Frequently Asked Questions: Title IX
What conduct is prohibited by Title IX?
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender (sex). Title IX prohibited conduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship (dating) violence and stalking.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive or that unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in a College course, program or activity or is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation. Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to: unnecessary touching or brushing against someone in a sexual manner; demanding sexual favors concerning employment; unwelcome messages or communications of a sexual nature.
What is sexual assault?
Any intentional sexual touching however slight, with any object or body part, by one person upon another without consent or by force. Sexual touching includes any contact of sexual nature with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or body part of another. Any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), including sexual intercourse with an object or body part, however slight, by one person upon another without consent or by force. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal and/or anal preparation by a penis, object, tongue or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact).
What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct is the commission of an unwanted sexual act, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, that occurs without indication of consent.
What is relationship (dating) violence?
Relationship (dating) violence is physical violence within a romantic or intimate relationship regardless of the length of the relationship or gender of the individuals in the relationship.
What is stalking?
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person(s) that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress.
What is consent?
Informed, freely given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Effective consent may never be obtained when there is a threat of force or violence, or any other form of coercion or intimidation, whether physical or psychological. Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated whether due to drugs, alcohol or some other condition, or from a minor. Silence or lack of active resistance does not imply consent. Intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent. A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption, or who is unconscious or asleep or otherwise physically or cognitively impaired, is incapable of giving consent.
What are a College’s obligations when it has notice of a Title IX related incident?
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter (DCL)” on April 4, 2011 to educational institutions receiving federal aid. The DCL outlined institutions’ responsibilities with regard to student-on-student reports of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship (dating) violence and stalking. The DCL states, “If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.”
What are the responsibilities of the Title IX Coordinator?
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for:
- Coordinating college compliance with Title IX obligations
- Ensuring the Title IX prohibited conduct ends
- Ensuring the safety of the impacted student and community
- Preventing the Title IX prohibited conduct from reoccurring
- Identifying and addressing patterns and/or problems
- Ensuring training and education of Title IX obligations, policies, and resources
Who is Becker College’s Title IX Coordinator?
What are the reporting obligations of residential staff (RA, AC, RD, etc.) when they have notice and/or report of a Title IX related incident?
All Becker College employees, including student staff employed in campus residences must report all Title IX related concerns to the Title IX Coordinator of the incident and meet with the complainant to assist with immediate safety accommodations and resources as needed and appropriate to prevent its recurrence.
What if the complainant requests confidentiality?
All Becker employees (including residential staff) must report Title IX related concerns to a College administrator as stated in Becker College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. Only persons who, by law, have special professional status (College mental and medical health professionals) may keep Title IX related reports confidential. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will meet with the complainant when possible, to provide information about a Title IX investigation. Before beginning an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the complainant and request consent from the complainant to proceed to an investigation. If the complainant does not give consent for an investigation, the College will weigh the complainant’s request for confidentiality in determining whether to proceed to an investigation. In some instances, to protect the safety of the Becker community, an investigation may still go forward even if the complainant refuses consent.
Who can a student contact if they want information to remain confidential?
Confidential consultations about sexual harassment, assault and/or misconduct are available from persons who, by law, have special professional status. At Becker College, a Becker student may contact the following offices for confidential resources:
What safety measures and accommodations are available to students when they report a Title IX related incident?
Upon a report of a Title IX concern, the College will work with the complainant to put interim measures in place to create some immediate distance between the complainant and respondent (or respondents). Following an investigation and a determination that conduct prohibited by Title IX occurred, more permanent accommodations and safety measures may be implemented. Accommodations and safety measures (including interim measures) could include:
- Housing reassignments
- Class reassignments
- No contact letters
- Limitation on extracurricular or athletic activities
- Removal from College community
- Other appropriate actions as necessary
Who can a student contact to ask that one or more of these safety measures and/or accommodations be put in place?
A Becker student may contact the Title IX Coordinator to ask that one or more of these safety measures and/or accommodations are put in place.
What is the purpose of a Title IX Investigation?
The purpose of a Title IX investigation is to determine:
- Whether prohibited conduct has occurred;
- Whether there is an ongoing risk of harm for further prohibited conduct and if so, to take steps to prevent its recurrence;
- Whether accommodations for the complainant need to be put in place to redress the effects of prohibited conduct;
- Whether accommodations or safety measures should be put in place to make the Becker community safe;
- Whether system-wide or local changes to policies, practices or training should be considered and implemented.
What are a respondent’s rights if they are accused for committing Title IX prohibited conduct?
If the Title IX Coordinator notifies a student that they have been accused of sexual assault, misconduct, and/or harassment, the accused student has the right to:
- Know who is making the allegations
- Know what the allegations are; and
- Have an opportunity to respond to the allegations
Whom can a student contact if they have been accused of Title IX prohibited conduct?
A student who has been accused of Title IX prohibited conduct can contact the Title IX Coordinator and/or Counseling Center.