Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits any person in the United States from being discriminated against on the basis of sex in seeking access to any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education, which enforces Title IX, has interpreted Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination to prohibit various forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence that interfere with a student’s ability to access educational programs and opportunities.
On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The Final Rule is effective August 14, 2020. The Final Rule:
The full text of the Final Rule and its extensive Preamble are available here: http://bit.ly/TitleIXReg.
Based on the Final Rule, Seattle University has implemented this Policy for Complying with the Title IX Regulations-Title IX Final Rule, effective August 14, 2020.
In recent years, “Title IX” cases have become a short-hand for any campus disciplinary process involving sex discrimination, including those arising from sexual harassment and sexual assault. But under the Final Rule, Seattle University must narrow both the geographic scope of its authority to act under Title IX and the types of “sexual harassment” that it must subject to its Title IX investigation and adjudication process.
Only incidents falling within the Final Rule’s definition of sexual harassment and jurisdictional requirements will be investigated and, if appropriate, brought to a live hearing through the Policy for Complying with the Title IX Regulations/Title IX Final Rule.
Seattle University remains committed to addressing any violations of its policies, even those not falling within the Title IX Final Rule.
Specifically, Seattle University’s Code of Student Conduct, which applies to all students, defines certain behavior as a violation of campus policy, and its Sexual Offenses, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy addresses the types of sex-based offenses constituting a violation of campus policy, and outlines the procedures for investigating and resolving those sex-based violations.
Seattle University’s Human Resources Policy Manual includes an appendix, which applies to all employees, that defines and prohibits sexual harassment and misconduct, and outlines the procedures for investigating and resolving those violations.
To the extent that alleged misconduct falls outside the Policy for Complying with the Title IX Regulations/Title IX Final Rule, or to the extent that misconduct falling outside the Policy for Complying with the Title IX Regulations/Title IX Final Rule is discovered in the course of investigating covered Title IX misconduct, Seattle University retains authority to investigate and resolve the allegations under the policies and procedures defined within the Sexual Offenses, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy or the Human Resources Policy, or other applicable university policies.