Title IX FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 14, 2020
Why are we changing our policies now?
The United States Department of Education’s issued new Title IX (TIX) Regulations, published on May 19, 2020, 85 FR 30026, mandating changes to the College’s TIX policies and procedures. These changes must be implemented by August 14, 2020. In response to this regulation, the College appointed a working group to draft interim policies that are compliant with the new regulations. While we would have preferred to have community input during this process, the disruptions of COVID-19 and the complexity of the new rules required that College convene a small working group to bring the college policies and procedures into compliance within the time needed.
Will there be an opportunity for community input?
Yes. These policies are interim policies, and the College will convene a new working group this fall that will represent the Goucher community – students, faculty, and staff to review the interim policies. There will also be a community comment period during which community members will be able to provide feedback before the policies and procedures are finalized.
What are the changes to Goucher’s policy?
The Department of Education narrowed the scope of conduct to which the Title IX new regulations apply and included new requirements regarding the handling of the formal TIX complaint process. Goucher’s policies changed in significant ways:
- Although the College will continue to prohibit the same types of conduct as it currently does, only a limited range of such behavior will be subject to new TIX procedures, which will require a live hearing and cross-examination of parties and witnesses.
- Conduct that does not fall within the new rule’s jurisdiction will be processed through a more robust investigation process than is in the current policy, but will not include a live hearing and cross-examination.
- As a result of these changes, the College is implementing a new interim Sexual Misconduct Policy, and two procedures that explain the Title IX complaint process, and how non-TIX complaints will be processed.
Does this new policy apply to staff and faculty, as well as students?
Yes. All staff and faculty are subject to the mandates of this policy.
What about Goucher’s consent policy? Has it been changed?
No. The College will form a new working group in the fall that will review the current consent policy and research about consent policies at our peer institutions in the state of Maryland. The working group will make a recommendation if the policy may be revised. If the working group makes that recommendation, the consent policy would be part of the community comment period.
Has the evidentiary standard changed?
No. Goucher College still uses a preponderance of evidence standard to determine responsibility under the policy, i.e., the decision-makers are required to determine whether it is more likely than not that sexual misconduct occurred.
Are Goucher’s interim policies and procedures final?
No. The policies and procedures are in effect until the Fall 2020 finalization process or if there are any new federal regulations issued. Goucher will remain in compliance with all federal and state laws while maintaining the safety and security of our students.
Will Goucher College still offer supportive measures to those who experienced incidents of sexual or related misconduct?
Yes. Once information is disclosed to the Office of Title IX, that office will work with campus partners to provide requested supportive measures to ensure the safety of the reporting party.
What are supportive measures?
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary and non-punitive and may not unreasonably burden the Respondent in the absence of a finding of responsibility for conduct prohibited by the policy. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the issuance of supportive measures. Supportive measures include, but are not limited to:
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
- Modifications of work or class schedules
- Campus escort services
- Restrictions on contact between the parties (no contact orders)
- Changes in work or housing locations
- Leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
Who can receive supportive measures?
Reporters and respondents have the right to receive supportive measures from the College.
What does it mean for a person to violate supportive measures?
If a person knowingly violates a supportive measure that is an order by a college official, e.g., a no-contact order, that individual will be adjudicated under the student Code of Conduct or disciplined pursuant to employment policies and procedures.
Will others be made aware of my supportive measures?
Any supportive measures put in place are kept confidential, except to the extent that doing so impairs the ability of the College to provide supportive measures. For example, to effectuate a housing change, Residential Life staff will be informed to assist with a housing change as directed by the Office of Title IX. Details of the complaint are not shared.
Will the Office of the Title IX Coordinator continue its work during this period of remote operations?
The Office of Title IX will continue to serve the college community during this period of remote learning. Office operations are remote, consistent with the College’s directive and measures, which took effect on March 16, 2020.
Can I still make reports of sexual or related violence?
Yes. If you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual or related violence or prohibited discrimination, you are encouraged to report it. You can report via email at email@example.com. Upon receipt of a report, a representative of the Office of Title IX will respond and can arrange to meet with you remotely, via video chat or telephone. The College’s policy gives the college jurisdiction over reports of prohibited conduct arising not only from on-campus conduct but also from off-campus conduct that violates the policy, if such behavior may have a substantial adverse effect on any member of the Goucher College community. Depending on where the conduct occurred, however, the procedures used to adjudicate it may differ.
Will the College continue to provide other support and assistance, such as confidential college resources, counseling, and SALI (Sexual Assault Legal Institute)?
We are working with other college offices that provide resources and support services to maximize availability and continuity while in remote status. College services are available remotely. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having difficulty remotely securing the resources and services you need. We also encourage you to reach out to any support services that you are currently connected to see if they are providing services remotely. Information about support services for both reporting and responding parties is available on the Title IX website.
What if I have other questions not answered here?
Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com. We will continue to monitor the situation and update these FAQs as needed according to changes in the College’s directive and measures.