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Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Maintaining a campus free of sex discrimination or sexual harassment, including sexual violence is important for all students and employees.

Title IX of the Education Amendments (1972) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal financial assistance (20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)). Title IX prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence.

The Violence Against Women (VAWA) Reauthorization Act (2013), also prohibits sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This federal legislation is sometimes referred to as the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act.

Virginia Tech Policy 1025 is consistent with the federal law in prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Policy 1025 also prohibits discrimination based on gender expression.

Mandatory workshop

All new employees (faculty, staff, wage, student wage, and graduate assistants) are required to complete a compliance workshop within 90 days of employment and every two years thereafter. This applies to any employee who began working at Virginia Tech on, or after, July 1, 2015.

The workshop includes information about University Policy 1025, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and is available in-person or online

Any employee who began working at Virginia Tech before July 1, 2015, who did not complete the Title IX and Retaliation workshop or who has not been otherwise credited for completing that earlier workshop requirement must complete this Title IX/Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) workshop requirement.

Beginning Wednesday, July 22, employees who would like to verify whether they need to complete the training should log into the Employee Dashboard and look for "Title IX Training" listed as a "required" task. The task will either be reflected as complete or incomplete. If it is reflected as incomplete, the employee needs to register for the workshop.

There are two options to complete the workshop:

  1. Attend an instructor-led workshop at the North End Center on the Blacksburg, Virginia campus
  2. Complete the online workshop

Registration for each of the options listed above is required via Coursewhere by selecting "via by alpha" and then searching for the course title:

  • Compliance Workshop: Policy 1025, Title IX, and VAWA (instructor-led, 90 minutes)
  • Compliance Workshop: On-Demand Module (online, 40 minutes)

For more information about completing the workshop contact the Office of Equity and Access or call 540-231-2010. All other questions should be directed to Dale Robinson at 540-231-1824.

Who is covered by Title IX and VAWA?

Virginia Tech receives federal financial assistance in many forms, including grants from federal agencies for faculty research. Failing to comply with Title IX, VAWA, or other federal civil rights requirements can result in the termination of all or part of a university’s federal funding, including awards for faculty research. 

Educational institutions are required to provide women and men in all disciplines, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics, comparable resources, support, and promotional opportunities.

Title IX requires that males and females receive fair and equal treatment in all areas of education, including athletics.

Other areas that fall within the scope of Title IX include:

  • Recruitment, admissions, scholarships, and financial aid
  • Course offerings and access
  • Sexual harassment, including sexual assault and sexual violence

Areas that fall within the scope of VAWA include:

  • Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking
What is VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013 (VAWA) requires institutions of higher education to comply with certain campus safety and security-related requirements as a condition of participation in the Title IV, Higher Education Act programs. VAWA requires institutions to implement policies and processes to address sexual assault, stalking, and domestic or dating violence.

This new regulation amended section 485(f) of the Higher Education Act, otherwise known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) which requires the university to compile and report statistics (not personally identifying information) about incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to include certain policies, procedures, and programs pertaining to these incidents in the annual security reports.

The provisions of VAWA require new faculty, staff, wage, student wage, and graduate assistants to receive training related to complying with VAWA. The university offers the Compliance Workshop: Policy 1025; Title IX and VAWA workshop to enable individuals to satisfy this training requirement. 

A separate workshop, Understanding VAWA: Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Domestic or Dating Violence, is available for individuals who became employed by the university prior to July 1, 2015 to enable them to become familiar with this subject matter.

Failure to comply with Title IX/VAWA

Failure to comply with Title IX or VAWA can include the termination of all or part of a university’s federal funding. This includes grants, subsidies, and other program funds from the federal government. In addition to the loss of federal funds, universities may be sued by those seeking redress for violations of Title IX. It is essential that institutions receiving federal financial assistance operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. 

Who enforces Title IX and VAWA?

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is in charge of enforcing Title IX and VAWA. Information about the Office for Civil Rights is available online.

Virginia Tech Title IX and VAWA coordinators

In accordance with federal regulations, the university has designated the following coordinators:

Pamela White
Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
equityandaccess@vt.edu

540-231-2010

The Title IX coordinator is responsible for monitoring compliance with regulations.

Frank Shushok
Senior Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
fshushok@vt.edu
540-231-8064

The deputy Title IX coordinator is responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence, relationship (domestic /dating) violence, stalking or other sexual misconduct, against students when they are not acting within the scope of their university employment.

Addressing Title IX and VAWA concerns at Virginia Tech

Any concerns about discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender involving a student may be brought to the Virginia Tech deputy Title IX coordinator or the Title IX coordinator:

Pamela White
Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
equityandaccess@vt.edu

540-231-2010

Concerns of Possible Sexual Assault or Harassment of Students:

As outlined in the Virginia Tech Women’s Center’s Stop Abuse Site:

Sexual harassment is prohibited under University Policy 1025 and the Student Code of Conduct.

These policies apply to all students, including undergraduate and graduate students and students who attend classes on the Blacksburg campus, a satellite campus, or the virtual campus. Complaints of student sexual misconduct are addressed by The Office of Student Conduct and are governed by the Hokie Handbook.

Reports of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment by a Virginia Tech student may be filed with the deputy Title IX coordinator or the Student Conduct Office by any person, including both those affiliated and those not affiliated with Virginia Tech. Reports of all other abusive conduct by a Virginia Tech student can be filed with the Student Conduct Office.

Concerns about sexual misconduct or sexual harassment involving a student, visitor or guest alleged to have been committed by a Virginia Tech employee should be promptly brought to the attention of the Office for Equity and Access by any person, including both those affiliated and those not affiliated with Virginia Tech.

Employees:

Virginia Tech employees who believe they may have been subjected to harassment or discrimination in the workplace should contact the Office for Equity and Access to learn what options are available to them.

Retaliation

Retaliation against anyone who raises concerns of sexual harassment, discrimination, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking is a violation of federal law and Virginia Tech policy.

Requirements for Reporting Possible Title IX and VAWA Issues

Any member of the university community who becomes aware of possible sexual harassment or sexual assault perpetrated by a Virginia Tech student, not acting within the scope of their employment, should promptly contact the deputy Title IX coordinator to discuss the matter. All other incidents involving the sexual harassment of students must be reported to the university Title IX coordinator.

Virginia Tech faculty members, employees, graduate teaching assistants, graduate research assistants, and anyone else employed by Virginia Tech must notify the Title IX or deputy Title IX coordinator immediately about matters of possible sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

The professional staff of the Cook Counseling Center, Shiffert Health Center and the Virginia Tech Women’s Center are confidential resources and are not required to report allegations of a violation of Title IX or VAWA.


Contact Us

Pamela White
Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
equityandaccess@vt.edu
540-231-2010

Frank Shushok
Senior Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
fshushok@vt.edu
540-231-8064

Additional Resources

A list of available options and resources concerning informal and formal harassment and discrimination complaint resolution processes are available for all members of the Virginia Tech community.


Title IX Brochure

   

Title IX Brochure


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