Interim Title IX Policy and Supporting Materials
As you may know, over the summer the Department of Education pushed out new regulations to follow under Title IX. Below you will find the training that the University’s Civil Rights and Title IX team participated in to prepare for the new regulations, as well as the updated policy and procedure, and additional communication information.
Policy and Procedure
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq, is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
- Title IX protects all students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status or disability.
- Students who report sexual violence can expect the University to take steps to protect and support them, including while a university investigation is pending.
Title IX was historically associated with actual or perceived gender-based disparities in athletic programs. However, it is a far broader law covering all aspects of educational and academic-related programming and prohibiting gender discrimination. Importantly, Title IX prohibits sexual violence and sexual misconduct which may affect the educational or campus environment.
The law provides that:
No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
In summary, Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in all University of Pittsburgh at Bradford programs and activities, including, but not limited to, recruiting, admissions, financial aid, academic programs, student services, counseling, guidance, advising, grievance procedures, discipline, course/class assignments, grading, recreation, athletics, housing, meal services, and employment.
Examples of Unlawful Practices Under Title IX Relating to Sexual Misconduct
Sexual Harassment – unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
Sexual Misconduct – rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual exploitation, sexual coercion, and any other form of non-consensual sexual activity (including when an individual is not in a condition to give legal consent)
Stalking – repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating another individual using such methods including, but not limited to, telephone, mail, electronic communication, and social media
Domestic Violence – in addition to physical abuse, also includes emotional, verbal and economic abuse
Dating Violence– in addition to physical abuse, also includes emotional, verbal and economic abuse
Retaliation – adverse academic, social, employment or other actions against anyone reporting a violation or participating in an investigation of any Title IX allegation
In addition to being considered discriminatory, sexual violence is criminal activity.
Reporting sexual misconduct is an individual decision. While the University encourages survivors to report misconduct, we recognize that it can be a challenging decision and may not be the right action for every survivor. The Title IX Office can talk with survivors about various reporting options, so they can make informed and thoughtful decisions. Meeting with a member of the Title IX staff does not mean you must file a complaint, or report to police. At the initial meeting, we will talk through reporting, interim measures, and safety, and make referrals to campus and community resources. To schedule a meeting with a Title IX Office staff member, At Bradford and Titusville campus please contact Sofia Bednez email@example.com or 814-362-0251.
To understand in greater detail how the sexual misconduct reporting process works, please review this reporting process document (a plain text version is also available).
Accused students or employees should know that the initiation of any University proceedings does not preclude the possibility of criminal charges. Indeed, parallel University and criminal proceedings are not uncommon. In addition to using these processes, the University will continue to engage in prevention programs and training for students, faculty, and staff in an effort to prevent sexual assault and harassment, relationship violence, and stalking.
Retaliation against anyone involved in the investigation of alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, whether they are the referring individual, a witness, an investigator or anyone else, is prohibited by Pitt’s Statement on Confidentiality and Non-retaliation. This statement also clarifies that all individuals involved in the investigation process are expected to honor the confidentiality of the process and the information involved.
Q: Does talking with the police mean I have to go through with a criminal case?
A: No. You may speak to the police without participating in a criminal case. It is possible the police will initiate an investigation based on safety concerns; however, the survivor can decide what level of involvement to have with any investigation.
Q: If I report a sexual assault, will my name become public? What happens to the information?
A: Your information is kept private. Depending on how you choose to proceed with reporting, you will have information and updates on how, if at all, your information may be shared with those involved in the reporting process. Additionally, an anonymous record of any on-campus assault will be provided for Bradford and Titusville police statistics in order to give an accurate representation of crime on campus and to help prevent further crimes of this nature.
As part of the University’s response to a report of sexual misconduct, and regardless of whether there has been a request for formal disciplinary or law enforcement action, the University may impose interim measures or offer accommodations to address issues that impact the reporting and accused students’ educational, living, or work environments. These interim measures can often be put in place very quickly, prior to the resolution of any referral or criminal proceeding. Once imposed, the University will take necessary action to enforce the implemented measures. Anyone who becomes aware of, or has a concern about, a student’s failure to follow any University-imposed interim measure or accommodation should report this concern to the Student Conduct Officer.
