TITLE IX/SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that guarantees that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs and activities and to provide individuals effective protection against those practices. Title IX applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs or activities conducted within the United States.
What Does Title IX Cover?
Title IX applies to both students and employees who participate in educational programs and activities that receive federal funds. These activities must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Some key areas where HU has Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; academic opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, HU sponsored activities, discipline; and employment. Also, HU may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or made charges, testified, or participated in any complaint action under Title IX. Title IX also contains obligations regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual violence, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.
Title IX applies to everyone. Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived sex, gender identity and/or expression. All female, male, and non-conforming gender individuals are protected from any sex-based discrimination, harassment or violence.
HU’s Title IX Policy
To ensure compliance with Title IX and other federal and state civil rights laws, HU has developed a Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy that prohibits discrimination and sexual misconduct on the basis of sex. Title IX requires HU to respond and take action to address sex-based discrimination and harassment complaints. This includes sexual misconduct complaints related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Therefore, upon receiving a complaint, HU will, without bias or conflict:
- Investigate what happened;
- Implement interim measures when appropriate during the investigation to prevent the potential of any further discrimination or harassment; and
- Take appropriate steps to resolve the matter in an effort to eliminate the discrimination/harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.
The procedures in HU’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy outline HU’s ability to receive, investigate, and resolve complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex. These procedures are designed to provide a supportive process for individuals who report discrimination and to ensure a fair process for individuals who are accused of discriminatory conduct. Internal investigation of allegations of discriminatory treatment or systemic discriminatory practices is intended to ensure that HU meets its commitment to an open and inclusive educational and employment environment. These procedures also describe HU efforts to conduct a timely, thorough, and fair investigation, as required by law.
HU’s staff who participates in this process are trained concerning the obligations of their roles as outlined within Title IX.
HU’s policy also complies with the federal Violence Against Women Act Amendments to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act, and the accompanying regulations (collectively referred to as VAWA).
Lastly, Title IX prohibits retaliation for asserting or otherwise participating in claims of sex discrimination. VAWA imposes additional duties on universities and colleges to investigate and respond to reports of sexual assault, stalking, dating or domestic violence, and to publish policies and procedures related to the way these reports are handled. HU has designated the Title IX Coordinator to coordinate HU’s compliance with Title IX and VAWA, and to respond to reports of violations.
Filing a Title IX Complaint at HU
Students or employee who feel they have been a victim of sexual misconduct have the right to file a complaint with HU at any time. Victims are not required to file complaints but are encouraged to do so. Regardless if they choose to report, or not report, sexual misconduct, reasonable available accommodations or protective measures are provided to victims upon request.
Students may speak with a confidential resource by contacting HU’s Counseling Center at 717-901-5100 ext. 0253, email firstname.lastname@example.org or the BHS Student Assistance Program via the app/web, https://portal.bhsonline.com, or call 800-327-2251. The username is HarrisburgU.
Employees may speak with a confidential resource by contacting the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-316-2796.
Students or employees may file a formal complaint as outlined within HU’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy with:
Director of Compliance/Title IX Coordinator
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
225 Market Street, 2nd Floor, Room 228
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 901-5100 ext. 1769
Victims, third-parties, or bystanders may also file anonymous/confidential complaints. However, anonymous complaints may compromise HU’s ability to investigate an incident thoroughly and/or formally.
Complaints that do not meet the definition of Title IX may still be processed as sexual misconduct under the Student Code of Conduct or the Employee Handbook.