Faculty/Staff Toolkit

It's On CWRU Logo

Thank you so much for supporting the “It's on CWRU” movement. This toolkit is to be used as a resource to incorporate It’s on CWRU into your courses. The mission of It’s On CWRU is to unify our community’s effort to disrupt the culture of violence. Through evidence-informed education, consciousness raising visuals, survivor support, and community investment, the campaign aims to initiate and support ongoing societal shifts that foster a safe environment for all people. By implementing a couple of these tools into your courses, students will have another opportunity to learn about It’s on CWRU and how they can create a campus culture free of violence.

Helping Students in Crisis

What to say (and not say) to survivors  

There are various ways to let someone know that you support them and believe them. When someone tells you about an abusive situation or assault, try to stay calm and validate the individual and their experience. Let them know you are glad they told you and that you believe them. Here are a few other phrases that can be helpful.

  • “Thank you for telling me”
  • “I am here to talk”
  • “How can I support you right now?"
  • “I believe you”
  • “I’m sorry this happened”
  • “This is not your fault”

There are also phrases to stay away from that can be harmful to a student trying to talk about their victimization.

  • “You could have avoided this if you would have…”
  • “What were you wearing when this happened?
  • “Were you drinking?”
  • “This was your fault”
  • “That happened so long ago, aren’t you over it by now?”
  • “This just does not add up. I don’t think I believe you”
  • “It’s not that big of a deal”
  • “Tell me everything that happened” 
What to do if a student discloses to you (disclosure vs reporting) OR What to do if a student shares an experience in a class or class project (like a paper or discussion post)
  • First, let the student know that you care about them and are concerned with some of the content in their assignment. You can let them know if they want to speak with someone other than yourself, that there is a confidential student advocate on campus.
  • Remind them that you care about them and their wellbeing, but also share that you are a mandated reporter. Let them know that you are here to listen, but because of university policies, if the student discloses sexual harassment (under Title IX), then you, as a mandated reporter, will have to share that information with the Office of Equity. You can share the student advocate's contact information and let them know the student advocate is here to listen and support students confidentially (without being required to share information with the Office of Equity).
  • Remember, just because a student wants to disclose, or tell you about something that happened relating to sexual harassment, does not automatically mean they want to formally report the harassment. 
Trauma-Informed Tips and Responses

If the student decides they do want to continue disclosing information with the knowledge that you will have to share this information with the Office of Equity, here are a few tips for making sure you are supporting them with a trauma-informed lens.

  • Actively Listen
  • Let the Student Lead the Conversation
  • The survivor is the expert in their experience. Be careful not to let your own thoughts, feelings, or prior personal experiences take over the conversation.
  • Provide resources (There are several resources in this toolkit that are helpful to have on hand/familiarize yourself with in the instance that a student discloses to you).

Connecting Students to Resources

Confidential vs Non-Confidential Resources
  • Confidential Resource:
    On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment. Confidential resources provide advice, support, and guidance about how to manage the situation without initiating university action. Any conversation with a confidential resource is not considered a report to the university or a request that any action be taken by the university in response to any allegation.

  • Non-confidential Resource:
    An employee of the CWRU community who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of sexual harassment or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. All employees (including resident assistants, teaching assistants and orientation leaders) are mandated reporters. 

  • Phrases to use when referring to resources (warm handoffs)
    • “I’m really glad you feel comfortable enough to tell me what happened. I care about you and want to be open with you too before you share something that I might be required to report. There are policies on our campus that require me to share certain information with the Office of Equity. One of the things I have to share is if a student tells me about an incident of sexual harassment. I wanted to let you know before you share anything else in case there are certain aspects you do not want shared with the Office of Equity. We can keep talking, but we can also go over the confidential resources on campus. These are individuals that would not have to share what you tell them with the Office of Equity.”

    • “I have a feeling you are about to share something with me that is very personal, and it might fall into the category of one of the things I have to share with the Office of Equity. You have the right to your privacy, and if you do not want this information to be shared with the Office of Equity I completely understand. I will support you either way”.

    • “My main concern is your safety, so before we talk any further, I want to make sure you understand my role as a responsible employee".

Advocating for Survivors in Your Classes

  • Inform students about your role as a responsible employee and what that means (before they need to ask, this is a great thing to discuss on syllabus day)
  • Sample Syllabus Statements – include a statement in your syllabi about how to get support if students experience power-based personal violence.
  • Resource Statements – include resources in your syllabi for students to learn about their options if impacted by dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sexual or gender-based harassment.
    • Student Advocate
    • Office of Equity
    • UH&C
    • Community Resources
  • Attendance policy & accommodations – consider how your attendance policy and accommodation policy support (or hinder) student survivors
  • Class expectations/community expectations – what expectations have you set for your students in regard to how they treat one another? What will you do (or what do you do) if someone violates these expectations or causes harm in your class?

Take Action & Be Involved

  • Take the It's On CWRU Pledge
  • Attending workshops & trainings
  • Attend/support our events or volunteer
  • Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media
  • Support our Department of Justice grant initiatives 
  • Put the It’s on CWRU logo in your signature to help spread awareness about the It’s on CWRU movement! 

Encourage participation from your class

  • Offer extra credit
    • Have your class attend a workshop or training by Its On CWRU 
    • Have students attend an event (all events and workshops can be found on Campus Groups)
  • Assign projects or papers
    • The role of a bystander in violence prevention on college campuses 
    • Power based personal violence and its impact on college students 
    • The impact of sexual violence on marginalized communities 
    • The impact of sexual violence on men 
    • Student activism and violence prevention 
    • Creating a culture of change 
    • The history of Title IX
    • Have students develop a marketing or PR campaign for It’s on CWRU 
  • Invite us to present a workshop for your class
  • Share your research! If your research involves power-based personal violence, consent, healthy relationships, gender equity, or other topics to help reduce violence in our communities, share it with us!

Additional Resources