STEPHANIE JACKSON, Special to The Denisonian — My name is Stephanie Jackson and I am the Title IX Coordinator at Denison University. I hope that most of you know me at least by name already. Yet, as I celebrate one year anniversary at Denison this week, it seems timely that I take this opportunity to re-introduce myself and clarify to our Denison community, including students, faculty and staff, what my role is and what a report to Title IX involves.
The main responsiblities of my role as Title IX Coordinator are to oversee programming and education for sexual respect, and to respond to all reports of sex discrimination, including sexual assault.
For the purposes of this article, I would like to focus on the latter part of my job description. These reporting and response procedures are outlined in detail in Denison’s Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy. I hope to simplify what may seem like a complicated and/or intimidating process by outlining the basic steps in the reporting process as described below.
An individual who has experienced sexual misconduct has the right to choose whether to report the incident to Denison’s Title IX Coordinator.
Still, Denison encourages anyone who feels they have experienced alleged violations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic or dating violence, stalking, sex and gender-based discrimination, or discrimination due to pregnancy to report any incidents or alleged violations to myself, the Title IX Coordinator, or to one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, which include Dr. Veve Lele in faculty, Theresa Feldmeier in human resources, and Sara Lee in athletics.
The Title IX Coordinators are specially trained to work with individuals who report sexual misconduct and have knowledge about on- and off-campus resources, services, and options.
Therefore, students should know that Denison employees, who are not confidential resources, who become aware of behavior that may constitute sexual misconduct are required by Denison’s Policy to report all information regarding such misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators as soon as reasonably possible.
Some student employees are also required to report actual or suspected conduct that could violate this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, these employees include Community Advisors (CAs), and orientation-program student-staff, and peer mentor/adviser student staff. In addition, Campus Safety employees are required to report information received regarding possible sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.
Moreover, all individuals, excluding confidential resources, including Campus Safety officers and the Title IX Coordinators, are required to report information received regarding possible sexual misconduct that would also constitute a felony in OH (i.e., sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship violence and stalking) to local law enforcement. The alleged victim generally will always have the ability to determine if they want to be the one advancing charges or participate in a criminal investigation and process.
If a student or other member of the Denison community who has experienced sexual misconduct does not wish to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, I encourage them to seek the support of confidential resources on campus. These reporting options will maintain confidentiality unless required by law to break confidentiality. Any parties involved in a report may speak with:
● Counseling Services: (740) 587-6200
● Student Health Services: (740) 587-6200
● Clergy – Denison Religious and Spiritual Life: (740) 587-8583
Report equals support. A report of sexual misconduct to the Title IX office will trigger outreach from me, the Title IX Coordinator, to request a meeting with the complainant to provide supportive and protective resources as needed, discuss the complainant’s right to file a Formal Complaint to proceed with a University investigation, and their right to file a criminal report with the police if they have not already done so.
Supportive measures at Denison may include, but are not limited to: counseling, extension of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus and other similar measures.
It is important to note that a report to the Title IX Coordinator is not the same as a Formal Complaint. In order for a report to be officially resolved by the University, a Formal Complaint must be filed in writing alleging sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct against a Respondent and requesting that the University officially investigate and resolve the allegation.
The Formal Complaint alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment may be resolved through either Alternative Resolution or through the Formal Investigation and Live Hearing Process. For Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the Office of Community Values (OCVCR) if the Respondent is a student to implement appropriate procedural protections through the Code of Student Conduct, or with the Office of Human Resources to implement the appropriate procedural protections through the Anti-Harassment Policy if the Respondent is faculty or staff.
I welcome any additional questions about this article or the Policy, which can be directed to me at jacksonsa@denisonedu. And I encourage members of the community who are interested in promoting sexual respect and affecting policy change on campus to get involved in the Denison Coalition of Sexual Respect (DCSR), who can be reached at DCSR@denison.edu.