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About / Title IX

Title IX

“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

Tiffin University is committed to providing a campus community in which education, working, and living reflect a safe environment free from gender-based discrimination and/or sexual harassment/misconduct.

In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other federal, state, and local civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities which receive federal financial assistance, Tiffin University has developed the policies and procedures which prohibit discrimination, sexual harassment/misconduct, and retaliation on the basis of sex. The guidelines are intended to define expectations and to establish an instrument for determining when policies have been violated.

Any member of the University community who believes they have been a victim of gender-based discrimination and/or sexual harassment/sexual misconduct by any member of the University community may file a complaint with the Office for Equity, Access, & Opportunity through one of the following:

  • In-Person at the Office for Equity, Access, & Opportunity located in Friedley Hall (during regular business hours),
  • Via Email to the Title IX & 504 Coordinator
  • Via email to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Kelsey Kuzma, at kuzmak@51hiltz.com, or
  • Via Online Report Form below

Report an Incident 

A victim of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment/sexual misconduct has a right to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights Commission. This office is charged with investigating allegations of employment and education related discrimination and harassment. In most cases involving sexual harassment, the complainant must first report the harassment to the University before filing a charge with the Commission.

Any person may file a complaint with:

Office of Civil Rights
One Government Center
Room 936, Jackson & Erie Streets
Toledo, Ohio 43604
419.245.2900

All employees of Tiffin University (including student employees), with the exception of those who are designated as Confidential Resources (see ‘On-Campus Confidential Resources’ tab), are Mandated Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment.

Failure of a Mandated Reporter to report an incident of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, of which they become aware, is a violation of University policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply. 

For questions regarding mandated reporting responsibilities, please contact the Title IX & 504 Coordinator

Decision-Making Model for Mandated Reporters

Any member of the University community who experiences an alleged policy violation but is unsure if they want to report through TU’s Title Ix & Civil Rights Process, may still receive supportive measures and learn more about reporting options by scheduling a confidential supportive measures meeting with TU’s Equity, Access & Opportunity (EAO) Advocate.*

Request a Confidential Supportive Measures Meeting

*Those individuals who are designated as mandated reporters are still required to follow their mandatory reporting obligations and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment. For more information please visit Tiffin University’s policy & procedures on Mandated Reporting.  

If any member of the University community would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, they may see support services by contacting one of the following on-campus confidential resources:

EAO Advocate: advocacy@51hiltz.com 

University Health Clinic: healthcenter@51hiltz.com 

Counseling & Wellness: counseling@51hiltz.com

All of the above-listed individuals will maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor/elder/individual with a disability, or when required to disclose by law or court order. 

In fostering our commitment to providing a trauma-informed approach to Civil Rights investigations, the Office for Equity, Access, & Opportunity has created a Soft Interview Room. This room creates a safe and comfortable environment for members of our TU Family to feel physically and emotionally safe when participating in our Civil Rights investigation process.

four grey chairs with pillows in a small room

four grey chairs with pillows in a small room

 

 

 

 

 

Navigating the Formal Grievance Process

If you or someone you know is participating in TU’s Formal Grievance Process, as a Complainant, Respondent, Witness or Advisor, consider reviewing the following resources to support you in navigating the process. For questions about the Formal Grievance Process, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Upon receipt of a report of an alleged policy violation, the University may impose reasonable and appropriate supportive measures to ensure equal access to the University’s educational programs with as minimal an impact on the parties as possible. The University will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party, without fee or charge, and without treating the Respondent as responsible for the alleged policy violations unless and until the completion of a Formal Grievance Process that determines the Respondent to be responsible for a policy violation.

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and on a case-by-case basis. They include measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, and include measures to deter policy violations. Supportive measures are available to both the Complainant and Respondent regardless of whether the Complainant chooses to file a Formal Complaint.

Tiffin University will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair the ability of the University to provide the supportive measures.

