How to Support Your Student

As a faculty member at the University, you are in a unique position to provide help to students. You see students continually, and are able to observe changes in behavior such as declining academic performance, increased emotions or anxiety, sudden changes in behavior, and/or significant absences from class.

All of these can be signs that a student is experiencing high stress or in a crisis, which could be caused by a sexual assault. Connecting your student to available resources is of the utmost importance in ensuring their safety and security.

What to Say
  • As a Responsible Employee, you are obligated to report any incidents of Sexual Misconduct with the Title IX Office. Ensure that your student is aware that this conversation is not confidential.

  • To quote the recommended syllabus wording: “If you tell me about a situation involving these forms of sexual misconduct, I must share that information with the Title IX Office to be sure you are connected with all the support the university can offer and learn about your options and rights. When you receive outreach from the University asking if you would like to meet, you choose if you want to respond and what resources you may need.”

  • Tell your student that you appreciate that they felt comfortable coming to you for support. This shows a strong level of trust, and it is important to acknowledge that.

What to Do
  • Emphasize that, as a Responsible Employee, you need to share the information with the Title IX Office to make sure that the student is connected with all of the support the University can offer. The reporting requirement is because no one should deal with this in silence or alone, and everyone deserves to be helped in the way that is best for them.

  • You may be asked to provide academic modifications/accommodations for students (both Complainants and Respondents) as a supportive measure, which are described in the UVA Sexual Misconduct Policy section on supportive measures.

    • Some students may approach you directly, though it is more common that you would receive outreach from the Academic Dean.

    • If you have any questions about obligations under Title IX with regards to enacting supportive measures for a student, please contact the Title IX Office, either by going to O’Neil Hall, emailing [email protected], or calling (434) 297-7988.

    • You are expected to provide reasonable accommodations to help your student as they navigate this long and difficult process.

Take Care of Yourself
  • Be honest with your limitations. While it is easy to get caught up in ensuring one student’s wellbeing, as a faculty member, you should not neglect other students’ academic and personal growth to focus on just one individual.

  • In order to best care for your student, it is important that you are also caring for yourself. Resources for employees can be found found in the CavCare Support for Employees section.

What Not to Do
  • Don't place blame your student or make them feel guilty for coming to you.

  • Don't expect or force your student to continue with the same workload/ to achieve the same grades they had prior to the incident. Remember, this is a difficult process and can affect many aspects of a students' life and wellbeing.