Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Title IX FAQ

  • What constitutes sex discrimination? Expand dropdown

    Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.

  • Who is protected under Title IX?

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    All EMU students, faculty, and staff are protected from sex discrimination under EMU’s Sexual Misconduct and Sex-based Discrimination policy.

  • What conduct Is prohibited under the Policy? Expand dropdown
    • Sexual Harassment
    • Sexual Assault
    • Rape
    • Domestic Violence
    • Dating Violence
    • Stalking
    • Retaliation
  • What is Title IX? Expand dropdown

    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? Expand dropdown

    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? Expand dropdown
    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? Expand dropdown

    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? Expand dropdown

    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? Expand dropdown

    Depending on the particular circumstances, sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual assault may include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The use or display in the classroom or workplace, including electronic, or pornographic or sexually harassing materials such as posters, photos, cartoons or graffiti without pedagogical justification.
    • 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? Expand dropdown
    If the incident has sufficient ties to EMU (if it occurs at an EMU event, EMU activity, or EMU program, if it involves an EMU student, staff member or faculty member, etc.) then EMU may conduct a formal investigation of a complaint.
  • What if someone sends in a false report about sexual misconduct or sex-based discrimination? Expand dropdown
    The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) accepts  reports and formal complaints in good faith from the reporting individual(s).  If, during an assessment of a report to Title IX, or during a thorough formal investigation of a Title IX complaint, specific information shared in the report or complaint are determined to be deliberately inaccurate, the Title IX process ensures that the information will be addressed through a detailed reassessment of the report, based on the information shared, or by a possible dismissal of a formal complaint. 
  • Who do I tell? Expand dropdown

    EMU's Title IX coordinator oversees all Title IX related matters:

    Dr. Doris Fields
    Interim Title IX Coordinator
    348 Student Center
    Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    [email protected]

  • What are available confidential resources? Expand dropdown

    National and Local Networks

    • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) 800.656.4673
      • National hotline for victims of sexual assault. Free, confidential counseling and support 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the country. When a survivor calls the hotline, they are connected to the nearest local rape crisis center through a unique computer routing system that maintains the confidentiality of callers.
    • SafeHouse Center is an organization whose mission is to provide safety, support, advocacy and resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and their children, and to work relentlessly to change the systems and attitudes that allow this abuse to continue. SafeHouse Center is the center for providing leadership, support and advocacy for this work in Washtenaw County.  SafeHouse Center offers counseling services, support groups, and legal advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence free of charge.  You may always contact SafeHouse Center’s 24-hour HelpLine at 734.995.5444, and visit SafeHouse Center's website.

Title IX FAQ for Students

  • What does the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office do? Expand dropdown

    The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) is responsible for coordinating the University’s efforts to prevent and effectively respond to sex-based discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, which includes:

    • Receiving and recording all reports of sex-based discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct with a centralized, trauma-informed approach
    • Offering support and assistance to community members impacted by or accused of sex-based discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct
    • Informing students who share they’ve experienced sex discrimination about their options for resolution both at the University and in the community.
    • Investigating formal complaints when a student chooses to pursue formal resolution.
    • Applying alternative resolution of complaints where appropriate and when the affected students choose an informal resolution process.
    • Offering training and education to all members of the campus community.
    • Inform the campus community of university resources to help people understand their rights, options, and the University’s policies.
  • Why report to the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office? Expand dropdown

    When a report of sex discrimination, including sexual and relationship violence, the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) responses, addresses, and works to prevent the affects of prohibited sex-based discrimination and harassment (including sexual misconduct).

    • The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office takes measures to prevent sex-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual misconduct, including sexual and relationship violence;
    • The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office works to effectively respond to discrimination, harassment and misconduct of which it is aware, which includes:
      • Stop it;
      • Prevent it from occurring again; and
      • Remedy its effects.
  • What support services can the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provide?

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    The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) is dedicated to providing support, information, resources and avenues for resolution to community members affected by sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office offers students impacted by sexual misconduct to a variety of resources and make referrals for assistance, both on campus and in the community, including but not limited to: 

    • Counseling referrals
    • Addressing immediate safety concerns
    • Coordinating academic accommodations with faculty on behalf of students,  
    • Initiating required intermediate measures, such as residential relocation, if the student lives on campus, or academic course relocations or necessary accommodations.
    • The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office also offers other support services for students, including providing and coordinating pregnancy/expecting parent accommodations with faculty and instructors on behalf of expecting students.
  • Does reaching out to the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office automatically involve the police?

