WHAT IS TITLE IX?

“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 – 20 U.S.C. § 1681

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs which receive federal financial assistance. Athletics are one component of Title IX. Other programs and activities which may be included are: recruitment, admissions, financial aid, and scholarships; course offerings and access; hiring and retention; and, benefits and leave. Title IX also protects students and employees, both male and female, from unlawful sexual harassment in school programs and activities.

In compliance with Title IX, Siena Heights University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment as well as in admissions, enrollment, and in the provision of all services, programs and activities. The University’s Policy Statements outlining these prohibitions may be accessed online: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Related Inappropriate Conduct Policy, Affirmative Action Policy.

SUBMIT A REPORT

The University’s Title IX Coordinator monitors compliance with this law and centrally coordinates the institution’s response to complaints of discrimination based on sex. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure complaints of this nature are addressed by the appropriate University entities and will assist complainants in receiving any medical, mental health or other services that may be warranted. The Title IX Coordinator will also facilitate any interim measures that may be necessary to protect the complainant in the institutional setting. Individuals with questions or concerns about Title IX may contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator for more information. Those who wish to file a complaint of noncompliance can also use the online form.

Title IX Coordinator:
Cynthia Birdwell
Chief Public Safety Officer and Campus Risk Manager
1247 E. Siena Heights Dr.
Ledwidge Hall, Room #179
Adrian, MI 49221
517-264-7194
cbirdwel@sienaheights.edu

Confidential Reports:
Sandy Morley, LMSW
Director of Counseling
1247 E. Siena Heights Dr.
Ledwidge Hall, Room #195-197
Adrian, MI 49221
517-264-7193
smorley@sienaheights.edu

Dawn Marsh, PA-C
Director of Health Services
1247 E. Siena Heights Drive
Ledwidge Hall, Health Clinic
Adrian, MI 49221
dmarsh@sienaheights.edu
 
Alternatively, or in addition to the Title IX Coordinator, inquiries may be directed to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the federal agency charged with enforcing compliance with Title IX:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights, Michigan/Ohio Cleveland Office
1350 Euclid Ave, Suite 325
Cleveland, OH 44115
216-522-4970
OCR.Cleveland@ed.gov

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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QUID PRO QUO

The definition of a Quid Pro Quo:

  1. An employee of the recipient,
  2. Conditions (implicitly or explicitly) the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of Siena Heights University,
  3. On an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct, and/or “sexual harassment.” 

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment is defined as:

  1. Unwelcome conduct,
  2. Determined by a reasonable person,
  3. To be so severe, and
  4. Pervasive, and,
  5. Objectively offensive,
  6. That it denies a person equal access to the Recipient’s education or activity.

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sexual Assault is defined as:

  1. Sex Offenses, Forcible:
    1. Any sexual act directed against another person,
    2. Without the consent of the Complainant,
    3. Including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
  2. Forcible Rape:
    1. Penetration,
    2. No matter how slight,
    3. Of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or
    4. Oral penetration by a sex organ of another person,
    5. Without the consent of the Complainant.
  3. Forcible Sodomy:
    1. Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person,
    2. Forcibly,
    3. And/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or
    4. Not forcibly or against the person’s will in instance in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age4 or because temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  4. Sexual Assault with an Object:
    1. The use of an object or instrument to penetrate,
    2. However slightly,
    3. The genital or anal opening of the body of another person,
    4. Forcibly,
    5. And/or against that person’s will (non-consensually),
    6. Or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  5. Forcible fondling:
    1. The touching of the private body parts of another person (buttocks, groin, breasts),
    2. For the purpose of sexual gratification,
    3. Forcibly,
    4. And/or against that person’s will (non-consensually),
    5. Or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  6. Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:
    1. Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
    2. Between two persons who are related to each other,
    3. Within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Michigan law.
  7. Statutory Rape:
    1. Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
    2. With a person who is under the statutory age of consent of 16 years of age.

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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DATING VIOLENCE

Dating Violence is defined as:

  1. Violence,
  2. On the basis of sex,
  3. Committed by a person,
  4. Who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
    1. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s statement frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purpose of this definition:
    2. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to (emotional, psychological), sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
    3. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence is defined as:

  1. Violence,
  2. On the basis of sex,
  3. Committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant,
  4.  By a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or
  5. By a person who is cohabitating with, or had cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or
  6. By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Michigan, or
  7. By any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Michigan.

