Title IX and the SaVE Act

Title IX    SaVE Act

U.S. Department of Civil Rights    Human Resources    Student Counseling Center    Complaint Form   

 

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:

“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, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX).

Title IX benefits both males and females in an effort to create gender equitable schools and universities. The law mandates that educational institutions maintain policies, procedures and programs that do not discriminate against anyone based on sex. Under the law, males and females are expected to receive fair and equitable treatment in all areas of public education including recruitment, admissions, programming and activities, course offerings and access, counseling, financial aid, employment assistance, facilities and housing, health and insurance benefits, marital and parental status, scholarships, sexual discrimination and athletics.

Troy University has a designated overall Title IX Coordinator and designated Title IX points of contact on each of the Alabama campuses. The University also has a Title IX committee that works in conjunction with the Coordinator in ensuring all aspects of the law are adhered to.

Montgomery Campus Title IX POC

Jim Smith, Assoc. Dean of Student Svcs.
Room 431 Whitley Hall
Montgomery, AL 36103
334/241-9532
jesmith@troy.edu

Phenix City Campus Title IX POC

Marianne Michael, Communications,
Partnership and Outreach Coordinator
1510 3rd Avenue, Suite 417A
Phenix City, AL 36867
334/448-5111
mmichael@troy.edu

Title IX Committee

Herbert Reeves, Coordinator
Derrick Brewster, Assistant Dean of Student Services
Ashley English, Assistant Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
Sandy Atkins, Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women’s Administrator
Jennifer Sewell, Disability Specialist
Sandy Henry, Dothan Campus Point of Contact
Jim Smith, Montgomery Campus Point of Contact
Marianne Michael, Phenix City Point of Contact

Responsibilities

The Title IX Coordinator and committee members are responsible for monitoring the University’s policies in relation to Title IX law developments; implementation of grievance procedures, including notification, investigation, and disposition of complaints; provision of educational materials and training for the campus community; conducting and/or coordinating investigations of complaints received pursuant to Title IX; ensuring a fair and neutral process for all parties; and monitoring all other aspects of the University’s Title IX compliance related to sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Sexual Discrimination and Definitions

Troy University is committed to an environment for all faculty, staff, students and visitors that is free from sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. No form of sexual discrimination will be tolerated.

  1. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is severe, persistent or pervasive and occurs when:
  2. Submission to, or toleration of, such conduct is made a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in other university activities;
  3. Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting the individual; or
  4. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s education or employment performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive university environment.

Sexual assault occurs when a person is subjected to an unwanted sexual act by force or threat without consent. Sexual acts occur without consent when they are perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to minority, intellectual impairment, or use of mind altering substances such as drugs or alcohol.

Sexual violence includes sexual assault but may also consist of an attempt to obtain a sexual act or sexual advances using coercion which do not result in a completed sexual act.
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person 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.

Domestic Violence is defined as a felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Alabama, or by another person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic of family violence laws of the State of Alabama.

Dating Violence is defined as violence committed by a person (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) the type of relationship, and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

It is important to preserve all evidence of sexual discrimination, especially if the description is also a criminal offense, such as sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, or dating violence.

Supervisors and staff members must recognize that their positions necessarily embody unequal power relationships with their subordinates and students. Because of the inherent power of differences in these relationships, the potential exists for the less powerful to perceive a coercive element in suggestions relative to activities outside those appropriate to the professional relationship. It is the responsibility of supervisors and staff members to behave in such a manner that their words or actions cannot reasonably be perceived as coercive.

Each campus has a Title IX Coordinator or Point of Contact who is charged with investigating allegations of sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence. Employees with supervisory responsibilities and university police personnel must report incidents of sexual discrimination whether observed by them or reported to them to the Title IX Coordinator who will conduct an immediate, thorough, and objective investigation of all claims. If sexual discrimination has occurred, appropriate remedial action commensurate with the severity of the offense will be taken up to and including termination. All reports, complaints, and investigations are treated with discretion and confidentiality is maintained to the extent allowed by law.

The Title IX Coordinator will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of all reports of sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence or dating. The person who has allegedly been subjected to sexual discrimination may also contact law enforcement and may seek an order of protection, no contact order, or similar order. The Title IX coordinator will assist the person alleging to be subjected to sexual discrimination with locating resources for counseling, medical treatment, legal advice, victim advocacy, or other services.

The Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for providing training and assistance on school policies related to sex discrimination and develop programs, such as college trainings or group discussions, on issues related to Title IX to assist the recipient in making sure that all members of the school community, including students and staff, are aware of their rights and obligations under Title IX.

Each campus within the Troy University System provides educational materials and programs on sexual discrimination. Contact the Title IX Coordinator or Point of Contact on your respective campus or the Human Resources Department for information on awareness and prevention of sexual discrimination.

The University reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual discrimination in order to protect individuals’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of campus living or employment arrangements, interim suspensions from campus, no contact or communications requirements, leave with or without pay, and reporting the matter to law enforcement. Persons reporting allegations of sexual discrimination must follow the Title IX Grievance Procedure.

Title IX Coordinator Responsibilities:

  • First, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the University community to help make sure that the grievance procedures are written in language appropriate for the age of the audience, and that they are easily understood and widely disseminated.
  • Second, the Title IX Coordinator shall review the grievance procedures to help determine whether they incorporate all of the elements required for the prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee complaints under Title IX, consistent with the Title IX regulatory requirement and OCR guidance.
  • Third, the Title IX coordinator shall communicate with students, parents or guardians, and school employees to help them understand the University’s grievance procedures; train employees and students about how Title IX protects against sex discrimination; and provide consultation and information regarding Title IX requirements to potential complainants.
  • Fourth, the Title IX coordinator is responsible for coordinating the grievance process and making certain that individual complaints are handled properly. This coordination responsibility may include informing all parties regarding the process, notifying all parties regarding grievance decisions and of the right to and procedures for appeal, if any; monitoring compliance with all of the requirements and timelines specified in the grievance procedures; and maintaining grievance and compliance records and files.
  • Finally, the Title IX coordinator shall work with the University community to help ensure that its grievance procedures are accessible to English language learner and students with disabilities.

Troy University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in recruitment and admissions by reviewing the recipient’s recruitment materials, admission forms, and policies and practices in these areas. Troy University also provides equal athletic opportunities for members of both sexes and effectively accommodate students’ athletic interests and abilities.

Troy University may not: (a) provide different amounts or types of financial assistance, limit eligibility for such assistance, apply different criteria or otherwise discriminate on the basis of sex in administering such assistance; or (b) assist any agency, organization, or person which offers sex restricted student aid.

The Title IX coordinator must coordinate the recipient’s efforts to accept and appropriately respond to all complaints of sex discrimination and should work with the recipient to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment.

  • First, the Title IX coordinator shall assist in any training the University provides to the school community, including all employees, as to what conduct constitutes sexual and gender-based harassment and how to respond appropriately when it occurs.
  • Second, the Title IX coordinator shall help the University develop a method appropriate to the institution to survey the campus climate (Campus Climate Survey), evaluate whether any discriminatory attitudes pervade the school culture, and determine whether any harassment or other problematic behaviors are occurring, where they happen, which students are responsible, which students are targeted, and how those conditions may be best remedied.
  • Third, because the Title IX coordinator must have knowledge of all Title IX reports and complaints at the University, the Title IX coordinator is generally in the best position to evaluate confidentiality requests from complainants in the context of providing a safe, nondiscriminatory environment for all students.
  • Fourth, the Title IX coordinator shall coordinate record keeping (for instance, in a confidential log maintained by the Title IX coordinator), monitor incidents to help identify students or employees who have multiple complaints filed against them or who have been repeated targets, and address any patterns or systemic problems that arise, including making school administrators aware of these patterns or systemic problems as appropriate.
  • Fifth, the Title IX coordinator shall recommend, as necessary, that the recipient increase safety measures, such as monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where harassment has occurred.
  • Finally, the Title IX coordinator shall regularly review the effectiveness of the University’s efforts to ensure that the University is free from sexual and gender-based harassment, and use that information to recommend future proactive steps that the University can take to comply with Title IX and protect the school community.

The Title IX coordinator shall work with the University on its obligation not to discriminate against students based on their parental, family, or marital status, or exclude pregnant or parenting students from participating in any educational program, including extracurricular activities.

The Title IX coordinator shall review the recipient’s discipline policies to help make sure they are not discriminatory. In addition, the Title IX coordinator shall work with other coordinators or school employees to help the University keep and maintain accurate and complete records regarding its disciplinary incidents and monitor the recipient’s administration of its discipline policies to ensure that they are not administered in a discriminatory manner.