Potential supportive measures, implemented on behalf of the Complainant and/or the Respondent to the extent reasonably available and warranted by the circumstances, include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic Support 
    • Class Schedule Modification 
    • Inform Professor(s), Dean, Advisor, Coach(es), Etc. 
  • Medical Support 
    • General Sexual Assault Response Services 
    • Pregnancy Testing 
  • Mental Health Support 
    • Counseling 
    • Safety Plan (Mental Health) 
  • Safety & Security Support
    • Safety Plan (Dating/Domestic Violence) 
    • No Contact Order (Tiffin University) 
  • Reporting Support 
    • Civil Rights Report (Title IX, Title VII, ADA) (Tiffin University) 
    • Criminal Report (Seneca County) 
  • Physiological Support 
    • Food Pantry 
    • Altering Campus Housing Assignments 
  • Financial Aid Support 
    • Financial Aid Consultation 
    • Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
  • International Support 
    • Translation Services 
    • Visa & Immigration Assistance 
  • Disability Support
    • Reasonable Accommodations 
  • Insurance Support 
    • Student Insurance (Tiffin University) 
    • Outside Insurance (Non-University)

To request supportive measures, please contact the Title IX Coordinator

Supportive Measures List

Tiffin University community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to University officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons. 

It is in the best interests of the University community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to University officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process. 

To encourage reporting and participation in the process, Tiffin University maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from some policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to the incident. 

Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty to a Respondent is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to Respondent with respect to a Complainant.

Retaliation is defined as intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy, Title IX or its implementing regulations; or Because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy or under the complaint procedures relating to complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, or Title IX complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. 

The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation. 

Retaliation also includes filing a complaint against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX law or regulations. 

A complaint may allege conduct of a sexual nature that might not meet the definition of sexual harassment under Title IX. The conduct could occur against a person outside the US (study abroad), might not occur within the institution’s program or activity, or might not meet the severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive standard in this policy. Nonetheless, if someone files a complaint relating to such conduct, retaliation for doing so would be prohibited.

Retaliation does not include the University’s decision to charge an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a proceeding under this Policy. A determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith. For example, if a Respondent is found not responsible for a violation of this Policy, this finding alone does not mean that the Complainant has provided materially false information in bad faith.

If you are experiencing alleged retaliation, please notify the Title IX Coordinator

Every effort is made by Tiffin University to preserve the privacy of reports assessed under this policy. Tiffin University will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, except to a limited group of individuals whose knowledge is necessary to respond to and investigate claims of prohibited conduct. 

Moreover, Tiffin strives to protect the privacy of any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any Respondent, or any witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g; FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99; or as required by law; or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing, or grievance proceeding arising under these policies and procedures. Student health records maintained by the University are protected by FERPA. Access to employee personnel records is restricted in accordance with Tiffin’s policies and Ohio law.

The University reserves the right to designate which University officials who have a legitimate educational interest in being informed about incidents that fall within this policy, pursuant to FERPA. 

Only a small group of officials who need to know will typically be told about the complaint, including but not limited to: Office for Equity, Access, & Opportunity, Division of Student Affairs, Campus Safety & Security, and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Information will be shared as necessary with Investigators, Hearing Panel members/Decision-makers, witnesses, and the parties. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve each parties’ rights and privacy.

Tiffin University may contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk but will usually consult with the student first before doing so.

Tiffin will not impose prior restraints on students’ and employees’ ability to discuss the allegations under investigation, including with a parent, friend, other source of emotional support, with an advocacy organization, or with persons who may have information regarding the underlying incident. However, all persons who participate in the Resolution of a Complaint under this policy are expected to respect the privacy of these proceedings and protect the integrity of the process.

Tiffin University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and support to qualified students, employees, or others with disabilities to ensure equal access to the resolution process. 

Anyone needing such accommodations or support should contact the Coordinator of Disability Services or appropriate HR staff member (if employee), who will review the request and, in consultation with the person requesting the accommodation and the Title IX Coordinator, determine which accommodations are appropriate and necessary for full participation in the process. 

Office for Disability Services 

Friedley Hall 

419.448.3021 

disabilityservices@51hiltz.com

The Equity, Access & Opportunity (EAO) Advocate is the designated coordinator of support services for all members of the campus community who have been impacted by or are involved in an Equity Resolution Process – including, but not limited to, Complainants, Respondents, and Witnesses. 

