What is Title IX law and how is it applicable to university life?
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments (Title IX) is a Federal law that states:
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.
Title IX is vitally important in educational settings as it prohibits sex and gender-based discrimination including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Title IX protects the university community and applies in equal measure to academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other university programs that take place on or off university property. This includes university transportation, a class or training program sponsored by the university at another location, and online education.
What does a Title IX coordinator do and who is the Title IX coordinator?
The Title IX coordinator is responsible for monitoring the overall implementation of Title IX at UDM. This includes overseeing the response of the univerity to Title IX reports and complaints, and identifying and addressing patterns revealed by reports and complaints. The Title IX coordinator provides training to students, faculty, and staff on Title IX-related issues and works closely with other departments including the Human Resources Office and Department of Public Safety. The Title IX coordinator is assisted by deputy coordinators including designated employees located in the School of Law, School of Dentistry, Athletics, Residence Life, and Student Life. The Title IX coordinator and deputy coordinators are trained in numerous areas including prevention and awareness as well as investigation of alleged misconduct.
Complaints or concerns about potential violations of Title IX should be communicated to the Title IX coordinator.
If you would like to understand more about Title IX and related Federal laws to better protect yourself, friends, classmates, roommates, students and co-workers, please contact the Title IX coordinator.
Whether you are a student or employee, if you have any questions or concerns regarding Title IX, we encourage you to contact:
Marjorie Lang, JD, MA, LLPC
Title IX Coordinator and Equity and Compliance Specialist
McNichols campus, Fisher Administrative Center, 5th floor
Can you provide examples of who is affected and how?
Title IX applies to students and employees. Students include part-time students, full-time students, online students, commuter students and dorm residents as well as minors visiting or participating in activities or classes held on any of our campuses, for example. Employees include full and part-time employees, contract employees, and other individuals doing business in university settings. This includes contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.
Title IX applies to every aspect of education from a student’s application until their graduation, including course offerings, counseling, financial assistance, student health, student housing, marital and parental status of students, physical education and athletics, student conduct involving sexual harassment or misconduct, educational programs and activities, and student employment. Similarly, Title IX applies to every aspect of employment for persons working in educational settings that receive federal financial aid.
Can you provide examples of sex and gender-based discrimination?
Sexual harassment constitutes a form of sex discrimination which is illegal under Michigan law (MCLA 37.2101 et seq) and Federal law (Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). Title IX protects against sex and gender-based discrimination of any university community members of any sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in the context of education or employment. This includes gender-based harassment that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Are there any other laws related to Title IX law that I should know about?
Yes, the history of Title IX is interesting. It started with a focus on gender equity in athletics. In more recent years, various Federal laws and regulations have been passed and implemented each affecting Title IX. These include the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Clery Act (based upon Jeanne Clery who was killed in a campus sexual assault) and the Campus SaVE Act. The laws are designed to prevent and ensure reporting of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence, intimate partner violence, harassment, and retaliation. Violations of prohibited Title IX conduct can result in legal action outside of university settings. Within university settings, students and employees are governed by policies and procedures that are based upon the need for respect and dignity of every member of the campus community.