Title IX FAQ's/Question & Suggestion Box

Title IX FAQ's/Question & Suggestion Box

Title IX FAQ’s

Language adapted from information made publicly available by the Office on Civil Rights and Know Your IX.


What is Title IX?

Title IX a landmark federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Title IX is about far more than athletics, as the legislation prohibits sex-based discrimination in all areas of education. It addresses discrimination against pregnant and parenting students and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. It also addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence. Sexual violence includes attempted or completed rape or sexual assault, as well as sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner violence, including dating violence and domestic violence.


Why does the University handle sexual violence cases?

The criminal justice system prosecutes sexual violence as a criminal matter, but because assault and harassment pose obstacles to students’ access to education - a fundamental civil right - colleges and universities are required to respond to sexual violence and its detrimental effects on campus survivors’ life and learning.

Does Title IX only apply to female students?

Title IX does not apply to female students only. Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination. Female, male, and gender non-conforming students, faculty, and staff are protected from any sex-based discrimination, harassment or violence.


What is the University’s responsibility in ensuring my education and opportunities on campus?

The University must take immediate action to ensure a complainant-victim can continue his or her education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. Along with issuing a no contact directive to the accused, the University must ensure any reasonable changes to your housing, class or sports schedule, campus job, or extracurricular activity and clubs are made to ensure you can continue your education free from any ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. These arrangements can occur BEFORE a formal complaint, investigation, hearing, or final decision is made regarding your complaint. It also can CONTINUE after the entire process since you have a right to an education free of sex-based discrimination, harassment or violence. Additionally, these accommodations should not over-burden complainant-victims or limit your educational opportunities. Instead, the University can require the accused to likewise change some school activities or classes to ensure there is not ongoing hostile educational environment.


Can the University use mediation, rather than a formal investigation process, to address my case?

In cases of sexual violence, the University is prohibited from encouraging or allowing mediation (rather than a formal hearing) of the complaint. The 2011 Title IX Guidance clearly prohibits mediation between an accused student and a complainant-victim in sexual violence cases. However, they may still offer such an alternative process for other types of complaints, such as sexual harassment. Realize it is your choice and you can and should seek a disciplinary hearing if you desire such a formal process.


Is the University, or are any members of the campus community, allowed to retaliate against me for filing a report and/or seeking support?

The University may not retaliate against someone filing a complaint and must keep a complainant-victim safe from other retaliatory harassment or behavior from all individuals within the campus community. As part of this obligation they can issue a no contact directive or make other accommodations to ensure the accused or a third party does not retaliate for any complaint. Additionally, the University may not take adverse action against the complainant-victim for his or her complaint. Any retaliation can and should be reported in a formal Title IX complaint to the U.S. Department of Education since it is your right to be free from a hostile educational environment.


Can the University discourage me from continuing my education if I seek support related to sexual violence and/or file a report?

The University may not discourage you from continuing your education, such as telling you to “take time off” or force you to quit a team, club or class. You can always file a formal Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education occurs or seek legal counsel to enforce your right to education under Title IX. It is your choice how to handle sexual harassment or violence, but realize you have a right to your education and the University MUST adjust to ensure you can continue free from that hostile environment.


What are resources available to me on campus related to Title IX and sexual violence?

The Counseling & Testing Center (252-335-3273; 500 C.W. Griffin Hall) and the Women’s Center (252-335-8535; womenscenter@ecsu.edu; 502 C.W. Griffin Hall) are both confidential resources related to Title IX, so if you are unsure about what you want to do, visiting one of these offices is a good first step in seeking support from the University and to find out more information about your options.

The Title IX coordinator and the Office of Student Affairs (252-335-3276; 200 C.W. Griffin Hall) are also resources available to support you throughout the reporting and investigation processes. However, please be aware that these resources are not confidential, and that reporting here first will trigger a formal investigation on-campus. Confidentiality will be maintained as far as possible, but cannot be guaranteed entirely. The Office of Student Affairs can also assist in enforcing accommodations related to your case, such as changing your course schedule.

For a more complete list of resources and descriptions of available services, please see the Women’s Center website, particularly the “On-campus Resources” and “Off-campus Resources” section.


Where do I go to file a Title IX complaint?

You have two options: you may make a complaint on campus, or go directly to the Office of Civil Rights. On campus, you may contact Atty. Kathryn Underwood-Melton, the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at 252-335-3600 or at nkunderwood@ecsu.eduAtty. Kathryn Underwood-Melton's office is located in the Marion Thorpe Building Suite 336. To go directly to the Office of Civil Rights, you may call 1-800-421-3481, or visit the OCR website, which provides instructions for how to file a complaint under the "How to File a Discrimination Complaint with ORC" section.


Suggestions and/or Questions

We invite you to use the form below to submit questions, concerns, and/or suggestions to the Title IX committee here at Elizabeth City State University

NOTE: The suggestion box is not intended to be used for reporting an incident of sexual misconduct. Please visit the Vikings Against Violence and University Police websites for reporting options, including an Incident Report Form.