Discrimination Prevention Tutorial - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Title IX?

Secton 901(a) of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that "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 protects University students and employees against discrimination on the basis of sex. Such discrimination may include sexual harassment, sexual assault, or treating one sex less favorably than another in University programs and activities.

What resources are available to me if I have a question about discrimination or harassment?

The EO/AA Director and Title IX Coordinator and other trained staff in the EO/AA office can respond to questions you may have. They can also refer you to other individuals and groups who can provide assistance with particular issues.

Does the University have the authority to address harassment that occurs off campus?

Yes. If an off-campus incident adversely affects the experience of a student, faculty or staff member on campus, the University has a duty to address the issue.

If an incident of sexual harassment is reported to the EO/AA office, will the incident automatically be reported to local law enforcement?

No. Not all incidents of sexual harassment have corresponding criminal charges. However, serious incidents such as sexual assault are crimes. Victims will be informed of their options to report to outside law enforcement in such cases.

Can the EO/AA office do anything to help a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault before they file any formal complaint or before an investigation takes place?

Yes. A report to the EO/AA office that includes a victim's name allows the EO/AA office to offer the student, faculty, or staff member interim measures to help them address a situation. The EO/AA office can help adjust living, working, or class schedules, and offer escorts around campus.

I am worried about helping a victim of sexual assault and properly responding to their situation. Where can I learn more?

The Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC) advocates and counselors at Counseling Services in the Curry Health Center on campus are professionally trained in helping victims of sexual assault and harassment.  The Director of the Student Advocacy Resource Center, Drew Colling, is a great resource, as well as the Counseling Services Director, Mike Frost. Counseling Services and/or SARC can help answer your questions, or help you arrange more training for your department on helping victims of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.

What happens when a Discrimination Grievance is filed?

When a person files a Discrimination Grievance with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the EO/AA Director or another trained investigator will explore options for resolving the situation in a manner acceptable to all involved and in a manner which will ensure that any discrimination stops and will not occur in the future. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the EO/AA Director will do whatever additional investigation is necessary to determine whether a preponderance of the evidence reflects that discrimination occurred. If the EO/AA Director determines that discrimination has occurred, the Director will make written findings and recommendations to the person who submitted the grievance, the person who engaged in the discrimination, and to the University officials responsible for implementing the recommendations, such as the respondent's supervisor.

What if a grievance is filed against me and I do not agree with the allegations?

If a formal grievance is filed with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the EO/AA Director or another trained investigator working under the supervision of the EO/AA Director will conduct an impartial investigation. Read the University's policies and procedures on discrimination and harassment. Ask questions about the process and your rights. If you disagree with the written findings of the investigator, you have the right to appeal to the Discrimination Grievance Committee.

Who can I contact to learn more about these issues?

Please contact the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator at eoaa@umontana.edu or 243-5710.