Harassment - Complaints and Reporting

The Appalachian State University (ASU) Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences (GES) will not tolerate overt racism, microaggressions, bias, abuse, violence, sexual predation, discrimination, and other forms of harassment between students and/or between students and faculty/staff, both on campus and in the field.

We acknowledge that racism and bias incidents can be difficult to report when they do occur and that Appalachian State University does not have clear avenues to report these incidents. As we strive to provide a safe and trustworthy environment in the GES Department, we encourage students to report direct and bystander incidents to faculty members with the understanding that faculty members are not always able to remain confidential, and if you share certain information with faculty members, they may be required by law to report it to the appropriate office (Student Affairs, Human Resources, or Academic Affairs) for an official investigation.

Harassment can be reported in the following ways:

Formal Reporting Options

1. GES Department Faculty

  • What can they do?  Provide resources and next steps.
  • Is it confidential? That depends on the information and situation - faculty are required to formally report instances of interpersonal violence, such as sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, and retaliation through the ASU Office of Access and Equity. Additionally, if a faculty member feels the situation may escalate, the faculty member is required to report the incident to the ASU Office of Student Conduct.
  • How to contact? Talk to a GES faculty member or the GES Chair. Be aware that faculty are state employees and their emails are subject to open records laws. Depending on the situation, it may be preferable to meet one on one instead of communicating via email.

2. ASU Case Management Team under the Division of Student Affairs

  • What can they do? Assess the situation and inform the student of the options open to them: counseling, coaching, or making a formal report.
  • Is it confidential? No - If the Case Management Team feels the situation may escalate, they must evaluate the report and determine the appropriate response.
  • How to contact? View the Case Management Team and choose which person you would like to reach out to. Students may also call 828-262-8284 to set up a meeting.

 3. ASU Counseling Services

  • What can they do? Provide a free, confidential avenue to discuss the incident.
  • Is it confidential? Yes.
  • How to contact? The Counseling Center offers emergency and urgent support by connecting students with a Counselor On Call: 828-262-3180. The Counseling Center is located on the 1st floor of the Miles Annas Building.

4. ASU Office of Access and Equity and Office of Student Conduct


Reporting Mental or Physical Concerns

The GES faculty acknowledge that life exists outside of the classroom. If you are dealing with personal or health crises (mental or physical) that are interfering with your schoolwork, you should contact the Office of the Dean of Students as soon as possible. This office will direct you towards support services and write letters to faculty requesting they consider your personal circumstances.

While informal discussions with GES faculty are encouraged in acute circumstances, please recognize that faculty are neither trained nor authorized to provide informal, longer-term counseling support. Faculty will instead try to guide you to resources that can provide you with the support you need.

Confidential Therapeutic and Counseling Support:

  • OASIS is Boone's local domestic and sexual violence resource agency. OASIS hosts a 24-hour confidential crisis line that puts you in touch with a staff member for immediate assistance: 1-800-268-1488.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services provides free confidential mental health counseling and support to Appalachian students. Located on the 1st floor of the Miles Annas Building, the Counseling Center offers emergency and urgent support connecting students with a Counselor On Call: 828-262-3180. 

Confidential Medical Assistance:

Those who experience physical harm are encouraged to seek medical attention.

  • The Watauga Medical Center, located on Deerfield Road in Boone, provides confidential, 24-hour medical care and assistance to all individuals including a medical exam, testing for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and the preservation of evidence through a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam.
  • MS Shook Student Health Services is a primary care ambulatory campus health clinic available to Appalachian students.
  • OASIS provides Medical Advocates for those seeking additional support and wanting to learn more about what to expect when seeking medical attention.

The Appalachian State University Police Department:

  • For an emergency, please call 828-262-8000 (emergency) or 911.
  • For a non-emergency, please call 828-262-2150 (non-emergency).
  • You may also anonymously report a crime to Appalachian State University Police by calling 828-268-6959.