Know your Rights under Title IX

During April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we want to draw special attention to this important policy.

Rachel Fleagle, Section Editor

As a HACC student, you’ve likely heard of Title IX – have you ever wondered what it is? And how is it different from HACC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy? How does it affect you?

During April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we want to draw special attention to this important policy. Anthony Beard is HACC’s Director of Student Conduct and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. He shared information about the policy and what it means for students.

 

1.    If you had to give a 30-second description of Title IX and what it is/does, what would you say?

Under the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Civil Rights enforces the federal civil rights law known as Title IX. This law requires 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.” This policy extends to matters of admission, employment, athletics, and in access to, and participation in, its educational programs, services, or activities.

In less formal terms, Title IX is a civil rights law designed to protect people against sex and gender-based discrimination in the educational setting. This form of discrimination ranges from unequal opportunities in athletics and other programmatic opportunities, to discrimination against pregnant students, to sexual misconduct which includes concerns such as rape, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and sex-based stalking. Title IX also explains how schools are to respond to such allegations and take measures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.

2.   What does Title IX look like in a COVID-19 work, and remote college?

Specifically at HACC we are facing a shift in the type of concerns we receive reports on. Being almost entirely remote has obviously reduced allegations of face-to-face sexual harassment. On the other hand, we have noticed the national trend of increased domestic violence. It’s incredibly important for domestic abuse survivors to know there are resources available for them to find safety, protection, and mental health counselling. The Title IX staff at HACC as well as the individuals in the HACC CARE Center are able to assist students in identifying these resources. Even if the incident seemingly has nothing to do with HACC, we are here to help students be safe, know their rights, and continue accessing their education.

3.   If I feel my rights have been violated, what should I do?

If in immediate danger, the first step is to contact 911. Another early option is to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website.

Otherwise, a student can reach out to a number of different offices and individuals on campus to seek assistance. At HACC, Title IX is overseen in the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging. HACC’s Title IX Coordinator is the VP of Inclusion, Diversity, and Belonging, Dr. Armenta Hinton. The Office of Student Conduct is another option, which is overseen by Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Director of Student Conduct, Anthony Beard. Both of their contact information can be found here.  Additionally, many students go directly to their campus’ Department of Public Safety and Security. Information with their phone numbers and office locations can be found here.

4.   What standards am I held to under Title IX?

The standards for students and employees at HACC under Title IX are pretty simple: Don’t engage in sex- and gender-based discrimination or engage in sexual misconduct.  Sexual Misconduct is a broad, umbrella term that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and sex-based stalking.

5. How is Title IX different from HACC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy?

Title IX is a federal law, while HACC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy is the College’s procedures and policies as it relates to Title IX. In other words, Title IX is the federal government instructing schools what they are to do around these issues. HACC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy is the College instructing students, employees, and other constituents (including the federal government) how we are following the federal government’s mandates.