TITLE IX INFORMATION
Eliminating Discrimination Against Students Based on Sex: Responses to Sexual Violence Against a Student
“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 educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) promotes access to its educational programs and activities consistent with federal statutes; state regulations; and University regulations, policies and procedures. The University takes prompt action to investigate student complaints of sex discrimination pursuant to federal, state and local statutes.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Title IX protects students from sexual harassment, which is one type of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by Title IX. The United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, issued a “Dear Colleague” dated April 4, 2011. The Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) contained specific guidelines regarding university responses to reports of sexual violence against a student. Most significantly:
*Provide immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature;
*Disseminate a notice of nondiscrimination;
*Designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX;
*Adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee sex discrimination complaints;
*Implement preventive education programs; and
*Provide remedies to the complainant, including counseling.
University Assistance Provided to FAMU Students
To faculty members, athletic coaches, administrators and staff who receive notice that a student has been the victim of sexual harassment, including sexual violence; the University’s practice is to offer the student six resources.
1) Affirmation. The student who discloses is sharing a confidence, perhaps for the first and only time. FAMU strongly encourages the following responses, “I am glad you shared this with me”; “I will do everything I can to assist you”; or “What would you like me to do next?” The University advises recipients of disclosure to avoid responses such as, “You should try to get over this” or “It is best to get on with your life.” The University prohibits employees who receive disclosures of sexual violence from withholding the information.
2) Safety. The goal is to ensure that the student has an opportunity to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator. The University may need to prohibit contact with the student by the alleged perpetrator, if necessary. The student may need overnight shelter to avoid a residence hall or apartment where the alleged perpetrator also lives. The University may need to arrange within campus housing to separate the alleged perpetrator from the victim.
3) Health Services. The student may need care for physical or mental injuries; testing for sexually transmitted diseases; or reproductive-related care, just as examples. If the student agrees, FAMU Student Health Services (Clinic) can provide such care at (850) 599-3777.
4) Counseling. The student may need counseling or psychological services, whether the sexual violence was recent or long ago. If the student agrees, FAMU Counseling Services can provide individual and group counseling. It is available to students at no charge. The contact number is (850) 599-3145.
5) Academic Adjustments. The goal is to ensure that the student has an opportunity to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator. The student who experiences trauma or who must relocate for some period may need to miss one or more classes without the results being punitive. The student may request administration of an exam at a location unknown to an alleged perpetrator who attends the same class; completion of the class via online assignments; or a grade of Incomplete with a schedule for making up coursework. The Counseling Center or Student Clinic can document the student’s request(s) to professors.
6) Criminal or administrative options. Students, who have victims of sexual harassment, may choose one or more:
· File a police report with FAMU Police Department at (850) 599-3256
· File a police report with the Tallahassee Police Department, if the sexual harassment occurred off-campus
· File a complaint with the FAMU Office of Judicial Affairs at (850) 412-7223
· File a discrimination complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (850-599-3076).
Florida A&M University will include the following in its training programs, but are not limited to:
* training all university law enforcement personnel on the university’s Title IX responsibilities and handling of sexual harassment or sexual violence complaints;
* training all employees who interact with students regularly on recognizing and appropriately addressing allegations of sexual harassment or violence under Title IX;
* training the Title IX Coordinator and any other employees who are involved in processing, investigating, or resolving complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence;
* informing students of their options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, and the option to be assisted by university employees in notifying those authorities;
* designating an individual from the university’s counseling center to be “on call” to assist victims of sexual harassment or violence whenever needed;
* offering counseling, health, mental health, or other holistic and comprehensive victim services to all students affected by sexual harassment or violence, and notifying students of campus and community counseling, health, mental health, and other student services;
Applicable Regulations and Policiesa) University Board of Trustees Regulation 10.103, Non-Discrimination Policy
For additional questions and resources for filing a report or complaint, please contact:
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs
674 Gamble Street
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850)599-3076 or firstname.lastname@example.org