As part of its effort to promote a safe and supportive campus environment, the University of Michigan offers a variety of resources for students, faculty and staff who need assistance following an incident of sexual or gender-based misconduct.
Those resources include counseling, support groups, advocacy, 24/7 crisis hotlines and help with navigating the process of making a complaint to the university or law enforcement.
As a reminder during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, U-M encourages students and employees to report suspected misconduct to the university’s Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office, to law enforcement, or both.
People who are unsure about whether they want to make a report or are just looking for confidential support can access confidential services through the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and the Counseling and Psychological Services office.
Resources and support are also offered through the offices of the faculty, staff and student ombuds, the Dean of Students Office, the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office, and the Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience.
Detailed information about U-M’s sexual and gender-based misconduct reporting and resources is available at sexualmisconduct.umich.edu.
Here’s a look at some of those resources.
The Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office
ECRT investigates and works to resolve reports of sexual or gender-based misconduct involving any member of the U-M community. Its specially trained staff responds to every complaint that is brought to its attention.
Once a report is made, the office will reach out to the affected party to offer resources, support and information about possible next steps, including how to file a formal complaint. There is no time limit for reporting an incident.
ECRT will take appropriate action to address the matter through a variety of resolution options, supportive measures and other remedies.
Reports made to ECRT are private, but not confidential. ECRT is able to accept anonymous reports, though its ability to investigate and respond to them is limited.
University administrators, supervisors and employees in certain designated positions, including resident advisers and human resources staff, are considered Individuals with Reporting Obligations. IROs are required to share information they have received about possible sexual or gender-based misconduct with the Title IX coordinator in the ECRT office.
Faculty, staff and students can file a report through the university using an online form, by phone or through email. For more information or to make a report, call 734-763-0235 for the Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine, 313-436-9194 for the Dearborn campus and 810-237-6517 for the Flint campus.
The Dean of Students Office
This office assists students with navigating the various complex issues that can impact their lives at U-M, including incidents of sexual assault or misconduct. It offers support and helps students identify both on- and off-campus resources.
As with ECRT, reports of misconduct made to the Dean of Students Office are private, but not confidential. The office forwards all complaints to ECRT.
“Overall, the Dean of Students Office really can be a central starting place for student support and navigating safety concerns, navigating and understanding their rights in the process, and also understanding the practical concerns of being enrolled in the university following an incident and reporting a concern of sexual misconduct,” said Nicole Banks, assistant dean of students, who oversees the office’s Respondent Support program.
In addition to connecting students with support services, the Dean of Students Office can help them take measures to ensure they have information for continuing their education at U-M. For instance, it can assist a student with changing a class schedule or moving to different housing.
The office helps survivors, and students who are alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct, understand the complaint and investigation process.
Additionally, the office has funding available for students with financial emergencies.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center
SAPAC offers prevention education for students, and confidential advocacy and support for student, faculty and staff survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment and gender-based harassment. It also serves survivors’ supporters and loved ones.
The SAPAC Survivor Care Team is led by the assistant director for survivor support and advocacy and consists of three full-time, professional case managers and advocates, as well as Master of Social Work interns, all of whom provide individualized support for survivors.
“We work from an empowerment-based philosophy, grounded in an approach that the client knows best what they need,” said Kaaren Williamsen, the director of SAPAC who will soon take on a new position leading Prevention Education, Assistance and Resources in ECRT.
“We are here to support those who have been harmed by sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence or stalking; to provide a safe place to talk about what they have experienced, what they need; and to assist in navigating the university systems.”
SAPAC’s services include emotional support and medical, academic, financial aid and housing advocacy. SAPAC team members can help a survivor seek post-assault care on campus or at a hospital; request extensions, excused absences or other accommodations in their classes; and secure new housing to ensure they remain safe.
SAPAC can assist people through the reporting and adjudication processes if they choose to formally report an incident to the university or to police. In addition, it has three confidential, peer-led support groups.
SAPAC recently teamed up with Counseling and Psychological Services to create a joint Survivor Care Team. The initiative involves a multidisciplinary team of advocates and therapists who can provide coordinated support to student survivors.
Williamsen said even if an incident happened off campus or before a student came to U-M, SAPAC is there to help.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Like SAPAC, CAPS offers confidential support services. It specializes in individual and group psychotherapy, as well as crisis intervention. CAPS exclusively serves students.
A counselor-on-duty service is available on weekdays for students who are in crisis or have an urgent need to see a counselor. An after-hours service is also available on evenings, weekends and holidays.
CAPS provides what it calls care management, which links students with both on- and off-campus resources. Students often work with CAPS care managers when connecting to a therapist for ongoing counseling when it’s unclear which resource on campus or in Ann Arbor best fits their needs, or when they’re trying to navigate health insurance coverage.
Care managers can help address concerns regarding food security, homelessness or housing security, emergency situations and navigating multiple relationships or resources.
“Our handle, so to speak, is providing trauma-informed care,” CAPS Director Todd Sevig said. “One of the tenets of that is to meet the student where they’re at on this journey, which is very painful and difficult, and usually new and overwhelming, while they’re trying to do everything else in terms of being a student.
“And so we’ll meet them where they’re at, be transparent and use an empowerment-based approach, where the student is the driver.”
In November, CAPS began piloting a mental health and well-being resource called Togetherall, which allows students to receive and provide support anonymously through an online peer-to-peer community. Interactions on the platform are anonymous and continuously supervised by licensed mental health practitioners.
To speak to a counselor-on-duty, call CAPS at 734-764-8312 during open hours. After-hours care is available by calling the same number and pressing 0. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit caps.umich.edu.
Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office
FASCCO supports and assists faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses to resolve personal or work-related concerns. It offers a range of sensitive and innovative services that seek to enhance the emotional health, well-being and job performance of members of the university community.
FASCCO’s resources include confidential and professional counseling, personalized coaching, support groups, training and consultation services to staff, faculty, retirees, departments and benefit-eligible adult dependents. All services are free.
Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience
This office serves all Michigan Medicine faculty and staff and their immediate family members. It offers confidential counseling, support groups, crisis intervention and stress debriefing, career coaching, educational outreach and other services.
Services are provided by staff whose professional backgrounds include nursing, social work and psychology.
For more information, call 734-763-5409 or email email@example.com.
Offices of ombuds
Student, faculty and staff ombuds offices are another resource. Here’s a look at what each one offers, according to their websites:
• The Office of the Ombuds within Student Life is a place where all students can talk in confidence about any campus issue, concern, problem or dispute. The office can be contacted “as a first step, as a last resort, or anywhere along the way,” according to its website. Students can request an appointment by calling the ombuds line at 734-763-3545 and leaving a voicemail, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit ombuds.umich.edu.
• The Office of the Staff Ombuds offers free and confidential services to help non-bargained-for Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine employees create and maintain a positive work environment, including individual assessments and options, communication and conflict coaching, group facilitation and regular feedback to campus leaders regarding systemic issues. For more information, call 734-936-0600, email email@example.com or visit staffombuds.umich.edu.
• The Office of the University Faculty Ombuds is a confidential, impartial, informal and independent resource for information and assistance to faculty members. It helps resolve academic and administrative problems and disputes through procedures that may be preferable to a formal grievance or judicial proceedings. For more information, call 734-763-2707, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facultyombuds.umich.edu.