A Message from the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity and Title IX Coordinator
As all of us look forward to students’ return to campus this Fall, I take this opportunity to review staff and faculty’s reporting obligations under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.
Title IX broadly prohibits discrimination based on sex – including sexual harassment – in all educational programs and activities like Western’s that receive Federal financial assistance. In guidance to educational institutions released last year, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces Title IX, made clear that sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX includes sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence. The OCR guidance recognizes the painful reality that sexual assault is not uncommon on college campuses. Statistics cited by OCR state that attempted or completed sexual assaults are perpetrated against about 6.1% of men and 20% of women in college.
According to OCR, “once a school knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual violence, it must take immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.” When sexual violence is found to have occurred, Western must take timely action to stop the violence, prevent its repetition, and address its impacts.
In order for Western to adequately address sexual harassment (including sexual violence) and prevent its recurrence, it is imperative that faculty and staff inform me, as Western’s Title IX Coordinator, if they learn about possible sexual harassment involving a student or employee. Additionally, please encourage anyone who comes to you with a concern regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence to contact a confidential Crime and Sexual Assault Services (CASAS) counselor and myself as the Title IX Coordinator, and direct them to the EO Office webpage called Title IX, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault.
All of us at Western, students as well as employees, have the right to work and go to school in an environment free from sexual harassment. Thank you for all you do to ensure that Western is a safe and welcoming place for all our students, staff and faculty.
Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity
Title IX Coordinator