Grievance Procedures

If you want to …

And the alleged offender is …

Contact this office

Report discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or violence or incident of retaliation

An employee, including a faculty member, graduate assistant, other student employee or a staff member

Contact the Student Services Office in Troy, Trojan Center 334/670-3203 or
the Human Resources Office in Troy,
Wright Hall 334/670-3710 or the designated Title IX POC for your campus or any member of the Title IX Committee or the University Police on your respective campus

Report discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or violence or incident of retaliation

A student

Contact the Student Services Office
Trojan Center 334/670-3203 or
any member of the Title IX Committee

Report discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or violence or incident of retaliation

A third party or campus visitor (neither a student nor an employee)

Contact the Student Services Office
Trojan Center 334/670-3203 or
the Human Resources Office
Wright Hall 334/670-3710 or
any member of the Title IX Committee or the University Police on your respective campus.

If you want to …

And the alleged offender is …

Contact this office

File a Code of Student Conduct charge

A student

Contact the Student Services Office
Trojan Center 334/670-3203

Obtain information/ask questions about Title IX compliance or report gender discrimination, sexual harassment/sexual violence and assault or incident of retaliation

Anyone

Contact the Student Services Office
Trojan Center 334/670-3203 or
the Human Resources Office
Wright Hall 334/670-3710 or any member of the Title IX Committee.

Obtain free and confidential counseling (including for sexual harassment, sexual violence or assault), advocacy, and support services and to learn more about reporting options

Student

Student Counseling Center
113 College Drive
334/670-3700

File a criminal charge or report abuse or neglect of a child (under 18)

Anyone

University Police Department on your respective campus

Reporting Channels for Employees and Campus Visitors for Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Assault or Sexual Violence, or Threat Assessment

If you want to …

Contact this office

Report an employee or campus visitor for discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or violence or incident of retaliation

Contact the Student Services Office Trojan Center 334/670-3203 or the Human Resources Office Wright Hall 334/670-3710 or any member of the Title IX Committee or the University Police on your respective campus

Report a student for discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or violence or incident of retaliation for reporting
Or File a Code of Student Conduct charge

 Contact the Student Services Office Trojan Center 334/670-3203

Obtain information/ask questions about Title IX compliance or report gender discrimination, sexual harassment/sexual violence and assault or incident of retaliation for reporting

Title IX Coordinator, Herbert Reeves
231 Trojan Center, Troy, Alabama 36082
334/670-3203 or hreeves@troy.edu

Obtain free and confidential counseling (including for sexual harassment, sexual violence or assault), advocacy, and support services and to learn more about reporting options

Contact the Human Resources Office in Wright Hall 334/670-3710 for services that are available to employees

File a criminal charge or report abuse or neglect of a child (under 18)

The University Police Department on your respective campus

Report alarming/threatening behavior having the potential to negatively impact the Troy community and the alleged offender is anyone

If the situation is an emergency or presents an imminent threat, immediately call 911

In non-emergency situations:
If the alarming/threatening behavior involves a current Troy student, contact the Student Services Office at 334/670-3203

If the alarming/threatening behavior involves a current TROY faculty or staff member, contact the Human Resources Office at 334/670-3710

If the alarming/threatening behavior involves a visitor to the TROY community, contact the University Police Department on your respective campus

General Principles

For the purpose of these grievance procedures, “University Title IX Coordinator” shall mean the University Title IX Coordinator; designated members of the Title IX Committee; and/or designated Points of Contact on other Alabama campuses, unless otherwise specified. Where appropriate and with prior notice where applicable, these grievance procedures may be modified or amended by the University Title IX Coordinator.

Privacy and confidentiality: All activities under these grievance procedures shall be conducted with due regard for any legitimate privacy and reputational interests of those involved. It is expected that any materials and information prepared or acquired under these grievance procedures will be shared only with those who have a legitimate need to know. Disclosure of such information may also be made if it is permitted by law and the University Title IX Coordinator determines in his or her judgment: (1) that such disclosure is necessary to protect the health, safety, or well-being of members of the Troy community; or (2) that such disclosure advances the interests of those involved in the process and/or the University and outweighs the interest in confidentiality. While the University Title IX Coordinator will take into account any requests made by a complainant for confidentiality or that a Title IX grievance not be investigated, the University Title IX Coordinator must take appropriate steps to respond to the grievance consistent with the requirements of Title IX.

