If you have witnessed an incident that you believe to be in violation of the Code, there are a few questions you can ask yourself that can help guide your actions:
- Have you spoken to the person or persons involved? Unless you feel that your safety is in jeopardy or that there is no hope of resolving the issue, the committee encourages you to discuss your concerns directly with the involved parties. This may allow you to determine whether you have misinterpreted the situation, whether there is a misunderstanding that can be resolved, or whether you and they have a different understanding about what is appropriate or inappropriate to do or say. One aspect of the Code is professional development, including resolving conflicts with fellow professionals. The committee understands that you may not always feel safe discussing your concerns with the involved parties. In these cases you can either contact a student or faculty representative for help with mediation, or proceed directly to a formal complaint.
- Have you identified the section(s) of the Code that you believe were violated? Any formal investigation by the committee will be based on specific charges. If you need assistance with this, please contact one of the student representatives.
- Are you willing to be involved in an investigation? For the committee to take action, you must be willing to identify yourself. This is for several reasons, including: the need to interview witnesses/participants in order to determine what took place; and, the right for the accused to confront the accuser, allowing the accused to best defend him/herself against the charges.
If you feel that an investigation by the committee is warranted, please write up a formal complaint and submit it in a sealed envelope or by email to email@example.com. Although there is no specific format for a complaint, it should include the following information:
- Your name and a way to contact you (phone number, e-mail address, etc).
- A brief description of what took place and who was involved. The depth of this description should be sufficient for the committee to see why and how the code may have been violated. It does not need to be exhaustive, however, as an investigator will contact you for more information.
- Specific items in the Code that have been violated.
- An explanation of your attempts to resolve the issue. If you did not attempt to resolve the issue on your own, please explain the circumstances surrounding this decision.
Please feel free to mention, either in the complaint or during your discussion with the investigators, any other people who witnessed the incident or who may be able to provide useful information. It is important to note that while evidence in a case will be kept confidential, the accused will have access to this information, so that they may appropriately defend themself against the charges. We hope that this will not prevent you from bringing information to the committee when it is warranted.