What is Title IX?
Pursuant to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and other applicable state laws and Midlands Technical College Policy, it is illegal to harass or discriminate against any individual (faculty, staff, student or visitor) on the basis of sex. Specifically Title IX states 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. Sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct. Title IX also prohibits retaliation against an individual who, in good faith, asserts his or her rights under Title IX or other applicable federal laws and state laws prohibiting illegal discrimination.
The duties and responsibilities that have been delegated to the College’s Title IX compliance efforts include, but are not limited to:
- Consultation, Investigation, and Disposition -
- The Title IX Coordinator's office receives and processes, in a timely manner, inquiries from students, faculty, staff, and administrators regarding rights and responsibilities concerning harassing behavior or other discriminatory behavior in violation of Title IX;
- Receives and processes, in a timely manner, inquiries from third parties who report suspicion of harassing behavior or other discriminatory behavior in violation of Title IX;
- Refers inquiries to other resources that are not appropriate for investigation (e.g. Human Resources, Student Development Services);
- Receives and processes, in a timely manner, complaints from students, faculty, staff, and administrators regarding rights and responsibilities concerning harassing behavior or other discriminatory behavior in violation of Title IX;
- Receives and processes, in a timely manner, complaints from third parties who report suspicion or harassing behavior or other discriminatory behavior in violation of Title IX;
- Notifies complainants of receipt of the complaint;
- Notifies respondents that complaint has been made;
- Notifies supervisor(s) of respondent that complaint has been made;
- Investigates alleged discrimination and/or harassment;
- Interviews complainants, respondents, and material witnesses; obtains and reviews documents and other relevant materials from complainant and/or respondent;
- Issues findings of fact and recommendations for disposition of complaints and notifies all parties regarding disposition;
- Notifies complainants of his or her right to pursue remedies outside of the Colleges grievance process; follows-up with parties regarding implementation of recommendations contained in disposition; seeks assistance from parties' supervisors or advisors, if necessary to implement recommendations;
- Monitors compliance of all requirements and timelines specified in the complaint/grievance procedures
- Institutional Monitoring and Compliance Assurance
- Coordinates and monitors Title IX efforts of other delegates and College offices that receive and/or investigate complaints, including but not limited to Human Resources, Student Development Services, and Campus Police;
- Organizes and maintains grievance files, disposition reports, and other compiled records regarding complaints of sexual harassment and other discriminatory practices, including annual descriptive reports of number and nature of filed complaints and disposition of complaints;
- Remains knowledgeable of current state and federal laws and regulations and trends in the field of education related to harassment and other discriminatory practices that violate Title IX;
- Monitors the College’s Anti-Harassment policy and procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal law and regulations; serves as a liaison officer to state and federal government compliance or investigation officers
- Advising Other College Officials
- Provides ongoing consultation regarding Title IX requirements, grievance issues, and compliance programs to College officials;
- Assists in resolution of complex harassment and discrimination cases in conjunction with College’s General Counsel
Title IX FAQs
- What is the best way to prevent sexual harassment?
Know your rights. Members of our college community have the right to work and learn in an environment that is free from verbal or physical sexual conduct which might either interfere with an individual's performance, or create a work or educational climate that is hostile, intimidating, or offensive, whether that conduct originates with an instructor, a supervisor, or a peer.
- What are some examples of sexual harassment?
The following are behaviors that may be considered to be sexual harassment:
- Repeated requests for dates or sex
- Sexual comments about clothing or body parts
- Sexually oriented humor or language
- Kissing sounds, whistling, cat calls
- Obscene phone calls; emails, texts, social networking posts
- Comments about sexual likes/dislikes
- Comments about sexual behavior
- Leering or ogling
- Pornographic pictures, calendars, movies, mugs
- Repeated "love" letters
- Sexually oriented electronic messages or images
- Sexual hand or body gestures
- Invading someone's personal space
- Email, screensavers, desktop "wall paper"
- Any unwanted touching
- Who should I talk to if I'm being harassed?
