Your Title IX Rights
Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal funding, including colleges and universities and elementary and secondary schools.
All students — women, girls, men, boys, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-nonconforming, part-time, full-time, with or without disabilities, different races and national origins– in elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities have the right to pursue an education free from sex discrimination, including sexual violence and harassment.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division enforce Title IX in our nation’s schools. Sex-based discrimination in public schools also implicates legal rights under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Understanding your Rights as a Complainant (Victim)
Complainant’s Rights (Victim)
- To file a report through University Police, , Equal Opportunity & Access, the Dean of Students Office, Residence Life Staff or other any other applicable law enforcement agency (NON-confidential reporting entities).
- To file a CONFIDENTIAL report with the Counseling Center or Campus Victim Advocate.
- To have all formal complaints investigated by the Title IX Coordinator or deputy and other appropriate campus officials (i.e. University Police)
- To be updated regarding the status of the disciplinary case.
- To receive an explanation of the applicable charges against the respondent.
- To receive an explanation of the range of possible sanctions against the respondent, as outlined in the Student Discipline Code.
- To provide input regarding possible sanctions in regard to the respondent.
- To be free from harassment, intimidation or retaliation from respondent(s) and others as you engage in this process.
- To provide testimony at a disciplinary hearing.
- To be accompanied or represented by an attorney (at the complainant’s own expense) or other advocate, throughout the disciplinary process as described in the applicable sections of Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter 17.
- To have the same access to the proceedings as the respondent, including the ability to question witnesses.
- To be notified in writing, of the outcome of the disciplinary process, to the extent allowed under federal laws and University policies.
- To see counseling services through the University Counseling Center and advocacy through the Campus Victim Advocate.
- To pursue criminal or civil charges where a legal case exists (without University assistance).
Understanding Your Rights as a Respondent (Alleged)
Respondent’s Rights (Alleged)
Students, whose alleged nonacademic misconduct is under review based on the Student Discipline Code (Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapters 17 and 18), have the following rights:
- To review the Code and these Procedures.
- To have an opportunity to speak with an Assistant Dean, not involved in the investigation, in order to respond to any questions and explain the process and procedures.
- To have written notice of the charges will be provided to the student within thirty (30) days of the report of misconduct being made, unless extenuating circumstances require a longer time period.
- To be presumed not responsible until proven otherwise for violating the Code.
- To respond to the information presented and to question witnesses, through a hearing committee or hearing examiner. Respondents in disciplinary proceedings are expected to answer questions concerning their conduct. Disciplinary proceedings are investigatory in nature and the person or body reviewing the case needs to engage the respondent in
discussion and dialogue in order to reach a result. If the respondent refuses to answer questions, a decision will be made based upon the information presented. Students whose alleged misconduct may subject them to criminal proceedings should consult with their own legal counsel regarding their rights prior to their hearing.
- To request a hearing to contest an adverse decision and/or sanctions, as described in the applicable sections of Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter 17.
- To appeal to the Chancellor in cases of suspension or expulsion, as described in the applicable sections of Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter 17.
- To reasonable access to the respondent’s case file in the Dean of Students Office, which includes all information, to the extent permitted by confidentiality laws.
- To be accompanied or represented by an attorney (at the respondent’s own expense) or other advocate, throughout the disciplinary process as described in the applicable sections of Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter 17.
- To seek counseling services through the campus Counseling Center to the extent reasonable and appropriate pursuant to the Counseling Center’s guidelines.
What are a school’s responsibilities under Title IX to address sexual violence?
- A school has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual violence.
- If a school knows (or reasonably should know) about possible sexual violence, it must quickly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.
- A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual violence does not relieve a school of its duty under Title IX to resolve reports promptly and effectively.
- A school must ensure that the person who experienced the sexual violence is safe, even while an investigation is ongoing.