steps to conduct an inquiry and respond to the complaint consistent with the person’s request for confidentiality.  However, under compelling  circumstances ~  including evidence of a pattern of repetitive behavior, the use of or threat of force, or the use of a weapon by the accused ~ the University may conduct further inquiry or take other appropriate measures without the reporting person’s consent.  The reporting person will always be informed whenever possible of any action the University takes to resolve the complaint, including further inquiry and corrective action or sanctions.

Confidential Reporting Sources

If a student or other reporting person requests that you keep the disclosure confidential, before the disclosure is made to you, please refer – or assist the person to contact – one of these resources:

Gonzaga Health Center 509-313-4028
Gonzaga Counseling Center 509-313-4054
SAFeT- Spokane Sexual Assault & Trauma Center 509-747-8224
Any priest serving as sacramental confessor or any ordained religious serving in the sacred confidence capacity.
An online report to the University can be made anonymously at