If you are a Midlands Technical College student: Talk to the Title IX Coordinator, College Police, a Student Development Services administrator or counselor, a professor you trust, a family member, or a friend. You are also encouraged to contact the local police (911).
If you are staff or an academic employee: Talk to the Title IX Coordinator, the Human Resource Office, a friend, your supervisor, or other manager.
- How are sexual harassment complaints resolved?
The Title IX Office utilizes both informal and formal procedures for resolving sexual harassment complaints. We encourage early reporting of concerns or complaints regarding sexual harassment because complaints are most effectively resolved at the earliest possible stage. Resolution options depend on the circumstances and may include education programs for particular individuals and mediation between the parties only if both desire mediation. Where informal resolution is unsuccessful or inappropriate, a formal complaint may be filed and a formal investigation undertaken. There is no prescribed sequence, so choosing one option first does not prevent a complainant from choosing a different option for resolution later on. Individuals may get advice or assistance without filing a complaint.
If an informal solution is not appropriate or possible the Title IX Office will initiate a fact-finding investigation.
- What rights do I have if I am sexually harassed or assaulted?
You have the following rights:
- The right to confront the harasser and inform him/her that his/her conduct is unwelcome
- The right to file a report or file a formal complaint (Title IX Coordinator)
- The right to information about the investigation and resolution process (Title IX Coordinator)
- The right to have the complaint and related information shared only with those who "need to know" for the College to take your desired action
- The right to receive confidential counseling and supportive services
- The right to be free from retaliation
- How to tell when conduct is unwelcome?
Conduct is unwelcome if the recipient did not initiate it and regards it as undesirable or offensive. Some sexual advances are so blatant that the advance itself shows its unwelcomeness. In a more typical case, however, the welcomeness of the conduct will depend on the recipient’s reaction to it.
- How can I avoid being accused of sexual harassment?
The following are a few helpful suggestions:
- Do not assume that your peers, co-workers, or employees enjoy comments about their appearance, sexually-oriented jokes or comments, being touched, stared at, or propositioned.
- Do not assume that what you consider to be welcome sexual invitations will be welcomed by others.
- Do not instruct friends, co-workers, and supervisors to put up with offensive behavior.
- Do not take any action to retaliate against someone who has filed a complaint or provided information during an investigation.
- Does the intent of the harasser matter?
Sexual harassment is not determined by the intent of the harasser; but rather, it is determined by the impact that the behavior has on the person being harassed.
- What do I do if I'm being accused of sexual harassment?
If the behavior is brought to your attention, apologize, ask for a description of what was offensive, and who found it offensive.
Consider the following actions:
- If you realize that you have been inappropriate, apologize as soon as possible.
- Change your behavior.
- Recognize that other steps may need to be taken.
- Be careful of inappropriate advice that would lead you to minimize or ignore this issue.
- Seek the advice of appropriate college resources.
- Attend sexual harassment training.
- Know the policy on sexual harassment.
- Refrain from any form of retaliation.
- What rights do I have if I am accused of sexual harassment or assault?
- The right to due process-notice of the allegations and an opportunity to respond to them
- The right to be free from defamation and invasion of privacy
- The right to obtain confidential counseling through the Counseling Center
- The right to all protections afforded by College policy and/or collective bargaining agreements
- The right to information about the investigation and resolution process (Title IX Coordinator)
- Can I make a complaint with the local police?
Targets of sexual harassment or sexual assault are welcome to report the sexual harassment or sexual assault to College police and/or off-campus police, particularly if the individual desires prosecution through the criminal justice system.
- Is the complaint process confidential?
Any person needing assistance about sexual assault or sexual harassment may call or make an appointment with the Title IX Coordinator (lan MacLean, 803.822.3204, or firstname.lastname@example.org). You will not be required to give your name or anyone else's name to receive information and advice on your options and referrals. Resources are available for advice and information regarding reports of sexual harassment or sexual assault that are totally confidential.
