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Title IX
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Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions are preceded by definitions in regard to Title IX and related policies. The material in these FAQs may be difficult to read and triggering; please take care of yourself and reach out to the Victim's Advocate if you need assistance. If your question was not answered or if you would like to see additional questions, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, marlynn.jones@unf.edu or (904) 620-2507.
  • DEFINITIONS

    1. "Sexual misconduct" is a broad term encompassing "sexual exploitation," "non-consensual sexual contact," "non-consensual sexual intercourse," "dating violence," "domestic violence", "stalking" and "sexual harassment" as defined in this regulation. Sexual Misconduct may constitute crimes (i.e. - sexual battery, rape and related sex crimes) and/or civil complaints (i.e. - sexual harassment) and can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. 

       

    2.  "Consent" means a knowing, voluntary informed affirmative act or statement by each person involved to engage in sexual activity. The following apply to this definition: 

     

    • It is the responsibility of each person involved in any sexual activity to ensure that they have the consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity. Lack of protest, lack of resistance or silence does not mean consent. 
    • Consent cannot be obtained by force, threat, coercion, manipulation, reasonable fear of injury, intimidation, use of position of influence, or through one's mental or physical helplessness or incapacity. 
    • Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time as long as the withdrawal is effectively communicated by the person withdrawing consent through words or actions. 
    • If a party to sexual activity falls asleep during the sexual activity they lack the capacity to provide consent to further sexual activity. 
    • Consent to one act by itself does not constitute consent to another act. 
    • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. 

       

    3.  "Dating Violence" means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. 

       

    4.  "Domestic Violence" means violence committed by the victim's current or former spouse, by a person who is or was a cohabitant with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a family member, or by any other similarly situated person under domestic or family violence law. 

       

    5.  "Incapacity" means the physical and/or mental inability to make an informed or rational judgment. States of incapacity include, without limitation, disability, age, sleep, blackouts, and flashbacks. Where alcohol [or other drug] has been consumed, one does not have to be intoxicated to lack the capacity to provide consent to engage in sexual activity. Rather, incapacity is determined by how the alcohol or drug consumed impacts a person's decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. Because incapacity may be difficult to discern, individuals are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution and should ensure the other person or persons provide consent before proceeding with sexual activity. Being intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a defense to a complaint of sexual misconduct under this regulation as all parties involved in a sexual act must provide ongoing consent to engage in sexual activity. 

       

    6.  "Non-consensual sexual contact" means sexual contact that occurs without consent. 

       

    7.  "Non-consensual sexual intercourse" means vaginal, anal or oral sexual intercourse that occurs without consent. 

       

    8.  "Responsible Employee" means an individual who is required as part of their job duties to promptly report allegations of sexual misconduct as defined in this regulation by or against any student, employee, contractor or visitor to the University's Title IX Coordinator or any Deputy Title IX Coordinator. If an individual alleges they have been subjected to sexual misconduct of a criminal nature, if the individual consents, a Responsible Employee should also contact the University Police Department. The term Responsible Employee for purposes of this definition includes all University faculty and staff, with full or part-time appointments including OPS employees. This definition excludes student employees except for those employed in the following positions or areas: 

     

    • Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants. 
    • Those employed in the Athletics department. 
    • Those employed in UNF Housing and Residence Life. 
    • Employees not included in this definition are those employed within the University's Women's Center including the Victim Advocacy Program, Student Health Services, the Counseling Center and other mental health professionals at the University who learn of allegations of sexual misconduct while working in their counseling capacity. 
    • Employees within the University Police Department, in many cases will be limited by law regarding their ability to report sexual misconduct as defined in this regulation. 

     

    This definition does not absolve anyone with knowledge or reason to suspect child abuse, abandonment, or neglect of the responsibility to report relevant information to the Department of Children and Family Service in accordance with section 39.201, Florida Statutes, and Board of Governors Regulation 3.002. 

       

    9.  "Campus Security Authority" or CSA, means a UNF employee occupying a position designated by the University for the purpose of complying with the Clery Act. A CSA must report sex crimes defined in this regulation or other crimes that occur on UNF's campus, UNF controlled property, or designated UNF sponsored travel to UPD. A CSA's only obligation is to report crimes to UPD and if the person alleging sexual misconduct seeks confidentiality, the CSA must honor that request and not provide information regarding the incident, or the person's identity to UPD. When a CSA is also a Responsible Employee, they must still fulfill their duties as described in this regulation for a Responsible Employee and promptly report allegations of sexual misconduct by or against any student, employee, contractor or visitor to the University's Title IX Administrator or any divisional Title IX Coordinator. For more information about the duties of a CSA and a complete listing of positions designated as a CSA, please see the Campus Safety and Security Reporting policy 1.0120P  https://www.unf.edu/regulations-policies/01-general/1-0120P.html

       

    10.  "Sexual contact" means the deliberate intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of a person's intimate parts including their genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or using force or to cause a person to touch their own intimate parts or the intimate parts of others with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. 

