Title IX (On-Campus) Reporting

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination against all genders in educational institutions. Schools are required to ensure that campuses are free of sex discrimination and have an established procedure for handling complaints. The University of Utah has a Title IX coordinator to handle complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual assault and harassment:
 
Sherrie Hayashi, Title IX coordinator
Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action/Title IX
Park Building, Room 135
801-581-8365

What is the Title IX reporting process like?

When disclosing information to a Title IX investigator, you may be asked for a description of the incident including the date, time, location, and information about the perpetrator(s). Reports of sexual misconduct are processed through the Title IX Coordinator, who is housed in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA). If you or a mandatory reporter disclose information to the OEO/AA, you may be contacted to provide more information. Throughout the process, you can control the information you share and can choose to stop sharing at any point. You may also choose to file a formal complaint and proceed with an investigation or resolve the matter through informal resolution.

Supportive Measures are available to help support you, whether or not you wish to file a formal complaint with our office. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge.  If you choose, we can work with the appropriate campus office to obtain extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, refer you to counseling and/or victim advocacy services, and also implement safety and protective measures, such as no-contact directives, campus escort services, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus and other similar measures. You may also request one-on-one training, education, or other requests as defined by you such as asking us to tell the other party that their behavior is expected to stop.  Training may be able to be implemented anonymously but that may limit our ability to address the behavior. Supportive Measures are available, whether or not you file a Formal Complaint with OEO/AA.

Choosing to report an incident of sexual misconduct can feel empowering for a survivor. However, the reporting process can be emotionally difficult. Some students may be reluctant to report to the police. Some students may also be wary of re-victimization and re-traumatization. The survivor should have the choice of whether or not to report and continue with an investigation. Talking to a confidential resource can help a survivor decide which options are best for them.

What is the investigation/adjudication process like?

Each investigation and adjudication process is individualized, but the following is a basic outline of the Title IX process related to allegations of sexual misconduct.  Under Title IX, there are two different types of cases:  1) Sexual misconduct is a broad term used to encompass a range of behaviors. It includes Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Violence, Stalking, Nonconsensual Sexual Contact, and Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration. Sexual Misconduct is a type of Sex or Gender-Based Discrimination; and 2) Discrimination - Being treated differently because of sex/gender.

After a Title IX formal complaint is filed, the complaint is assessed to determine whether or not the conduct violates the university's nondiscrimination policies. Both the complaining party (person making the complaint) and the responding party (person who is accused of misconduct) are interviewed for information regarding the complaint. Parties may have an advisor of their choice with them when being interviewed. When available, documentary evidence is reviewed, and witnesses are interviewed as well. Investigations may take up to 60 days or the parties will be informed of the reasons the investigation cannot be completed within 60 days.

1) Procedures for sexual misconduct cases:

At the conclusion of the investigation, the OEO will issue recommendations that are published in a report that is shared with both parties to the complaint. Recommendations are categorized as either “cause,” or “insufficient evidence” as to whether university policy was violated.

If the OEO recommends that there is cause to believe that university policy has been violated, recommendations for disciplinary actions (sanctions) will be made. In the case of students, the Office of the Dean of Students makes recommendations for sanctions.

After the issuance of the OEO report, a hearing will be scheduled before a three-person hearing committee.  The hearing committee will make the decision whether or not a violation of university policy has occurred. The Hearing Committee will also make the decision as to any sanctions should be imposed against the Respondent and any remedies that should be provided to the Complainant.  Parties may have one advisor and one support person of their choice present at hearings. If a party does not have an advisor, a university-appointed advisor will be appointed, without fee or charge to the party.  A university-appointed advisor cannot provide advice, including legal advice to a party.  The role of a University-appointed advisor is for the sole purpose of conducting questioning of the other party, any witnesses, and any others who have provided information as part of the investigative or hearing process.  Hearings are usually held using Zoom or other similar technology. Students and staff may appeal the decision of the hearing committee to the applicable vice president. Faculty may appeal the decisions of the hearing committee to the president.

2) Procedures for sex/gender discrimination cases:

At the conclusion of the investigation, the OEO will issue findings that are published in a report that is shared with both parties to the complaint. Recommendations are categorized as either “cause,” or “insufficient evidence” as to whether university policy was violated.

If the OEO recommends that there is cause to believe that university policy has been violated, recommendations for disciplinary actions (sanctions) will be made. In the case of students, the Office of the Dean of Students makes recommendations for sanctions.

In discrimination cases, a hearing is not automatically scheduled.  Rather, either party may request a hearing before a hearing committee.  The process is similar to a sexual misconduct hearing as described above.  Parties may choose to have one advisor and one support person; except university-provided advisors are not appointed if a party does not have an advisor of their choice.

Get More Information on the University’s Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process