Title IX and Out of Classroom Learning Experiences

USU enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Under the law, sex-based discrimination is defined as someone being excluded from participation in, being denied the benefits of, or being subjected to discrimination on the basis of their sex assigned at birth. USU policy 305 additionally prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

Sex-based discrimination also includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and sex-based stalking. These specific behaviors prohibited by Title IX are collectively called “sexual misconduct” in interim USU policies 339, 339A, and 339B

Title IX applies to all individuals participating in educational programs or activities that are affiliated with USU, which includes students who experience sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) during an out of classroom learning experience (internship, practicum, student teaching, field work, research process, etc.). Students participating in out of classroom learning experiences have the right to an environment free from sex-based discrimination, including sexual misconduct. While USU may not have control over the person engaging in the sex-based discrimination in an out of classroom learning experience, the university can help remove the student experiencing the discrimination from the out of classroom learning experience and offer support and access to resources to that individual.

More information about Title IX is available at ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html

To report sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) to USU, visit equity.usu.edu/report or contact USU’s Title IX Coordinator Hilary Renshaw at 435-797-1266, titleix@usu.edu, or in Distance Education 404 on the USU Logan campus.

What is Title VII?

Many students will participate in an out of classroom learning experience that is not located at USU. Although Title IX only applies to educational programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance, Title VII applies to discrimination and harassment that takes place in employment programs and activities. Similar to Title IX, under Title VII, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex-based discrimination.

More information about Title VII is available at eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964.

What is Sex-based Discrimination?

USU considers actions based on someone’s sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation, as well as sexual misconduct behaviors, to be sex-based. Sex-based discrimination can be carried out by employees, supervisors, other students, and third parties. All students can experience sex-based discrimination, including male and female students, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, and students of different races, national origins, and ages. Title IX protects all students from sex-based discrimination, regardless of the sex of the parties, including when they are members of the same sex.

Under USU policy 305, sex-based discrimination includes disparate treatment and hostile environment behaviors.

  • Disparate treatment occurs when a person is treated differently because of their sex than another person who is similarly situated and includes treatment based on sex that harmfully or adversely impacts the terms or conditions of one’s employment or student status.
  • Hostile environment sex-based discrimination is unwelcome conduct based on the student’s sex that is so severe or pervasive that it denies or limits the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education programs and activities.

Some examples of sex-based discrimination include:

  • Not selecting someone based on their sex for a student organization that is open to everyone
  • Not choosing someone based on their sex for a scholarship that is open to everyone 
  • Refusing to use someone’s correct pronouns
  • Giving someone a different work or group project assignment based on their sex
  • Not choosing someone for a professional development opportunity based on their sex
  • Holding someone to a different standard or evaluating them differently based on their sex
  • Making derogatory comments based on someone’s sex

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment occurs frequently in workplaces. Sexual harassment can be carried out by employees, supervisors, other students, and third parties. All students can experience sexual harassment, including male and female students, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, and students of different races, national origins, and ages. Title IX protects all students from sexual harassment, regardless of the sex of the parties, including when they are members of the same sex.

Under interim USU policies 339, 339A, and 339B, sexual harassment includes hostile environment and quid pro quo behaviors.

  • Hostile environment sexual harassment is unwelcome sex-based conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an employment or education program or activity.
  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment is an employee’s conditioning of the provision of a University aid, benefit, or service on a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Talking about someone’s appearance in a way that makes them uncomfortable
  • Making jokes of a sexual nature
  • Using nicknames such as “babe,” “doll,” and “hunk”
  • Sexual gestures with hands or body movements
  • Hugging, kissing, or patting someone without consent
  • Sending crude language or explicit images via phone, email etc.

Full definitions of other USU sexual misconduct policy terms are available at equity.usu.edu/sexual-misconduct/Sexual-Misconduct-Terms.

Information for USU Students, USU Faculty/Staff advisors and coordinators, and Placement Site Supervisors

USU Students

If you or someone you know is experiencing sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) in an out of classroom learning experience, below are some actions you can take. Remember, it is normal to be afraid or worried about reporting sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) or taking other actions to make the behaviors stop. Do what is right for you. 

It is important that individuals who are experiencing sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) know about the resources available to them. While USU may not have control over the person engaging in the sex-based discrimination in an out of classroom learning experience, the university can help remove you from the out of classroom learning experience and offer support and access to resources to you.

