Frequently Asked Questions

EMERGENCIES  

I've been physically harmed. What should I do?

You should (1) go to a safe place; (2) tell someone (confidential support of a counselor or advocate, or reporting to Campus Police, other law enforcement, or Equity Compliance for University assistance); (3) seek medical attention; and (4) if you’re a student, you can contact the Equity Compliance Office or Dean of Students office to explore options for a change in academic or living arrangements or other safety planning.  You can report the incident to Campus Police at  911 or 937-229-2121.  If you’re a student, you can seek counseling through the University Counseling Center at 937-229-3141 or with a doctor in the Health Center 937-229-3131.  If you’re an employee, you can seek counseling through the Employee Assistance Program at 888-267-8126 or www.lifeworks.com.

Where can I get emergency assistance?

Call Campus Police at 911 or 937-229-2121.

BASICS / BACKGROUND    

I thought Title IX was just about women in sports.

Title IX since its enactment as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been about more than sports, but it is the topic of sports that dominated the media spotlight for a number of years due to the new programs and scholarships schools created in order to comply.  Beyond sports, Title IX also addresses sex segregation, pregnancy and other issues related to gender equity.  The Department of Education provides guidance over time, including the obligation of schools to promptly investigate matters of sexual discrimination and the designation of a Title IX Coordinator who can be contacted with questions or concerns about gender equity.  At UD, the Equity Compliance Officer is the Title IX Coordinator.

Can you give me some examples of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is addressed when known. When harassment creates a hostile environment it becomes a violation of the Nondiscrimination & Anti-Harassment policy.  Some examples of possible sexual harassment include:

  • A teaching assistant or professor insists that a student have sex with them in exchange for a good grade.  This is harassment regardless of whether the student responds to the request and irrespective of whether a good grade is promised or a bad grade is threatened.

  • An individual repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes via email list or on a list serv (or group chat), even when asked to stop, causing a recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live.

  • A professor or teaching assistant engages students in class in discussion of sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class.  They probe for explicit details and/or demand that students respond or engage in this dialogue though they are clearly uncomfortable and/or hesitant.

  • Two staff members (or group members) frequently “rate” other members bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about clothing and/or appearance, or suggesting what they might “do” with others.

  • An ex-girlfriend (or ex-boyfriend) widely spreads stories about their sex life with their former partner to the clear discomfort of the former partner, turning that person into a social pariah on campus.

These examples are taken from the model policy developed by The NCHERM Group, LLC/ATIXA, which the University of Dayton has a license to use.

If an incident of sexual violence or other discriminatory harassment occurs off-campus, can the University investigate?

Possibly. The University's Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment policy applies to behaviors that take place on campus and at university-sponsored events, and it may also apply off-campus and to actions online when the Equity Compliance Officer determines that the off-campus or online conduct affects a substantial University interest.  If the off campus incident does not involve another member of the UD community, investigation may be limited.

INCLUSIVE ACCESSIBILITY

I am a student with a disability.  Do I go to the Equity Compliance Office in order to ask the University to provide me an accommodation?

No.  For student accommodation requests, you should contact the LTC's Office of Learning Resources (https://www.udayton.edu/ltc/learningresources/index.php), located in Roesch Library.  The trained staff in the Office of Learning Resources will work with you regarding necessary accommodations.  If you have an issue with how that accommodation request is handled or determined, then you could seek the assistance of the Equity Compliance Officer (“ECO”) to help resolve that issue by submitting a report online (found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination) or making an appointment by calling 937-229-3622.  In other words, the ECO provides an avenue of appeal/grievance after the interactive accommodation process has been utilized.

I am an employee with a disability.  Do I go to the Equity Compliance Office in order to ask the University to provide me assistance or an accommodation?

No.  Employees with short or long term disability questions or seeking assistance with accommodation requests should talk to your supervisor or Human Resources (more information from HR is available on the Human Resources website https://www.udayton.edu/hr/employee_resources/disability_accommodations.php).  If you have an issue with how that accommodation request is handled or determined, then you could seek the assistance of the Equity Compliance Officer (“ECO”) to help resolve that issue by submitting a report to detail the concern, an online link for such reporting is found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination.  In other words, the ECO provides an avenue of appeal/grievance after an accommodation decision has been made.  

Are the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Equity Complaint Process accessible to individuals with visual impairments?

