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Title IX Coordinator

“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.” Title IX of the education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX).

The University of Tennessee is a recipient of federal financial assistance for education activities, and in accordance with provisions of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, all of its education programs and activities are subject to the prohibition of Title IX of that act against discrimination on the basis of gender. University policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any education program or activity. Additionally, in compliance with state law, the University develops a Title IX implementation plan annually and submits it to the state Comptroller’s office. This plan reflects the guidelines set forth in the document, “Without Regard to Gender,” produced by the Office of Education Accountability. The University’s state required Title IX plan is produced by the Office of Equity and Diversity.

The Title IX Coordinator monitors the University’s compliance with Title IX. Individuals with questions or concerns about Title IX, and/ or those who wish to file a complaint of non-compliance with Title IX, may contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator:

Dr. Bryan Samuel
Office of Equity and Diversity
Dept. 5455
720 McCallie Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Phone: 423-425-5670
Fax: 423-425-5761
bryan-samuel@utc.edu

Any University employee to whom sexual harassment is reported shall notify the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible after initial contact with person reporting sexual harassment.

More information about University’s policies and resources relating to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct by students, including on- and off-campus resources for victims and the University’s procedures for handling complaints against students, can be found at  Student Development.

More information about the University’s policies against sex discrimination by employees, including the University’s procedures for filing and handling complaints of sex discrimination against University employees, can be found by visiting the Office of Equity and Diversity.

The University’s policy on consenting romantic or sexual relationships can be found in Chapter 5 5.1.2 of the UTC Faculty handbook.

The University’s Code of Conduct for employees can be found at http://hr.utk.edu/policies/code-of-conduct-procedure/.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the division of the federal government charged with enforcing compliance with Title IX. Information regarding OCR can be found at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga is committed to providing an environment free of sexual harassment, including sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment by any member of the university community (faculty, staff, students, applicants) is a violation of law, including Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972 and University policy. The University will not tolerate sexual harassment.

How to File a University Complaint Against a Student

In addition to or in lieu of filing a criminal complaint, students who feel they have been the victim of sexual harassment, including sexual assault or misconduct, have the right to file a Title IX even if police conclude they do not have sufficient evidence of criminal violation. 
A complaint of sexual harassment against another student may be filed with the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, 399 University Center, 425-4534, and will be handled in accordance with the University’s student disciplinary regulations and procedures, which can be found at Student Development. Students may be suspended or permanently dismissed as a penalty for sexual harassment.

In a case involving a complaint against another student of sexual assault or misconduct, the alleged victim shall have the right to:

  1. Notice concerning the process by which the university will handle the complaint and an opportunity to ask questions about the process;
  2. A prompt, thorough , and impartial investigation of the complaint;
  3. The same opportunity as the accused student to present his/ her explanation of the facts during the university’s investigation;
  4. Have the investigation of the complaint concluded within sixty (60) days of the university’s receipt of a complaint, unless circumstances make it impracticable for the university to complete its investigation within that timeframe;
  5. Notice of the outcome of the university’s investigation;
  6. Have a disciplinary hearing conducted within thirty (30) days of a university charge that the accused student committed sexual assault or misconduct, unless circumstances make it impracticable for the university to conduct a hearing within that timeframe;
  7. Notice of the date, time, and location of the disciplinary hearing, the right to have the disciplinary hearing closed to the public, and the right to request rescheduling of the hearing for good cause;
  8. The same access as the accused student to any information or documents that will be used by the university during the disciplinary hearing, unless prohibited by law;
  9. Challenge the seating of any disciplinary board member for good cause, which will be determined at the discretion of the chairperson of the hearing board, or, if the seating of the chairperson is challenged, then at the discretion of the majority of the hearing board;
  10. Be accompanied by a person, other than a Student Judicial Advisor, of his/ her choosing during the university’s investigation or a disciplinary hearing, but the person shall not be permitted to speak for the victim during a disciplinary hearing;
  11. The same opportunity as the accused student to be present during the hearing, present witnesses and other evidence through a Student Judicial Advisor, challenge the admissibility of evidence through a Student Judicial Advisor, and cross-examine adverse witnesses through a Student Judicial Advisor during the disciplinary hearing;
  12. Testify or remain silent in a hearing at his/her option;
  13. Not to be questioned directly by the accused student during the disciplinary hearing;
  14. Submit a written impact statement to the Student Disciplinary Board for consideration of the sanctioning phase of the disciplinary hearing, if the student is found guilty of the charges against him/her, or to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs for consideration during the sanctioning phase of the administrative hearing, if accused student pleads guilty to the charges against him/her;
  15. Notice of the decision of the Student Disciplinary Board or the outcome of an administrative hearing within three (3) business days of the hearing; and
  16. Appeal the decision of a university disciplinary board in accordance with university procedures. 

Standards of Conduct for University Employees

Federal regulations define sexual harassment in employment to include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effort of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. For more information, please refer to the complete policy: UTHR 0280.

How to File a University Complaint against a University Employee

A complaint of sexual harassment against a University employee or other non-student should be filed with the Office of Equity and Diversity, 615 McCallie Avenue, 425-5468, and will be handled in accordance with the University's discrimination complaint procedures

How to File a Criminal Complaint against University Employee or Student

Victims of sexual assault or misconduct have the right to file criminal complaint by contacting the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Police Department, 400 Palmetto St., 423-425-4357, or the Chattanooga Police Department, 3410 Amnicola Highway, 423-643-5000. Victims may file criminal complaint before, during, or after the university’s investigation of sexual assault or misconduct.

