Deciding to Report
Don't fear decisions; embrace them. They allow you to explore new ideas and places. They mark the pathways that make your journey unique.
It can be difficult to decide whether to contact the Equity and Title IX Office about a concern relating to discrimination or sex- and gender-based misconduct. The information in this section, as well as Reporting Options, can help you decide whether to come and talk with us or another resource. Please bear in mind that Responsible Employees are required to report certain concerns to the Equity and Title IX Office, and they should consult Step 2 below and the Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy. If you are unsure whether you are a Responsible Employee, Step 2 below lists the qualifying categories.
If any kind of incident, behavior, or general concern has made you wonder whether you should contact a Caltech resource for assistance, don't overthink it. We know these situations are not always clear-cut, and we don't expect you to take on the responsibility by yourself of identifying whether an issue is covered by Caltech's Unlawful Harassment, Nondiscrimination, or Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct policies. If you are concerned, there is a reason, and we can figure it out together. In fact, we frequently focus a great deal on addressing low level concerns with counseling, education, and training in order to prevent more serious incidents from occurring.
If you feel you may have been a victim of inappropriate, harassing, or discriminatory conduct, sexual violence, or sexual misconduct, please contact us.
We can talk to you about options for addressing your concern and help you identify a solution that you makes you feel heard and comfortable. We always strive to give you as much control as possible over choosing the appropriate path forward.
Those members of the Caltech community who are designated as Responsible Employees under the Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy are required to report any suspected Prohibited Conduct, as defined in that Policy, to the Equity and Title IX Office. Also, any person in a supervisory role must report any complaints of unlawful harassment of which they become aware to one of the following: the Equity and Title IX Office, the Provost, the Undergraduate or Graduate Deans, or, at JPL, the Director of JPL Human Resources. Again, we know these situations are not always clear-cut, so please reach out and talk us through the situation—we'll navigate it together.
At Campus, the following are Responsible Employees:
- Title IX Deputies
- Faculty members who supervise a research laboratory or group
- Faculty members who have administrative responsibilities.
- Staff members with a supervisory or managerial role, except for confidential resources
- Employee Relations consultants
- Security Officers
- Residential Life Coordinators
- Resident Associates
At JPL, the following are Responsible Employees:
- Title IX Deputy for JPL
- Supervisors and managers
- Employee Relations Representatives
- Human Resources Business Partners
- Education Office staff
Even if you are not required to report misconduct, as set forth in Step 2, each and every one of us has a role to play in making the Caltech community safe and inclusive for all of its members. We ask you to consider at least coming and talking with us about your concern in order to explore options for resolution and prevention of future issues for you as well as for others. You can even talk to us in hypotheticals if that feels more comfortable for you as a first step.
If you still do not feel comfortable coming to the Equity and Title IX Office, please consider talking to a Caltech resource that feels more comfortable for you, such as the Campus Sexual Violence Advocate, Student Wellness-Counseling Services, the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center, or the Caltech Center for Inclusion and Diversity.
In deciding whether to seek support and information from the Equity and Title IX Office, it can help to think about the reasons for your hesitation. We know there are many reasons why someone might not want to file a report. We want to understand those reasons and we encourage you to talk to us about them. We might be able to identify steps our office can coordinate to make you feel comfortable reporting your concern.
A common barrier to reporting is fear of retaliation from peers, supervisors or faculty members. Caltech has a strong policy against retaliation, and our office often works to swiftly address and resolve retaliation concerns. We can also talk with you about healthy communication techniques to resolve conflicts on your own, if you prefer. Another common barrier to reporting is the fear of getting involved and losing work and personal time. We know that your priority at Caltech is reaching your personal and academic goals. This is precisely why we want Caltech to be a safe and equitable environment where all can flourish. We support those reporting and dealing with concerns with a variety of academic and workplace accommodations, and we work to resolve matters as expeditiously as possible.
Please be assured that our chief aim is to hear you and to help you. You can even ask that your first meeting with us be purely informational, or if you prefer, you can just pose a hypothetical. We can explore potential solutions together.