What is Title IX?
Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities in federally funded schools. Title IX protects students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other persons from all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. All students, faculty and staff at UNL are protected by Title IX (regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, full or part-time status, disability, race or national origin) in all aspects of UNL’s educational programs and activities. All forms of sexual harassment, including but not limited to, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault are violations of Title IX and prohibited by UNL.
Specifically, Title IX states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Who Coordinates Title IX Compliance at UNL?
Title IX compliance is a shared responsibility of everyone on campus, from top-level administration to individual staff members. We all have a part to play to ensure campus safety. The university has a Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for coordination of compliance and safety efforts, as well as the processing of sexual misconduct reports and complaints.
UNL’s Title IX Coordinator is Tami Strickman. Ms. Strickman may be reached at:
Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance
128 Canfield Administration Building
Lincoln, NE 68588-0437
Telephone: (402) 472-3417
What Does the Title IX Coordinator Do?
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the following duties and activities:
- Ensuring UNL complies with Title IX and other related laws.
- Creation and application of university policies and procedures related to Title IX
- Coordination of implementation and administration of complaint procedures and investigations.
- Working to create a safe learning and working campus environment.
What Behavior Constitutes Sexual Misconduct?
The following behavior constitutes sexual misconduct:
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct or behavior of a sexual nature which creates a hostile environment. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal (i.e. jokes, innuendos, postings on social media), nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to: (1) an exposure of an actor’s genitals done with the intent to affront or alarm any person, and (2) viewing a person in state of undress without his or her consent or knowledge.
Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to the following examples:
- Graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the internet;
- Making sexual comments, jokes or innuendos;
- Distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials;
- Calling someone sexually charged names;
- Rating someone on sexual activity or performance; and/or
- Circulating, showing, or creating emails or web sites of a sexual nature.
Sexual Assault, including Sexual Contact.
Sexual assault or contact occurs when a person subjects another person to sexual penetration or contact without consent, or when it is known the other person is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or appreciating the nature of the one’s own conduct due to drug or alcohol use or other incapacity.
Dating Violence and Domestic Violence
Occurs if a person intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to his or her intimate partner; or threatens an intimate partner with imminent bodily injury; or threatens an intimate partner in a menacing manner. A person commits a more severe form of domestic assault if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to an intimate partner with a dangerous instrument. A person commits the worst form of domestic assault if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes serious bodily injury to an intimate partner.
Stalking is engaging in a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person or a family or household member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate.
The Student Code of Conduct, Appendix A contains more detailed information and definitions regarding sexual misconduct. Click here for a copy of Appendix A.
What Constitutes Consent?
“Consent” is an agreement, approval, or permission as to some act or purpose, given voluntarily by a competent person. In the context of sexual activity, consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity by clear actions or words. It is an informed decision, freely made by both parties. There is no consent where:
- A person is compelled to submit due to the use of force or threat of force or coercion.
- A person expresses a lack of consent through words or conduct. A person need only resist, either verbally or physically, so as to make the person's refusal to consent genuine and real and so as to reasonably make known to the actor the person's refusal to consent.
- Where consent, if any is actually given, is the result of deception as to the identity of an actor; or deception as to the nature or purpose of the act on the part of an actor.
The following guidelines are helpful when considering whether consent is given:
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time. If a person communicates consent, but then changes his or her mind, consent no longer exists.
- It is not safe to rely solely upon nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.
- One should not assume consent is given.
- Silence does not equal consent. Moreover, passivity, or lack of active resistance alone does not equal consent.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship does not constitute consent.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Being intoxicated does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
- Consent cannot be given where a person is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs.
- Consent cannot be given where a person is passed out, asleep, unconscious, mentally or physical impaired, threatened, confined or coerced.
The use of alcohol or other drugs can have unintended consequences. Alcohol or other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and effectively given. Being intoxicated or high is never an excuse for sexual misconduct. The presence of drugs or alcohol during sexual activity significantly increases opportunity for misunderstanding and vulnerability, as well as the potential for violating UNL policy.
What Can Happen if Someone Violates the Misconduct Policy?
If a student is found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:
- A formal written warning in the student’s conduct file;
- Probation for a designated period of time;
- Loss of university privileges for a specified period of time;
- Monetary or other compensation for loss, damage or injury;
- Discretionary sanctions (such as community service, work assignments, educational requirements) which are appropriate under the circumstances;
- Resident hall relocation;
- Residence hall suspension;
- Residence hall expulsion;
- University suspension;
- University expulsion; or
- University ban and bar.
If an employee is found to have violated university sexual misconduct policy, the employee may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions:
- Verbal warning;
- Written warning;
- Completion of mandatory conditions;
- Suspension without pay;
- Nonrenewal or non-reappointment;
- Loss of rank or position;
- Denial of salary increase;
- Activity termination;
- Demotion in rank or pay;
- Termination of employment;
- Ban on university re-employment;
- University ban and bar.