What is Title IX?

(via KnowYourIX.org)

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972:

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. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding (the vast majority of schools). Under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments and failure to do so is a violation that means a school could risk losing its federal funding.

While Title IX is a very short statute, Supreme Court decisions and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education have given it a broad scope covering sexual harassment and sexual violence. Interested in learning more about the 2020 Title IX changes? Click here to view a resource developed by Check It.

Who Does Title IX Protect?

Title IX benefits everyone, it applies to organizational employees, such as teachers, staff, and administrators. 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 and girls has received more attention because females historically have faced greater gender restrictions and barriers in education. However, Title IX also has benefited men and boys. A continued effort to achieve educational equity has benefited all students by moving toward creation of school environments where all students may learn and achieve the highest standards.

Are International or Undocumented Students Included?

YES! All international students are required to maintain a full-time course load, usually 12 academic hours per term. If a student needs to drop below a full-time course load, they must receive their Principal Designated School Official’s approval (PDSO) before reducing classes. Students are not required to tell their PDSO about sexual assault. The PDSO can permit students to reduce course load for academic or medical reasons:

  • Academic reasons often include cultural adjustments to American education system, including language adjustments. Students can drop below a course load only once (1 semester) per program for academic reasons, given that they resume full-time studies the next semester. If their perpetrators were involved in their college community it is suggested that international students argue that this was the direct cause of their “academic difficulties.”
  • Medical reasons including temporary illness, can only last for an aggregate of 12 months, and requires documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or a licensed clinical psychologist.This will require the student to reveal the assault to the PDSO. It is especially important that students document any and all medical treatment to use as evidence to substantiate the medical case for the PDSO.

Students who don’t have PDSO’s approval will fall out of status and will be terminated in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Obviously, there are many other reasons for international students to adjust their schedules when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault. They should consult with a lawyer familiar with both immigration and anti-gender violence law. However, we’d like to remind international students that if they do fall out of status for less than five months, they can apply for reinstatement with Citizenship Immigration Services. Along with showing that the violation was outside of the student’s control, if the student is applying because of serious illness or injury because of the assault, the student must disclose this information with CIS. They should submit all evidence substantiating the assault such as medical, psychological, or police records. Again, we’d like to encourage students to read over this report for more details.

Are LGBT+ Students Included?

YES! Title IX protects all students who experience sexual violence, irrespective of the gender of the survivor or the alleged perpetrator(s). LGBTQ survivors have the same rights under Title IX to accommodations, a prompt and equitable complaint process, and to be free from retaliation. Likewise, schools’ obligations to appropriately respond to sexual violence and support a survivor’s continued access to education are the same regardless of the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender presentation of a complainant or respondent; this remains true when incidents of sexual violence may be partly based on a survivor’s (actual or perceived) sexual orientation or gender identity. Schools must investigate and remedy instances sexual violence against LGBTQ students using the same policies and procedures used in all complaints of sexual violence. This includes instances of sexual assault or harassment where the perpetrator and survivor are of the same gender.

Among other things, the law requires schools to respect transgender students’ gender identity with regards to dress codes, names, pronouns, and access to single-sex facilities (including restrooms). Title IX also protects transgender and gender nonconforming students from gender-based harassment and bullying — that is, harassment or bullying a student experiences because they do not conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity. For examples of prohibited harassment, please see the National Women’s Law Center’s Fact Sheet on anti-LGBT bullying and Title IX. For more information on trans students’ Title IX rights, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Frequently Asked Questions on the withdrawal of federal guidance on transgender students.



Call 9-1-1 if you are in the midst of any kind of emergency, immediate harm or threat of harm.

If you have experienced sexual violence (e.g., rape, acquaintance rape, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking), you are encouraged to seek immediate assistance from police and healthcare providers for your physical safety, emotional support and medical care. University police can escort you to a safe place and transport you to a hospital or a sexual assault response center for a medical examination, if needed. University police can also provide access to a confidential sexual assault advocate. If you would prefer not to notify the police, you are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from the campus Title IX Coordinator who can provide you with information on your options, rights and remedies, and/or a sexual assault counselor or advocate. The campus Title IX Coordinator is available to assist you in notifying the police, if you wish. However, it is very important that you get confidential medical attention after being assaulted. Following the incident, you may be physically injured, there may be a chance you contracted a sexually transmitted disease, or that you may become pregnant.

You have the right to decide who and when to tell about sexual violence.

Undocumented Students

Prior to filing a complaint and revealing their immigration status, undocumented students are highly encouraged to seek out counsel from immigration/anti-gender violence lawyers. Some advocacy groups that might be helpful are listed below, we encourage students to ask for local resources in their own area.

I Can't Call the Police

There are many reasons why someone may hesitate to contact the police and report their experience. We understand these reasons differ from person to person, and so does Humboldt. 

Alternative options include:

*NOTE: These individuals are mandated reporters