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Support Person Initiative

Support Person Initiative

The University of Chicago allows both complainants and respondents in student conduct matters to bring a person of their choice to any meeting related to a matter associated with the University Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct and/or any meeting related to Title IX inquires. This support person does not serve as an advocate or representative of a party, may not be actively involved in any of the proceedings, and would not serve in an advisory role on the University process for the students. The support person is available to provide emotional and personal support during any informal or formal process. See here for additional information on the role of a support person in the University of Chicago process. In an effort to provide additional support resources for both complainants and respondents, the University has created a pool of trained faculty, other academic appointees, and staff to serve as support people during these aforementioned matters for both complainants and respondents upon request. The University will make every effort to have support people available to individuals going through the process who make this request, but will not compel anyone to serve in the support person role should there be limits on their availability or should there be a conflict of interest or bias for or against a complaint or respondent. Additionally, the University will not require any student to use a University-provided support person or otherwise limit their choice of support person. The individuals designated as University-provided support people applied to Equal Opportunity Programs for inclusion in this initiative and their applications were reviewed by the Office of the Provost staff. Interviews were also held with candidates to gauge knowledge, experience, and student support abilities. Each individual noted below attended eight hours of training on a variety of related topics. Should there be any concerns or questions about a University support person, please contact the Office for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Support at Questions or concerns about the informal or formal resolution process of complaints addressed through the University-Wide Disciplinary Process, should be directed to Jeremy Inabinet, Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs, at or 773.834.4837.

University Support Persons:

Somaiyya Ahmad Office of the Provost
Emily Backe Department of Mathematics
Vera Dragisich Department of Chemistry
Julie Edwards Health Promotion & Wellness
Amy Reifert Athletics
Marilyn Willis Office of the Provost
Melis Ozkan* College Student

*student has experience with the University-Wide Disciplinary process

Non-discrimination Statement

In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to University programs on the basis of individual merit. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972). For additional information regarding the University of Chicago’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct, please see:

The University official responsible for coordinating compliance with this Notice of Nondiscrimination is Bridget Collier, Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs. Ms. Collier also serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer, and Section 504/ADA Coordinator. You may contact Ms. Collier by emailing, by calling 773.702.5671, or by writing to Bridget Collier, Office of the Provost, The University of Chicago, 5525 S. Ellis Ave., Suite B, Chicago, IL 60637.

Read more about Title IX.