       

    11.  "Sexual exploitation" means taking sexual advantage of another person without their consent, and includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) of another person; allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; and/or knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. 

       

    12.  "Sexual intercourse" means penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or by any other object. 

       

    13.  "Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal (including written and electronic communications when such communications are not protected as freedom of speech) or physical conduct of a sexual nature from any person when: 

     

    • Submission to such conduct or request is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student's status in a course, program, or activity; or of academic achievement; or 
    • Submission to such conduct or request is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, salary increase, position advancement, or other employment-related benefits; or 
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct or request by an individual is used as the basis for an academic decision or employment decision affecting such individuals; or 
    • Such conduct is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, persistent or pervasive) to deny or limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's educational programs or activities or such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the conditions of, or have the purpose and effect of substantially interfering with, a faculty or staff member's employment by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. 

     

    14.  "Stalking" means a person who engages in a course of conduct where they willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow, harass, or cyberstalk another person. A "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose; "harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose. Similarly, "cyberstalk" means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose. 

       

    15.  "Unwelcome Conduct"   means behavior of a sexual nature that a person does not ask for and considers undesirable or offensive.  

  • What is covered under Title IX?

    The application of Title IX to athletics that has gained the greatest public visibility, however, the law applies to every single aspect of education, including course offerings, counseling and counseling materials, financial assistance, student health and insurance benefits and/or other services, housing, marital and parental status of students, physical education and athletics, education programs and activities, and employment.

    Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs, services and activities that receive Federal financial assistance (grants) from the federal government (National Science Foundation Grantees). Covered programs and activities includes admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student treatment, services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignment, grading, vocational education, recreation, physical education, housing and employment. Forms of discrimination include sex-based discrimination, gender-based harassment, sexual harassment.
  • What are the key provisions of the Department of Education's new Title IX regulation?
    • Defines sexual harassment to include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex;
    • Provides a consistent framework on which survivors, the accused, and schools can rely;
    • Requires schools to offer clear, accessible options for any person to report sexual harassment;
    • Empowers survivors to make decisions about how a school responds to incidents of sexual harassment;
    • Requires the school to offer survivors supportive measures, such as class or dorm reassignments or no-contact orders;
    • Holds colleges responsible for off-campus sexual harassment at houses owned or under the control of school-sanctioned fraternities and sororities;
    • Upholds all students' right to written notice of allegations, the right to an advisor, and the right to submit, cross-examine, and challenge evidence at a live hearing;
    • Shields survivors from having to come face-to-face with the accused during a hearing and from answering questions posed personally by the accused;
    • Requires schools to select one of two standards of evidence, the preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing evidence standard – and to apply the selected standard evenly to proceedings for all students and employees, including faculty;
    • Provides "rape shield" protections and ensures survivors are not required to divulge any medical, psychological, or similar privileged records;
    • Requires schools to offer an equal right of appeal for both parties to a Title IX proceeding;
    • Gives schools flexibility to use technology to conduct Title IX investigations and hearings remotely;
    • Protects students and faculty by prohibiting schools from using Title IX in a manner that deprives students and faculty of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
  • What is gender-based harassment in an educational setting?
    Gender-based harassment is unwelcomed conduct based on a student's actual or perceived sex. This includes slurs, taunts, stereotypes or name-calling, as well as gender motivated physical threats, attacks or other hateful conduct.
  • What is sexual harassment?
    "Sexual Harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communications or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to deny or limit an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's educational programs or activities, or substantially interfere with or alter the conditions of an employee's employment, such as when
    • Submission to such conduct or request is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a status in a course, program, or activity; or of academic achievement; or
    • Submission to such conduct or request is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, salary increase, position advancement, or other employment-related benefits; or
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct or request by an individual is used as the basis for an academic decision or employment decision affecting such individuals.
  • How does consent work in real life?

    The term "Consent" refers to the communication of an affirmative, conscious, knowing, and freely made decision by each participant to engage in agreed upon forms of contact or conduct. It is the responsibility of each person involved in any form of contact or conduct to ensure that they have the consent of the other or others.  Consent requires an outward demonstration, through understandable words or actions, which conveys a clear willingness to engage in the contact or conduct. 

    Consent cannot to be inferred from silence, passivity, or a lack of resistance, and relying on non-verbal communication alone may result in a violation. In addition, c onsent cannot be inferred from any existing or previous relationship or encounter (i.e. platonic, dating, or sexual).

    Consent cannot be obtained by force, threat, coercion, manipulation, reasonable fear of injury, intimidation, use of position of influence, or through one's mental or physical helplessness or incapacity. A person who is incapacitated cannot provide consent.  

