What does the Title IX Office investigate?
The types of sexual misconduct that is covered by Title IX include sexual assault, sexual harassment (both when employees are involved in sexual harassment and the a hostile environment type of sexual harassment that denies someone equal educational access), dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation for reporting these types of offenses. The Title IX office investigates claims of non-consensual sex as well.
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination (or sexual harassment), in person, by mail, by telephone, or email, using the contact information listed for the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report.
The Title IX Office does not have jurisdiction over and would therefore not investigate the following types of complaints:
- If the conduct did not occur in the United States;
- If the conduct alleged to have occurred did not occur within a University’s Education Program or Activity;
- If the alleged conduct, if true, would not constitute covered sexual harassment, as defined in this policy.
However, should violations of these types occur, the university can and will still address them through the Student Conduct process.
Reporting a Complaint to the Title IX Office
A report may be made at any time (including non-business hours) online or by phone, email, or mail.
The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator will provide privacy, and confidentiality to the greatest extent allowable by law, upon receiving a report of conduct prohibited under the Title IX policy.
The contact information for the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator is:
- Lanette Jones
Sycamore Suites, lower level
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator can also help you access resources and supportive measures and explain to you the University’s process for investigating and remedying instances of sexual assault.
- If I contact Title IX, am I now required to go through everything involved with making
a complaint? Am I “locked into” having to participate?
No. Participating in the Title IX process is entirely up to you. If you wish for the University to investigate the incident that occurred, that can be accomplished with or without your participation. It always makes for a more thorough investigation with your participation, but you are not required provide any further information. You are in control of this process.
However, by speaking with the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator about the incident, you will be provided with a number of available supportive measures, whether or not you file a formal complaint. These supportive measures include mutual no-contact orders, changes in residence or housing assignments, accommodations in your assignments or class schedule, etc.
If you would like to meet with the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, one of three things will happen:
- You tell the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator that you do not want to file a formal complaint and have the matter investigated;
- You do not want to have the matter investigated, but you would like to discuss the availability of supportive measures; or
- You can file a formal complaint to have the matter investigated, and be provided with supportive measures.
However, please be aware that should the report contain information that provides knowledge of a threat to the campus community, the Title IX Office has the option to take action to ensure that the rest of the community is not in danger.
This isn't necessarily true. We have no responsibility to investigate and it should be made clear that nothing may possibly come out of an inquiry or investigation. This statement makes it sound like I can report it, the university will investigate and the respondent will be sanctioned. But that is not the case.
- If something happened to me that was sexual that I didn’t consent to, what do I do?
One of the things that you can do is contact the Title IX Office. You can do this by contacting (570) 422-2277 or at email@example.com. Once you contact the Title IX Office, the Interim Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, Lanette Jones, will reach out to you to provide you the opportunity to discuss the situation, inform you of the investigative process, and to provide you with any supportive measures, resources, or accommodations that would be of assistance.
You can also contact University Police if you have been subjected to a sexual assault at (570) 422-3046 and file a police report. University Police will then contact the Title IX Office so that you have the opportunity to report the situation through the University Title IX process.
- There is a student on campus who just makes me uncomfortable. He tries to sit at my
table in the cafeteria and I’ve seen him in my hallway or as I exit the building and
I think he may know I’ll be there during those times. What can I do?
If another student is making you uncomfortable with their presence or comments, appropriate action would be to tell the individual directly that what they are doing is making you feel uncomfortable and you would appreciate it if they did not speak to you or communicate with you. Then, if the contact continues, you may make a complaint to the Title IX office about this behavior. You can let the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator know that you notified the person not to communicate or come near you because it makes you uncomfortable.
Sometimes the impact of the actions of another person does not match their intent. There may be times when the other person had no idea they were making you feel uncomfortable and this is the reason you may need to inform them that you are uncomfortable by their actions or communication with you.