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    No. You have the right to keep your identity confidential from EMU police. If the incident happened on campus or on non-campus, a Campus Security Authorities form will be submitted to EMU’s DPS to remain in compliance with the Clery Act; however, your name and other identifying information will not be disclosed.

    • Law Enforcement – EMU Department of Public Safety (for criminal complaints) 
      The Department of Public Safety is a fully deputized police department. Police have unique legal authority, including the power to seek and execute search warrants, collect forensic evidence, make arrests, and assist in seeking Emergency Protective Orders. A report to DPS is a criminal complaint. In keeping with its commitment to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate, prevent, and remedy all Prohibited Conduct, the University urges Complainants to report Prohibited Conduct immediately to the Department of Public Safety at 734.487.1222, 1200 Oakwood Street, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197 [email protected]. However, Complainants have the right to notify or decline to notify law enforcement. In the event of conduct that poses a threat to the health or safety of any individual, the University may initiate a report to law enforcement. NOT CONFIDENTIAL.
  • I am an international student. How does Title IX protect me?

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    As an international student or scholar here at Eastern Michigan University, you are also protected under the Title IX law. 

    Please note, you may contact law enforcement at any time. However, if you are uncomfortable speaking with them you are also allowed to decline (refuse) to speak with law enforcement. Reaching out to and receiving support from the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) for support does not automatically mean the police are involved. Title IX is separate from the police. 

    • Information on visas
      Questions regarding visas should be directed to the Office for International Students and Scholars.
      The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) serves international students and exchange visitors during their time at Eastern Michigan University. The office primarily assists students with maintaining their non-immigrant (F and J) visa compliance, but also supports students in achieving their academic, personal, and professional goals. International students studying in the United States (U.S.) face many challenges including but not limited to; language and cultural barriers, financial hardship, and limited support network in the U.S. These challenges could increase the potential risk of students being victimized. The OISS is a resource to all international students for more than just immigration or academic related matters. The OISS is deeply invested in the safety and well-being of their international students, and encourages them to contact the office with any questions or concerns they may have. 

    Some Important points to Remember: 


    A protection order or restraining order is used by a court to protect a person in a situation involving domestic violence, harassment, stalking or sexual assault. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident to get a protection order. The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office can assist you with this process.


    If you are now a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident or possess a valid visa, you cannot be deported unless you entered the United States illegally. Working with Title IX,  the police, and the Office of International Student & Scholars can address this concern for your specific experience.


    Seeking assistance from Title IX, law enforcement, or lawyers is unlikely to result in the deportation of your partner. If you contact the police and your intimate partner is convicted of a crime, they may be deported, depending on their immigration status and the seriousness of the crime. It is important to remember that you must keep yourself safe. It is your partner that has put themselves at risk by their actions.

  • Can I press criminal charges as a documented or undocumented immigrant?

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  • Does Title IX address pregnancy and parenting concerns for students and employees?

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    Yes. To learn more about how Title IX works with students and employees who are pregnant or are parents, visit the Title IX & Pregnant/Parenting Students & Employees webpage.

  • Does the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provide academic accommodations?

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    Yes. To learn more about how Title IX works with students and employees who need academic accommodations, please visit the Title IX Academic Accommodations webpage.

Title IX FAQ for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff should be aware of how our institution responds and works to prevent the impacts of sexual and relationship violence that occurs within and affects our community, and how our EMU community works together to properly address sex discrimination.

  • What are our obligations under Title IX?

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    • EMU faculty and staff members who are mandatory employee reporters are reminded that reporting of alleged sexual misconduct is mandated and expected when they become aware of incidents or experiences involving members of the campus community, regardless of how they learn of the potential misconduct, whether in person, in writing, or online.
    • Sharing information with the Title IX Coordinator does not initiate a formal investigation or impose any obligations on the Complainant. However, disclosing information to the Title IX Coordinator enables the university to offer supportive measures to the party so that they may maintain equal access to their education and work environments.
  • What is a mandatory reporter employee?