Retaliation: Retaliation against any person in the University community either for alleging discrimination prohibited by Title IX or for cooperating in these grievance procedures is strictly prohibited.

Standard of Evidence: The University Title IX Coordinator shall review allegations of discrimination prohibited by Title IX by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard.

Right of Appeal and Review of Disciplinary Proceedings: The University Title IX Coordinator does not make a determination on or review a disciplinary process’s factual findings, conclusions, or imposed penalty. Any appeal rights in that regard which may exist are referenced in applicable student, faculty and staff policies and procedures. If a complainant wishes to appeal the decisions of the Title IX Coordinator or a University Conduct Board he/she may make a written appeal as outline in University policies and procedures.

Procedures

Any Community Member who believes that he/she has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title IX, or that the University has failed to meet its Title IX obligations, may bring the concern to the attention of the University Title IX Coordinator. While the University Title IX Coordinator welcomes an informal presentation of such allegations, and is available to address concerns through counseling, advice, and informal resolution, the University Title IX Coordinator is fully prepared to receive and address such allegations through formal grievance procedures.

The University Title IX Coordinator has the authority to investigate allegations of discrimination prohibited by Title IX even absent the filing of a formal grievance, or its subsequent withdrawal. In addition, the University Title IX Coordinator may proceed with investigating a formal or informal grievance even if a complainant specifically requests that the matter not be pursued. In such a circumstance, the University Title IX Coordinator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the matter in a manner which is informed by the complainant’s articulated concerns.

In most circumstances, the University Title IX Coordinator will coordinate his/her activities with other University offices charged with responsibilities for student, faculty and staff conduct and discipline and for enforcing the University’s policies and procedures generally.

Informal Resolution

In many instances, counseling, advice, or informal discussion may be useful in resolving concerns about allegations of discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Complainants who wish to resolve their concerns informally should bring them to the attention of the University Title IX Coordinator.

In working to resolve the matter, the University Title IX Coordinator ordinarily will interview the complainant and, as appropriate, others who may have knowledge of the facts underlying the grievance. At any point, including while the informal process is ongoing or afterward, the complainant may elect to end the informal process in favor of filing a formal grievance.

Although Troy welcomes informal resolution of grievances when appropriate, it will not use mediation between a complainant and alleged perpetrator or any other informal resolution mechanism to resolve grievances pertaining to non-consensual sexual contact or non-consensual sexual penetration, as defined by the University Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

Grievance Procedures for Formal (i.e. Written) Grievances

Complainants who are considering bringing a formal grievance may at any time meet with the University Title IX Coordinator, who will discuss the matter and describe the formal grievance process.  Alternatively, a complainant may choose to submit a written grievance to the University Title IX Coordinator (including via use of the available Title IX grievance form).

A formal grievance process is initiated when a complainant submits a written statement alleging discrimination prohibited by Title IX to the University Title IX Coordinator. In the statement, the complainant is encouraged to request any relief sought from the University. Prompt submission of formal grievances is encouraged.

The University Title IX Coordinator will consider the written grievance, and may dismiss the grievance without further process or review if the University Title IX Coordinator determines that the grievance on its face is frivolous, not credible, clearly without merit, or outside the scope of these grievance procedures.

If the grievance is not dismissed, the University Title IX Coordinator will interview the individual who submitted the written statement. Depending on the circumstances, the University Title IX Coordinator also may interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the grievance.

The University Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the complainant was excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex under any University program or activity, using a preponderance of the evidence standard. The University Title IX Coordinator will consult with other University offices as necessary in reaching a decision regarding the written grievance. The University Title IX Coordinator will prepare a written report setting forth findings, conclusions, and actions to be taken, if any, and will determine with whom to share the report.

Following such review, the University’s Title IX Coordinator will, as necessary, take appropriate action to ensure that the University comes into compliance with Title IX in a manner which is prompt and equitable to the complainant. For example, the University Title IX Coordinator may assure that appropriate changes to housing, academic programs or working conditions are implemented. While the action taken by the Title IX Coordinator may impact third parties, such action is not intended to be punitive (or constitute disciplinary penalty) with respect to these third parties.

The decision of the University Title IX Coordinator is the final resolution of the grievance, unless the individual who filed the grievances wish to appeal the decision through the appropriate University outlined appeal policies and procedures.

