A look at League Title IX office procedures as students call for reform

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During the semester, students and organizations, such as Stand With Survivors SU, asked Syracuse University to reform its Title IX office.

Congress enacted Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments to prevent institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the women‘s civil rights movement made its way across the United States, highlighting issues of discrimination and oppression of women in educational settings. Title IX also protects students from sexual harassment and violence in educational institutions and requires institutions to work proactively to end sexual violence on campus and in their programs.

“No person in the United States should, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participating, denied benefits, or discriminated against in any educational program or activity that benefits federal financial assistance ”, we read in the preamble to Title IX. .


The SU Title IX office reports to the Office of Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Resolution Services. The office provides students with information on Title IX as it relates to SU and the Office of Community Standards policy on sexual and relationship violence.

The university’s Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Assault Prevention Policy was created to comply with Title IX and actively prevent sexual harassment on campus, the policy says.

“This policy applies to students, staff, faculty and third parties such as volunteers, suppliers, consultants, guests, alumni, applicants for admission or employment or for other persons participating or attempting to participate in the university’s training program or activities. », Indicates the policy.

Recently, five men sued SU over her involvement in their sexual abuse by Conrad Mainwaring. The League claims it has no responsibility because Mainwaring was not an official member of the League’s athletic programs. He was considered a volunteer for the cross country and track teams, and is pictured in the 1983 team photograph in person from head coach Andrew Jugan.

SU responds and strives to “maintain confidentiality throughout the investigation process” in accordance with university procedures for responding to reports of faculty violations. These policies do not apply to graduate students.

The policy says the university will continue to actively investigate reports of sexual misconduct, even if a criminal report or complaint has also been filed, but will suspend its investigation if and when requested to do so by law enforcement.

Photographer | Maya Goosmann | Director of digital design

When a complaint is made, a Title IX coordinator or designate will contact the reporter within 48 hours, the policy says. Sheila Johnson-Willis is the Title IX coordinator, according to the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services.

Johnson-Willis oversees the university’s response to reports and complaints, including those regarding gender discrimination, and “ensures a fair, equitable and expeditious process for everyone involved,” the office’s website read. In addition to the Title IX coordinator and the Title IX case coordinator, the office has three Title IX investigators.

The Title IX coordinator will, in accordance with policy, assist the declarer throughout the process, including stressing the importance of preserving evidence and explaining access to supporting documents. The Title IX coordinator will also explain how the university prohibits any form of retaliation between the accuser and the subject of the complaint.

The support measures, as far as the university is concerned, “are individualized non-disciplinary and non-punitive services” which are free for the declarer and the subject of the complaint “before or after the lodging of a formal complaint or when ‘no formal complaint has been filed,’ the policy says. These measures include schedule changes, campus escort services, time off and no-contact orders.

When the university receives a report and examines the initial facts of a complaint against a faculty member, the Title IX coordinator, the associate rector for faculty affairs and potentially other legal and security experts will decide to place or not the professor concerned by the complaint. on leave during the investigation or hearing.

The team can also refer the incident to the threat assessment management team to perform risk analysis and help guide the decision. If TAMT discovers that a faculty member poses an immediate threat, an emergency dismissal may take place.

The Title IX coordinator should also determine at this time whether the report falls within the scope of the Title IX policy and office. An investigation will take place to determine whether or not the university is responsible for the relevant faculty. The Title IX coordinator will then file, if he deems it necessary, a formal complaint to request an investigation.


All those concerned will be informed of the formal complaint and the ensuing investigation. The Title IX coordinator appoints the investigator of the incident. “The investigator can be a university employee or an outside professional,” the policy says. The Assistant Rector for Faculty Affairs will also assign a qualified faculty member to assist with the investigation. The investigator will interview all parties involved, including potential witnesses. The policy also states that a sexual history can only be included in the investigation if it can exonerate one party or provide evidence of another person’s involvement.

“The investigator may also take into account publicly available information from social media or other online sources that comes to his attention,” the policy said. The university does not actively monitor social media or online sources, however, and as with all potentially relevant information, the complainant, respondent or witness should bring the online information to the attention of the investigator.”

All evidence and material gathered during the investigation will be brought to the attention of all parties concerned. A faculty member can admit guilt for all or part of the complaint at any point in the process.

The investigator will produce a report and notify the parties of all charges if he determines that a charge has been laid. A hearing will take place later in person or online.

“The hearing will be heard or conducted either by a hearing panel or by an individual hearing officer. Hearing panels or agents will usually be outside professionals, but the university reserves the right to have any matter heard by professors or university administrators, ”the policy says.

The hearing officer or panel usually renders a decision within 15 days of a hearing and notifies all parties. Hearing Panel members can then recommend sanctions if the subject is found guilty.

In determining a sanction, the panel will take into consideration the following elements: the extent of the damage caused to individuals and the community or their impact on them; the potential for continued risk to specific individuals or the campus community; the disciplinary record of a faculty member and the status of any previous conduct sanctions; level of intention, remorse, cooperation and willingness to take responsibility; evidence that the conduct of the faculty member was motivated by bias; impact statements submitted by either party; the violence of the behavior in question and any other mitigating, aggravating or compelling circumstance.

Appeals can be brought by either party, regardless of the outcome, within 10 days of the final decision. Each party will have 10 days to review and respond to the appeal.

The process and procedures for student reports and complaints are similar, but supports include a change of residence. In its list of demands, the SWSSU asked the university to change its policy to remove the student from all campus residents during investigations and the hearing.

For emergency dismissals, students are allowed to challenge a provisional suspension. During hearings, students have the option of having an advisor, such as a lawyer, and the university will appoint one to a student if they do not have one at the time of the hearing.

Contact Karolina: [email protected]

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