Frequently Asked Questions | University Reporting

Auburn University supports an individual’s desire to keep a complaint private, except when that request interferes with the university’s obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the university community. In any case, Auburn University will take steps to protect the individual bringing the complaint and limit disclosure of information to those who have a need to know. Individuals can choose to talk through an incident of sexual misconduct with a confidential resource before making a report to better understand reporting options.

Confidential resources, like counseling from Student Counseling and Psychological Services or victim advocacy from Safe Harbor, are not required to report identifying information about the incident to the police or Auburn University. There are legal protections for the discussions you have with some confidential resources, such as the psychotherapist-patient privilege.

Non-confidential resources, such as professors, academic advisors, resident assistants, coaches and supervisors, are obligated by university policy to relay reports of sexual misconduct to the university’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators and may be obligated to report crimes to Auburn University’s Department of Public Safety and Security. Neither type of resource is better than the other. There is no right or wrong way to handle this.

University-designated confidential employees who do not have statutory privilege, such as Safe Harbor advocates, do fulfill applicable reporting obligations by making general reports for statistical purposes and pattern tracking, but do not divulge personally-identifiable information without client consent.

There are several confidential resource options on campus and in the community for individuals who want to maintain confidentiality. On campus, confidential resources include Safe Harbor, Student Counseling and Psychological Services, the Employee Assistance Program, and the Auburn University Medical Clinic.

In the community, East Alabama Medical Center, Rape Counselors of East Alabama, and the Domestic Violence Intervention Center provide confidential counseling and support. For contact information, please see Resources for Students

When the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator receives a report of sexual misconduct, a representative from the Title IX Office will contact the potential complainant to offer to set up a meeting. The person is not required to accept the meeting, although Auburn University strongly encourages the individual to do so. In the meeting, the individual can share as much or as little information as they want. No matter how much information the individual shares, meeting with the Title IX Coordinator can be helpful to understand various options for support and available actions. If the individual wants support resources or wants to take further action, the Title IX Coordinator can help facilitate connecting the individual to those resources and determining possible next steps.

No. Because Auburn University’s primary relationship is with students – not their parents – the university generally will not inform the parents of either party (the complainant or the respondent) named in any report, though there are some exceptions* to this rule. However, Auburn University strongly encourages students to inform their parents, especially if the student faces major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy.

* There may be exceptions under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which allows the university to disclose results under some circumstances, as well at the health and safety emergency exception.

You can choose whether to identify the alleged offender or not. If you want Auburn University to pursue an investigation and/or disciplinary action, you must name the alleged offender. If you choose not to pursue an investigation and/or disciplinary action, you do not need to name the individual. However, you should be aware that failure to name the alleged offender may limit Auburn University’s ability to meaningfully investigate and respond to a report.

Auburn University encourages individuals to immediately report incidents of sexual misconduct, but we recognize that you may be uncertain at first about how to proceed. Faculty and staff who are made aware of sexual misconduct must immediately report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator.

There is no time limit for reporting sexual misconduct to the university. However, the university’s ability to respond may diminish over time, as evidence may erode, memories may fade, and those involved may no longer be affiliated with the university.

Where a student has experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, Auburn University will not pursue disciplinary action against the student for their improper use of such substances. Causing the incapacitation of another person (such as through alcohol or drugs) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to sexual activity is a violation of Auburn University's Title IX Policy. Students who are found responsible for sexual misconduct may also be found responsible for alcohol or drug violations under other applicable university policies.