The College exercises the utmost sensitivity with respect to the privacy concerns of complainants who have been the target of discrimination, especially sexual misconduct. However, privacy interests of the reporting source are balanced with the College’s obligations under state and federal law, its need to protect the College community and to insure that appropriate disciplinary processes are implemented. Here is how the College will protect the confidentiality of complainants, including how publicly-available recordkeeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the complainant, to the extent permissible by law.
If you would like complete confidentiality, you may speak with a licensed counselor. Please visit our Resources page to find out more.
The Clery Act
The Clery Act, a federal law, requires the College to designate college officials who have significant responsibility for student or campus activities as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). At Columbus State, CSAs include: the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services, Dean of Student Life, Director of Student Conduct, Student Conduct Program Coordinator, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership, Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Leadership, Supervisor of Athletics and College Recreation, Chief of Police, Director of Equity and Compliance, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, coaches of men’s and women’s athletic programs and faculty advisors to student groups. CSAs are required to provide information regarding any report of particular criminal offenses, such as sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence to the Columbus State Community College Police Department to be included in the College’s Annual Report of Crime Statistics and, if appropriate, for the purpose of issuing a safety alert (timely warning) or other emergency notification.The name and other personally identifying information of the person who reports being the target of the crime is not included in the Annual Report of Crime Statistics, safety alerts or emergency notification. Click here for the Clery Annual Security Report.
Safety Alerts and Emergency Notifications
If a report to the College indicates that there is an immediate or on-going threat to the health and safety of the College community, the College will issue a safety alert or emergency notification. The intent of the safety alert is to help individuals to protect themselves, gather information to aid in the apprehension of the suspect and to provide general safety information. The name and other personally identifying information of the person who reports being the target of the crime is not included in a safety alert or emergency notification.
The extent to which the College can protect the identity of persons who report being the target of a criminal offense in police reports is not absolute; however, the College uses its best efforts to protect the identity of this person and the report details. Upon filing a police report, a person who reports being the target of a sexual assault, stalking, domestic or dating violence may request that their name be recorded as Jane or John Doe.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and prohibits their disclosure without student consent (unless otherwise required by law) to individuals outside of the College or to individuals within the College without a legitimate educational interest. FERPA applies to reports made to the Office of Equity and Compliance and to the Office of Student Conduct. If a student is found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct for an offense that would constitute a crime of violence (e.g. sexual violence), the name of the victim will not be disclosed, but the College may release the following information:
- Name of the Student Code of Conduct violation.
- Name of the student found in violation.
- Sanctions imposed by the College.
- The College will follow all laws regarding minors who are complainants or respondents in matters of sexual misconduct. At the College, students who are minors have privacy rights pursuant to FERPA; therefore, information is not disclosed to parents or guardians unless the student has signed a release of information or the information falls under an exception to FERPA. In the case of minor students involved with College Credit Plus, the College will work with high school officials as appropriate to address incidents of sexual misconduct.
As a public entity, Columbus State is subject to Ohio’s Public Records Law, O.R.C. 149.43, which allows for public scrutiny of most records of public entities. Under this law, most information about employees is considered a public record. For more information, see: http://www.cscc.edu/about/legal-office/public-records.shtml