Responding to Harassing, Discriminatory, or Bullying Behavior
This section provides you with information concerning your options for reporting or discussing a concern, whether it relates to sex- and gender-based misconduct, racial discrimination, or some other type of unlawful discrimination and harassment. First, it gives you an overview of what will happen if you come and talk with the Equity and Title IX Office. We are here to listen, understand, and help find an option that is responsive to your concern. Second, this section provides information on confidential resources and how you can use them as a sounding board and for support while you decide what action you want to take--for example, whether to make a report to the Equity and Title IX Office. To help you in making the decision to report to Equity and Title IX Office, you can find helpful information under Deciding to Report. Finally, you have government reporting options, which are described below.
When you engage directly with the Equity Team, you have three options upfront. We do not just launch investigations, or really any action.
First, you can just seek information from us about what we do, how we address certain categories of concerns, educational outreach options, and problem-solving options. You can choose to give us no information about your concerns upfront, or present hypotheticals. You can also ask questions about pertinent Caltech policies and procedures and learn about the options and rights they provide to our community members.
Second, if you choose to report a concern, we will listen carefully to your reported concern and brainstorm with you the options for addressing it. In reporting a concern, you can talk to any Equity Team member who makes you feel comfortable. You can learn more about us under Who We Are.
Third, you can learn about support resources. We will tell you how we can support you. We will explain options for what we can do to address your situation, as well as options for equipping you to take action on your own, if you prefer. Examples include intervening with outreach, support measures, or academic accommodations to help resolve problematic behavior you are experiencing; preparing you to handle a tough interpersonal conversation or conflict by yourself; and connecting you to counseling services, confidential resources, advocacy and health resources, and sexual and intimate partner violence support resources.
Let's be clear. When you come and see us, you will be heard and respected as someone who can make your own decisions. We are going to listen to what you have to say and then offer you options. We discuss, you decide. We do take action, however, when the safety of a minor or the campus community is at risk. But even then, we will discuss this determination with you and keep you informed.
We also respect your privacy to the extent we are able. We do not automatically share information with anyone. We share the minimum amount of information necessary with those who "need to know" in order to help provide assistance and put your chosen actions and solutions into effect.
Caltech also protects your right to share information with our office. Caltech strictly prohibits retaliation against those who speak with our office or participate in any problem resolution actions or processes.
Oftentimes, our community members first want to noodle through how they feel about a situation before deciding whether they want to come and talk with us in the Equity and Title IX Office. You have several options here.
First, you can choose to talk to a legally confidential source. At Caltech, the following individuals are legally required to protect your confidentiality: the licensed therapists at the Student Wellness Counseling Services and the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center; and Campus Sexual Violence Advocate Teresa Mejia. They can talk with you about your concern and how you feel about it, provide information on our office and other support resources, and help you take your time to decide what to do.
Second, you can choose to talk to the Caltech Center for Inclusion and Diversity's Taso Dimitriadis or Erin-Kate Esocobar, whom Caltech has designed as confidential resources. Taso and Erin-Kate can provide experienced insight, advice, and support regarding diversity issues, especially those affecting the LGBTQ+ community. Taso and Erin-Kate are not required by Caltech to report what you tell them to the Equity and Title IX Office. So, again, you can talk to them about your concern and options and take your time to decide whether to come and talk to the Equity and Title IX Office.
You can choose to report anonymously to the Equity and Title IX Office by completing this online report form, omitting your name.
You may also report a concern to the BBE DEI committee using this form. If you would like to remain anonymous, please do not provide your name on the form. You can provide as little or as much information as you feel comfortable with.
If you prefer, you can complete Caltech's online hotline form. You may also phone the Caltech Hotline (626-395-8787) or the JPL Ethics Hotline (818-354-9999, 866-GOJPLEP).
Locally, anyone may contact the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. If you want assistance in engaging with the PPD, you can receive assistance from Caltech Security or the Equity and Title IX Office.
The federal government also offers reporting options. Please note that filing a complaint with a federal agency regarding sex- and gender-based misconduct under Title IX must be done within 180 days after an alleged discriminatory or harassing event. You do not have to engage with any of Caltech's processes before filing a complaint directly with a federal agency. Participants in Caltech programs and activities funded by federal agencies other than those listed below (Department of Education, NASA, NSF) may file directly with those agencies.
Students may file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights at 415-486-5555 or [email protected]
Employees have the right to file a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which have the authority to remedy violations.
Beneficiaries of NASA funds can learn how to file a harassment or discrimination complaint with NASA's Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at https://missionstem.nasa.gov/filing-a-complaint.html.
For more information from NASA about nondiscrimination under grant-related civil rights laws including Title IX, visit https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/odeo/documents/2016_TVI-TIX_Brochure_TAGGED.pdf.
Beneficiaries of NSF funds can file a complaint concerning discrimination, harassment, or retaliation with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, using this form: https://www.nsf.gov/od/odi/complaint_form.jsp
Here is information from NSF specifically about Title IX complaints: https://www.nsf.gov/od/odi/awardee_civil_rights/titleix_faqs.jsp