Meet Jessica Landis, the Assistant Dean for Student Safety and Equity and Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Meet Jessica Landis, a Jesuit-educated and mission-motivated staff member who has filled a variety of essential roles within the Division of Student Development over the past four years. Currently the Assistant Dean for Student Safety and Equity and Title IX Deputy Coordinator—both positions she accepted earlier this semester, below she discusses the important services, resources, and options on campus for survivors of gender-based or sexual misconduct.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I currently serve as the Assistant Dean for Student Safety and Equity and Title IX Deputy Coordinator. I have my Bachelor of Arts from John Carroll University and Master of Arts in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati, where my research focused on sexual assault prevention in higher education. I’m originally from Ohio and huge Cleveland sports fans.
What do you do as a Title IX coordinator? How can students use you as a resource?
My role is to ensure the timely, impartial, and effective resolution of all Title IX complaints (incidents involving gender-based or sexual misconduct or discrimination) involving students. I meet with survivors to provide information about services, resources, and options for both formal and informal resolution. If someone chooses to initiate an investigation through the student conduct process, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the process is fair and equitable for all students involved. Even if students choose not to pursue the student conduct process, I’m able to assist them with requesting reasonable accommodations and interim safety measures. My door is always open, and I’m happy to meet with students to assist with any challenges they may be facing.
You’ve been at Loyola in several different capacities. How long have you been here and what else have you done?
I started working at Loyola in the summer of 2013. I previously worked in the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution as a conduct administrator, a trained mediator working with students to navigate conflict, and a Title IX Investigator and Hearing Board Chair for sexual misconduct cases.
As a graduate of a Jesuit university, is that what drew you toward working at Loyola?
Absolutely. My own Jesuit education was truly transformative, and I’ve been a believer in the Jesuit mission, tradition, and values ever since. I’ve realized that it’s important for me to work somewhere with a mission I believe in: Loyola is that place for me.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?
I love learning about the amazing things students are doing in the Loyola community and beyond. I often meet with students who are going through incredibly difficult experiences, and it’s inspiring to hear about the ways they’re not only persisting, but truly making their communities better places.
Can you explain the Title IX reporting process at Loyola? Is it possible for reports to be kept confidential?
Students can report in a number of different ways: Students can file an online report through EthicsLine; they can contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org; 773.508.8834); and they can always report to Campus Safety. Additionally, all faculty and staff at Loyola are considered “responsible employees” who have a duty to notify me when they learn about a situation involving a student that may fall under Title IX.
Once I receive information through one of these channels, I reach out to the student to provide information about resources and invite them to meet with me to discuss their options. If students want to speak with someone in complete confidence, they can contact the following confidential resources: medical and mental health professionals at the Wellness Center, Loyola's Sexual Assault Advocacy Line, and Pastoral Counselors (recognized by a religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling.) As designated confidential resources, these individuals are not required to notify me or anyone else at the University.
What are a few important resources at Loyola that you think students don’t know about?
Loyola’s Sexual Assault Advocacy Line (773.494.3810) is an excellent resource. The hotline is staffed by trained advocates Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 24 hours a day on the weekend when classes are in session. Additionally, I think many students don’t realize that survivors have a right to reasonable accommodations and interim safety measures even if they don’t want to go through a formal investigation process. Students can access information about these support services through a confidential resource or by connecting with the Office of the Dean of Students.
What are a few priorities you’re working on in terms of student safety and equity at Loyola?
Every year we continue to review and improve our services and protocol related to gender-based misconduct. I’m really proud of the work we do, but there are always ways to improve. We are also working to continue building out more comprehensive and robust response and support services for students who experience discrimination or misconduct based on other protected classes, such as race, religion, ethnicity, etc. I’m also very excited to be involved in the Office of the Dean of Students initiatives focused on building open channels of communication between our team and students. Be sure to stop by the next “Listening Lounge” from 12–1 p.m. on Friday, April 7, when we hang out in Damen Student Center to hear from students directly about their Loyola experience.