An example of a confidential resource is the Counseling Office. Individuals who consult confidential resources must be advised that their discussions in these settings will not be considered reports of sexual harassment and will not, without additional action by the individual, result in any action by the College to resolve their concerns.
Procedures provide for protecting the privacy of individuals involved in a report of sexual harassment to the extent allowed by law and College policy. A report of sexual harassment may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about individuals in the college community. While such information is considered confidential, college policy regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information regarding a report of sexual harassment. In such cases, every effort will be made to redact the records in order to protect the privacy of individuals.
Individuals wishing to make reports of sexual harassment must understand that certain college employees, such as the Title IX, the Vice-President of Student Development Services, managers, supervisors, and other designated employees responsible for reporting or responding to reports of sexual harassment, have an obligation to respond to reports of sexual harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken.
The expressed wishes of individuals regarding the confidentiality of reports of sexual harassment will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such wishes will be considered in the context of the College’s legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from sexual harassment and the due process rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although requests for confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
- Who do I contact to obtain additional information or make a complaint?
For information, referral to counseling, or to file a complaint of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, which includes sexual violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, contact: the College’s Title IX Coordinator.
Title IX Pregnancy FAQs
- How can I use Title IX to ensure that my pregnancy or family responsibilities do not interfere with my education?
Title IX requires instructors and administrators treat pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability. The College can require a pregnant student to provide a doctor’s certification of fitness to continue in an education program or activity only if the same requirement is imposed on all other students with physical or emotional conditions requiring a doctor’s care. Pregnant students must be provided the same accommodations and support services available to other students with similar medical needs. Your instructors or administrators should not tell you that you have to drop out of your classes or academic program or change your educational plans due to your pregnancy. If you have a concern regarding your status as a pregnant or parenting student, please contact the MTC Title IX Coordinator immediately. Resources are available for you; just make the call.
- What types of assistance must MTC provide to a pregnant student at school?
To ensure a student’s access to educational programs, MTC is required to make reasonable accommodations that are responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. For example, MTC may provide a larger desk, allow frequent trips to the restroom, or permit the student to have a beverage in class. Each situation is unique, so communication between the student and the instructor is critical.
- Does MTC have to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy, childbirth, or other pregnancy-related conditions?
Yes. Title IX requires schools to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s physician deems the absences to be medically necessary. When the student returns to school, she must be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which should include giving her the opportunity to make up any work missed. After returning from an excused absence, your instructors must allow a reasonable amount of time to make up missed assignments and tests. The makeup assignments and tests must be reasonably equivalent to those missed, but need not be identical.
- What if my instructor says their absence/makeup policy applies regardless of any medical condition?
While your instructor may have a strict attendance policy, the College is bound by federal civil rights law. Title IX requires the College ensure that all faculty and staff comply with the law and do not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students. An individual instructor’s policy is not OK if it breaks the law. Please contact the MTC Title IX Coordinator if you have questions about your instructor’s attendance policy as it relates to your pregnancy or parental responsibilities.
- May an instructor require a student to keep up with lectures, reading assignments, papers, and online tests while at home on maternity leave?
An online class will be treated the same as a live class so a student’s absences will be accommodated as long as the student’s physician deems them medically necessary. The student may not be required to turn in work, even online, while on maternity leave until the physician releases her. MTC must provide the student with the opportunity to make up any work missed once her physician authorizes her return to school.
- What about internships, externships, and other off-campus elements of her program--does she have a right to participate in those while pregnant?
Yes. MTC must allow the student to continue participating in off-campus programs. For example, if her program provides opportunities to “work in the field,” MTC cannot deny her participation based upon pregnancy. However, MTC may require medical certification from a physician for participation provided the College or program requires such certification for all students who have a medical condition being treated by a physician. If medical certification is provided, MTC must abide by the physician’s decision.