    A person who has given consent to engage in sexual contact may withdraw consent at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual contact must cease immediately.

    Positive consent can look like this:

    • Communicating when you change the type or degree of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this OK?” 
    • Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m open to trying.” 
    • Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable taking things to the next level. 

    Positive consent does NOT look like this:

    • Refusing to acknowledge “no.”
    • Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting, or kissing is an invitation for anything more.
    • Someone being under the legal age of consent, as defined by the state.
    • Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol.
    • Pressuring someone into sexual activity by using fear or intimidation.
    • Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you’ve done it in the past.

      Source:  https://www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent 

  • Who is protected under Title IX?
    Anyone who participates in an educational program, service or activity with a Federally funded entity is protected by Title IX. This includes students, parents and guardians, visitors and employees.
  • What is the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and how does it relate to Title IX compliance with respect to employment?
    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex for entities that have 15 or more employees. Title VII is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • What are a University‚Äôs obligations when it has notice of a Title IX related incident?
    If the University knows or in the exercise of reasonable care should know about student-on-student sexual harassment, including sexual violence, that creates a hostile environment, Title IX law requires the University to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred (subject to confidentiality considerations). If an investigation reveals that sexual harassment, including sexual violence, created a hostile environment, the University must then take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual harassment or sexual violence, prevent its recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy its effects on the victim and University community. 
  • What are the reporting obligations of residential staff (e.g., RA, LCA, ARLC, RLC, AD) when they have notice and/or receive a report of a Title IX related incident?
    All staff working in the residence halls must report any Title IX related concerns to the Title IX Office. Outreach will then be sent to the Complainant along with an offer to meet with the Complainant to assist with immediate supportive measures (e.g., housing, academic accommodations, etc.) in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator. 
  • What are the reporting obligations for non-residential staff (e.g., faculty, instructors, coaches, staff, administrators)?

    Notify the Title IX Office promptly. If the student needs emergency assistance call: 911 or ext. 2800 from a campus phone.

    Complete a Discrimination and Title IX Reporting Form; or

    Send an email to marlynn.jones@unf.edu with as much as the following information as was reported to you (noting you should not investigate):

    • Name of the person who may have experienced Prohibited Sexual Conduct (Complainant)
    • Name of the Responding Party (accused party) (if known)
    • Date of the incident
    • Date the information was shared with you
    • Name of the person to whom the report was made
    • Location of the incident (be as specific as possible: not "Responding Party’s room" but “RP’s room in Osprey Cove" or "off-campus in downtown Jacksonville")
    • Time of the incident
    • Nature of the conduct (be as specific as possible regarding the allegations: e.g., Complainant awoke to Responding Party touching her breasts without permission.)

    Following a report, the Title IX Office will send outreach and offer to meet with the Complainant to assist with immediate safety measures and other necessary and appropriate supportive measures.

  • What if the Complainant requests confidentiality?
    If a Complainant requests to remain confidential, the University will give serious consideration to that request. Only in rare circumstances will the University proceed to a Title IX investigation against the wishes of the Complainant. Generally, the University will seek to honor the request of the Complainant not to proceed to a Title IX investigation and to remain confidential and will not proceed to a formal Title IX investigation without the consent of the Complainant. The Title IX Coordinator will consider a number of factors in deciding whether the request can be honored, including the age of the Complainant, whether there is evidence of a pattern of misconduct, the severity of the misconduct, and whether there is a safety risk to the Complainant or the UNF community. Should the University, in weighing such factors, determine it must proceed, the University will explain its rationale to the Complainant and make sure that the Complainant is offered a support person throughout the process. The Complainant will not be required to participate in the process as a prerequisite to the University proceeding.
  • Who can a student contact if they want to discuss a Title IX related concern in a confidential manner?

    Confidential consultations about sexual misconduct are available from persons who, by law, have special professional status (University mental health professionals and victim advocate). A UNF student may contact the following offices for confidential advice and help:

     

    Victim Advocacy Program

    24-Hour Crisis Helpline: (904) 620-1010

    https://www.unf.edu/womenscenter/victim-advocacy/

     

    Counseling Center

    Business Hours Line: (904) 620-2602

    After-Hours Support: (904) 620-2602, wait for the voice prompt and select option 2.

    https://www.unf.edu/counseling-center/

     

    Women’s Center of Jacksonville (off campus)

    Business Hours Line: (904) 722-3000

    24 Hour Rape Crisis Hotline: (904) 721-7273

    https://womenscenterofjax.org/

  • What supportive measures are available to a student when they report a Title IX related incident?

