Title IX, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
“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 program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 U.S.C. § 1691(a)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity that receives financial support from the Federal government. Under Title IX, discrimination based on sex includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, and sexual assault. Title IX also prohibits retaliation against individuals who complain about or participate in an investigation regarding an alleged Title IX violation.
Western and Title IX
In compliance with Title IX, Western does not discriminate on the basis of sex in employment or in its educational programs and activities. It is Western’s goal to maintain an environment that is free from all forms of illegal harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual coercion, rape, bullying, and hazing.
Western's Title IX Coordinator
All inquiries concerning the application of policies for the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual violence under Title IX may be referred to Western’s Title IX Coordinator:
Dr. Sue Guenter-Schlesinger
Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity
Title IX Coordinator
Equal Opportunity Office
Old Main 345
Voice: (360) 650-3307
Washington Relay: 711
The Title IX Coordinator provides advice and oversight on policies, preventive educational programs, resources and services required under Title IX, and in addition, oversees all complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence, as well as identifies and addresses any patterns or systematic problems that arise during the review of complaints.
If you have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, you have resources and reporting options. If an incident occurs to you or you know of an incident, please immediately contact at least one of the following people:
- University Police, (360) 650-3911
- Bellingham Police Department, 911
- Equal Opportunity Office & Title IX Coordinator: Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, Old Main 345, (360) 650-3307, Sue.Guenter-Schlesinger@wwu.edu
- Dean of Students Office, (360) 650-3706
The EO Office provides a safe place for students, faculty members, and employees who desire information about and/or need help with issues involving sexual harassment or sexual violence. Western is concerned about the safety and well-being of all members of the campus community, and encourages anyone who experiences sexual harassment or violence in connection with all academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the school to report their incident, whether those programs take place in a school’s facilities or off campus. When safety is viewed as a concern, Western will take interim steps to protect the complainant, including but not limited to, immediate action to eliminate harassment and the potential for violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Western’s Discrimination Complaint Procedure provides for prompt and equitable investigation of complaints alleging violations of Title IX. Retaliation against complainants is prohibited by Title IX and will not be tolerated by Western. Western is committed to resolving complaints with a prompt, equitable, adequate, reliable and impartial investigation.
Western is committed to ensuring that all students feel safe and have the opportunity to benefit fully from education programs and activities.
We encourage you to see a confidential counselor at Consultation and Sexual Assault Support Services (CASAS Services) to discuss your reporting options in detail, and to have someone there for you while you report. The CASAS help line is (360) 650-3700.
Counseling and Support Resources
- Consultation and Sexual Assault Support Services
(CASAS Services), (360) 650-3700
- Counseling Center, (360) 650-3164
- Student Health Center, (360) 650-3400
Additional Western and Bellingham resources are listed here.
Enforcement of Title IX
Title IX is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).