Employee Frequently Asked Questions
What is Title IX? Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Civil Rights law. "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Title IX is covered under the University of Houston System Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
What is sexual misconduct? Sexual misconduct as defined by UH System policy includes sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
What does Title IX mean for UHV? Whenever we know of or suspect that an incident of sexual misconduct has or is occurring, the University is required to take appropriate action in an effort to eliminate Sexual Misconduct from happening, to prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Does the sexual misconduct policy just cover students? No, the UH System Sexual Misconduct Policy covers students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus.
What is my role as an employee? As an employee, you are required to report any known or suspected incident of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Title IX Coordinator and to cooperate with the procedures for responding to complaints. The only employees who are not required to report are the counselors in the UHV Counseling Center who have professional licensure.
What should I do if I receive a report?
- You should disclose that you are not confidential and will have to report to the Title IX Coordinator.
- Explain that you are there to help by listening, documenting, and reporting to university officials who can help with additional services.
- Offer to connect them with confidential resources if they prefer (UHV Counseling Center).
- Avoid making the person feel like you don't want to talk to them, are questioning their judgment or doubt the contents of their report. Instead, thank the person for coming forward and refer them to relevant resources (Title IX Office, Counseling, and/or security).
If I get a report from a student, what questions should I ask? You can ask these primary questions:
- Are you physically hurting? Call 911 in an emergency or seek appropriate medical attention. If a student needs a sexual assault exam for evidence collection within 96 hours of the incident, STD testing, and/or pregnancy concerns, you can call Elena Torres, UHV's Confidential Advisor at the Counseling Center. Torres is certified to accompany individuals to exams and has direct contact information of the appropriate medical providers. If it's not an emergency and the student is reluctant for you to call anyone, encourage the student to follow up.
- Do you Feel Safe? Your definition of unsafe may not match theirs. Their version is the one that matters. If the person has immediate safety concerns, campus security or Title IX Coordinators can help create a safety plan including safety escorts, housing changes, No Contact Orders, trespass warnings and more services.
- Would you like to speak to a confidential counselor or police? If so, refer them to the Counseling Center or to UHV Police & Security. The Title IX Office can also connect the student to these resources.
- What would you like help with? You don't need the details of what happened to offer support and you should not act as an investigator or interrogator. Be patient and let them talk in their own words. Try to determine what immediate resources they need. It's alright if you don't have next steps. Just make a report to the Title IX Coordinator and let them know the Coordinator will follow up with them.
If I get a report from an employee, what should I do? Listen to that employee, but remind them that you are required to report to the Title IX Coordinator. Encourage the employee to report to speak with the Title IX Coordinator and to seek help through the UT Employee Assistance Program if they need counseling by calling 713-500-3327 or toll free 800-346-3549.
What if I want to remain anonymous? Anonymous reports can also be made online at the Fraud & Non-Compliance Hotline or by calling 1-800-461-9330. However, the reporter should know that during the course of an investigation, his or her identity may be discovered as a possible witness. If that occurs, the report will receive the same confidentiality safeguards offered to those who make a formal report under this Policy.