The EAO Advocate is a neutral and confidential support service who is available to provide support services during and after an Equity Resolution Process. At the onset of an Equity Resolution Process, the EAO Advocate will email the Complainant and Respondent to offer support services. Anyone who is participating in an Equity Resolution Process may reach out to the EAO Advocate at any time to request a supportive measures meeting. 

To schedule an appointment, email advocacy@51hiltz.com.

Right to an Advisor

The parties may each have an Advisor of their choice present with them for all meetings and interviews within the resolution process, if they so choose. The parties may select whoever they wish to serve as their Advisor as long as the Advisor is available. 

Choosing an Advisor who is also a witness in the process may create potential for bias and conflict-of-interest. A party who chooses an Advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that issues of potential bias will be explored by the hearing Decision-maker(s).

The University cannot guarantee equal Advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an Advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide an attorney. Similarly, if a party’s advisor fails to abide by the expectations set forth in this Policy, Tiffin University may require the party to identify a different advisor. 

Who Can Serve as an Advisor 

The Advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process. The parties may choose Advisors from inside or outside of the University community. 

The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the pool available from the University, the Advisor will be trained by the University and be familiar with the resolution process. 

If the parties choose an Advisor from outside the Equity Resolution Team, the Advisor may not have been trained by the University and may not be familiar with University policies and procedures. 

Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing. 

An Advisor cannot have institutionally conflicting roles, such as being a Title IX administrator who has an active role in the matter, or a supervisor who must monitor and implement sanctions.

Assistance in Securing an Advisor

Parties may consider contacting the following organizations to seek an Advisor for this process: 

Respondents may wish to contact organizations such as: 

Complainant may wish to contact organizations such as: 

  • The Victim Rights Law Center (http://www.victimrights.org), or the 
  • The National Center for Victims of Crime (http://www.victimsofcrime.org),

Ohio Legal Assistance for low income may wish to contact organizations such as: 

  • Legal Aid Programs 
    • Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) http://www.ablelaw.org/ (Offices in Dayton, Toledo, Defiance) 
    • Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) http://www.lawolaw.org/ 
  • Statewide Legal Services Program 
    • Disability Rights of Ohio http://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/sites/default/themes/disabilityrightsohio/dro/inde x.html

To request for the University to assign you a trained Advisor, please email the Title IX Coordinator

For more information regarding Advisors, please review the Role of the Advisor Handout.

Role of the Advisor

If you are an Advisor and have questions about your role in the Formal Grievance Process, please email the Title IX Coordinator

Role and Participation of Witnesses in the Investigation: 

Identified Witnesses will be invited to participate in an investigation interview with the assigned Investigator(s). Witness participation in the investigation interview is voluntary. Any witness may choose not to offer evidence and/or answer questions during an investigation interview, either because they do not attend an interview, or because they attend but refuse to participate in some or all questioning. The Decision-maker(s) can only rely on whatever relevant evidence is available through the investigation and hearing in making the ultimate determination of responsibility.

Role and Participation of Witnesses in the Hearing 

The Chair will allow witnesses who have relevant information to appear at a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the Hearing Panel and the parties and will then be excused. 

Evidence and witnesses may only be presented at the hearing if they were submitted to the investigator(s) and made available to the parties for review, unless they were unavailable at the time of the investigation or the relevance was unknown until the investigative report was submitted. The decision-maker will address any requests to present new evidence and new witnesses at the pre-hearing conference. 

Identified Witnesses will be invited to participate in the Hearing. Participation in the Hearing is voluntary. Any witness may choose not to answer questions during a hearing, either because they do not attend the Hearing, or because they attend but refuse to participate in some or all questioning. If a Party or witness does not appear at the Hearing or make themselves available for cross examination, the Decision Maker may still consider that Party’s or witness’s previous statements but may, in the Decision Maker’s discretion, give lesser weight to that Party or witness’s statements when reaching a determination of responsibility. 

The Decision-maker(s) can only rely on whatever relevant evidence is available through the investigation and hearing in making the ultimate determination of responsibility, including prior statements and evidence provided by witnesses who do not participate at the hearing. 

The Decision Maker will not draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a Party’s or witness’s absence from the Hearing or refusal to answer cross examination or other questions.

If you are a Witness and have questions about your role in the Formal Grievance Process, please email the Title IX Coordinator

To truly stand out, we must not feel compelled to fit in.