Our Office | FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also see the video Five Frequently Asked Questions about IDHR for answers to common questions and an overview of the IDHR Office.

Who can use this office?

The IDHR Office is for all members of the MIT community. In addition to faculty, staff, and students, the IDHR Office is a resource for affiliates including postdoctoral fellows, visiting researchers, and anyone impacted by someone in the MIT community. Although the available policies and procedures may differ based on your designation at MIT, the IDHR Office will work to address and remedy harm and prevent future harm from occurring.

What constitutes discrimination or discriminatory harassment?

Student Policies are located in the Mind & Hand Book and an overview of definitions can be found here.

Employee Policies are located in MIT's Policies & Procedures and an overview of defintions can be found here for faculty and here for staff. 

What is Title IX and does IDHR comply with it?

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 US Code § 1681

Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, better known as Title IX, is a federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial aid. MIT complies with applicable state and federal statutes, including Title IX. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. This applies to academic, educational, athletic, residential, and other MIT-operated programs.

Gender-based discrimination committed by MIT students, staff, or faculty will not be tolerated. Gender-based discrimination includes sexual misconduct (a term used to describe a range of behaviors including sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact/sexual assault, non-consensual sexual penetration/rape, and sexual exploitation), sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking.

Where is this office located?

The office is located in W31 on the 3rd floor of the building. You can map to our office by mapping to 120 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. There are heavy black doors at the front of W31. Our office is accessible via a ramp on the side of W31 that leads to an elevator which you can take to the 2nd or 3rd floor. 

How do I schedule a meeting/appointment?

To schedule a meeting to learn more about resources and reporting options, please email idhr@mit.edu.

Where can I access the online reporting form?

The online reporting form is accessible via our website or linked here. The reporting form is for non-emergency incidents only. You can choose to fill out the online reporting form anonymously or non-anonymously.

The reporting form can be used for multiple purposes as outlined below: 

  • You can complete the form anonymously, which means the IDHR Office cannot reach out to you.The report will be used to document the incident you experienced with as much or as little detail as you’d like to provide. When you submit the form, it will send you a copy of your responses which you can save for your records.
  • You can complete the form non-anonymously, which means the IDHR Office will reach out to you and ask if you’d like to talk more about your experience. They will offer information about possible accommodations or remedies and the formal reporting process. You do not have to meet with the IDHR Office if you choose to complete the form non-anonymously. If you choose to meet with our office, this will not trigger an automatic formal investigation process. 

If I submit the online reporting form, where does it go? Who has access to it?

The IDHR Office staff will receive your report. Depending on the nature of the reported incident, the report may also be reviewed by the Bias Response Team (BRT), Department Human Resources professionals, or the central Human Resources Office. The information you provide will be kept as private as possible and only shared on a need-to-know basis.

Please Note: You can request a copy of the report prior to submission.

For anonymous reports: As we are unable to follow up with the reporting party, the IDHR Office will generally take no action regarding anonymous reports. These reports will be used solely for data-gathering purposes. Under certain circumstances, the IDHR Office (and if appropriate, the BRT) may decide to act on an anonymous report. When making this determination, the IDHR Office will weigh the reporting party’s request for anonymity with the Institute’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. In cases where the IDHR Office determines action is needed, we will keep any potentially identifying information about the reporting party as confidential as possible. 

Please note: the information in this report may become part of the Institute’s record and may be available to the students to which it pertains under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

Can I talk to the IDHR Office if I know I don’t want to start a formal investigation regarding my experience?

You can absolutely talk with someone in our office about your concerns and experiences, even if you know you would not like to pursue a formal investigation. Our office can provide you with supportive measures and informal options. Examples of supportive measures include housing transfers, academic extensions, and informal remedies such as no-contact orders and educational conversations with the person or persons who caused harm. 

Whom do I contact about an experience of bias, discriminatory harassment, and/or discrimination?

You can choose any or all of the following options:

  1. Fill out an online form anonymously or non-anonymously
  2. Reach out to the MIT Police to file a report
  3. Reach out to a confidential resource such as VPR, Ombuds, and MIT Mental Health and Counseling.

Whom do I contact to schedule an in-person training opportunity?

You can contact Sarah Rankin (srankin@mit.edu) or Bianca Kaushal-Carter (bkaushal@mit.edu) to schedule an in-person training opportunity. We strive to ensure that trainings are relevant and tailored to the experiences of your community, and are happy to work with you to identify the best topics and structure for success. Our training topics include Bystander Intervention, Responding to Disclosures, Reporting Options at MIT, Responsible Employee Duties, How to Create Inclusive Cultures, and more. 

How do I learn about my reporting options for an allegation against a student?

You can learn about your reporting options for an allegation against a student here.

Where can I learn about my reporting options for an allegation against a faculty or staff member?

You can learn about your reporting options for an allegation against a faculty or staff member here.

Where can I learn about the policies and procedures for an allegation against a student?

You can learn about policies and procedures for an allegation against a student here

Where can I learn about the policies and procedures for an allegation against a faculty or staff member?

You can learn about policies and procedures for an allegation against a faculty member here

You can learn about policies and procedures for an allegation against a staff member here

Where can I learn about my duty as a responsible employee?

You can learn about your duty as a responsible employee here.

Where can I learn about resources available to me or community members who have experienced harm?

You can learn about resources available to students here

You can learn about resources available to faculty and staff here.

What are some questions community members have asked about IDHR?

The whole PDF linked here. This includes questions like: 

  • Where can I access the online Incident Reporting Form?
  • What happens to data collected by IDHR?
  • If I'm concerned about retaliation from a faculty member, what else can IDHR do to help?
  • What is the possible range of sanctions for a respondent found to have violated the Institute's non-retaliation policy?
  • Is it a violation of the Institute's non-retaliation policy for the respondent to file a counterclaim against the complainant?
  • Does a mutual no contact order prohibit the other person from talking about me to others and/or on social media?
  • Can I request a no contact order against an alum or a non-community member?
  • What if I believe that the other person has violated the mutual no contact order?