Title IX and Sexual Assault Prevention - Faculty and Staff

This information provides information and guidance for all employees of Saint Mary's College on Title IX and Sexual Assault Prevention.

Dear Staff and Faculty Colleagues,

Thank you to all who participated in Staff Day and/or Faculty Day activities.  As Title IX Coordinator, I hope that you found the presentation on Title IX and Sexual Assault Prevention informative.  I also wanted to take this opportunity to follow-up with you to again outline the College’s Title IX Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy, provide helpful links to important information in the event of a sexual assault on campus and to provide additional resources in the event you have questions or need additional information.  For those of you who were unable to attend the presentation, please be sure to review the links included on this page and take some time to become familiar with the College's Title IX website.

Please save this information to a folder on your computer titled “Title IX Sexual Assault Prevention,” print this and the attached PPT presentation, and place it in your red folder. If you need an additional red folder, please contact the Dean of Student’s office at 925-631-4238.

Outlined below are some questions and answers regarding Title IX Sexual Assault Prevention that is intended to provide guidance and direction in the event of a sexual assault.

What is Title IX Sexual Assault Prevention?

Sexual violence, as that term is used, refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, other students, or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

What are Saint Mary’s College basic responsibilities to address student-on-student sexual violence?

When a school knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual violence, it must take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred (subject to the confidentiality provisions). If an investigation reveals that sexual violence created a hostile environment, the school must then take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual violence, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.

Title IX requires a school to protect the complainant and ensure his or her safety as necessary, including taking interim steps before the final outcome of any investigation.  The school should take these steps promptly once it has notice of a sexual violence allegation and should provide the complainant with periodic updates on the status of the investigation.  If the school determines that the sexual violence occurred, the school must continue to take these steps to protect the complainant and ensure his or her safety, as necessary. The school should also ensure that the complainant is aware of any available resources, such as victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, disability services, health and mental health services, and legal assistance, and the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement.

If a school delays responding to allegations of sexual violence or responds inappropriately, the school’s own inaction may subject the student to a hostile environment. If it does, the school will also be required to remedy the effects of the sexual violence that could reasonably have been prevented had the school responded promptly and appropriately. For example, if a school’s ignoring of a student’s complaints of sexual assault by a fellow student results in the complaining student having to remain in classes with the other student for several weeks and the complaining student’s grades suffer because he or she was unable to concentrate in these classes, the school may need to permit the complaining student to retake the classes without an academic or financial penalty (in addition to any other remedies) in order to address the effects of the sexual violence.

What procedures must a school have in place to prevent sexual violence and resolve complaints?

The Title IX regulations outline three key procedural requirements. Each school must:

  • disseminate a notice of nondiscrimination (see Title IX website)
  • designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX
  • adopt and publish reporting procedures providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee sex discrimination complaints (see Title IX website)

Confidentiality

From the Faculty Day presentation, a faculty member asked “if a student requested that their report of a sexual assault remain confidential, was the faculty member able to provide that confidentiality?”.

Faculty are considered responsible employees who have a duty to report. Faculty cannot serve as confidential resources.

However, the College does have confidential resources. Specifically, these are:

  • Director for Sexual Assault Prevention, Erin Osanna-Barba at 925-631-4193
  • Therapists at the Counseling and Psychological Services at 925-631-4364
  • information can be shared confidentially with a priest on campus, in the context, and under the protection, of the priest-penitent privilege.
  • Please also see the Title FAQs #3 and #4.

Does Title IX protect all students from sexual violence?

Yes. Title IX protects all students at recipient institutions from sex discrimination, including sexual violence. Any student can experience sexual violence: from elementary to professional school students; male and female students; straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students; part-time and full-time students; students with and without disabilities; and students of different races and national origins.

What is the College’s obligation under Title IX Sexual Assault with regard to staff and faculty?

Staff, faculty, guests and visitors are all covered under Title IX Sexual Misconduct policies. Issues regarding staff, faculty, guests, visitors and others should be reported to the Office of Human Resources, specifically the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.

How should a school respond to sexual violence when the alleged perpetrator is not affiliated with the school?

The appropriate response will differ depending on the level of control the school has over the alleged perpetrator. For example, if an athlete or band member from a visiting school sexually assaults a student at the home school, the home school may not be able to discipline or take other direct action against the visiting athlete or band member. However it should conduct an inquiry into what occurred and should report the incident to the visiting school and encourage the visiting school to take appropriate action to prevent further sexual violence. The home school should also notify the student of any right to file a complaint with the alleged perpetrator’s school or local law enforcement. The home school may also decide not to invite the visiting school back to its campus.

Even though a school’s ability to take direct action against a particular perpetrator may be limited, the school must still take steps to provide appropriate remedies for the complainant and, where appropriate, the broader school population. This may include providing support services for the complainant, and issuing new policy statements making it clear that the school does not tolerate sexual violence and will respond to any reports about such incidents.

Who has specific duty to report or investigate an incident involving sexual assault?

Individuals with a Duty to Report:

  1. Campus Safety Authorities (Jeanne Clery Act)
  2. Responsible Employees (Title IX)

Offices with a Duty to Investigate:

  1. Office of Human Resources
  2. Office of the Dean of Students

How do I determine who is a campus safety authority?

A campus safety authority is a person or offices responsible for campus security. People or offices to which campus policy directs that crimes be reported. Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. This means work that focuses on student activities. The focus is on function, not title. Examples include anyone who has line of responsibility, (Student life—housing, discipline, extracurricular, sports, Human Resources, etc. or anyone with regular contact with students, beyond the classroom).

Am I a responsible employee?

A responsible employee is any employee who:

  1. has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence;
  2. has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX coordinator/appropriate school officials; or
  3. a student, staff or faculty member could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

Additional resources:

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Main Landing Page

Title IX Sexual Assault Reporting Procedure

President Donahue’s Commitment Statement

FAQ’s regarding Title IX Sexual Assault

Title IX Committee, Deputies and Campus Resources

Again, the intent of this communication is to provide you with important and timely information regarding Saint Mary’s College Title IX Sexual Assault policies and procedures.  If you have any questions, please contact me, Dr. Evette Castillo Clark, Dean of Students or Peter Chen, Director of Employee Relations, Compensations & HR Consultation at your convenience.

Regards,

Karen Biestman
Title IX Coordinator