Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) is an all-encompassing federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions which receive federal financial assistance. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. The U.S. Code specifically 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…”
20 U.S.C. § 1681
Radford University Title IX Policy and Procedures
Radford University's Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation Policy replaces and supersedes the Radford University Sexual Harassment Policy and Nondiscrimination Statement, as well as any and all references related to discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation that may be contained in other Radford University polices, including the Standards of Student Conduct.
WHO DO THESE POLICY AND PROCEDURES APPLY TO?
- On-campus conduct involving students, employees, faculty, and staff, and any campus visitors.
- Off-campus conduct involving students, visiting students, employees, faculty, and staff participating in Radford University-sponsored activities.
- Off-campus conduct involving students, visiting students, employees, faculty, and staff that has continuing effects that creates a hostile environment on campus.
What Does Title IX Cover?
Sexual assault/sexual violence
Sexual assault or sexual violence is non-consensual contact of a sexual nature. It includes any sexual contact when the victim does not or is unable to consent through the use of force, fear, intimidation, physical helplessness, ruse, impairment or incapacity (including impairment or incapacitation as a result of the use of drugs or alcohol, knowingly or unknowingly); intentional and non-consensual touching of, or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch, a person's genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks or breast; and non-consensual sexual intercourse, defined as anal, oral or vaginal penetration with any object.
Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone's advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not meet the definition of sexual assault. Sexual exploitation includes prostituting another person, non-consensual visual or audio recording of sexual activity, non-consensual distribution of photos or other images of an individual's sexual activity or intimate body parts with an intent to embarrass such individual, non-consensual voyeurism, knowingly transmitting HIV or an STD to another, or exposing one's genitals to another in non-consensual circumstances.
Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. A social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature means a relationship which is characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed: (i) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (ii) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (iii) by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (iv) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia; or (v) by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia or the applicable jurisdiction. Domestic violence can be a single event or a pattern of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse.
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (i) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress, meaning significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. A "course of conduct" means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. Past consent to sexual activities, or a current or previous dating relationship, does not imply ongoing or future consent. Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred.
Discrimination is inequitable and unlawful treatment based on an individual's protected characteristics or statuses -- race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, genetic information, disability, or any other status protected by law -- that excludes an individual from participation in, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual differently or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual's employment, education, living environment or participation in an educational program or activity. This includes failing to provide reasonable accommodation, consistent with state and federal law, to persons with disabilities.
Harassment is a form of discrimination in which unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct is directed toward an individual on the basis of his or her protected characteristics or statuses, by any member of the campus community. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.
Harassment violates this policy when it creates a hostile environment, as defined below.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature including: verbal (e.g., specific demands for sexual favors, sexual innuendoes, sexually suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, or sexual threats); non-verbal (e.g., sexually suggestive emails, other writings, articles or documents, objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds or gestures, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures); or physical (e.g., touching, pinching, brushing the body, any unwelcome or coerced sexual activity, including sexual assault). Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or different sexes. Sexual harassment may also include sex-based harassment directed toward stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine v. male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.
This policy prohibits the following types of sexual harassment:
a. Term or condition of employment or education. This type of sexual harassment (often referred to as "quid pro quo" harassment) occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a Radford University activity are conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment, education, living environment, or participation in a Radford University program or activity.
b. Hostile environment. Acts that create a hostile environment, as defined below.
Hostile environment may be created by oral, written, graphic or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs, services, opportunities, or activities or the individual's employment access, benefits or opportunities. Mere subjective offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. In determining whether conduct is severe, persistent or pervasive, and thus creates a hostile environment, the following factors will be considered: (a) the degree to which the conduct affected one or more individuals' education or employment; (b) the nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incident(s); (c) the identity, number, and relationships of persons involved; (d) the perspective of a “reasonable person” in the same situation as the person subjected to the conduct, and (e) the nature of higher education.
Retaliation is any form of retaliation, including intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action taken or threatened against any complainant or person reporting or filing a complaint alleging discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct or any person cooperating in the investigation of allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct to include testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation pursuant to this policy and the Discrimination Grievance Procedures is strictly prohibited by this policy. Action is generally deemed adverse if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy. Retaliation may result in disciplinary or other action independent of the sanctions or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.