On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education released its final regulations under Title IX amending its regulation, most significantly about sexual harassment in education programs or activities. You can find a bookmarked PDF of the regulation here.
The federal regulation has limited the scope of what constitutes prohibited sexual harassment under Title IX. It raised the bar for what would previously be called “hostile environment” sexual harassment to be unwelcome sexual conduct that is severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive. As many acts of sexual violence occur only once (and therefore are not pervasive), federal regulation sexual harassment now explicitly includes sexual assault, stalking, and dating/domestic violence, all as defined by the FBI. Further, the federal regulation sexual harassment only encompasses only those incidents that occur on campus, in student organization houses (i.e., fraternities and sororities), and potentially off-campus school-sponsored programs or activities that occur in the United States.
The majority of reports of sexual misconduct to the University fall outside of these parameters. However, all conduct of a sexual nature that previously constituted a violation of University policy will continue to constitute a violation of University policy. Such conduct may now be adjudicated under one of three different grievance procedures.
As required by the final regulations, the Interim Policies include some additional due process requirements for adjudicating alleged violations, including the process we must abide for formal hearings. Please click here for an infographic explaining those requirements. You can also learn more by viewing these two videos created by the University Sexual Misconduct Response and Title IX Coordinator.
To learn more about the Title IX regulatory requirements, please consider reading or watching the following sources that should be informative:
News articles about the new regulations: