Eastern Michigan University

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that protects individuals from sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. 

Is everyone on campus protected from sex discrimination?
Yes, Title IX protects faculty, staff and students from discrimination on the basis of sex.

Is it possible to be sexually harassed/assaulted by someone of the same gender?
Yes. If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment, your gender and the gender of the alleged perpetrator are irrelevant. Such conduct is prohibited by Title IX.

What is sex discrimination and what behaviors can be considered discriminatory?

Discrimination is the unequal treatment of a person based on that person's sex.

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in any University activity;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual;
  • Such conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the employment or educational environment.

In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration shall be given to the record as a whole and to the totality of circumstances, including the nature and frequency of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

Sexual Assault is Sexual Contact and/or Sexual Intercourse that occurs without Consent.

  • Sexual Contact includes touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching another with any of these body parts, and/or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts.
  • Sexual Intercourse includes (a) vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, however slight; (b) anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, however slight; and (c) any contact between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person.

Sexual assault can occur either forcibly (against a person's will) or when a person cannot give consent. What does "when a person cannot give consent" mean?
In certain situations, a person does not have the capacity to agree to participate in consensual sex. Examples include individuals who are intoxicated, developmentally disabled, mentally/physically unable to consent, etc. Anyone engaging in sexual contact with someone who is unable to give consent may be committing sexual assault.

What are some examples of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault?
Depending on the particular circumstances, sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual assault may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these assaults; and intentional physical conduct that is sexual in nature such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, poking, or brushing against another individual's body.     
  2. Offering or implying an employment-related reward (such as a promotion, raise, or different work assignment) or an education-related reward (such as a better grade, a letter of recommendation, favorable treatment in the classroom, assistance in obtaining employment, grants or fellowships, or admission to any educational program or activity) in exchange for sexual favors or submission to sexual conduct.
  3. Threatening or taking a negative employment action (such as termination, demotion, denial of an employee benefit or privilege, or change in working conditions) or negative educational action (such as giving an unfair grade, withholding a letter of recommendation, or withholding assistance with any educational activity) or intentionally making the individual's job or academic work more difficult because sexual conduct is rejected.
  4. The use or display in the classroom or workplace, including electronic, of pornographic or sexually harassing materials such as posters, photos, cartoons or graffiti without pedagogical justification.
  5. Unwelcome sexual advances, repeated propositions or requests for a sexual relationship to an individual who has previously indicated that such conduct is unwelcome, or sexual gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, questions, or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience. Such conduct between peers must be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an educational or working environment that is hostile or abusive. A single incident involving severe misconduct may rise to the level of harassment.

If an incident of sexual violence occurs off campus, can the university investigate?
Yes, if the incident has sufficient ties to EMU (if it occurs at an EMU event, if it involves an EMU student, staff member or faculty member, etc.) then EMU can investigate and provide resolution

Who do I tell?
EMU's Title IX Coordinator oversees all Title IX related matters.

Dr. Melody A. Werner
Title IX Coordinator
246B Student Center
734-487-3617
mwerner@emich.edu

 

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