Title IX FAQ

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. It is one of several federal and state antidiscrimination laws that define and ensure equality in education. The regulations implementing Title IX, published in 1975, prohibit discrimination, exclusion, denial, limitation, or separation based on gender. Title IX states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Who Enforces Title IX?

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is in charge of enforcing Title IX. Information regarding OCR can be found at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html.

Who is responsible for Title IX issues at California Lutheran University?

The university Title IX Coordinator is Jim McHugh.  He can be reached at (805) 493-3684 or via email at mchugh@callutheran.edu.

Who is protected under Title IX?

Title IX covers men and women, boys and girls, staff and students in any educational institution receiving federal funding. These include local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, libraries, and museums. Vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories and possessions are also included. Title IX does not generally cover private educational institutions unless they receive federal financial assistance. In addition, music classes or choruses based on vocal range or quality, sex education classes, and sports involving bodily contact are exempt from Title IX requirements, as are religious institutions if implementation of this law would violate their religious tenets. Title IX also does not apply to admission to private undergraduate institutions.

What conduct is prohibited by Title IX?

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender (sex).  Title IX prohibited conduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship (dating) violence and stalking. See Definitions.

Types of sex-based discrimination prohibited by Title IX include:

  1. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence or assault, occurring in connection with any academic, athletic, extracurricular, or other university program, regardless of the location.
  2. Discriminatory decision-making by a supervisor of an employee based on the employee's sex or by a faculty or staff member against a student based on the student's sex.
  3. Discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation related to pregnancy or parental or marital status.
  4. Any related retaliation.
  5. Examples of types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include:
    • Inappropriate touching, patting, or hugging
    • Nonconsensual sexual activity, including sexual assault
    • Invasion of sexual privacy
    • Obscene phone calls, texts, emails, photographs or gestures

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.

If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?

Cal Lutheran's priority is to prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence. While the specifics of the situation will be considered, Cal Lutheran’s primary focus will be to address the sexual harassment or violence. Cal Lutheran does not want the involvement of alcohol or drugs to prevent the reporting of such serious misconduct. Also, the use of alcohol or drugs will not excuse sexual violence or harassment.

Does Title IX benefit only girls and women?

Title IX benefits everyone—women and men. The law requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices, and programs that do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender. Elimination of discrimination against women has received more attention because females have historically faced greater gender restrictions and barriers in education. However, Title IX has also benefited men and boys. Continued efforts to achieve educational equity have benefited all students by moving toward the creation of school environments where all students can learn and achieve the highest standards.

Does Title IX apply mostly to athletics?

Although it is the application of Title IX to athletics that has gained the greatest public visibility, the law applies to every single aspect of education, including admissions and recruitment, comparable facilities, access to course offerings, access to schools of vocational education, counseling and counseling materials, financial assistance, student health and insurance benefits and/or services, housing, marital and parental status of students, physical education and athletics, education programs and activities, and employment. Before Title IX was enacted, most colleges and universities emphasized sports only for male students. The educational opportunities of athletic programs were generally limited for women. Title IX has helped focus attention on the legal requirements of federally funded institutions to provide equal athletic opportunities for women. The result has been increased involvement of girls and women in sports at all levels.

How do athletics comply with Title IX?

Title IX requires that schools, which receive federal funding, provide equal opportunities for members of both sexes. It addresses the availability, quality and kind of benefits, and the opportunities and treatment that athletes receive. There are three basic aspects of Title IX as applied to athletics:

  1. Participation: Title IX is not a quota system. Every institution has three options to demonstrate fairness in athletic opportunities. Schools can show that they comply with Title IX if they can demonstrate any one of the following:
    • Substantially proportionate athletic opportunities for male and female athletes;
    • A history and continuing practice of expanding opportunities for the under-represented sex;
    • Full and effective accommodation of the interests and abilities of the under-represented sex. Schools do not necessarily need to offer identical sports, yet they do need to provide an equal opportunity for females to play in sports of interest.
  2. Scholarships: The total amount of athletic aid (not applicable at Cal Lutheran) must be substantially proportionate to the ratio of female and male athletes. For example, consider a college with 90 female athletes and 115 male athletes and a scholarship budget of $100,000. An equitable distribution of funds would award $44,000 in scholarship aid to female athletes and $56,000 to males.
  3. Additional Athletic Program Components: Title IX also mandates equal treatment in the provision of:
    • Coaching
    • Equipment and supplies
    • Game and practice times
    • Locker rooms
    • Medical and training facilities
    • Practice and competitive facilities
    • Publicity
    • Recruitment of student athletes
    • Travel per diem allowances
    • Tutoring opportunities

The standard for compliance is one of quality rather than quantity. The actual amount of money spent on women's and men's programs may differ as long the quality of facilities and services for each program achieve parity. For example, equipment needed for men's football may cost more than equipment needed by women's field hockey. Title IX compliance is achieved as long as both teams are given equipment of comparable quality. However, Title IX is violated if a community builds a state-of-the-art field and locker facilities for males, but requires female athletes to share a field owned by a local community center. In this example, quality of facilities is far from equitable, and Title IX is violated.

Are Title IX rights granted to pregnant students?

Yes. Schools may not discriminate against an enrolled student in academic or non-academic activities because of pregnancy, birth of a child, false pregnancy, miscarriage, or termination of pregnancy unless the student opts to participate in an alternate, comparable activity.

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