In response to the May 6 Title IX Final Regulations released by the U.S. Department of Education, Marquette has implemented a revised policy on sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
Effective Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, the Marquette University Interim Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination Policy replaces the university’s former Title IX Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The U.S. Department of Education regulations mandate how colleges and universities respond to sexual harassment under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities for institutions that receive federal funding. Accordingly, Marquette is required to amend its policies related to sexual harassment by Aug. 14.
The university anticipates that the policy will continue to evolve as new guidance and legal mandates emerge from the U.S. Department of Education or judicial system over the course of the next several months, which is why the task force chose to refer to it as an “interim” policy.
This past May, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimo Ah Yun convened a task force to revise Marquette’s policy against sexual harassment and discrimination. Led by Kristen Kreple, Title IX coordinator, the task force includes the following members:
- Katherine Adler, coordinator for advocacy services and sexual violence prevention education
- Karisse Callender, assistant professor, Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
- Anne Clough, professor, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
- Tracy Gerth-Antoniewicz, assistant director of residence life education
- John Grych, professor and director of the Center for Psychological Services
- Cara Hardin, Title IX deputy coordinator
- Heather Hlavka, associate professor, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences
- Jeff Kipfmueller, acting vice president and general counsel
- Erin Lazzar, associate dean of students
- Lisa Mazzie, professor of legal writing
- Emma Wuetrich, assistant director of the Office of Engagement and Inclusion
The task force’s goal was to meet the University’s Title IX responsibilities in a manner that ensures compliance with new and existing federal laws while preserving Marquette’s commitment to fairness, thoroughness and community safety.
With these goals in mind, task force decided that Marquette will:
- Maintain the preponderance of the evidence (or “more likely than not”) standard for adjudicating sexual harassment and sex discrimination cases
- Continue to broadly define “mandatory reporter,” or those required to report sexual harassment and sex discrimination to the Title IX coordinator
- Continue to broadly define the behaviors that constitute sexual harassment and sex discrimination
In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX Final Regulations, conduct that falls within Marquette’s Interim Policy will be adjudicated under two different resolution processes:
- The “Hearing Process,” which addresses conduct falling under federal Title IX Final Regulations
- The “Prompt and Equitable Process,” which addresses sexually harassing and discriminatory conduct falling outside the scope of the Title IX Final Regulations.
The policy also allows the university to resolve matters informally where appropriate.
Importantly, the university’s victim advocates, which includes Advocacy Services, are now a confidential resource.
“Marquette is committed to addressing sexual harassment and sex discrimination in a way that reflects the university’s mission and preserves the dignity of our community members,” Provost Ah Yun said. “The task force unpacked the new federal regulations and determined how to not only comply with them, but also reflect the university’s commitment to a safe and equitable campus. We anticipate the policy will continue to evolve and we look forward to receiving feedback from the community.”
Marquette students, faculty and staff are invited to comment on the university’s interim policy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All feedback will be considered, please note that many aspects of the policy are set by law and cannot be substantively modified.
Marquette remains committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive and respectful educational and working environment for everyone in our community. Sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual assault and relationship violence, are not tolerated. The Title IX Office is available for meetings and consultations, and Advocacy Services is available to provide confidential support.