To quickly address a situation, the University, where it determines it is appropriate, may impose a wide range of interim measures, such as:
- Implementation of a “No Contact Order”;
- Assistance with academic accommodations;
- Change in University-related work schedules or job assignments;
- Change in University-owned housing;
- Assistance from University staff in completing housing relocation;
- Assistance in addressing off-campus living arrangements; and
- Restricting a student’s access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of a matter.
Please contact Title IX if you have a need for interim measures. We can assist in supportive measures, even if the party does not wish to file a formal complaint.
If you are a faculty or staff member and receive a request from Title IX about assisting with interim measures, please review more information on this process.
As a respondent in a case where sexual misconduct has been raised, there are resources available to you. As with all alleged conduct violations, there is no presumption that policy has been violated.
Available resources for respondents include interim measures listed above, which may be available to and appropriate for you. If you would like an overview of the Title IX process, including interim measures, please contact Sofia Bednez firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-362-0251.
In addition, for students accused of sexual misconduct, confidential support is available at the Counseling Services office. Title IX can assist with making a referral, or the student can identify as a respondent when they are walking/calling in to the Counseling Services office. This will connect them with a designated counselor with a focus on counseling respondents.
If you are a faculty or staff member, LifeSolutions provides a broad range of services to assist you. The services are proved at no cost to you. LifeSolutions services include: Personalized WorkLife Referrals; Online WorkLife Resources; Crisis 24/7 Contact Information; Counseling and Coaching Services; and Disability and Family Medical Leave Outreach.
You may bring an advisor of choice to any meeting with the Title IX office. For more information on the advisor of choice, as well as the process for a formal investigation, please visit the Sexual Misconduct Procedures or the Student Code of Conduct.
If you have been issued a No Contact Order, or Notice of Investigation, we encourage you to not contact the other party, but instead connect with our office to discuss the notification and next steps in the process.
Counseling Services - 814-362-5272
Life Solutions: 1-866-647-3432
You may have concerns about confidentiality, and you should know that different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a complainant's confidentiality.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is not like the counseling center, where reports will be kept completely confidential. ODI will keep reports as confidential as possible, but will discuss the report with witnesses and other individuals within the University who need to know. Those who need to know are aware that they should maintain confidentiality.
You may also be concerned about retaliation. Retaliation is against the law and is a violation of University Policy. Please review our Statement on Confidentiality and Non- Retaliation above. If you have questions about submitting a bias report, For Bradford and Titusville campus contact main campus email@example.com or call 412-648-7860.
The University is committed to maintaining a campus environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Please use these guidelines if you witness or experience a bias incident so that the University may promptly and effectively respond. The University recognizes that each incident is unique and must be addressed as such. As a result, the information listed below is merely a guide. All incidents should be assessed in light of the fact that the University is deeply committed to addressing bias on campus.
WHAT IS A BIAS INCIDENT?
Bias incidents are acts committed against a person or group that are motivated in whole or in part by prejudice against the person’s or group’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, disability, veteran status or other protected class.
Please note that just because the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory, it is not necessarily a bias incident. The University values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas, and the expression of controversial ideas and differing views is a vital part of the University’s mission.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I LEARN OF A BIAS INCIDENT?
When you see, hear of or experience an incident, you should:
A. If you believe there is a risk of imminent harm, a crime, or a threat, please contact Bradford Campus Police 814-368-3211 or Titusville Campus Police 814-827-4488.. This includes graffiti incidents. The Facilities Management Department also informs the Police Department of graffiti incidents.
B. Promptly contact the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (“ODI”) at (412-648-7860) firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the report form. A staff member will promptly reach out to you seeking all relevant information such as: the name of the person who experienced the incident, the name(s) of the alleged perpetrator(s), what occurred, date, time and location.
C. Promptly contact/inform your immediate supervisor, director or dean.
D. Retain all relevant records, photographs, documentation and materials relating to the incident.
E. If there is a known victim, explain to that person that you will report the incident to your supervisor and ODI, and that while the University is sensitive to concerns about confidentiality that sometimes arise, it is obligated to investigate and cannot guarantee confidentiality.
