August 22, 2016

Reporting Options (Student Misconduct)

Prohibited conduct may be reported to local law enforcement (LAPD), the USC Department of Public Safety (DPS), or the Title IX Office. Any individual may report prohibited conduct. Support and resources are available to a Reporting Party regardless of the chosen reporting option.

The university strongly encourages prompt reporting of prohibited conduct. Prompt reporting allows for the collection and preservation of evidence, including physical evidence, digital media, and witness statements. The ability to effectively investigate and respond may be limited by delay.

Reports of prohibited conduct to the university will be documented in compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law requiring data collection of crime within the campus geography. Personal information is NOT documented, only type of conduct, and the time, date, and location. This data collection is an important tool for keeping our community safe.

Reporting to law enforcement and DPS

The university encourages anyone who witnesses or experiences prohibited conduct to make a report to university and/or local law enforcement.

To report prohibited conduct, individuals may contact DPS. When prohibited conduct is reported to DPS, DPS immediately notifies:

  • The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The Reporting Party can request that their name not be provided to LAPD, and DPS will honor that request. LAPD (or the appropriate law enforcement agency if outside of the Los Angeles area) has the responsibility for the investigation of this conduct. DPS does not have investigative jurisdiction over prohibited conduct.
  • The Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Office will provide outreach to the impacted student/staff/faculty to provide resources and reporting options.
  • RSVP who will provide outreach to the impacted student to provide support and resources.

An individual who wishes to pursue criminal action in addition to, or instead of, making a report to the university may contact law enforcement directly by calling:

  • 911 (for emergencies)
  • The Los Angeles Police Department at 877-ASK-LAPD

DPS, the Title IX Office, or RSVP will assist any individual in reporting to law enforcement regardless of where the prohibited conduct occurred.

An individual has the right to report, or to decline to report, prohibited conduct to law enforcement. A report to law enforcement may instigate criminal investigation and adjudication within the criminal justice system. Sanctions in the criminal justice system are separate and distinct from university administrative sanctions and may involve probation/parole or incarceration.

Reporting to Title IX

The university also encourages individuals to report prohibited conduct to the Title IX Office. Individuals can report to the university Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equity and Diversity through any of these options:

  • Contact the Title IX Coordinator in person, by email, or by phone:

Gretchen Dahlinger Means
(213) 740-5086 (general Title IX email)
USC Credit Union Building
3720 South Flower Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0704

Individuals can receive assistance reporting to Title IX from RSVP, Student Support and Advocacy, Residential Education, DPS, and the Engemann Student Counseling Center.

Individuals have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to pursue a formal Title IX investigation. An individual may meet with a Title IX Investigator, provide an initial statement, and request that the Title IX Office not investigate the incident until a later date. Under most circumstances, the Title IX Office can honor the request of the Reporting Party.

In limited circumstances, the Title IX Office may be required to investigate an incident of sexual misconduct against the choice of the Reporting Party; for example, when an incident involves a weapon or predatory drug use, when multiple victims are involved, or when there is a danger to the greater community.

Reporting prohibited conduct to Title IX typically initiates an investigation to determine whether the alleged incident is a violation of this policy. The report also allows the university to provide a wide variety of support and resources to impacted individuals and to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct.

The Title IX process can run simultaneously to a criminal process. If there are parallel investigations, the Title IX Office coordinates with external law enforcement to ensure that the Title IX process does not hinder legal process or proceedings.

Title IX sanctions are administrative and may include expulsion, suspension, community reparation, or counseling.

Reports by individuals who want to remain anonymous

Time frame for reporting

Amnesty to students who report prohibited conduct or seek assistance

Reporting to university staff and faculty

Responsible employees

Confidential resources

Reporting to governmental authorities

Any individual may file reports and/or complaints about the university’s handling of prohibited conduct to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with the U.S. Department of Education at (415) 486-5555 or OCR complaints should be filed within 180 days of the last date of alleged discrimination. OCR may extend this deadline in a variety of circumstances.

Staff employees and faculty may file reports and/or complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) at or, or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1-800-669-4000 (TTY 1 (800) 669-6820) or Complaints must be filed with the DFEH no later than one year from the date of the alleged unlawful conduct. If the DFEH believes that a complaint is valid and settlement efforts fail, the DFEH may seek an administrative hearing before the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) or file a lawsuit in court. Both the FEHC and the courts have the authority to award monetary and non-monetary relief in meritorious cases.

Any person who believes that the university as a federal contractor has violated nondiscrimination or affirmative action obligations may contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at 1(800)397-6251 (TTY: 1(202)693-1337).