"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..."
20 U.S.C. § 1681
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. If only one of an educational institution’s programs or activities receives federal funding, all of the programs within the institution must comply with Title IX and its implementing regulations. Consistent with this obligation, the University prohibits discrimination, including harassment and sexual violence, on the basis of sex in all of its programs and activities, including academics, employment, athletics, and other extracurrcicular activities.
Compliance with Title IX is everyone’s responsibility. The information below provides an overview of who you may contact with questions about Title IX and how you can report conduct that violates Title IX.
MYTHS ABOUT TITLE IX
There are various misconceptions about Title IX’s scope and purpose. Here are a few clarifications:
Myth #1: Title IX only applies to athletic programs.
This is perhaps the most widely held misconception about Title IX. The following areas also fall within the scope of Title IX:
• Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Scholarships
• Education Programs and Activities
• Employment, Recruitment, and Selection
Title IX also prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment as a form of sex discrimination, which includes sexual assault and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence.
Myth #2: Title IX requires that male athletic opportunities be decreased to provide opportunities for female programs.
Title IX is designed to create equity in athletics, as well as other educational opportunities and experiences, regardless of sex or gender. There are a variety of ways to ensure equity in athletics, such as adding women’s sports, that does not require universities to cut men’s athletic programs.
Myth #3: Title IX applies only to discrimination against women.
The University has an obligation to respond appropriately to complaints of sex and gender discrimination regardless of the sex of the alleged perpetrator or complainant, including when they are members of the same sex. Title IX also protects against discrimination based on gender identity (actual or perceived) or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.
Myth #4: Gender bias in science, medicine, and engineering is not prohibited by Title IX.
The under-representation and/or treatment of women in science, medicine, and engineering may violate Title IX. Educational institutions are required to provide women in these disciplines resources, support, and promotional opportunities comparable to their male counterparts.
Myth #5: Individuals who file complaints of sex or gender discrimination under Title IX on behalf of others are not protected from retaliation under Title IX.
The U.S. Supreme Court has broadened the interpretation of Title IX to protect from retaliation those who file complaints of sex or gender-based discrimination. The Court noted that reporting incidents of discrimination is integral to Title IX enforcement and would be discouraged if retaliation against those who report it goes unpunished. Our University policies contain a prohibition against retaliation and provide an independent basis for a violation finding and sanctions.
COMPLAINTS ALLEGING PROHIBITED CONDUCT UNDER TITLE IX
A. Reports of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence
If you believe you have been subjected to sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, complicity, or sexual or gender-based harassment by a student, employee, or third party, or have been retaliated against for reporting such conduct or participating in an investgation related to such conduct, please consult the University’s Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (“SH/IPV Policy”).
The SH/IPV Policy is organized as a central, unified policy that covers students, employees, contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or other third-parties within the University’s control and includes separate appendices for students and employees. Appendix A includes procedures for investigating and resolving reports against University students; Appendix A-1 includes a Resource and Reporting Guide for students. Appendix B includes procedures for investigating and resolving reports against University employees; Appendix B-1 includes a Resource and Reporting Guides for employees. Appendix C summarizes the University’s education, training, and prevention programs for both students and employees.
Under the SH/IPV Policy, you may report prohibited conduct through the University’s Just Report It website, http://www.virginia.edu/justreportit/, which also permits anonymous reporting. You may also report the prohibited conduct to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator directly by telephone at (434) 297-7988, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at O'Neil Hall, Room 037, during regular office hours (8:30 AM-5:00 PM, M-F).
If you have any questions about the SH/IPV Policy, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
B. Complaints of Other Forms of Sex or Gender-Based Discrimination
If you believe you have been subjected to a form of sex or gender-based discrimination not covered by the SH/IPV Policy, or have been subjected to retaliation for reporting such conduct or participating in an investigation related to such conduct, please consult the University’s Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment (PADH) policy and the Preventing and Addressing Retaliation (PAR) policy. The PADH and PAR policies establish procedures (“PADHR Complaint Procedures”) for reporting, investigating, and resolving these concerns. Examples of sex or gender-based discrimination covered by the PADH Policy include allegations of different treatment in athletic or STEM programs because of your sex or gender identity. If you have any questions about which policies and procedures govern your situation, please contact the EOCR office at (434) 924-3200.
C. External Complaints
Complaints alleging violations of Title IX may also be made directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at OCR@ed.gov or (800) 421-3481. For more information, please see: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html.
Please note that University policy and federl and state law prohibit retaliation against any individual who reports in good faith discrimination or harassment based on sex or gender or who participates in an investigation.