    The Title IX Coordinator will meet with students seeking information about their options. Upon a report of a Title IX concern, the University will work with the Complainant to put supportive measures in place. They are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University's education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party. Following an investigation (if the Complainant’s desire) and a determination that conduct prohibited by Title IX occurred, more permanent accommodations and safety measures may be implemented. Supportive measures measures) may include:

    • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
    • Modifications of work or class schedules
    • Campus escort services
    • Restrictions on contact
    • Changes in work or housing locations
    • Leaves of absence
    • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
    • Other similar measures
  • Who can a student contact to ask that one or more of these supportive measures and/or accommodations are put in place?
    The Title IX Coordinator, Marlynn Jones, marlynn.jones@unf.edu, (904) 620-2507.
  • What if the student who discloses is a minor (or was a minor when the abuse occurred)?
    In addition to reporting to the Title IX Coordinator or designee, any incidents of abuse of a minor must also be reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) by every individual who is made aware of the abuse. Under Florida’s Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act, all Florida residents must personally report any type of child abuse. For more information, or to report abuse, visit Florida Abuse Hotline
  • What if the incident occurs off campus?
    If the incident involves a UNF student, it should still be reported and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion (EOI) so that the University can assess how best to assist the student.
  • Does the University's Sexual Misconduct Regulation apply to online behavior?
    Yes.
  • What about retaliation?
    The University does not permit retaliation against an individual who seeks to redress their concerns, or those who participate in this process. Should you believe that you are retaliated against, please report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion (EOI).
  • How is Title IX applied to athletics?

    Athletics programs are considered educational programs and activities. There are three basic parts of Title IX as it applies to athletics: 

    1. Participation: Title IX requires that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports. Title IX does not require institutions to offer identical sports but an equal opportunity to play;                         
    2. Scholarships: Title IX requires that female and male student-athletes receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation; and                         
    3. Other benefits: Title IX requires the equal treatment of female and male student-athletes in the provisions of: (a) equipment and supplies; (b) scheduling of games and practice times; (c) travel and daily allowance/per diem; (d) access to tutoring; (e) coaching, (f) locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; (g) medical and training facilities and services; (h) housing and dining facilities and services; (i) publicity and promotions; (j) support services and (k) recruitment of student-athletes.
  • How does an institution comply with Title IX for athletics?

    An institution must meet all of the following requirements in order to be in compliance with Title IX:

    1. For participation requirements, institutions officials must meet one of the following three tests. An institution may:
      1. Provide participation opportunities for women and men that are substantially proportionate to their respective rates of enrollment of full-time undergraduate students;
      2. Demonstrate a history and continuing practice of program expansion for the underrepresented sex;
      3. Fully and effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex; and,
    2. Female and male student-athletes must receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation; and,                         
    3. Equal treatment of female and male student-athletes in the eleven provisions as mentioned above.
  • Does Title IX benefit only girls and women?
    Title IX benefits everyone!. The law requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices and programs that do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender. Elimination of discrimination against women and girls has received more attention because females historically faced greater gender restrictions and barriers in education. Continued efforts to achieve educational equity has benefited all students by moving toward creation of school environments where all students may learn and achieve, thereby also benefiting men and boys.
  • Does Title IX require that equal dollars be spent on men and women's sports?
    No. The only provision that requires that the same dollars be spent proportional to participation is scholarships. Otherwise, male and female student-athletes must receive equitable "treatment" and "benefits" and that is not always equal.
  • Does Title IX require identical athletics programs for males and females?
    Title IX does not require identical athletics programs for males and females. Rather, Title IX requires that the athletics programs meet the interests and abilities of each gender. Under Title IX, one team is not compared to the same team in each sport. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) examines the total program afforded to male student-athletes and the total program afforded to female student-athletes and whether each program meets the standards of equal treatment. Title IX does not require that each team receive exactly the same services and supplies. Rather, Title IX requires that the men and women's program receive the same level of service, facilities, supplies and etc. Variations within the men and women's program are allowed, as long as the variations are justified.
  • Is any sport excluded from Title IX?
    Under Title IX there are no sport exclusions or exceptions. Individual participation opportunities (number of student-athletes participating rather than number of sports) in all men's and women's sports are counted in determining whether an institution meets Title IX participation standards. The basic philosophical underpinning of Title IX is that there cannot be an economic justification for discrimination. The institution cannot maintain that there are revenue productions or other considerations that mandate that certain sports receive better treatment or participation opportunities than other sports.
  • Does Title IX mandate that a decrease in opportunities for male athletes be made in order to provide an increase in opportunities for female athletes?
    Title IX does not require reductions in opportunities for male student-athletes. One of the purposes is to create the same opportunity and quality of treatment for both female and male student-athletes. Eliminating men sports programs is not the intent of Title IX. The intent of Title IX is to bring treatment of the disadvantaged gender up to the level of the advantaged group.