Thank you for raising this issue, Olivia.
In one of my teaching gigs, I went through very basic Title IX training. (Yes, only one of them.) It was so short that I don't have anything particularly deep or insightful to say, and in general I don't think I'm in a good position to prescribe anything (and I apologize if anything I say here sounds too prescriptive). But I wanted to mention one of the standard procedures we are trained to carry out, and how that might inform this general discussion.
While it's probably fairly obvious why mandatory reporting exists (since there is a high risk of things being swept under the rug if authority figures aren't under obligations to do something), a lot of people are very uncomfortable with how it completely removes agency from the victim of misconduct, whose situation is reported whether they like it or not. (This should probably be a strong consideration if/when your club appoints a misconduct officer, and you are choosing between appointing a grad student or an undergraduate.)
The way I was instructed to handle this problem was as follows: If a student appears to be about to disclose a case of misconduct to you, you make sure you inform them of their options before they disclose anything. Basically, you say something along the lines of: "Please know that if you are about to discuss an incident of misconduct with me, I am legally obliged to report this to the Title IX office. If you are not comfortable with my doing that, I will provide you with campus resources that will allow you to discuss this matter confidentially. If you are fine with this, please continue."
I've heard other people describe this process as warning the victim about potential ramifications of their disclosure. Yes, you are indeed doing that, but I think that characterization risks placing the emphasis on the wrong aspect of this. You are first and foremost informing of them of their options, so they can choose how to proceed.
reindeer wrote: ↑Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:00 pm
My immediate questions are: does anyone have any insight on how these mandatory reporting requirements interact with disclosures of misconduct in quizbowl? How do we respect people’s privacy & desire to share their experiences informally while also living up to our external obligations?
I also want to add that, of course, misconduct can still be disclosed to university Title IX offices even by a non-mandatory reporter. Currently the primary mechanism for addressing misconduct in quizbowl is removing the offender from the community. But this is worth further discussion too: under what circumstances is that not enough of a response? When should we encourage making a report to the relevant school(s) as well?
To address Olivia's questions more directly, I wonder this: Is it actually a net benefit for quizbowl to have a default position on when player bans and the like are (to use Olivia's words) "not enough of a response" / when to encourage going through other channels? Or is it better to perform a more expansive version of what I was taught to do in Title IX training? This would entail saying something like: "Here is a range of options for what we can do internally within quizbowl, and what can be done through external routes. If you ask us to exercise any of these internal mechanisms, we will abide by your wishes; but know that there are the following more powerful options at your disposal." Put another way: doesn't having any sort of default position necessarily encroach upon the agency of a victim?
Since this is a very complicated issue, I wish to acknowledge an argument against what I've just suggested: that it is potentially problematic to place all the onus on the victim; traumatic events are difficult and confusing enough without heaping the weighty decisions on the victim's shoulders. Even acknowledging that truth, however, I have doubts arising from my belief that quizbowlers are generally not going to be the best people to advise someone on these matters. That is, they may be the best people with whom to talk through the range of internal options (since no one outside of quizbowl knows about them), but are probably not the best people to help someone talk through the question of whether to pursue external rather than internal options.