Confidentiality

A victim’s report of sexual harassment to the University will be treated confidentially to the maximum extent possible. However, University employees have an affirmative obligation to respond to reports of sexual harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken. An individual’s request regarding the confidentiality of a report of sexual harassment will be considered in the dual contexts of the university’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. In addition, some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation. The University is required by federal law to report the occurrence on campus of certain crimes, including sex offenses, in an annual report of crime statistics, but the report does not contain any personally identifiable information.

If a victim wants to discuss his/her situation confidentially with a University employee, he/she should contact a licensed counselor in the Student Counseling Center at 423-425-4438.

Retaliation

Retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment is strictly prohibited. Anyone responsible for retaliation, including the accused party or someone affiliated with the accused party, will be subject to disciplinary action by the University.

What to do if You are a Victim of Sexual Assault or Misconduct

  1. Get to a safe place.
  2. Talk to someone you  trust.  As soon as you are in a safe place, tell someone you can trust about the incident – a roommate, friend, resident advisor or resident director, minister, or counselor – someone who can provide emotional support and objectively help you to make a plan.
  3. Preserve all physical evidence.  Do not change your clothing, bathe, shower, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, wash your hands, or comb your hair.  If you change clothes, you should place all of your clothing that was worn at the time of the incident in a paper (not plastic) bag.
  4. Seek medical attention.  You may seek medical care at any time after unwanted sexual activity without reporting a crime or notifying the police.  If you think you might want to prosecute, you are strongly encouraged to have a rape examination for the collection of evidence.  A medical professional will examine you, provide appropriate medical treatment, and talk with you about prevention of venereal disease and pregnancy.  UTC Police are available to take you to the hospital or The Women’s Center at UTC for a medical examination.  A description of The Women’s Center at UTC can be found at Womens Center.
  5. Seek counseling.  Victims who wish to speak confidentially with someone about the incident may call the UTC Counseling & Career Planning Center (423-425-4438, 8a – 5p or Campus Security after hours at 423-425-4357). A counselor or specially trained staff member can help a victim explore options, provide information, and provide emotional support.  Whether you seek immediate assistance or choose to wait for a period of time after the assault, counseling can help you deal with the psychological residue and begin the healing process.
  6. Report the incident. You are encouraged to report the incident to a University official trained to assist victims of sexual assault or misconduct.
    1. To the Victim’s Advocate. You may report the incident to the University’s Victim’s Advocate in the Office of the Dean of Students at 423-425-4534. The Victim’s Advocate can assist you in:
      • Obtaining medical and/or psychological care;
      • Reporting the incident to the police;
      • Reporting the incident to the University’s Office of Student Judicial Affairs or the Title IX Coordinator;
      • Contacting off-campus resources such as rape crisis centers or support groups;
      • Addressing academic concerns; and
      • Exploring interim and remedial measures, such as requesting a no-contact order and changes in housing and academic schedules.
    2. To the University's Title IX Coordinator.  You may report the incident to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Bryan Samuel, Office of Equity and Diversity, 720 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga TN 37403.  Phone: 423-425-5670, Fax: 423-425-5761, E-mail: bryan-samuel@utc.edu.
    3. To Law Enforcement.  You are encouraged to report the incident to the University of Tennessee Police Department, by calling 423-425-4357. If the incident occurred off campus, then call 911.
Why should you report the incident to UTC Police? Reporting an incident to UT Police helps:
  • Apprehend the alleged assailant;
  • Preserve future options regarding criminal prosecution, University disciplinary action, and/ or civil action against the perpetrator; and
  • Protect you and others from future sexual assaults or misconduct by the same person

What happens when you report the incident to UTC Police? When an incident is reported, a UT Police officer will inform you about University and external resources that are available to you, including information concerning the preservation of evidence, obtaining medical care, and contacting the University’s Victim’s Advocate. The officer will also complete an Incident Report. Primary responsibility for the investigation of sexual offense cases rests with the UTC Police Department. UTC Police will make arrangements for a victim to meet with a officer for the City of Chattanooga who will prepare a written report. The report will be important to you in case you wish to bring charges, immediately or at a later date. You may be asked questions about the scene of the crime, witnesses, and what happened before and after the incident. You should be aware that the Incident Report registered with UTC Police and the report made available to any Tennessee citizen upon request. It is always your option whether to notify the UTC or Chattanooga police 423-425-4357.

Education

The University is committed to the prevention of sexual assault and misconduct through education. The University provides a variety of programs that are intended to promote awareness among students regarding the prevalence of rape and other sex offenses on the campus an in the Chattanooga community. These programs include:

  • Sexual Assault Awareness. This one-hour course offers videos on rape awareness and prevention and provides students with information regarding counseling availability.
  • Personal Safety Seminar. This general seminar covers many safety topics including rape and sexual assault.
  • Rape Aggression Defense. This 12-hour course provides information on rape awareness and prevention and offers some physical defense training. Participants receive a book with prevention information as part of the program.
  • Advanced Rape Aggression Defense. This 16-hour course takes participants beyond the topics of physical defense training offered in the course listed above.
  • R.A.D. Keychain Defense. This eight-hour course provides information about using a small keychain or flashlight for self-defense.
  • Aerosol Defense Options. This four-hour course provides information about the various aerosol defense products available and their effects. The course does not endorse particular products.
  • Additional programs. UTC Police and residence hall staff provide a variety of other programs dealing with sexual assault as a result of specific staff member interest and requests by students. Any person who desires to have such programs may request them through resident assistants or other staff by contacting the UTC Police Community Relations Unit.
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