Yes, the policy and complaint process are presented as web-based content, meaning they meet the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.  They are also compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  For printing convenience, they are also presented in .pdf format, if an enlarged print version would be beneficial or there are other needs for accessing this information, contact the Equity Compliance Office.  

What is Section 504?

“Section 504” refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, solely on the basis of the disability, in any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance (such as colleges and universities that receive federal funding through the federal financial aid or federal grant funding).  Three of the most substantial implications of this law for colleges and universities are program accessibility; the provision of auxiliary aids; and accommodations.  The University of Dayton’s Office of Learning Resources has disability specialists who can assist students who may have a need for academic and testing accommodations, alternative formats, and assistive technology.  More information can be found on their webpage at www.udayton.edu/ltc/learningresources. If an individual feels their accessibility needs are not being met through the interactive process with OLR or Human Resources, appeals of their determinations, as well as complaints or concerns of discrimination based on disability, may be made to the Equity Compliance Officer (ECO)

MANDATORY REPORTING

Am I a mandatory reporter?

All University employees are mandatory reporters EXCEPT doctors, counselors or ordained members of the clergy acting in that capacity.  As a mandatory reporter, if you become aware of possible discrimination or harassment, you MUST inform the University by contacting the Equity Compliance Officer or one of the Deputy Title IX coordinators.  All employees are expected to abide by the Mandatory Reporting Policy. You can also satisfy your reporting obligation by submitting a report to detail the concern. An online link for such reporting is found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination. Please understand that if your role in a matter is that of a mandatory reporter, you do not have the right to know the outcome of the proceedings, and the University is likely to limit the dissemination of any findings or results because of the privacy of the parties involved (although, in limited instances – such as when safety to the community is implicated – the University will make concerns publicly known as appropriate).

I am a student employee.  Does that make me a mandatory reporter?

Yes. Student Employees are mandatory reporters for incidents observed or learned about during their role as an employee.  For example, if you are on duty at an office or building front desk and see discriminatory harassment taking place, you must report that.  

If I want to be sure others know I may need to share information (as a mandatory reporter), is there something I can say if I think someone is about to tell me about discrimination or harassment that he or she has experienced?

If someone approaches you as though he or she is going to share something very personal with you, we suggest you say something along the following lines:

“I appreciate your willingness to share this with me, and I am sorry to hear of your experience. Please know that I do want to be helpful to you.

If you would like to explore available options with the University, I’ll help you connect with the Equity Compliance Office directly.  It is important you understand that I may not be able to keep what you tell me confidential, I want to protect your privacy but may need to share information with my supervisor or the Equity Compliance Office as I am required.  But if you are comfortable talking with me, I am here to listen.  If you are unsure about sharing, I can help connect you to a confidential resource such as the University’s Health Center, Counseling Center  or Ordained Clergy.  Above all, please know that the University takes this matter seriously and wants to help.  There are resources and options available”  

If I’ve reported a matter as a mandatory reporter, does that mean I’m involved throughout the case?

First of all, if you’ve reported a matter – thank you.  Your role in reporting helps the University respond appropriately to claims that are raised.  But once you’ve done that step of reporting, your role is finished, except the investigators may need to interview you as they gather evidence.  Otherwise you do not have a continuing role in the matter, as it is the Equity Compliance Officer and her team who carry the matter forward and ensure that the University remedies any situation needing remedying.  Please understand that if your role in a matter is that of a mandatory reporter, you do not have the right to know the outcome of the proceedings, and the University is likely to limit the dissemination of any findings or results because of the privacy of the parties involved (although, in limited instances – such as when safety to the community is implicated – the University will make concerns publicly known as appropriate).

I understand that as an employee I am a mandatory reporter.  Does that mean I am supposed to investigate possible violations?

No. As a mandatory reporter, your job is simply to report any possible incidents of which you become aware to the Equity Compliance Officer.  It is not an individual employee’s role to conduct an investigation.  You fulfill your duty by sharing information when you witness or are told about matters that may indicate discrimination or harassment by using the online report form found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination (mandatory reporters can also submit a report or contact the Office at 937-229-3622 if they have questions or wish to seek consultation).  You provide a valuable service to the University community simply by reporting behavior or experiences that may be discriminatory or harassing.  The Equity Compliance Office reviews all information received to determine appropriate follow up and response.

