Privacy vs. Confidentiality
Adelphi University recognizes that students, employees, and others who have experienced crime, especially acts of sexual violence, are concerned about the confidentiality and privacy of information relating to an incident.
Adelphi University recognizes that students, employees, and others who have experienced crime, especially acts of sexual violence, are concerned about the confidentiality and privacy of information relating to an incident. Once the university is aware of an incident, information is only shared with those who “need to know” the information in order to assist with the university’s management or resolution of the incident.
Reason for Policy
University employees have different obligations and expectations when students disclose information to them. The University strongly supports the confidentiality interests of persons making reports. Even if a person does not specifically ask for confidentiality, the University will disclose information only to those individuals directly responsible for handling the Universities response (Private Resource). In addition, persons considering whether to report an incident, or in the process of reporting and/or adjudication, will be told, in advance, what information would need to be disclosed, to whom, and why.
Who Is Governed by this Policy
Students, Staff, Administration, CSA’s, and Visitors
Some employees are expected to keep information private. A private resource means that information about a violation or incident is shared with a limited circle of University employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report. Adelphi University offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality, will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. Private University resources include the Title IX Coordinator, the Department of Public Safety, Responsible Employees, & Campus Security Authorities.
Campus Security Authorities cannot maintain complete confidentiality under the law, but can maintain a high level of privacy of a victim’s identity. These designated individuals are only required to report some general information about an act of violence that is reported to them, or that they learn about in the course of their job. The information that they have to report (if known) consists of the nature of the incident, the general location (On-Campus; Residence Hall; Non-Campus; Public Property) for inclusion in the annual Clery Report, or if it occurred off-campus, and when it occurred. They do not have to report a victim’s name, the name of the individual(s) who may have committed the act, and/or any other information that might give away the identity of the victim.
In addition, reports made will be included in the annual crime statistics when enough information (such as location, date, and nature of incident) is known, and may also be cause to issue a timely warning to the campus if there appears to be a serious and immediate threat. For more information on Timely Warnings, please visit Emergency Notification and Timely Warning/Safety Alert.
Other employees are expected to keep information confidential. A confidential resource means that information shared to the below resources will not disclose what you tell them to anyone else at the University or outside it. The only instances where information may be disclosed is when: (i) the individual gives written consent for its disclosure; (ii) there appears to be a risk of immediate harm to self or others; or (iii) the information concerns conduct involving suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under the age of 18.
The following classifications of individuals are Confidential Resources under University policy. Please note, however, that if you disclose information that you wish to remain confidential to para-professional staff, such as administrative assistants, they may be required by law to pass along the report to Public Safety as a Campus Security Authority or a Title IX Coordinator as a Responsible Employee.
Privacy in this context means that information related to a disclosure or report of prohibited conduct will generally be shared only with those university employees who need to know the information in order to review, investigate, or resolve the report.
Confidentiality means that information shared will not be disclosed without the individual’s permission or as required by law. Disclosure may be legally required if the reported conduct poses a threat of serious harm to the Reporting Party or others, or if the reported conduct involves suspected abuse or neglect of a minor.
There are situations in which the University must override a person’s request for confidentiality, or request that the University not investigate or take action against an alleged perpetrator, in order to meet its legal obligations to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for the reporting person or others.
The Title IX Coordinator or Associate Director Of Administration & Investigations with the Department of Public Safety will evaluate when a request for confidentiality could preclude a meaningful investigation and appropriate response to the alleged misconduct of a student or employee. In all cases, they are authorized to seek additional information from other subject matter experts in order to inform their decisions.
Because the university is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of acts of violence (including sexual violence) campus-wide, reports of violence (including reports that do not identify a victim and/or a specific perpetrator) will also prompt the university to consider broader remedial action. This includes increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations where the reported violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
This policy does not have forms associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.
- Last Reviewed Date: July 18, 2019
- Last Revised Date: July 18, 2019
- Policy Origination Date: July 2019
Who Approved This Policy
Gene Palma, Chief of Administration and Associate Vice President