F. If the victim wants to talk with someone who can maintain complete confidentiality, direct the victim to confidential resources such as the Counseling Services Office 814-362-5272 or Life Solutions at http://www.hr.pitt.edu/lifesolutions.
G. Be aware that ODI and the appropriate leader in your department or unit will help establish the appropriate Response Team for the particular incident, which may include partners like departmental leadership, the Division of Student Affairs, the Provost’s Office, Human Resources, the Police Department, University Communications, etc.
H. Be aware that ODI and your departmental leadership will make prompt contact with affected individuals or group(s), offer the appropriate support resources (see above), and let them know that that the incident has been reported and will be investigated and addressed.
I. Be aware that ODI and your departmental leadership will assess the need for immediate interim measures to address issues that impact the affected person's educational or employment environment. Common interim measures include "No Contact Orders," changes in work schedules, job assignments or housing, restricted access to faculties and referrals to counseling centers.
J. Know that ODI and the response team will conduct a prompt, thorough investigation, to include an analysis of the incident/facts, and will make recommendations to the relevant department/responsibility center.
K. Continue to communicate with ODI and the response team relating to resolution and beyond.
Together we can work to maintain an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful harassment and discrimination. Incident reporting and response is a critical component of building that culture.
Generally, all Pitt employees are responsible employees unless their job requires professional confidentiality, as in the case of mental health counselors, physicians, nurses, and clergy. A “responsible employee” is a University employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, or who a community member could reasonably believe has this duty. When a survivor tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual misconduct, the survivor has the right to expect the University to take prompt and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.
With respect to confidentiality, a responsible employee must report to the Title IX coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the survivor and then the Title IX Office will need to determine what happened. To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the University’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the survivor’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement, or if there is a health or safety emergency.
Before a survivor reveals any information to a responsible employee, to the extent possible, the employee should make sure that the survivor understands the employee’s reporting obligations—and, if the survivor wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the survivor to confidential resources. If you have any questions about confidentiality, do not hesitate to ask.
If the survivor wants to tell the responsible employee what happened but also wants to maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the survivor that the University will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the University will be able to honor it. In reporting details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Coordinator of the victim’s request for confidentiality.
Download A Guide for Responsible Employees (PDF) for additional information.
Review a Responsible Employee FAQ regarding what happens when an incident is reported to the Title IX Office.
Add a statement to your syllabus about sexual misconduct, reporting and Title IX.
|Campus Resource||Confidentiality Level|
|Title IX Liaison
|Confidential. Not required to report.|
|Confidential. Not required to report.|
|Mostly Confidential. Required to report general statistics but no identifying information to Title IX and Equity Investigator.|
|Resident Advisors||Information shared on a need-to-know basis in the investigation or student conduct process. Matter is kept as private as practicable.
Must report information to the Title IX and Equity Investigator.
|Faculty and Staff||Information shared on a need-to-know basis in the investigation or student conduct process. Matter is kept as private as practicable.
Must report information to the Title IX and Equity Investigator.
|Office of Judicial Affairs
|Information shared on a need-to-know basis in the investigation or student conduct process. Matter is kept as private as practicable.
Must report information to the Title IX and Equity Investigator.
10333 (from a campus phone)
|Information shared on a need-to-know basis in the investigation or student conduct process. Must report to the Title IX and Equity Investigator.|
The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford urges victims of sexual violence to talk to someone and receive the support and care that they need, and to report any incident of sexual violence so that it can be addressed. The University will strive to maintain confidentiality where lawful. However, you should know that different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality. By law, some employees can maintain confidentiality and are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX and Equity Investigator. However, other “responsible employees” have the duty to report incidents of sexual violence to appropriate University officials, such as the Title IX and Equity Investigator. Even these employees, however are permitted to share information on a need-to-know basis or as required by law. For complete information on confidentiality and reporting, see Reporting and Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence: Know The Options.
Note: The information on this chart is intended for students who are 18 years and older. Confidentiality rules are more limited for minors.