What if a student (or colleague) tells me of a sexual assault that occurred several months ago?  Do I still report it?

Yes. Please report it!  The University's wants to be sure an individual knows of available rights and resources, even if a prior experience does not lead to a disciplinary investigation there may be safety measures or other support available to be discussed.  Thus, it doesn't matter if the sexual assault occurred months or years prior; the University still must take steps to find out whether there may be current needs to be addressed.  The University does not have a limit on when a matter can be reported, although the options for response may be limited or impacted the longer time that has passed.  An individual’s delay in sharing information about an incident is not unheard of, particularly in cases of sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, where an individual might be traumatized, unsure about their experience, or too embarrassed to bring the matter forward when it happens but, after some passage of time (and perhaps as part of their healing process), ultimately comes forward and alerts the University of what happened.  

What if I overhear two people on campus talking in a very offensive, discriminatory way?  Can I try to put a stop to that, or do I just report the incident?

If you witness discriminatory behavior taking place, please intervene (if you can do so safely) and try to put a stop to it.  Remember that intervention does not have to be directly addressing troubling behavior, in some circumstances distraction, such as changing the subject or redirecting attention, can stop the behavior.  There might be additional opportunity to privately address the behavior with the individual.  In addition, deferring to someone else - such as calling over a friend or supervisor - can also be an effective means to stop adverse behavior.

And please still report it to the Equity Compliance Office (by completing an online report, the link can be found at go.udayton.edu/nondiscirmination).  Of course, if the behavior you are witnessing is physically dangerous such that you are concerned for safety of you or others, please call Public Safety at 937-229-2121 for on campus emergency assistance or call 911 when away from campus.  

What if I’ve heard about a bias incident, discrimination, or harassment secondhand?  Should I still report it?

Yes.  Do not assume others have reported it.  If you’ve heard about an incident and you do not know for certain if anyone else has reported it, the best course is to go ahead and report it yourself, clearly describing how you learned of it.  The Equity Compliance Office will sort through whether any reports are duplicative, i.e., about the same incident.

If I report a discriminatory or harassing incident to Public Safety, do I have to report it here too?

If you are a mandatory reporter, Yes.  Reporting it both places helps ensure that prompt, appropriate action is taken on all fronts.

THE RESOLUTION PROCESS    

I want to talk with someone about a violation of the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. I think something that happened to me (or something that I witnessed) may be a violation of this policy, and I want to know what my options are.  How do I do that?

You can share your information with the Equity Compliance Office by submitting a report using the link at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination, or you can contact the Equity Compliance Officer (ECO) directly, by phone at 937-229-3622 or by email at azavadil1@udayton.edu.

Can I file an anonymous report about my own experience if I am a victim?

Yes, by submitting information using the online reporting link at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination, there is option to withhold your contact information.  However, anonymity will hamper the ability of the University to provide resolution.  

I am a big believer in trying to work things out informally.  Is that a possibility under the Equity Complaint Resolution Process?

Yes, for many types of complaints an informal process is a great option.  The University would never require or advise that anyone try to work things out with someone who sexually assaulted him or her or otherwise engaged in an act of violence.  But when the matter involves language or behaviors that you believe might be corrected if the other person knew they were objectionable, the University encourages you to talk with him or her if you prefer.  If you would like to seek some guidance about how to have such conversation, you can schedule to meet with the Equity Compliance Officer for consultation.  If you do file a detailed report and both parties agree, the University may attempt to help you informally resolve the dispute, if appropriate, through informal means, such as coordinating a facilitated conversation.

The Equity Complaint Resolution Process says I can bring a "support person" with me as part of the complaint process.  What does that mean?

Both reporting parties (impacted individual / complainant) and responding parties (respondent) have a right to be accompanied by a support person of their choosing, this person may be a friend, family member, trusted professional including an attorney or legal advisor.  The role of the support person is to serve as an advisor to a reporting or responding party.  The support person may be present at interviews and other proceedings at which the party is attending, but is not a participant permitted to speak on behalf of the party.  The support person cannot be someone who may be called as a witness or otherwise participating in the resolution.

Who are the investigators in the complaint process?

Typically*, investigators are University staff and faculty who have been specifically trained to conduct the investigations required by the Equity Complaint Resolution Process. The Equity Compliance Officer assigns the investigation team and provides guidance regarding process, as needed.  Investigators are selected giving consideration to many factors, including seeking to avoid actual or perceived conflict-of-interest; the Equity Compliance Office retains the discretion to hire outside investigators to serve a case when needed.

