Title IX Frequently Asked Questions

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: 

"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."

Title IX applies to educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance, including Southern Utah University. Educational programs and activities that receive federal funds must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Some key issue areas affected by Title IX are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment. Also, Title IX addresses issues such as retaliation against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or making charges, testifying or participating in any complaint action under Title IX.

SUU Policy 5.60, Sexual Misconduct, defines and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, in education programs and activities; details how to report a violation of policy; describes Southern Utah University resources and supportive measures to protect those involved in the process; and outlines investigation, disciplinary, and due process procedures for addressing reported violations of this policy.

Title IX benefits everyone -- girls and boys, women and men. The law requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices, and programs that do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender. SUU Policy 5.60, Sexual Misconduct, prohibits sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation as defined by the policy. Violations of SUU Policy 5.60 include but are not limited to acts or attempts of dating and relationship violence; domestic violence; discrimination based on sex, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; hostile environment based on sex, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression (including intimidation and hazing/bullying); sexual harassment; sexual assault (including nonconsensual sexual contact or non-consensual sexual intercourse); sexual exploitation (including engaging in sexual trafficking); and stalking. SUU Policy 5.60  applies to all persons who are (1) employed by, attending, or affiliated with the University; (2) participating in any University program or activity, including but not limited to trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students, independent contractors, volunteers, and guests; and/or (3) visiting campus or any property owned or leased by the University.

Elimination of discrimination against women and girls has received more attention because females historically have faced greater gender restrictions and barriers in education. A continued effort to achieve educational equity has benefited all students by moving toward the creation of school environments where all students may learn and achieve the highest standards.

Although Title IX is best known for its application to athletics, the law applies to every single aspect of education, including course offerings, counseling and counseling materials, financial assistance, student health and insurance benefits and/or other services, housing, marital and parental status of students, physical education and athletics, education programs and activities, and employment.

Further, SUU Policy 5.60, Sexual Misconduct, applies to all persons employed by or affiliated with the University in any way and persons participating in any University program or activity, including but not limited to trustees, advisory board members, administrators, faculty, staff, students, independent contractors, volunteers, and guests or visitors to any University campus or any property owned or leased by the University.

Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment), to the Title IX Coordinator using any of the following methods:

  1. in person at 351 W. University Boulevard, Bennion Building, Suite 111, Cedar City, UT 84720 (8:00a.m. – 5:00pm business hours only);
  2. suu.edu/titleix;
  3. by mail at 351 W. University Boulevard, Cedar City, UT 84720 (anytime);
  4. by telephone at 435-586-5419 (anytime);
  5. by electronic mail: Title9@suu.edu (anytime); or
  6. by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s oral or written report.

 

That depends. SUU Policy 5.60, Sexual Misconduct, defines who must, may, and may not report suspected sexual discrimination or sexual harassment to the Title IX Office. To the extent possible, it is a good idea to report suspected sexual discrimination or sexual harassment to the Title IX Office. The Title IX Office has many resources and supportive measures to help those experiencing sexual discrimination or harassment, but those resources and supportive measures cannot be put to good use if the Title IX Office does not know about the sexual discrimination or harassment.

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening to the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security, and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures. The University must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the University to provide supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.

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You can decide whether you want an investigation. Under SUU Policy 5.60, making a report or asking for resources is not the same as filing a formal complaint. A formal complaint is a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation. It is only if a complainant files a formal complaint or the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint that the University will conduct a formal investigation.

A person can make a report to the Title IX Office, but decline to file a formal complaint. In that situation, the person is entitled to ask for resources and supportive measure through the Title IX office, but no formal investigation will take place.

No. The Title IX resources and supportive measures are not dependent on a person filing a police report.

Generally, no. The Title IX process and criminal proceedings are two separate processes. However, if the complainant or victim is a minor, under state law, the Title IX Office must report any sexual harassment to the police. Also, in some circumstances, where the health and safety of the campus community are imperiled, the Title IX Office may report to the police. These are very rare circumstances and are treated with the utmost confidentiality and discretion.

Yes. You can make an anonymous report to the Title IX Office. However, an anonymous report is not subject to an investigation. There must be a complainant and a formal complaint to initiate an investigation. An anonymous report helps the Title IX Office know of potential allegations or evidence of wrongdoing, but without a formal complaint and an investigation, the Title IX Office cannot impose sanctions against the accused party.

As far as the confidentiality of the information disclosed to the Title IX Office, the University must maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the University’s ability to provide the supportive measures.

The University must keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, its regulations, or as required by Utah Government Records and Management Act (GRAMA), the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or other law, or to carry out the purposes of Title IX, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising under Title IX.

The University will protect confidential communications to designated University advocates authorized by the Title IX Coordinator, protected under the Utah Campus Advocate Confidentiality Amendments (Utah Code § 53B-28-101 et seq.), where disclosure is not required by applicable federal law, including Title IX, Title VII, or the Clery Act, or consented in writing.