Safety at Your Internship

Some companies and organizations will have trainings or provide guidance during your orientation that covers their anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and ethics policies.  Others may not.

If the behavior or language of your co-workers, supervisors, clients, or fellow interns makes you uncomfortable or is blatantly unacceptable, the typical first step is to discuss it with your supervisor or with the human resources representative at your organization.  If the problem is with your supervisor, your organization does not have a human resources person, or you do not feel comfortable talking with either of them about the situation, do not hesitate to contact campus resources for guidance. Although we cannot completely control the internship experience, some behaviors are unacceptable.  Discrimination, harassment, aggression and illegal behavior do not belong in the workplace, and there are resources to help you navigate tough situations if you feel that your safety or emotional wellbeing are at risk.

Resources for Guidance:

Your internship course instructor:   Not sure if something is serious or not?  Your instructor can help you navigate who to talk to at your internship site or on campus, and/or provide coaching on what to say.  Please note this may not be a confidential resource –if your concerns involve sexual harassment or assault, they may be required to connect you with the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator to ensure your concerns are addressed.

Pomerantz Career Center (319-335-1023):  Ask to speak to the Associate Director of Experiential Education. Similar to your instructor they can help you navigate who to talk to at your internship site or on campus, and/or provide coaching on what to say.  Please note this is not a confidential resource –if your concerns involve sexual harassment or assault, they are required to share information and connect you with the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator to ensure you have the resources and information you need.

Student Legal Services (319-335-3276):  Student Legal Services has two licensed attorneys who provide free legal advice on a variety of issues including workplace harassment and discrimination. They can also review and advise students on employment contracts including confidentiality and non-compete agreements. Services are confidential.

Office of Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (319-335-6200): The Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSMRC) provides a central place to report incidents, works with victims or complainants to ensure their wishes are understood and inform the process,  helps them connect with confidential resources and victim advocates, and can facilitate academic accommodations.

The Campus Inclusion Team (319-335-1162): The Campus Inclusion Team is staffed by members in the Office of the Dean of Students.  You can submit a concern online and a representative will contact you to help connect you with the appropriate resources for incidents related to bias and discrimination based upon age, ability, gender, sexuality, economic background, national origin, race/ethnicity, religion, political associations, and veteran status. Reports can also be made anonymously, but these reports will not be addressed with support.

The Office of the Ombudsperson (319-335-3608):  The Office of the Ombudsperson is a safe place to talk about any concerns, including but not limited to sexual harassment or misconduct, discrimination, violation of policies, and unethical behavior.  This is a confidential resource unless you disclose plans to hurt yourself or others. This resource is especially useful if the situation involves other campus parties including faculty, staff, fellow students or UI interns.

Law Enforcement:

  • Local or University police (319-335-5022)
  • If you are in immediate danger in the United States, call 911
  • If you are in immediate danger outside the United States, you will want to know the local equivalent for 911 emergency services in your location.  This information and additional guidance can be found in the Safety & Security section of the US Department of State country page for your location.

For more resources for situations involving sexual misconduct, see the University of Iowa’s Resource and Referral Guide for Sexual Misconduct, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking.

Need immediate help with a situation involving sexual misconduct?