Title IX: Raise a Red Flag to Prevent Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Assault
Title IX is not limited to athletic programs, but applies to the entire campus community and campus visitors
Kent State University continues to work toward maintaining a campus environment free of discrimination and harassment. Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender in educational programs or activities operated by recipients of federal funding, such as Kent State.
While it is often thought of as a law that applies only to athletic programs, Title IX is much broader and protects all students, employees and visitors to campus from gender discrimination. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, is a form of gender discrimination and is strictly prohibited by federal and state law, as well as university policy.
What Is Your Role?
All Kent State employees are required to report incidents of gender discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, against a student, faculty or staff member, or visitor, to Kent State’s Title IX coordinator Loretta Shields, who is Human Resources’ director of benefits and compliance. Sexual assault cases should also be reported to the police. Students and campus visitors also are expected to report such incidents.
“It’s not enough to only know the law, but to also act on it by reporting any cases of sexual harassment or assault,” Shields says. “At Kent State, we strive to maintain a safe campus, which means that our faculty and staff have the responsibility to report such incidents if they witness or hear about them.”
In August of 2010, Kent State created the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) to provide anti-violence programming and support services, and to encourage all community members to speak out when witnessing violence. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the services offered to students through SART, including a Web page specifically designed for them titled “Recognizing a Student in Distress.” Find out more about SART by visiting www.kent.edu/sart/index.cfm.
Raising a Red Flag: Filing a Title IX Complaint
You can file a formal or informal complaint with the university through Shields or one of the deputy coordinators at 330-672-2038. Whether you choose to file a formal or informal complaint, the matter will be investigated by the coordinator or a deputy coordinator. The coordinator/deputy coordinator will make use of university and community resources to attempt to end any harassment, prevent its reoccurrence and help you to feel secure on campus.
You may also choose to file a report with Kent State University Police Services or to the local police. For emergencies and immediate assistance, call 911; otherwise Kent State Police can be reached at 330-672-2212.
For more information about acts that constitute sexual harassment and sexual assault, steps to take following sexual harassment/assault cases, on-campus resources, and contact persons and information, visit the SART website at http://www.kent.edu/srvss/ask-sart. Information is also available on the HR website at www.kent.edu/hr/aa/titleix.cfm.