For faculty who wish to support their students who have experienced gender- & power-based violence, the syllabus presents a unique and proactive opportunity to educate every student about their rights and resources on campus. Because survivors often experience shame, stigma, and self-blame, it can be difficult for them to seek resources for support. By placing information in a syllabus, faculty provide an opportunity for students to have easy and private access to information on their rights, resources and reporting options. By including this statement, we are taking steps to create a safer campus and a better community at Cal Poly both inside and outside of the classroom.
Additionally, all faculty and staff - with the exception of licensed therapists at Counseling Services and state-certified Advocates at Safer - have mandatory reporting responsibilities under Title IX (read more here). In order to help ensure that students are making informed decisions about sharing their personal experiences, it is best practice to provide information upfront about your mandatory reporting responsibilities. If you have questions regarding your reporting responsibilities, please contact Safer or Title IX.
Sample syllabus language regarding sexual misconduct and confidentiality can be found below. Feel free to copy/paste and utilize for your classes!
CONFIDENTIALITY & MANDATED REPORTING
Cal Poly is committed to fostering a safe, productive learning environment for all students. Title IX and CSU policy prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. We understand that sexual violence can undermine students’ academic success and we encourage students who have experienced some form of sexual misconduct to access appropriate resources so they can get the support they need and deserve.
As an instructor, I have a mandatory reporting responsibility as a part of my role. It is my goal that you feel comfortable sharing information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep the information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to report information I receive regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred during your time at Cal Poly.
Students can report incidents of alleged sexual misconduct to either or both of the following resources:
- Civil Rights & Compliance Office (Title IX)| firstname.lastname@example.org | 805-756-6770 | crco.calpoly.edu
- Cal Poly Police Department | email@example.com | 805-756-2281 | afd.calpoly.edu/police
Students can access confidential support from two separate resources on campus:
- Safer | firstname.lastname@example.org | 805-756-2282 | safer.calpoly.edu
- Counseling Services | email@example.com | 805-756-2511 | chw.calpoly.edu/counseling
Some topics covered in class may expose students to past traumas and evoke a negative reaction. Sensitive topics can vary, such as sexual violence, death, racism, or xenophobia. I want this to be an inclusive space where every student feels comfortable; therefore, I will provide content warnings before lectures for sensitive subject matters. Content warnings are meant to give students a forewarning so they can prepare for their emotional safety. It is important to note that anything in the environment could be a trigger for someone’s trauma, such as smell, sound, or texture; it is impossible to account for all possible triggers, and ask for grace as I do my best as an educator to warn students of potentially distressing content during lectures, assignments and/or discussions.
I recognize that students come from complex backgrounds, histories, and experiences, and that individual needs will vary. You know yourself and your needs best, so do what you need to take care of yourself. This could be done through a simple body scan, grounding meditation, or stepping away from the computer for a brief moment. For suggested grounding techniques, please visit safer.calpoly.edu/grounding-techniques.
Often distressing content can be related to your personal identities. There is support and programming available through Student Diversity and Belonging that can assist students in finding community and giving voice to your lived experience.
- Cal Poly Student Diversity & Belonging
There are many resources on- and off-campus to provide you with confidential support.
Cal Poly Campus Health & Wellbeing
- Call (805) 756-2282 between M-F 8-4:30pm
- Make an appointment on their website: safer.calpoly.edu/appointment
Cal Poly Counseling Services
- Call (805) 756-2511 between M-F 8-5pm
- If in a crisis: call the number and inform the receptionist you need immediate assistance
- If you call after hours, press 2 to go to the crisis line
Local SLO Resources
Lumina Alliance (formerly RISE & Stand Strong): 24/7 hotline for sexual assault & domestic violence
- Call (805) 545-8888
SLO Hotline: 24/7 mental health crisis support
- Call (800) 783-0607
Additional Syllabus Statement templates can be found through the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.