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    • Has the responsibility of notifying the Title IX Coordinator about any incidents of sexual misconduct and sex-based discrimination.
    • As a Mandatory Employee: You must report incidents of sexual discrimination to the Title IX Coordinator.
    • All regular EMU employees are Mandatory Reporters, except for those few employees who are considered Confidential Employees.  A Mandatory Reporter is required to immediately report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator and DPS all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about an incident of Prohibited Conduct that involves any member of the EMU community (“students”, “employees” and “third parties”) as a Complainant, Respondent, and/or witness.  Mandatory Reporters additionally include Resident Advisors, Graduate Assistants, and all other student-employees, when disclosures are made to any of them in their capacities as employees. 
    • Mandatory Reporters are not required to report information disclosed (1) at public awareness events (e.g., “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak-outs” or other public forums in which students may disclose incidents of Prohibited Conduct; collectively, “Public Awareness Events”), or (2) during a student’s participation as a subject in an Institutional Review Board-approved human subjects research protocol (“IRB Research”).
  • Who is a confidential employee? 

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    • (1) any Employee who is a licensed medical, clinical or mental-health professional (e.g., physicians, nurses, physicians’ assistants, psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors and social workers, and those performing services under their supervision), when acting in their professional role in the provision of services to a patient who is a Student or Employee (“health care providers”); and (2) any Employee providing administrative, operational and/or related support for such health care providers in their performance of such services. 
    • A Confidential Employee will not disclose information about Prohibited Conduct to the University’s Title IX Coordinator without the Student’s permission (subject to the exceptions set forth in the next paragraph).  Confidentiality exists in the context of laws that protect certain relationships, including with medical and clinical care providers (and those who provide administrative services related to the provision of medical and clinical care), mental health providers, counselors, and ordained clergy, all of whom may engage in confidential communications under Michigan law.  When information is shared by an individual with a Confidential Employee, the Confidential Employee cannot reveal the information to any third party except when an applicable law or a court order requires or permits disclosure of such information. For example, information may be disclosed when: (i) the individual gives written consent for its disclosure; (ii) there is a concern that the individual will likely cause serious physical harm to self or others; or (iii) the information concerns conduct involving suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under the age of 18.
  • When does the faculty and employee mandatory reporting duty apply? 

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    Any time you hear or are made aware of an incident or experience of sex-based discrimination, including sexual and relationship violence: Whether the incident or experience... 

    • Happened on-campus
    • Happened off-campus
    • Accused party is an EMU student/faculty/staff
    • Accused party is not an EMU student/faculty/staff
    • Happened recently
    • Happened a while ago
  • What happens when you, the faculty, report to the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office about a disclosure of harm shared with you? Expand dropdown
    • The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) will address this sensitively and privately.
    • TIXC will coordinate support services including academic accommodations.
    • Address immediate safety concerns. 
    • The resolution process is reporter-led and resolution options will be shared and discussed to allow the student the opportunity to know how best to address their needs and options.
    • The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to students to offer support and to discuss options available.
    • Students are not obligated to respond to the Title IX Coordinators reach outs, and the students are welcomed to reach out to the Title IX Coordinator at any time.
    • The Title IX Coordinator will explain and discuss possible resolution options available.
    • The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office will continue ongoing support to the student. 
  • What can I share with my student if they ask me “What happens next?” 

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    • The Title IX Coordinator will reach out.
    • The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the student through their Emich email offering support and help.
    • The student is not obligated to respond to the Title IX reach out emails
    • The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (formerly Title IX Office) will make multiple reach outs letting students know of support services, accommodations, and safety measures that may be available to them.
    • The student may reach out to the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office whenever they feel comfortable.
    • There is no time limit to reaching out and following up with the Title IX Coordinator.
  • Is there anything I could include in my syllabus to let students know I am a responsible Employee?

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  • Where can employees receive counseling support?

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    Employees can also obtain such counseling and support through the Employee Assistance Program. NOT CONFIDENTIAL.
  • Does Title IX address pregnancy and parenting concerns for students and employees?

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    Yes. To learn more about how Title IX works with students and employees who are pregnant or are parents, visit the Title IX & Pregnant/Parenting Students & Employees webpage.
  • Does the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provide academic accommodations?

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    Yes. To learn more about how Title IX works with students and employees who need academic accommodations, please visit the Title IX Academic Accommodations webpage.