This article is one in a multipart series, stay tuned for the second article in the Echo’s 10/19 edition detailing more major alterations to the universities policy on Title IX -- Editors
Many questions and misconceptions surround Title IX, a policy that protects students against sexual harassment.
Introduced at freshman orientation, Title IX is an integral part of Taylor, yet confusion about the specific rules and definitions that make up the official policy as a whole remain.
Dean of Students Jesse Brown said that he thinks students are curious about Title IX and want to know more information, but do not know how to approach the topic.
According to the U.S Department of Education, Title IX is a part of the 1972 Education Amendment, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex which can include sexual harassment or sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
The foundation of the Title IX policy on campus is consent.
“Consent is an active agreement and not coerced,” Taylor Universty’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment says.
The language of Taylor policy is clear that consent is an active idea that must be ongoing and has the ability to be revoked at any time by either person involved.
All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges and universities receiving any federal funds must adhere to the rules of Title IX, in accordance with the U.S Department of Education.
On May 6, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released newly revised regulations for Title IX procedures. By Aug. 14, all schools receiving financial aid from the government had to amend their Title IX statement, in order to continue to receive support.
As a part of this revision, Taylor made alterations to some of the language in the definitions of prohibited behavior.
Behaviors that are prohibited by Title IX include dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
One of the most notable differences is within the definition for sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment must meet one of the two categories, as written in Taylor University’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment.
Employees of Taylor University are prohibited to participate in unwelcome sexual activity that includes: conditioning, seeking aid, or benefit from an individual student.
The first definition only applies to employees at Taylor, not students and the language has not changed significantly.
However in the second definition there has been a one word amendment, the difference between and “and” “or.”
The original statement read, “Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive or objectively offensive that it effectively denied a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity.”
“Sexual harassment is now defined by severe, pervasive and objectively offensive,” Brown said. “Previously it was just severe, pervasive or objectively offensive and now it’s both, so it has to be severe, pervasive and objectively offensive for something to be defined as sexual harassment.”
Other definitions that are of key importance to the policy, but did not go through significant content correction include sexual assault.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s definition of sexual assault includes rape (victum is unable to give verbal consent), sodomy (oral or anal sexual intercourse without consent), sexual assault with an object (use of an object to unlawfully penetrate), fondling (innapporiate touching), incest (sex with a family member) and statutory rape (sex with a minor).
For a full detailed list of definitions and policies visit https://www.taylor.edu/docs/student-consumer-info/title-ix-policy.pdf or contact Jesse Brown with specific questions.
Next week's article will include an explanation of the new adjudication process that Taylor must abide by. This process includes a live question and answer session between both parties involved.