While the time it may take to investigate and resolve a Title IX grievance will depend on a variety of factors, including the nature and scope of the allegations, the University Title IX Coordinator will seek to resolve the grievance within 45 working days of receipt of the grievance. Throughout the process, the University Title IX Coordinator will, as appropriate, keep the participants informed of the status of the grievance process.

Allegations of Student-on-Student Sexual Harassment and/or Discrimination

Regardless of whether student disciplinary proceedings or a criminal charge are pending or being investigated pertaining to an allegation of student sexual misconduct, and irrespective of their outcome, Troy University shall take steps to meet its responsibility to provide an environment where no member of its community is, on the basis of sex, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity. In addition to the procedures described above, the following additional procedures apply in allegations of student-on-student sexual harassment and/or discrimination.

The University Title IX Coordinator shall be available as a resource to any dean or other Troy faculty or staff member who receives an allegation of student-on-student sexual harassment and/or discrimination, and the University Title IX Coordinator shall be promptly informed of any such allegation.

As indicated above, following appropriate investigation and review, the University Title IX Coordinator or the campus Point of Contact shall determine and promptly implement any remedies that he/she believes are necessary to maintain an environment free from harassment and/or discrimination and to protect the safety and well-being of community members. Such remedies may include, but are not limited to, no-contact orders, academic accommodations, housing accommodations, counseling services, campus escorts, and educational or outreach initiatives. Adjustments to a student(s)’ educational environment may be taken on an interim or permanent basis. Any adjustments in that regard would not be punitive, and, as such, would not appear on any student disciplinary record.

At any point during an informal or formal Title IX grievance procedure, the University Title IX Coordinator may, at his/her discretion, inform other University officials of the possibility that a violation of the University’s Code of Conduct and/or disciplinary policies may have taken place.

These procedures do not replace the University’s student disciplinary processes, including the appeal processes specified therein. While the University Title IX Coordinator will review grievance claims as to whether the University has fulfilled its obligations under Title IX, including whether student disciplinary processes were conducted in a manner free of discrimination, it is not the function of the University Title IX Coordinator to hear appeals from, rehear or otherwise resolve student discipline matters based on their content.

Definitions

The definitions below are simply provided as guidance for a person wishing to file a complaint.  They are not all inclusive and all complaints will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator or a designee.

Gender Discrimination is the unfair, biased and condescending treatment of people based on their gender. It stems from the society’s assignment of roles based on whether one is male or female. This assignment presents the impression that these allocated roles cannot be swapped successfully between men and women. Hence, a gender is relegated to the background even when they possess characteristics that qualify them for roles the society has not assigned them.

Gender Inequity is closely related to gender discrimination except that when males and females are assigned same roles, one group is better compensated than the other not based on their performance but on their gender.

Sexual Harassment according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." It could range from subtle looks to touch to expressive verbal communication.

Sexual Assault is any sexual contact or activity that occurs without the recipients willing and expressive consent. Often misunderstood, sexual assault is not narrowed down to just sex intercourse, but also to activities that suggest sex.

Sexual Misconduct is the umbrella term for any misbehavior of a sexual nature. That includes the aforementioned sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Rape is an aggravated sexual assault in which sexual intercourse or sexual penetration is achieved, in the presence or absence of coercion, without the victim's consent. Statutory rape occurs when the victim is not old enough to grant a legal consent to sexual relations.

Stalking is a compulsive, obsessive, usually irritating attention and monitoring by one or more persons. Under more serious situations, stalking could be a criminal offence of first or second degree depending on whether or not the victim is put in reasonable fear of death.

Retaliation is any action taken against a person as a repercussion for speaking up against a cause or defending one that does not suit the interests of the persons taking the actions. Despite being frowned upon by the law, retaliation, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)," is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination in the federal sector and the most common discrimination finding in federal sector cases."

Relationship Violence is the intentional, intimidating, and repetitive verbal, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse of an intimate partner by an intimate partner in order to gain total control or power over the relationship. Relationship violence is not always noticeable at the beginning of a relationship but can escalate with time.

Bullying is an unacceptable habitual behavior in which coercion and intimidation are used to dominate others who are considered inferior or different. Bullying is typically not the fault of the victims as they are not usually the cause but the fault of the bullies who need to tear others down to feel superior.

