The Office of Institutional Compliance is responsible for collecting and investigating any reports of non-compliance with laws, regulations or Citadel policy, as well as allegations of fraud, waste or abuse of resources of the State of South Carolina by Citadel students, faculty or staff. There are several ways you can make a report: utilizing chain of command, informing management, and reporting directly to the Office of Institutional Compliance.
It is the policy of the Office of Institutional Compliance to hold your report in the strictest confidence, if you so choose. If, however, you are still concerned about confidentiality, please use the EthicsPoint system outlined below.
Using the EthicsPoint systems ensures that you can make a report anonymously, if you so choose. EthicsPoint is a third-party vendor that is an industry leader in compliance and ethics-related reporting, and is available 24/7/365.
- Online: Make a report at www.citadel.ethicspoint.com
- Hotline: Call 1-855-280-8357 (toll free)
Please see the EthicsPoint FAQs below for more information.
Q: What is EthicsPoint?
EthicsPoint is a comprehensive and confidential reporting tool to assist faculty, staff, and students to work together to address compliance, fraud, waste and abuse, and other misconduct on campus, all while cultivating a positive environment. EthicsPoint is Safe Harbor Certified through the United States Department of Commerce as a hotline provider having security measures in place to address EU privacy initiatives and other global privacy directives.
Q: Why do we need a system like EthicsPoint?
- By creating open channels of communication, we can promote a positive learning environment and maximize productivity.
- An effective reporting system can be our most useful tool in reducing losses due to fraud, waste, and abuse.
- When someone needs to report a violation such as sexual assault or sexual harassment, it can sometimes be frightening and perhaps embarrassing. If a student or employee has been victimized, and they don’t feel comfortable meeting with someone face-to-face to report it, the EthicsPoint system allows them to report from a safe place, in a confidential manner, and leave as much or as little detail as they wish. In addition, they can go back to the report at a later time and submit additional information as they are able.
Q: May I report using either the Internet or the telephone?
Yes. By giving you choices, EthicsPoint helps ensure that anyone can file a report anonymously and in the manner most comfortable or convenient to them.
Q: Does the College really want me to report?
We certainly do. In fact, we need you to report. You know what is happening on campus – both good and bad. You may have initial knowledge of an activity that may be cause for concern. Your reporting can minimize the potential negative impact on the College and its people. Also, offering positive input may help identify issues that can improve areas like safety and communication.
Q: Why should I report what I know? What’s in it for me?
We all have the right to work and learn in a positive environment, and with that right comes the responsibility of acting in an ethical manner and letting the proper personnel know if someone is not acting appropriately. By working together, we can maintain a healthy and productive environment. Employee or student misconduct can threaten the livelihood of the entire institution.
Q: What type of situations should I report?
The EthicsPoint system is a communications tool that provides an avenue for reporting any violation of our Ethical Principles for Employees and Ethical Principles for Faculty, College Policies, or any other concerns you may have. The EthicsPoint system is also designed for students to report any violations by employees or other students.
For cadet conduct issues, the chain-of-command and Commandant’s Department should be utilized, where at all possible, to report issues. For cadet cheating and plagiarism, the Honor System should be used for reporting, since an honor violation must include a signed accusation by the accuser.
Q: If I see a violation, shouldn’t I just report it to my manager, security, or human resources and let them deal with it?
Ideally, you should bring any concerns to your direct supervisor or another member of management. We recognize, however, that there may be circumstances when you are not comfortable reporting the issue in this manner. It is for such circumstances that we have partnered with EthicsPoint. We would rather you report anonymously than keep the information to yourself.
Q: It is my understanding that any report I send from a campus computer generates a server log that shows every website that my PC connects with. Won’t this log identify me as a report originator?
EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your PC to EthicsPoint is available. In fact, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity. Furthermore, The Citadel does not track this type of information unless alleged criminal activity has taken place on a campus computer.
If you feel uncomfortable making a report on your campus PC, you have the option of using an off-campus PC (such as one located at a public library, an Internet café, a friend’s house, etc.) to access the EthicsPoint website. With fewer than 12% of reports generated during business hours, most people prefer to report after hours and on the weekend.
Q: Can I file a report from an off-campus computer and still remain anonymous?
A report from your home, a neighbor’s computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name, and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.
Q: I am still concerned that the information I provide to EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?
The EthicsPoint system is designed to protect your anonymity. However, if you wish to remain anonymous, you – as a reporting party – need to ensure that the body of the report does not accidentally reveal your identity by including identifying information. For example, “From my office cube next to Smitty…” or “In my 33 years…”
Q: Isn’t this system just an example of someone watching over me?
The EthicsPoint system is a positive aspect of our compliance program and allows us to ensure a safe, secure, and ethical campus. You are encouraged to seek guidance on ethical dilemmas, provide positive suggestions, or communicate a concern, and the Office of Institutional Compliance (843-953-2667 or firstname.lastname@example.org) is available to answer any questions you might have. Effective communication is critical in today’s environment, and this is a great tool to enhance that communication.
We have carefully chosen EthicsPoint as the best reporting tool to meet our compliance obligations while maintaining a positive reporting environment.
Q: I am aware of some individuals involved with unethical conduct, but it doesn’t affect me. Why should I bother reporting it?
Because it is our duty, at The Citadel, we choose to promote ethical behavior and principled leadership. All unethical conduct, at any level, ultimately hurts The Citadel and all faculty, staff, and students, including you. So, if you know of any incidents of misconduct or ethical violations, consider it your duty to report it.
Q: I am not sure what I have observed or heard is a violation of Citadel policy, or involves unethical conduct, but it just does not look right to me. What should I do?
File a report. EthicsPoint can help you prepare and file your report so it can be properly understood. We’d rather you report a situation that turns out to be harmless than let possible unethical behavior go unchecked because you weren’t sure. And remember, it is Citadel policy that anyone who makes a report in good faith, even if it turns out to be nothing at all, will not be retaliated against or disciplined.
Q: Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPointsecure server to prevent any possible breach in security. EthicsPoint makes these reports available only to specific individuals within The Citadel who are charged with evaluating the type of violation and location of the incident. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence.
Q: What if my boss or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?
The EthicsPoint system and report distribution are designed so that implicated parties are not notified or granted access to reports in which they have been named.
Q: What if I remember something important about the incident after I filed the report? Or what if The Citadel has further questions for me concerning my report?
When you file a report at the EthicsPoint website or through the EthicsPoint Call Center, you will receive a unique code called a “Report Key” and will be asked to choose a password. You can return to the EthicsPoint system again either by Internet or telephone and access the original report to answer questions posed by an EthicsPoint representative and add further information that will help resolve open issues. We strongly suggest that you return to the site in the time specified to answer any questions. You and The Citadel now have entered into an “anonymous dialogue” where situations are not only identified but can be resolved, no matter how complex.
Q: Are these follow-ups on reports as secure as the first one?
Absolutely. All EthicsPoint correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of anonymity, if you so desire.
Q: What if I want to be identified with my report?
There is a section in the report for identifying yourself, if you wish.
Q: Can I still file a report if I don’t have access to the Internet?
If you don’t have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call the EthicsPoint toll-free hotline at 855-280-8357, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Keep in mind that you can file an EthicsPoint report from any computer that can access the Internet. Many public locations, including the public library, have computers with Internet access.
Q: Is the telephone toll-free hotline confidential and anonymous too?
Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report, and an interviewer will type your responses into the EthicsPoint website. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.