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As a student, you have some reporting options. You can report to the police or report to the university, or you can do both. Reporting to the police is the only way to hold someone responsible in the criminal justice system. If you plan to report, it is best to do it as soon as possible, in order to preserve information, evidence, and ensure continued access to witnesses (students move, graduate, transfer schools, etc.) During the reporting process, you have the right to ask questions, and you can bring someone with you (friend, family member, advocate, etc.).
Additionally, there are confidential reporting options which do not include any investigation unless you determine you would like to go this route.
Reporting to a Confidential Resource
Under Iowa law, communications with some individuals are confidential. This means that any information shared by the victim/survivor with a specific individual will not be used against them in court or shared with others. This individual cannot be subpoenaed to testify against the victim/survivor in a court of law.
Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons:
- ACCESS advocate
- Psychological counselor (including counselors at ISU Student Counseling Services)
- Health care provider (including medical professionals at ISU Thielen Student Health Center)
- Personal attorney
- Religious/spiritual counselor
Click here for more information about confidential and private resources.
Reporting to Police
You have the right to pursue civil and/or criminal remedies through law enforcement and the criminal justice system. This includes filing a criminal complaint or petition for a civil protection order. You also have the right to decline to notify law enforcement authorities.
If the incident occurred off-campus, it is likely you will be reporting to Ames Police. If the incident occurred on-campus, it is likely you will be reporting to ISU Police. Both police departments have staff trained to take reports and conduct investigations in matters of gender-based violence and sexual assault, and will work with the reporting party as much as possible to offer and provide support and assistance. Reporting to law enforcement does not obligate you to testify in court.
To contact ISU Police (non-emergency), call 515-294-4428.
To contact Ames Police (non-emergency), call 515-239-5133.
Reporting to Title IX Coordinator/Office of Equal Opportunity
You have the right to report an incident to the University and request accommodations and/or a University investigation by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. Anyone who has a concern about Prohibited Conduct, and anyone who has knowledge about possible Prohibited Conduct, is strongly encouraged to immediately report it to the Title IX Coordinator. Internal University Prohibited Conduct investigations can occur at the same time as law enforcement investigations.
To speak to someone in the Office of Equal Opportunity, call 515-294-7612 (Hotline: 515-294-1222).
Reporting to Dean of Students Office or Other University Staff or Faculty
Most university staff and faculty are considered RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES. This means for incidents reported to them that fall under Title IX (sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking), they have an obligation to report whatever information received about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is housed in the Office of Equal Opportunity at Iowa State. If this information is passed on, you may be contacted by police or the Office of Equal Opportunity with information, resources, and the opportunity to participate in an investigation. An investigation can take place without your participation, but it usually doesn’t happen this way.
If you are unsure about whether you want to make a report or proceed with an investigation, a confidential resource can help you explore your options and provide additional resources, support and information.
To speak with someone in the Dean of Students Office, call 515-294-1020.
What to Expect if Reporting to a Non-Confidential Resource
- You may be contacted by a University administrator.
- You will have the option to participate in learning about your rights and responsibilities.
- Follow-up will be conducted when needed by a University administrator.
Following a Report: Immediate Actions by the University
The Office of Equal Opportunity, the Dean of Students Office and/or ISU Police may take immediate interim actions/measures to protect the safety of the university community, to enable students with complaints and witnesses to continue studies, and to ensure the integrity of an investigation. If there is information to support an interim suspension of the accused student, interim removal from university housing of the accused student, and/or restricted contact notices between the individuals involved, these could be implemented. Other supportive and remedial measures, if requested, could include:
- Modifying class or work schedules
- Making alternate housing arrangements
- Addressing other academic concerns (e.g., absences, assignments, grades, leaves of absence, withdrawal)
- Safety planning
Information About Support / Resources
There are a range of services available to you on campus, including health care, counseling, a campus ombudsperson, safety planning, navigating academic modifications and support, course schedules, housing, dining, parking/transportation, extracurricular/recreation activities, referral to resources which can assist with advocacy and legal assistance, and a student disciplinary process. You may choose to utilize the services that are available on campus, or in the community, or both.
You can contact the Office of Student Assistance and/or the Title IX Coordinator for more information about these support services and other interim remedial measures.
Office of Student Assistance
Provides assistance in navigating processes and procedures at the University, and helps administer support and connect students to resources
1010 Student Services Building, First Floor