Title IX Frequently Asked Questions

USU is committed to maintaining an educational and working environment free from sex discrimination and harassment, including maintaining an environment in which no student, faculty, or staff member is excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of USU's programs and activities as a result of one's sex. See interim USU Policy 339.

In compliance with Title IX, the Office of Equity works to create a learning and working environment free from sex discrimination and sexual misconduct through its prevention efforts and by providing a grievance process and offering support and resources to those who have been impacted by sexual misconduct. You can contact the Office of Equity or visit equity.usu.edu for information about supportive measures, reporting options, and the sexual misconduct grievance process.

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination at institutions that receive financial assistance from the federal government. Sexual misconduct – including sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence (dating and domestic violence), and stalking – is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by Title IX and by USU. The university is obligated to take prompt and effective steps to end sexual misconduct and sex discrimination when it occurs, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.

What is sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is a broad policy term that includes sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile environment), sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual exploitation, and sex-based stalking. Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by interim USU Policies 339 and 339A. The previous policies related to sexual misconduct are applicable to conduct alleged to have occurred August 14, 2020 or later per 34 CFRR 106 (2020). They are subject to change at any time.

A person of any sex can engage in sexual misconduct, and it can occur between people of the same or different sexes.

Using the term "sexual misconduct" serves to differentiate university policy processes, which are administrative and educational, from the criminal justice system, in which people are charged with crimes that carry criminal penalties.

How should sexual misconduct be reported?

Sexual misconduct that is committed by students, employees, and visitors to USU campuses violates interim USU Policies 339 and 339A and is not tolerated.

To report sexual misconduct, contact the USU Title IX Coordinator by reporting online at equity.usu.edu/report, calling 435-797-1266, emailing titleix@usu.edu, or visiting Distance Education room 400 on the Logan campus.

Sexual misconduct can also be reported to a Reporting Employee, who is required to report the information to the USU Title IX Coordinator. A list of Reporting Employees is available in interim USU policy 340.

Is there a time limit for making a sexual misconduct report to the USU Title IX Coordinator?

There is no time limit for making reports to the USU Title IX Coordinator, but reporting as soon as possible after an incident gives the University a better chance to respond promptly and effectively. After a significant amount of time passes, it may be difficult to gather evidence to determine whether a policy violation occurred.

What is the role of the USU Title IX Coordinator with respect to sexual misconduct?

The USU Title IX Coordinator is the person designated by USU to coordinate USU's efforts to implement and monitor compliance with the university's sexual misconduct policies and with federal Title IX law and regulations more generally.

As such, the Title IX Coordinator has three main roles:

  1. Promptly responding to reports of alleged sexual misconduct
  2. Coordinating effective implementation of supportive measures to individuals impacted by sexual misconduct
  3. Following a prompt and equitable grievance process to address sexual misconduct

What options are available through the Office of Equity for an individual who experienced sexual misconduct?

An individual who has experienced sexual misconduct has options and can choose from the options that they believe are best for them:

  • An individual may receive supportive measures, even without filing a formal compliant.
  • An individual may also file a formal complaint, where they provide information about the sexual misconduct and agree that they want the university to move forward with an alternative resolution or a formal investigation.
    • During an alternative resolution, the parties mutually agree on the outcome that addresses the sexual misconduct raised in the formal complaint.
    • A formal investigation occurs when both parties are interviewed, provide evidence, and participate in a hearing for reports under interim USU Policy 339. If the individual who engaged in the behavior is found to have violated university policy, appropriate sanctions are instituted.

What are supportive measures?

Supportive measures are short-term, non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services that are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s Employment or Education Program or Activity without unreasonably burdening the other party and include measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, and/or to deter Sexual Misconduct. They may include, but are not limited to, academic accommodations, mutual no-contact orders, employment modifications, or financial aid appeals.

An individual can access supportive measures even if they do not file a formal complaint or choose not to proceed with a formal investigation.

What is the difference between reporting to the USU Title IX Coordinator and reporting to police? What standard of evidence is used in these processes?

The university’s formal investigation process, which is coordinated by the USU Office of Equity, is an administrative process that determines whether, by a preponderance of the evidence, a member of the campus community (student, staff, or faculty) has violated interim USU Policy 339 or 339A. The preponderance of the evidence standard means a policy violation is more likely than not to have occurred. If someone is found responsible for violating university policy, they may face administrative sanctions, including, but not limited to, a warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion. The information about sexual misconduct that is reported may also result in campus offices participating in education and training.

A criminal process, which may be coordinated by USU Police or local law enforcement, determines whether a crime has occurred. If someone wishes to seek criminal penalties for sexual misconduct that is also a crime or other forms of assistance from law enforcement, they can report to the police. Criminal justice procedures use beyond a reasonable doubt as the standard of evidence, which is a higher standard of evidence than the standard used in USU’s grievance process.

Both processes may be pursued simultaneously.

What if the individual who experienced sexual misconduct wants to keep their information confidential?

The USU Title IX Coordinator will consider requests for confidentiality (meaning that an individual doesn’t want their name connected to the incident or report) or that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued. These requests are evaluated in the context of the university’s responsibility to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment.

An individual has the option of not providing information to the Office of Equity and not pursuing an investigation. However, the Office of Equity will still conduct a safety assessment with the limited information available to ensure the safety of the campus community.

Confidential resources are available both on- and off-campus.

Does USU discipline students for drug and alcohol student code violations discovered when reporting to the USU Title IX Coordinator?

No, if a student who experiences or witnesses an incident of sexual misconduct reports it to the USU Title IX Coordinator, they will not get in trouble for a student code violation related to the incident, such as underage drinking or having alcohol on campus.

The health and safety of our community is our primary concern, and we want to remove barriers to reporting sexual misconduct to USU's Title IX Coordinator. USU’s student code includes an amnesty provision to excuse students who report sexual misconduct from facing discipline for a student code violation involving drugs and alcohol.

What are the reporting obligations of USU staff, faculty, and other academic appointees?

Some university employees are designated as reporting employees, which means they must report all information they receive about sexual misconduct or incidents of sexual misconduct about which they have knowledge to the USU Title IX Coordinator at equity.usu.edu/report.

The university provides designated confidential resources - medical professionals and medical staff, professional counselors, non-professional counselors, and advocates - so individuals who have been impacted by sexual misconduct can have access to support services in a confidential setting.

Some university employees are designated as non-designated employees, which means they are not required to report information they receive about sexual misconduct to the USU Title IX Coordinator, but are required to share information about resources and reporting to the Title IX Coordinator to individuals who disclose sexual misconduct to them.

Who does the Office of Equity share the initial report with?

The Office of Equity keeps the initial report private but may share some information with specific USU employees, including when it is necessary to assess the safety risk posed by an incident or to provide an individual with supportive measures.

For example, if there is an immediate safety risk to an individual or to campus, the USU Title IX Coordinator may share information with local police or USU Police, including so that USU Police may evaluate for a timely warning notice, in accordance with the federal Clery Act. Timely warnings are a way to let the USU community about certain crimes that have occurred on campus, but do not include information that would identify the individual who allegedly experienced the sexual misconduct.