Know Your Rights
Title IX Prohibits Sexual Harassment 1 and Sexual Violence at UNK
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities (hereinafter “schools”) receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Below is additional information regarding the specific requirements of Title IX as they pertain to sexual harassment and sexual violence.
If you want to learn more about your rights, or if you believe that UNK is violating Federal law, you may contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at (800) 421-3481 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to fill out a complaint form online, you may do so at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html
1 Use of the term “sexual harassment” throughout this document includes sexual violence unless otherwise noted.
- UNK has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively. If UNK knows or reasonably should know about sexual harassment or sexual violence that creates a hostile environment, UNK must take immediate action to eliminate the sexual harassment or sexual violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
- Even if a student or his or her parent does not want to file a complaint or does not request that UNK take any action on the student’s behalf, if UNK knows or reasonably should know about possible sexual harassment or sexual violence, it must promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.
- A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence does not relieve UNK of its duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably.
UNK Has A Policy Against Sex Discrimination
- Title IX requires that UNK publish a policy that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities. The policy is available here.
- Inquiries concerning Title IX may be referred to UNK’s Title IX coordinator or to OCR.
- UNK Has A Title IX Coordinator
- Mary Chinnock Petroski, Director of Human Resources
Founders Hall, Room 1200
University of Nebraska at Kearney
905 West 25th Street
Kearney, NE 68849-2380
Phone (308) 865-8655
TTY (308) 865-8655
- The coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing all complaints of sex discrimination and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints.
- UNK Has Procedures For Students To File Complaints Of Sex Discrimination.
- UNK has grievance procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence. UNK can use general disciplinary procedures to address complaints of sex discrimination. But all procedures must provide for prompt and equitable resolution of sex discrimination complaints.
- Every complainant has the right to present his or her case. This includes the right to adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints, the right to have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence, and the right to the same appeal processes, for both parties.
- Every complainant has the right to be notified of the time frame within which: (a) the school will conduct a full investigation of the complaint; (b) the parties will be notified of the outcome of the complaint; and (c) the parties may file an appeal, if applicable.
- Every complainant has the right for the complaint to be decided using a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred).
- Every complainant has the right to be notified, in writing, of the outcome of the complaint. Even though federal privacy laws limit disclosure of certain information in disciplinary proceedings:
- UNK must disclose to the complainant information about the sanction imposed on the perpetrator when the sanction directly relates to the harassed student. This includes an order that the harasser stay away from the harassed student, or that the harasser is prohibited from attending school for a period of time, or transferred to other classes or another residence hall.
- Additionally, the Clery Act (20 U.S.C. §1092(f)), which only applies to post-secondary institutions, requires that both parties be informed of the outcome, including sanction information, of any institutional proceeding alleging a sex offense. Therefore, colleges and universities may not require a complainant to abide by a non-disclosure agreement, in writing or otherwise.
- The grievance procedures may include voluntary informal methods (e.g., mediation) for resolving some types of sexual harassment complaints. However, the complainant must be notified of the right to end the informal process at any time and begin the formal stage of the complaint process. In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, mediation is not appropriate.
With the exception of those specifically designated as confidential resources, all UNK employees are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct they witness or learn of in the course of employment. Employees who are in a supervisory, managerial, or upper administrative role are what Title IX terms “Responsible Employees”. Responsible Employees are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator’s office. Employees who are not designated as “Responsible Employees” under Title IX, are required to report sexual misconduct incidents to their supervisors, however, they may also report incidents to the Title IX office.