*As explained in Section 14 of the Equity Complaint Resolution Process, in some circumstances an outside investigator may be retained.  

PROTECTION AGAINST RETALIATION    

If I submit a report and/or participate in an Equity Complaint Resolution Process, am I protected from retaliation?

Retaliation against an individual for alleging harassment, supporting a party bringing a complaint or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of a policy violation is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of harassment or discrimination. Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to Equity Compliance Office and will be promptly investigated. The University will take appropriate steps to help protect individuals who may be or fear they may be subjected to retaliation.

CONFIDENTIALITY / COMMUNICATION ISSUES    

If I tell someone who works at the University about an incident of discrimination or harassment, can he or she keep it a secret (i.e., keep it confidential between only the two of us)?

That depends on whom you tell and what exactly you are sharing.  Confidential support can be provided by clinicians of the Counseling Center and/or Health Center, as well as ordained clergy of Campus Ministry.  These resources maintain confidentiality and will not share information except at your request.  

Other staff and faculty are expected to protect privacy but must report potential matters of discrimination or harassing behavior to the Equity Compliance Office (per the University’s Mandatory Reporting Policy) to insure impacted parties receive information about rights and resources.  Every effort is made to protect individual privacy.   

Confidential support for students is available through the Counseling Center, Gosiger Hall   call 937-229-3141 to schedule an appointment

Confidential support for employees is available through the contracted Employee Assistance Program, Lifeworks.  More information can be found on the HR benefits website, or by visiting lifeworks.com

Individuals can consult with the Equity Compliance Office by sharing information that is not identifiable (e.g. does not includes names or specific details) to learn more about options that may be available for reporting and resources.

I was a witness in an investigation.  Do I have the right to know how things turned out, or to know that the investigation is over?

No.  In the interest of protecting privacy for all involved, individuals who participate as witnesses or who shared information about a matter under investigation do not receive updates or outcome information.

Can you explain in what ways the University attempts to keep its investigation confidential?

The University expects that privacy is protected for those reporting or otherwise involved in any complaint related to the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.  Only a small group of officials who need to know may be told what they need to know, including but not limited to: University Policy/Public Safety, relevant Deputy Coordinator(s), members of Threat Assessment Team, and/or staff who may need some information to coordinate remedial action.  Some information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the responding party.  The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve privacy.  All who are made aware of details are also reminded of this privacy expectation.  Finally, the records of the Equity Compliance Office are also maintained centrally, securely so as to protect privacy.

The University does not require that participants in an investigation (parties or witnesses) refrain from discussing the investigation, though those who are involved in an investigation are encouraged to keep the matters discussed private, out of concern for the integrity of the process and respect for all parties involved.    

PROCEDURAL EVIDENTIARY STANDARDS    

I'm a student who was accused of a crime but the prosecutor decided not to press charges.  Yet the University is still pursuing the matter through University procedures.  How?

The University's policy is separate from the legal code of the State of Ohio.  Policy standards of decision making are not the same as criminal standards of evidence.  That is, the University's Policy and Code of Conduct prohibits behaviors that do not amount to a crime, as well as some behaviors that are both prohibited by the University and may violate law. Additionally, the University applies a different standard of proof in University procedures (a "preponderance of evidence" standard) rather than the criminal system's standard of proof (the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard).  The University process will typically proceed regardless of the status of any related criminal charge.

The criminal justice system is separate and distinct from the University’s policy and conduct process.  In the criminal justice system, the inquiry focuses on whether an individual violated the law.  By contrast, in a University proceeding, the inquiry focuses on whether the individual violated the University’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and/or Code of Conduct. Because the standards for pursuing and completing criminal investigations are different from those used for University investigations, the termination of a criminal investigation without an arrest or conviction is not determinative of whether or not a University policy has been violated.

What exactly is "preponderance of evidence"?

Schools use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof when evaluating complaints of behavior violation, including sex-based discrimination, harassment, or violence. University procedures gather information and related evidence to make a determination as to whether violation of policy has occurred.  The preponderance of the evidence is met if, when the available evidence is considered, it is determined to be more likely than not (a greater than 50 percent probability) that the violation occurred.