What is UMBC’s commitment to addressing issues of sexual and gender based violence, harassment, and other related conduct?
UMBC is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the campus community and recognizes its responsibility to maintain a campus environment which is free from Discrimination on the basis of Sex, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (including Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking), Sexual Exploitation and Retaliation, and to preserving or restoring equal access to the UMBC’s educational programs and activities.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion embodies UMBC’s commitment to increasing awareness and promoting prevention and educational programs in an effort to eliminate occurrence and prevent reoccurrence through education, supportive measures, investigation, alternative resolution, adjudication, and sanctions.
Though the new August 14, 2020 Federal Title IX regulations require that we change some of the procedures that we will use to address certain kinds of conduct, the Office of Equity and Inclusion remains dedicated to appropriately addressing all complaints of sexual and gender based violence, harassment and other related conduct no matter what kind of conduct occurred, where the conduct occurred, or when the conduct happened. The Office of Equity and Inclusion serves students, faculty and staff.
What are the differences between the 2020 policy and the old policy?
The August 14, 2020 UMBC Sexual Misconduct Policy reflects requirements and changes mandated by federal law. Some of the most significant changes include:
- limiting matters covered by Title IX to conduct that occurs in the U.S. in an educational program or activity
- limitations on what can and cannot be covered under Title IX
- requirement that things that are now not covered by Title IX be dismissed as Title IX matters, and handled under another policy*
- the requirement that there be a live hearing with cross-examination of witnesses to decide formal complaints of Sexual Assault and certain types of Sexual Harassment, including Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking
*Rest assured, while certain conduct previously covered under the former UMBC Sexual Misconduct policy must be dismissed in order to comply with the new regulations, UMBC can and will continue to address that conduct through the Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and other policies that address student and employee conduct, in keeping with UMBC’s commitment to addressing all forms of discrimination and harassment.
How and when will the new August 14, 2020 Federal Title IX Regulations be applied?
The new regulations take effect on Friday, August 14th, 2020.
Reports received prior to August 14, 2020 that involve conduct that occurred prior to August 14, 2020 will be handled under the previous policy and procedures.
For reports received after August 14, 2020 that involve conduct that occurred prior to August 14, the Policy in effect at the time the conduct occurred will govern the definitions of Prohibited Conduct, but the procedures used to investigate and resolve the complaint will be the new procedures in effect as of August 14.
Conduct that occurs after August 14, 2020 will be evaluated under the August 14, 2020 Policy, and that policy will be used to investigate and resolve any complaints.
If you have questions about your specific report or if you have questions about which policy will apply to a complaint based on when the conduct took place or when you reported the conduct to someone at the University, please contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion at email@example.com.
Is the August 14, 2020 Sexual Misconduct Policy Final?
These new policies are being issued as “Interim” polices to reflect the fact that additional changes may be necessary before they can be finalized.
There have been a number of legal challenges to the August 14, 2020 regulations. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education has issued Guidance that will need to be incorporated, and has indicated that the intent to engage in new rulemaking to modify the regulations.
If legal decisions, U.S. Department of Education Guidance or changes in the Federal Regulations require modifications of the August 14, 2020 Policy, OEI will work to promptly to inform the UMBC community.
What are my reporting requirements as a member of the UMBC Community under the August 14, 2020 Sexual Misconduct Policy?
Reporting obligations at UMBC have not changed.
All UMBC faculty and staff, as well as student staff, adjunct faculty, affiliate staff, and residence life staff must report all available information regarding concerns of sexual and gender based violence, harassment, and other related conduct impacting a member of the community or UMBC as a whole.
Mandatory reporters must make a report, regardless of whether they feel they have all of the details of a report. Reporters are discouraged from asking a lot of questions and/or seeking additional information regarding matters reported to them without guidance and approval from the Title IX coordinator or a designee within the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Confidential and Quasi-confidential employees are specific resources who, absent an immediate danger, are not required to make reports to the Title IX Coordinator (confidential) or are not required to identify the complainant (quasi-confidential). These resources are available to assist community members generally and in relation to decisions about reporting to the University.
Other community members are strongly encouraged to make reports of matters covered by the Sexual Misconduct policy as soon something is reported to them. Reporting to the Office of Equity and Inclusion provides all parties involved in a report access to supportive resources, and connects them to the guidance of subject matter experts who can assist in any decision making that may be necessary as a result of the conduct they experienced.
Where can I report experiences with sexual and gender based violence, harassment, and other related conduct?
Anyone can report experiences with sexual and gender based violence, harassment, and other related conduct.
Use our online reporting/ referral form to report all of the kinds of conduct listed above as well as any experiences with discrimination or bias. These reports can be made anonymously, however based upon the amount of information provided about the incident and the UMBC community members involved, UMBC’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited.
Additionally, reports may be made in person, by mail, by telephone or by electronic mail, to the Office of Equity and Inclusion or the Title IX Coordinator. Reports may also be made verbally to the Title IX Coordinator.
Morgan Thomas, Acting Director
UMBC, Office of Equity and Inclusion
Administration Building, 9th Floor