  1. Report to USU’s Title IX Coordinator: Students can report sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) online at equity.usu.edu/report or by contacting USU’s Title IX Coordinator Hilary Renshaw at 435-797-1266, titleix@usu.edu, or in Distance Education room 404 on the USU Logan campus. If you choose to report to USU, the Office of Equity will provide you with information about supportive measures, support resources, and actions that may be taken based on the information that is provided.
  2. Report to your placement site supervisor or your site’s human resources office/department/Title IX Coordinator (if applicable): They can tell you what resources the employer can offer and the investigation process for the site. If your supervisor is the individual engaging in the sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct), you could report to their supervisor or human resources.
  3. Report to your USU out of classroom learning experiences coordinator or advisor: Coordinators and advisors work closely with placement sites to appropriately place USU students for their out of classroom learning experiences, so it is important that they are aware of any inappropriate or unlawful conduct at those sites that may impact a student’s experience. Out of classroom learning experiences coordinators and advisors may be obligated to report disclosures of sexual misconduct to the USU Title IX Coordinator. If they do not have reporting obligations, they can help you make a report. You can learn more about USU employee sexual misconduct reporting obligations at equity.usu.edu/sexual-misconduct/employees.
  4. Visit sexualrespect.usu.edu for a list of campus and community resources available to you. These include confidential resources such as counseling and USU’s Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information (SAAVI) Office, as well as reporting options.

USU Faculty and Staff advisors and coordinators

As a USU faculty or staff member who advises or coordinates out of classroom learning experiences, it is important for you to talk to students about their Title IX rights prior to them beginning their out of classroom learning experience.

  1. Provide students with the information and resources found in the above student section of this "Title IX and out of classroom learning experiences" webpage.
  2. Encourage students to find out who at their placement site (supervisor, human resources, or Title IX Coordinator (if applicable)) they can contact about sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment and where to review the site’s relevant respectful workplace, sexual harassment, and/or discrimination policies.
  3. Inform students what reporting obligations you have under USU’s interim sexual misconduct policies 339, 339A, and 339B. For more information about how to inform students about your reporting obligations, visit equity.usu.edu/sexual-misconduct/employees.

If a student informs you of sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) in their out of classroom learning experience, follow the below steps.

  1. Listen, affirm, and inform: Demonstrate care and concern during your conversation with the individual. They may fear they won’t be believed or have concerns with telling someone about the incident. Affirm that the incident was not their fault. If you are a reporting employee, explain your sexual misconduct reporting obligations and that you will need to report the incident to the USU Title IX Coordinator.
  2. Provide resources: Talk to the individual about USU and community resources they can access for further support. USU provides a variety of confidential resources and reporting options. Contact information and a description of these resources can be found at sexualrespect.usu.edu.
  3. If you are a reporting employee, report the disclosure to the USU Title IX Coordinator: USU faculty and staff designated as reporting employees are required to report disclosures of sexual misconduct to the USU Title IX Coordinator. Reports can be made at equity.usu.edu/report. For more information on your reporting obligations as a USU employee, visit the employee reporting obligations webpage.
  4. Even if you are not a reporting employee, the USU Title IX Coordinator wants to know about sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) that is happening to students in out of classroom learning experiences. Sharing this information with the USU Title IX Coordinator ensures that students can be informed about supportive measures, support resources, and actions that may be taken based on the information that is provided. You can contact USU’s Title IX Coordinator Hilary Renshaw at 435-797-1266, titleix@usu.edu, or in Distance Education room 404 on the USU Logan campus or file a report at equity.usu.edu/report.

Out of Classroom Learning Experiences Placement Sites and Site Supervisors

As a placement site or site supervisor for a USU student’s out of classroom learning experience, it is important for you to talk to students about their Title IX and Title VII rights prior to them beginning their out of classroom learning experience at your site.

  1. Provide USU students with the information and resources found in the above student section of this "Title IX and out of classroom learning experiences" webpage.
  2. Tell students who at your placement site (supervisor, human resources, or Title IX Coordinator (if applicable)) they can contact about sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment and where to review your site’s relevant respectful workplace, sexual harassment, and/or discrimination policies.

If a USU student informs you of experiencing sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) in their out of classroom learning experience at your site, follow the below steps.

  1. Listen and Affirm: Demonstrate care and concern during your conversation with the individual. They may fear they won’t be believed or have concerns with telling someone about the incident. Affirm that the incident was not their fault.
  2. Discuss and follow all workplace policies for sexual harassment and discrimination: Inform the student of the procedures for reporting incidents at your workplace. Contact your workplace’s human resources department/officer if appropriate and/or support the student in doing so.
  3. Consider reporting the information to USU’s Title IX Coordinator: Hilary Renshaw can be contacted at equity.usu.edu/report, 435-797-1266, titleix@usu.edu, or in Distance Education room 404 on the USU Logan campus. If you choose to report the incident(s) to USU, inform the student so that they can be prepared to be contacted by USU about supportive measures, support resources, and actions that may be taken based on the information that is provided.
  4. Assist and cooperate with USU’s Office of Equity: As necessary, you may need to be involved in an investigation related to sex-based discrimination (including sexual misconduct) incidents that occur to a USU student placed at your site.
  5. Remind students of USU resources: Remind the individual about campus and community resources they can access for further support. USU provides a variety of confidential resources and reporting options. Contact information and a description of these resources can be found at sexualrespect.usu.edu.