However, if you believe that you are being stalked, either physically or electronically, that is the something that the University would investigate as this may be a Title IX issue. The Title IX Office can issue mutual No-Contact directives between the parties so that should either party contact the other after the directive is issued, they will be subjected to the Student Conduct process. Additionally, the matter may be formally investigated as well.
- What happens when I file a Title IX complaint?
Filing a Title IX complaint provides the University with an opportunity to stop any sexual harassment that is ongoing, to put measures into place so that the behavior does not continue, provide an opportunity to offer supportive measures to either person(s), and allows the University to investigate and possible Student Conduct hearing to determine if someone was responsible for a Title IX violation.
The Title IX Office will perform an investigation into the complaint if that is how you would like the complaint handled. The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator will explain the process to you when you meet and provide you with options as to how you want the complaint handled.
An investigation will consist of not only you providing information, but information will also be gathered from the person(s) accused (called a Respondent) and any witnesses who may have personally observed or directly witnessed the incident that is the subject of the complaint.
You will be provided with the opportunity to see the report that results from the investigation, and can request further information or questioning. Following the end of the investigation, there may be a student conduct hearing depending upon the results of the investigation to determine whether there is responsibility for violating the Student Conduct disciplinary code.
These steps will be explained to you throughout the process. See the complete Title IX Grievance Process.
Confidentiality & Notifications
When you make a report, the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator will explain more to you about confidentiality.
- If you would like the matter to be investigated, then it is required that the other party involved be notified that you made the complaint.
- If you are not comfortable with this, the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator can discuss with you the supportive measures that can be offered to you or alternative ways to attempt to remedy the situation.
- Can I make a complaint anonymously?You can report an incident of sexual assault anonymously. Report a complaint online and select the "Remain Anonymous" checkbox. Remember, however, that if you make an anonymous report, it may limit the actions the University can take without all of the information.
- Will my parents be contacted by the university if I make a complaint or I'm accused
of sexual misconduct?
No. You may tell them what occurred, but they will receive no notification from the Title IX Office.
- Will the other person know that I filed a complaint against them?
Yes. If you wish to file a formal complaint, then the other person will be notified that a complaint was made against them and it was you that filed the complaint. They will also be notified of the date and time and location where the incident(s) occurred, and the allegation that was made. This is part of the due process protections provided to everyone involved in the process.
There are other avenues that you may wish to pursue if you don’t want notification to be made to the other person or if you want to keep the matter confidential. These others processes will be described to you by the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator.
- Will this go on my record?
No. This matter will not be made part of your academic record. However, should the respondent be found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the respondent then has a record in the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Nothing is noted on a student’s transcript if they participate in the conduct process.
- What other Title IX cases are happening on campus? Don’t I need to know this?Title IX cases and investigations are confidential, so unless there is a compelling reason to know about the investigation, you will not know the types or number of cases on campus. However, the campus Clery Report provides you with information regarding criminal activity occurring on campus on an annual basis. This information can be found at University Police.
- What if there is a danger to the community? How will I know about that?The complaints made to the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator provide information to determine whether there is a danger to the community from the actions of this individual(s). If there is a danger to the community or continuing threat, the Title IX Office is well situated to inform University police. Additionally, University Police provide regular safety messaging regarding incidents that have occurred on campus and provide information regarding appropriate safety measures. Further, the Title IX office may initiate investigations on behalf of the University if there are allegations of a danger to the campus or community.
What happens to the accused individual?
See more information for students who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
- Will the other person get kicked out of school for this?It is one of the disciplinary sanctions that may occur. If the investigation reveals that the respondent is referred to Student Conduct for a possible hearing, one of the disciplinary sanctions could include expulsion from the school. However, before that would occur, the respondent would be provided due process in both the investigation and the conduct hearing to ensure that everyone is being treated fairly.
- Will the other person possibly go to jail if I make the complaint for the sexual assault?Possibly. But this determination would be made through the law enforcement and criminal prosecution process, not the Title IX process. Both of these processes can go on simultaneously. The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator can address the differences between the processes with you.