Please note that certain programs may have requirements that are beyond the control of MTC. These requirements may limit the options for accommodations that can be made available.
- May a student choose to take an Incomplete for the course even if she has not completed the required percentage of work?
Pregnant students who are approved for Title IX accommodations may be given an Incomplete, if requested.
- Examples of Title IX Accommodations
A student has four labs to make up. Resetting the lab for each exercise is an all-day process. The instructor is willing to let her attend the class during the next term at a satellite campus if there is room. May we require her to wait for the following term? Would having the Incomplete for one semester create other problems?
Attending class the next term is a reasonable solution given the set up requirements for the lab. The College’s interpretation of Title IX is that the Department of Education would not expect programs to create new labs to serve a single student nor would they expect the class location to be moved. If the following term’s class session is full, we recommend that the Academic Dean and faculty consider the learning objectives of the course and look at whether there are any other courses in that term that teach the same material or similar enough material, for which certain labs could substitute for the missed labs. The issue is one of reasonableness. If there is no other class that would satisfy the learning objectives, then waiting until a subsequent term makes sense. Additionally, we should not consider over-enrolling the student into a class if there would be a safety issue in the lab. That is an example of a hardship to the institution.A pregnant student who registered for Title IX accommodations is not attending classes. She has missed three weeks. The instructor emailed her last week and told her to contact the Title IX Coordinator or Student Disability Services. So far, there has been no response from the student. The instructor is going to email her again. She has already missed more classes than the course policy allows. At what point can the instructor withdraw her for not attending?
In this case, where the College has no information about the reason for her absences, the instructor should follow the usual College attendance policy and process. It is the student's responsibility to disclose information related to her condition and seek the accommodations. It is not the College's responsibility to independently identify pregnant students and assess their need for accommodations.
PLEASE NOTE: The pregnant student must request whatever accommodation(s) she is seeking due to medical necessity related to the pregnancy. Pregnant students are encouraged to seek assistance for excused absences or accommodations as quickly as possible. It is anticipated and expected that pregnant students will act proactively in communicating the situation with their instructor(s) and if excused time is needed, with the MTC Title IX Coordinator’s office. Some options and accommodations cannot be retroactively applied and some classes have limited adjustments that can be made. Pregnant students seeking adjustments and assistance as the medical situation arises will have better options than those notifying the College after the situation is over. Waiting to provide documentation of excused time until the end of the semester or after the semester has ended will severely reduce what assistance the College can offer. Excused absences under Title IX do not follow the same definitions as employment processes such as the Family Medical Leave Act or ‘maternity leave’.
Title IX Form
Download a copy of the Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form.
Title IX Training
Click to watch the Title IX information video for Students, Faculty & Staff.
Download Title IX Training Materials (PDF).
Title IX Information Guide
View or download a PDF file of our Title IX Information Guide.
Who to Contact
Any student or employee who experiences sexual harassment (including sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or sexual violence), harassment, or discrimination on the basis of sex is encouraged to contact Debbie Walker, the MTC Chief Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator. She can be reached at Midlands Technical College, P.O. Box 2408, Columbia, SC 29202, by telephone at 803.822.3261, or email at email@example.com. Students and employees are also encouraged to contact the MTC Police at 803.738.7199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report alleged sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or sexual assault or any other criminal behavior based upon their sex.
Any administrator or supervisor, including a department chair, or other administrator, or person in a position with power over a student or employee who receives notice of a student's or employee’s complaint of alleged prohibited harassment, including sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual assault or any other criminal behavior based upon sex or discrimination, must immediately contact the MTC Title IX Coordinator. Failure to immediately report any Title IX matter may result in disciplinary action against any person, (administrators, faculty, or staff member) in a position of power over a student or employee. Procedures for reporting and responding to complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under Title IX can be found in MTC’s Title IX Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will work in coordination with Student Development Services administrators in cases involving students and with the Office of Human Resources in cases involving MTC employees.