Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex and/or gender in federally funded programs or activities. The University of West Florida does not discriminate on the basis of sex and/or gender in its educational programs or activities. The University’s policies related to Title IX are the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy (P-14.03-10/20) ("Title IX Policy") and the University Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (P-13.09 -02/20).
In addition, all University employees (faculty, staff, and students) are considered Mandatory Reporters under the Title IX Policy. Mandated Reporters are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator all disclosures of potential Prohibited Behaviors as soon as possible.
For inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and the federal regulations associated with the law, or to inquire regarding your status or responsibilities as a Mandatory Reporter, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or submit an incident report.
Title IX Policies and Forms Table of Contents
Based on the University’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy, the following behaviors are prohibited. Further definitions of each violation can be found below.
- Sexual Harassment - conduct on the basis of sex that meets one or more of the following scenarios:
- 1.a | University employee who conditions the provision of University aid, benefit or service on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct. This conduct is commonly known as quid pro quo harassment;
- 1.b | unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University's education program or activity;
- 1.c | sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking.
- Retaliation - intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Title IX policy, or because the individual has made a report for complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Title IX policy. Conduct automatically constitutes Retaliation under this Title IX policy when it includes intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Title IX policy.
Prohibited Behavior Definitions
An affirmative act or statement by each person that is informed, freely given and mutually understood. Consent cannot be gained by force, by intimidation, through threats, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, by coercion, through manipulation or assumption, or from an individual who is incapacitated.
Lack of protest or resistance does not mean Consent, nor does silence mean that Consent has been granted. Within each sexual encounter, there may be separate individual sexual acts involved, and Consent to one act by itself does not constitute Consent to another act. Also within each sexual encounter, Consent can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations, can never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of Consent for any current or future sexual encounter.
As defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(11), violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: length of relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
As defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(12), includes felony or misdemeanor crimes committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim under the family or domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant funding and, in the case of victim services, includes the use or attempted use of physical abuse or sexual abuse, or a pattern of any other coercive behavior committed, enabled, or solicited to gain or maintain power and control over a victim, including verbal, psychological, economic, or technological abuse that may or may not constitute criminal behavior, by a person who (a) is a current or former spouse of intimate partner of the victim, or person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim; (b) is cohabitating , or has cohabitated, with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner (c) shares a child in common with the victim; or (d) commits acts against a youth or adult victim who is protected from those acts under the family or domestic violence laws of Florida.
Physical force, violence, threat, intimidation, or coercion.
A temporary or permanent state in which a person cannot make informed, rational judgments because the person lacks the physical or mental capacity to understand the nature or consequences of their words or conduct, or the person is unable to physically or verbally communicate Consent.
Where alcohol or another drug is involved, Incapacitation is determined by the extent to which the alcohol or drug consumed affects an individual’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, ability to make informed judgments, and ability to communicate unwillingness.
Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy. Conduct automatically constitutes Retaliation under this Policy when it includes intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy.
An offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the Uniform Crime Reporting System of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A “sex offense” is generally any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Without limiting that definition of sexual assault, the following are examples of sexual assault:
- Fondling - the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Incest - non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law
- Rape - the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. This offense includes the rape of any sex/gender.
- Sodomy - oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Statutory Rape - non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. There is no force or coercion used in statutory rape; the act is not an attack.
Under this definition of sexual assault, which is mandated by federal Title IX regulations, it is possible that a similar act may be classified as one or more variants of sexual assault, or different variants, depending on the sex or gender of Complainant or Respondent. For example, under these definitions, oral sex without consent on a vagina would be “rape,” but oral sex without consent on a penis would be “sodomy.” The University will not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in grievance processes or in disciplinary sanctions in such cases. The University will apply the same proceedings and same range of disciplinary sanctions regardless of sex or gender.
A potential form of Sexual Harassment which involves taking sexual advantage of another person without Consent, which includes, but is not limited to, causing or attempting to cause the Incapacitation of another person so as to gain or facilitate a sexual advantage over such other person; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of sexual activity or intimate parts of another person without that person’s Consent; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts without the consent of all participants; engaging in voyeurism; exposing one’s genitals to another without Consent; or knowingly or recklessly exposing other persons to a significant risk of a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV.
As defined in 34 USC 12291(a)(36), engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for that individual’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples include, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person where the victim was targeted due to his or her sex/gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Just because the Title IX Coordinator receives a report does not mean investigation and adjudication processes are immediately initiated.
Mandated Reporters or any individual wishing to report potential prohibited behavior must provide information to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Information may be provided by email, phone call, drop in meeting, or using the Title IX Incident Report Form.
The Incident Report form is monitored 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday when the University is open.
After receiving a report, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate outreach to the potential complainant and perform an intake meeting. It is up to the complainant to respond to this outreach for a report to move forward in the Title IX Process.
If a report does not fall within Title IX jurisdiction or the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy, the University may still take action under a different policy. Title IX staff will review alternative options during the intake meeting. The other policies may include but are not limited to:
Complainants always have the right to report to law enforcement.
Mandated Reporters are those individuals who, based on their position at the University, are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator all disclosures of potential prohibited behaviors as soon as possible.
At the University of West Florida, Mandated Reporters are all persons employed by the University, part-time or full-time. Mandated Reporters or any individual wishing to report potential prohibited behavior must provide information to the University’s Title IX Coordinator whose contact information is listed at the bottom of this page. Information may be provided by email, phone call, drop in meeting, or using the Title IX Incident Report Form.
What to do if someone reports to you?
First inform them that you are a mandated reporter who has to inform the University of any disclosures regarding sexual harassment or misconduct. Ask the reporting party if they would like to proceed with the conversation. If not, respect their decision and provide them with resources in case they need further assistance. If so, continue on to the next section.
Ensure that the person is not in any immediate danger. Ask if they are safe to go to class, go to work, go home, etc. If there is an immediate threat, ask them if you can call on their behalf:
- Law enforcement - UWF Police Department has plain clothes officers if needed
- Dean of Students Office
- Title IX Programs
Listen without judgment. Make note of any details you may need to include in a report to the Title IX Coordinator including names of parties involved, dates, locations, specific behaviors.
Listen, but do not investigate. Often when well-meaning people start asking others’ questions or attempting to mediate, it can prevent the Title IX process from working like it is supposed to. This could include violating parties’ privacy, preventing our office from receiving un-influenced first hand knowledge, initiating punitive requirements prior to a finding of responsibility, or even providing well intentioned accommodations which then prevent equitable access to University activities and programs including classroom engagement.
Everyone reacts differently to their circumstances, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with personal trauma. Validate the person’s reaction to the situation without making any empty promises. “You have every right to be upset” or “I’m so sorry you are dealing with this” is perfectly acceptable.
At this stage you and or the Title IX staff can seek to empower the reporting party with choices. Those who have experienced sexual harassment or misconduct often feel as though they have lost control over their own circumstances, so allowing them to start making their own decisions is a step toward healing.
Remind them that you have to report this incident to the Title IX Coordinator, but also encourage them to seek out other resources. We have a list on our website of on and off campus resources for those seeking help.
There are only two areas where students and employees can find confidential assistance:
- For students, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are the only employees on campus able to provide confidential support.
- For employees, the Employee Assistance Program through Human Resources can provide confidential counselors in the community to provide assistance.
Other community resources can be utilized confidentially and often for free. Check out our Resources page for a full list of free and confidential resources.