Title IX Reporting Q & A

April 18, 2023

As Equity Services Manager in Baylor's Office of Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX, Christina Jeong oversees the office's intake process, provision of support and resources, and the Adaptable Resolution process. She also heads the STARRSA program at Baylor and other educational sanctions and serves on the McLennan County Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT).

April 2023 marks the official 22nd anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Baylor joins universities and communities nationwide to increase public awareness and prevention education regarding sexual assault and interpersonal violence. Jeong provides insight into the personalized care and compassion an individual can anticipate should they need to report an incident to the Title IX office.

When and why should someone report something?

"People report for various reasons, and we see a wide variety of incidents. Some are very egregious, and others may not necessarily be as egregious in terms of violating policy, but it's still significant and meaningful to that person. Regardless of the circumstances, we are still here for them, and there are options that we can talk through in our office. Sometimes they are unsure what our office can offer or what the process entails. People are working through their trauma and experience, which can be hard to voice in front of a stranger. The unknown causes a lot of fear and anxiety. We hope we are seen as approachable and can have these difficult conversations without the added stress of feeling worried, nervous or scared about coming to talk to us."

What happens when you receive a report?

"We receive a report when a complainant directly contacts our office or somebody else has reported on their behalf. The first thing that happens is one of our case coordinators emails the complainant with an offer to meet, along with a list of available resources. Our goals during this intake meeting are to share information about our policy and resolution options, give them the opportunity if they'd like to talk about what's happened and find out how they'd like to move forward. They're welcome to bring a support person with them. They can even decline to meet if they don't want to speak with us. If we do meet, they do not have to share any information about the incident. We can just focus on ways they can be supported. We want them to know that we are here for them."

After the initial intake meeting, what can an individual expect to happen next?

"We send a follow-up email after the meeting, but what happens next depends on what they've requested. Requests for formal resolutions like disciplinary or adaptable are assessed, and the appropriate staff member will contact them about the process. An investigator may reach out to initiate disciplinary resolution, or I may reach out to initiate adaptable resolution. Case Coordinators will work with them for requests involving supportive measures."

What is the difference between a disciplinary resolution and an adaptable resolution?

"Disciplinary resolution involves an investigation and adjudication. The goal is to determine if someone has violated Baylor's policy. Adaptable resolution does not involve investigation or adjudication. It's a voluntary process that focuses on remedies and desired outcomes. The goal is to create a resolution agreement between the parties."

Would you describe an adaptable resolution?

"Adaptable resolution is a customized process tailored towards the specific remedies that an individual wants. We have two approaches – mediation and restorative justice. Restorative justice is an approach to addressing harm. It focuses on who has been harmed and what can be done to make things right. It often involves perspective sharing, where the complainant can voice how they have been hurt and the impact of what has happened. It also aims for the respondent to understand the impact of their actions and take responsibility for the harm they've caused. Mediation focuses on working towards a shared agreement, which may not involve perspective-sharing or accepting responsibility for harm done. We also have two different methods of communication. One is a face-to-face conversation between the parties with the support of a facilitator. The other is shuttle communication, where parties don't interact directly with each other but through a facilitator. Either method can be used in mediation or a restorative justice approach."

Do you partner with any other departments on campus?

"Yes, we work with or refer to campus partners like the Counseling Center, CASE, CL&L, Wellness, the CARE team or any campus resources that would be helpful for them. We can also help connect them to community resources like the Advocacy Center and Family Abuse Center. It is important to remember that we have students enrolled in online programs and on different campuses. We may meet virtually with students who aren't living in Waco, and we offer to help find resources and research what is available in the area where they are living."

What is the main thing you want people to understand about filing a report with your office?

"Our goal is to keep them in the driver's seat regarding how much or little they want to engage with our office. We want them to know that we're here and there are resources and options available to them. Many times people affected by sexual assault or interpersonal violence feel like their choices have been taken away. Our office is working to give them a sense of control and resources to help in their journey towards healing."

Report instances of sexual or interpersonal misconduct by contacting the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office by calling 254-710-8454 or submitting a report through baylor.edu/reportit. Title IX also can be reached by email at TitleIX_Coordinator@baylor.edu.