Southern Arkansas University (SAU) amends its Title IX policy by adopting the Title IX Regulations published by the United States Department of Education (DOE) that are effective as of August 14, 2020. This updated SAU Title IX policy will be formally adopted after review by appropriate SAU Committees and Administration. Key elements of the new DOE policy are described in the following paragraphs:
- A formal complaint is required to initiate either the investigation and hearing process or the informal resolution process. A formal complaint means a document filed by a complainant or Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that it be investigated. Respondents must be given a copy of the allegations.
- Actual knowledge is notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to a recipient’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the recipient who has the authority to institute corrective actions on behalf of the recipient. SAU may designate officials with authority to take corrective actions.
Sexual harassment is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee conditioning educational benefits on participation in unwelcomed sexual conduct.
- Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the educational institution’s educational program activity.
- Sexual assault (as defined by the Clery Act), or dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
- Live hearings are required and must permit each party’s advisor to ask the other party and witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. This is live, oral, and in real time by advisor. Anyone that refuses cross-examination cannot be relied upon in the determination.
- The institution must provide both parties an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation. This includes evidence the recipient does not intend to use in reaching a determination. This permits each party to respond prior to the conclusion of the investigation. At least 10 days must be allowed for response by the parties.
The full text of the new Regulations can be found at https://system.suny/sci/tix2020
If you have questions regarding these amendments contact SAU Vice President for Administration and General Counsel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 870-235-4008.
This amendment effective August 14, 2020.