Faculty and Staff Resources

The following information and resources are available to faculty members to help provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment at Fordham.

Responsibility to Report Sexual Misconduct

ALL faculty and staff members MUST report the following incidents when a student is a victim / survivor and they observe, obtain knowledge, learn of, or reasonably suspect:

  • Any form of sexual harassment (verbal or physical)
  • Rape / sexual assault
  • Dating violence and domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Forcible touching
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Other sexual misconduct

ALL faculty and staff members MUST report the following incidents when a faculty or staff member is a victim / survivor of:

  • Any form of non-consensual physical sexual act including but not limited to rape, sexual assault or forcible touching 
  • Dating and Domestic Violence

ALL faculty and staff members shall report any non-violent sexual act, including but not limited to:

  • Verbal sexual harassment
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Sexual Exploitation

The only Fordham employees who are exceptions to the Mandatory Reporting requirements are:

  1. Clinical Counselors in Counseling and Psychological Services
  2. Pastoral Counselors in Campus Ministry
  3. Medical Service Providers in University Healthy Services

For more information on Mandatory Reporting Requirements, please review Section VII of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
 

Recent Victims of Sexual Assault

If you yourself have been a victim of sexual assault, please visit our page for more information on what to do and where to receive support.  You can  

Speaking to Students about Sexual Misconduct

It is important to remember that faculty and staff members do not have a special privilege or ability to maintain the confidentiality of reports shared with them and should not promise confidentiality.  However, you do have an opportunity to make a difference in the healing process during the initial conversation. 

If a someone tells you tells you that she/he is a victim/survivor of sexual misconduct, here are some positive ways in which to respond, as well as some others to avoid: 

Do Respond in these ways:

  • Be receptive & responsive to how the student  is behaving  and try to stay attuned to the student’s  emotions & feelings.
  • Let them know that that you do not intend to share his/her story with just anyone; but will need to share it with others (be honest) – as you are required to share the information and cannot keep it completely confidential to yourself.
  • Be a validating and active listener. Validate their courage and strength for sharing this information with you. Be open and “present.”
  • Acknowledge and affirm that it is a painful and difficult experience.
  • Try to use the words they use to describe their situation (they call it “date-rape” – you call it the same thing) in order to avoid exaggerating or minimizing it.
  • If the person tries to rationalize what happened, that is fine, but remind the person that what happened is not OK.
  • Discuss next steps & reporting it.
  • Express genuine concern, care and curiosity about the person’s well-being and safety. 

The Public Safety and Student Affairs Staff will ensure the victim/survivor is aware of information about on- and off-campus counseling services where they can receive additional support, including their options for reporting to the police and seeking medical attention.  

Avoid Responding in these ways:

  • Don’t question the validity of what the person is telling you (i.e. doubting what happened; being skeptical; questioning why the person is telling you now about this, etc.).
  • Don’t try to figure out all the details; rather, let the person share what they want to share.  Your role is not to investigate.  Do, however, listen closely as you will be asked by Public Safety what information you were told.
  • Don’t make excuses for the attacker or minimize what happened.
  • Don’t suggest having the victim & attacker meet; asking for an apology or to clear the air, etc.
  • Don’t assume you know how they feel or label what happened since every situation and person is different / unique – don’t assume, tell, or dictate to the student how she/he should be feeling.
  • Don’t compare your own experiences or feelings with the victim/survivor’s. This can be experienced as invalidating. 
  • Don’t guarantee complete confidentiality – let them know that that you do not intend to share his/her story with just anyone; but will need to share it with others (be honest).
  • Don’t share this information with others who are not the “need to know” people.
  • Don’t ask about a survivor or anyone’s sexual history.
  • Don’t make comments about the possible outcomes.

*If you do respond in any of the above ways, please inform the Administrator who is working with the victim/survivor – so he or she is aware and can assist in speaking further with him or her if needed.
 

Responding to Other Types Student Distress

View a list of helpful guides for faculty (and staff) on responding to different types of student distress, including:

  • Mental Health Emergencies
  • Threatening Behavior
  • Emotional Distress
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Employee Assistance Program

Learn more about free, confidential resources available to all faculty members, e.g unlimited telephonic clinical assessment and referral, available 24/7 365 days days-a-year.  

Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Students

Review the University's policy on helping those students who are pregnant or are parenting

Disability Services

Helpful information from the Office of Disability Services on assisting those students with special needs.

 

Suggested Syllabus Language

Please consider placing the following the statement on your course syllabi: 

"As a faculty member, I am a mandatory reporter and am required to contact and provide information to Public Safety, to the Dean of Students, and/or to the Title IX Coordinator if I learn you have been sexually harassed (verbally or physically), sexually assaulted /raped, stalked, had domestic violence or dating violence occur in a relationship, or been a victim / survivor of any behavior prohibited by the University's Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.  Once reported, the University will promptly seek to properly support any student and make efforts to stop the discrimination, prevent it from recurring, and remedy its effects. There are three confidential places on campus where you can seek support where it will not be "reported": clinical counselors in Psychological & Counseling Services, pastoral counselors in Campus Ministry, and medical service providers in University Health Services. The Student CARE Brochure can provide you with on and off-campus resources for support and more information, and you can also visit www.fordham.edu/care or www.fordham.edu/sexualmisconduct for more information."

Please also see this article by the Chronicle for Higher Education as to why this may be helpful to students.

Guidance for Search Committees

We have created a helpful guidance for those faculty members on Search Committees.  To view and download the document, please log on to my.fordham.edu, select the "Faculty" tab and look for the download link at the bottom of the page on the left-hand side.