WHAT IS TITLE IX | Q&A

Q: What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal gender equity law that applies specifically to educational institutions. Title IX states 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.”

Source: 20 U.S.C. §1681>Title IX and Sex Discrimination

Q: Who and what does Title IX apply to?

Title IX applies to all members of the educational community (students, faculty, and staff) and applies to all academic, extra-curricular, athletic, and other programs of a school or agency. This includes all the operations of the school/agency, including employment.

Q: What does Title IX require?

Once a responsible employee has been given notice of sexual discrimination (including sexual harassment), the school/agency must investigate the report that has been made, stop any prohibited behaviors, remedy the effects of those behaviors, and prevent future recurrences.

Q: What prohibited behaviors fall under the jurisdiction of Title IX?

All forms of sexual discrimination are prohibited under Title IX including, but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship/partner violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, and related retaliation.

Q: How is Title IX operationalized in The Texas A&M University System?

The Texas A&M University System complies with its obligations under Title IX through the administration of A&M System Policy 08.01 Civil Rights Protections and Compliance.

A&M System Policy is operationalized through A&M System Regulation 08.01.01 Civil Rights Compliance. This regulation outlines the responsibilities of A&M System members, responsibilities of all employees and students, and provides oversight for the reporting, investigation, and adjudication of all civil rights reports.

Q: What will happen if I report being the victim of sexual harassment (including sexual violence)?

Once a Title IX Coordinator (TIXC) is made aware of a report, the TIXC will:

  1. Invite the reporting party to meet and discuss the report. Both the invitation and the meeting will include referrals to resources available to reporting parties subjected to harassment.
  2. The TIXC will determine along with the reporting party subjected to harassment to determine of any remedial or interim measures are required. Such measures may include assistance in the academic, employment, or living environments, contact restrictions, changes to academic/work schedules/locations, and other measures as deemed appropriate. The TIXC will work with appropriate officials to carry out any remedial or interim measures. Remedial and interim measures are subject to continual review and may be changed as needed.
  3. The TIXC will explain options available to the reporting party if they wish to pursue an allegation. Options typically include pursuing an informal resolution to the matter, pursuing a formal resolution through a civil rights investigation, reporting the matter to police, or some combination of these. A reporting party subjected to alleged sexual harassment (referred to as a complainant) is not required to pursue an allegation even after reporting it. In most cases, the wishes of the person subjected to harassment not to pursue an allegation are respected, unless the respondent to the allegations presents a foreseeable risk to members of the community. Even in these cases, a complainant is not compelled to participate in the process.
  4. If it is determined that a formal investigation is to take place, the TIXC will assign investigators who will interview relevant parties and collect all available evidence. Completed investigations are referred to adjudication for final resolution, subject to appeal.

Q: What can happen to someone who is found responsible for sexual harassment?

Students found responsible for violations of sexual harassment (including sexual violence) are subject to sanctioning as outlined in the Model Sanctioning Matrix. Employees found in violation of the sexual harassment of another member of the university/agency community will be terminated from employment.

Q: What if I was drinking underage or using drugs and was sexually assaulted? Will I get in trouble?

State law provides immunity for any violations committed by those who report to and cooperate with campus processes, provided the person reporting is not the perpetrator of acts of sexual violence.

Q: I am aware of sexual harassment or sexual violence involving other students, faculty, or staff. Should I report it?

When alleged or suspected discrimination is experienced by, observed by or made known to an employee, the employee is responsible for reporting that information. An employee’s failure to report alleged or suspected discrimination may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. Employees must cooperate fully with those performing an investigation. Only those employees deemed confidential reporters (licensed health care personnel and certified sexual assault survivor advocates) are exempt from disclosure when the report is made within the context of their employment. Students are encouraged to report incidents and to cooperate with all investigations.

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