Cyber Bullying shares every characteristic of the previously discussed bullying except that it is perpetrated through electronic technology and electronic communication. It usually involves threats, name calling. Harassment, humiliation, to name a few.

Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act

The Campus SaVE Act amends the Clery Act, which addresses campus sexual assault policies within the Higher Education Act of 1965. President Obama signed SaVE into law on March 7, 2013 as part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization.

Under VAWA, colleges and universities are required to:

  • Report domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates;
  • Adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and
  • Adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular respects pertinent institutional personnel.

VAWA’s SaVE Act provision imposes new reporting requirements:

A.The Clery Act requires annual reporting of statistics for various criminal offenses, including forcible and non-forcible sex offenses and aggravated assault. VAWA’s SaVE Act provision adds domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the categories that, if the incident was reported to a campus security authority or local police agency, must be reported under Clery. Parsed for clarity, these offenses are defined:

1. “Domestic violence” includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

2. “Dating violence” means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

3. “Stalking” means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

B. The provision adds “national origin” and “gender identity” to the hate crime categories, involving intentional selection of a victim based on actual or perceived characteristics that must be reported under the Clery Act.

C. The provision requires, with respect to the “timely reports” the Clery Act mandates for crimes considered a threat to other students and employees, that victims' names be withheld.

D. The Campus SaVE Act takes effect with respect to the Annual Security Report that must be issued by each institution no later than October 1, 2014. Final regulations to implement statutory changes to VAWA will not be effective until after ED completes the rulemaking process. Until regulations are issued, ED expects institutions to “to make a good faith effort to comply” with the requirements. For more information, see ED’s electronic announcement May 29, 2013, on this issue.

Student Discipline Requirements

A. Current requirements in the Clery Act are that institutions inform students of procedures victims should follow, such as preservation of evidence and to whom offenses should be reported. VAWA added that institutional policy must also include information on:

1. Victims' option to, or not to, notify and seek assistance from law enforcement and campus authorities.

2. Victims' rights and institutional responsibilities regarding judicial no-contact, restraining, and protective orders.

B. VAWA prescribes standards for investigation and conduct of student discipline proceedings in domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases.

1. Institutional policy must include a “statement of the standard of evidence” used. Unlike some earlier drafts of the legislation, VAWA does not prescribe the evidentiary standard. The OCR Guidance Letter, at page 11, directs a standard of “preponderance of the evidence.” That letter, although not positive law, authoritatively represents OCR enforcement policy.

2. Institutional officials who conduct the proceeding must be trained on how to investigate and conduct hearings in a manner that “protects the safety of victims” and “promotes accountability.”

3. Institutional policy must identify “sanctions or protective measures” the institution may impose following a final determination of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.

4. “[T]he accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice....”

5. Accuser and accused must be notified “simultaneously” and “in writing” of: the outcome of the proceeding; appeal procedures; any change to the result before it becomes final; and when the result becomes final. The OCR Guidance Letter, at page 13, merely “recommends” that the parties be provided the determination “concurrently.”

6. Institutional policy must address how victims' confidentiality will be protected, including record-keeping that excludes personally-identifiable information on victims. OCR's Guidance Letter, at page 5, encourages institutions to be cognizant of victims' confidentiality, but does not mandate that institutional policy address it.

Requirements to Educate Students and Employees on Sexual Violence

Under VAWA, new students and new employees must be offered “primary prevention and awareness programs” that promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual
assault, and stalking. The OCR Guidance Letter, at pages 15-16, “recommends” that institutions implement preventive education programs; VAWA is more prescriptive in its requirements.

The training programs must include:

A. A statement that the institution prohibits those offenses.

B. The definition of those offenses in the applicable jurisdiction.

C. The definition of consent, with reference to sexual offenses, in the applicable jurisdiction.

D. “Safe and positive” options for bystander intervention an individual may take to “prevent harm or intervene” in risky situations.

E. Recognition of signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks.

F. Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and faculty on all of the above.

University Personnel Involved

All Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) should be educated on Campus SaVE Act requirements. This includes all relevant stakeholders on campus, including but not limited to: Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellors, Trustees, Vice Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors, Deans, compliance and regulatory personnel, campus police or safety officers, Health & Wellness educators, student conduct officials and judicial board members, advocates and counselors, housing directors, and athletic staff.

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