To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence, the relationship between the Respondent and Complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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STALKING

Stalking is defined as:

  1. Engaging in a course of conduct,
  2. On the basis of sex,
  3. Directed at a specific person, that
    1. Would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety, or
    2. The safety of others, or
    3. Suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition —
      1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
      2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.
      3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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PREGNANCY AND PARENTING

The mission of Siena Heights University is to assist people to become more competent, purposeful, and ethical through a teaching and learning environment, which respects the dignity of all. We strive to encourage and enable all to reach his or her full potential.

This policy serves to both inform and remind the University community that we do not discriminate against students on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. And, furthermore, will work with the student to ensure her continued success at this institution. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or parental status is prohibited. 

Applicability:
This policy at Siena Heights University (SHU) applies to all campuses, and all students whether in a traditional program, online, or a combination.

Policy:
Pregnancy is considered a temporary medical condition by Siena Heights University. To receive academic adjustments for a temporary medical condition, students must register in the Siena Heights Office of Accessibility. Pregnancy does not exclude any student from participating in any part of the educational program. This includes, but is not limited to: honors programs, athletics, student leadership, co-curricular programs, and from membership in student organizations & societies.

The Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Accessibility Coordinator will work in coordination for the actual implementation of this policy and the practices of individual professors involved to avoid discrimination against pregnant students. Harassment (such as sexual comments, jokes, and humiliating or physically threatening or harmful behavior) will not be tolerated—and should be reported the Title IX Coordinator on campus: Cynthia Birdwell, Ledwidge Hall #179, 517-264-7194, cbirdwel@sienaheights.edu.

Please see this website for more information: http://accessibility.sienaheights.edu/title-ix- pregnancy.html.

RESOURCES AND TRAINING

All SHU Title IX Advisory Board members have completed the following trainings:

  • ATIXA Trainings for Advisory Board’
  • ATIXA Modified Training presented by TIX Coordinator, Cynthia Birdwell.
  • OCR Title IX Video: Bias and Conflicts of Interest: https://youtu.be/vHppcOdrzCg.

    OCR’s second new video instructs recipients on how to adopt and publish policies to ensure that sexual harassment allegations are fairly adjudicated, how they must train their Title IX personnel to avoid bias and conflicts of interest, and how they can effectively administer a grievance process in a way that avoids bias and conflicts of interest.   The webinar also addresses whether schools can meet the requirements of Title IX while using “trauma-informed” techniques.

These policies and procedures are implemented on an interim basis for renewable six- month intervals. Should a court strike down, either temporarily or permanently, any terms or provisions of these policies and procedures, the [recipient] reserves the right to make immediate modifications to the policies and procedures that take effect upon publication on our website. Further, should any court strike any portion of the 2020 Title IX Regulations (34 C.F.R. Part 106), or should an administration order them suspended or withdrawn, the [recipient] reserves the right to withdraw these interim policies and procedures and immediately reinstate previous policies and/or procedures or revise them accordingly.

Siena Heights Title IX Policy

For more information see: https://atixa.org/2020-regulations-requirement-posting-of-training-materials/.

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TITLE IX ADVISORY BOARD

Here are the Title IX Advisory Board Members:

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TITLE IX GRIEVANCE HEARING ADMINISTRATION

The Title IX Hearing Administrator is: Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger, rebecca@veidlinger.com.
The Title IX Trained Advisor is: Heidi Hartman, hnhartman@eastmansmith.com.

Hearing Officer/Adjudicator:

  • The University will utilize a Board of Review or a Sole External Hearing Officer/ Adjudicator to adjudicate Hearings under the Procedures.
  • The University retains the sole discretion in determining if a Board of Review or Sole External Hearing Officer/ Adjudicator will be utilized.
  • The University will ensure that the Sole External Reviewer has had the requisite training and relevant experience.

NOTE: All those serving in formal roles in the grievance process are trained per federal requirements.

Appeal: 

  • The University will utilize a Board of Appeal or a Sole External Appeal Reviewer to adjudicate matters under the Procedures.
  • The University maintains the sole discretion in determining if a Board of Appeal or a Sole External Appeal Reviewer will be utilized.
  • The University will ensure that the Sole External Reviewer has had the requisite training and relevant experience.

The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the pool available from the Siena Heights University, the Advisor will be trained by the Siena Heights University and be familiar with the Siena Heights University’s resolution process.

If the parties choose an Advisor from outside the pool of those identified by the Siena Heights University, the Advisor may not have been trained by the Siena Heights University and may not be familiar with Siena Heights University policies and procedures.

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CONTACT US

Title IX Coordinator:
Cynthia Birdwell
Chief Public Safety Officer and Campus Risk Manager
1247 E. Siena Heights Dr.
Ledwidge Hall, Room #179
Adrian, MI 49221
517-264-7194
cbirdwel@sienaheights.edu

To submit a Title IX report, click here.

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