1. A “prompt and equitable” response
Schools are required to adopt and publish procedures outlining the complaint, investigation, and disciplinary process for addressing sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence occurring within educational programs.
This process should outline a “prompt and equitable” response. There must be a timely response to the discrimination and both parties should be provided equivalent rights during the process. If a respondent is given the right to have a lawyer present, so should the complainant.
Schools are encouraged to conduct Campus Climate Surveys that measure student attitudes towards sexual violence, rates of sexual violence and the knowledge that students have about reporting. Campus climate surveys show that sexual assault rates vary widely among institutions. For example, a 2015 survey found that 30 percent of undergraduate women at the University of Michigan experienced sexual assault — a rate twice as high as some peer schools.
3. Resources and accommodations
If you or a loved one does experience sexual violence, it is essential that their institution provide the resources and accommodations they need to stay in school. School’s policies should outline possible accommodations available to students, as well as where to report to receive them. Ask if the school has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a local rape crisis center, or a crisis hotline of their own. Know that students have the right to switch their classes, change their living arrangements and receive extensions on academic assignments.
Students and their families have the power to ensure schools are upholding the law, and creating a safe and equitable campus for all students.
Sejal Singh and Elizabeth Boyle, Policy Organizers, Know Your IX, [email protected]