Student affairs concerns form allows students to report incidents
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Tulane University Student Affairs and Tulane University Police Department are introducing new efforts to make sure students feel safe, whether that means installing a “blue light” system or providing a place for students to report concerns and complaints.
On the Division of Student Affairs website, there is a link under the “Resources” tab labeled “Report a Concern/Get Help.” This link provides a form on which any member of the Tulane community can report, anonymously or not, incidents or concerns about groups and individuals on campus.
The options for the types of incidents to report range from bias and discrimination incidents to academic concerns. The form provides a consolidated place for students to share their concerns with Student Affairs.
“We created the system because we wanted to have a single place for the Tulane community to report concerns or complaints,” Vice President for Student Affairs Dusty Porter said. “We wanted to make it very easy to access how you file a complaint because we thought that it was very important that anybody would know how to file a concern or complaint.”
After a student submits the form, an on-call Student Affairs employee reviews it and determines if immediate action needs to be taken. If not, that employee either routes the complaint to the appropriate personnel within Student Affairs if the complaint requires a case manager or reports a student conduct violation.
If the case does not remain within Student Affairs, it is routed to the closest department within which the complaint falls. For example, a discrimination complaint would be routed to the Office of Institutional Equity.
Porter feels it is important for students to know that even if Student Affairs does not follow up with the individual who filed the initial report, that does not mean that Student Affairs did not investigate the concern and take subsequent action.
“We review every report and we assign it to an individual, but then you as the person who filed that report may never know what happened because of privacy,” Porter said.
Anonymity in reporting may hinder the investigative processes involved with filing and following up on a Student Affairs report, according to Porter.
“Sometimes if it’s somebody filing anonymously, we may be limited in terms of how much follow-up we’re able to do because again we can’t follow up with the person that filed the complaint,” Porter said.
Sophomore Tatum West filed a report to Student Affairs through the concerns form and said she felt that the process was a positive experience for her.
“[Student Affairs staff] were very helpful and informative throughout the whole process,” West said. “They are good at gauging the situation and the complainant’s state and how to address that. I always felt supported but never like they were sorry for me, which I appreciated.”
Other students, however, said that Student Affairs could do a better job of promoting resources like the concerns form.
“It’s good to know that recourses like this exist at Tulane,” freshman Mara Goldberg said. “However, they should be better publicized to make them accessible to all students.”
While the reporting form is a resource for students who are not in an immediate emergency situation, students in emergency situations are encouraged to call the TUPD emergency number at 504-865-5911.