Colorado State University complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. CSU does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the areas of education, employment, and public accommodation.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states:
“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 Coordinators
- Title IX Coordinator: Dwight Burke
- Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employment: Jennifer Mayhew
- Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics: Christine Susemihl
Programs and activities covered by Title IX include:
- Financial aid
- Academic programs
- Student treatment and services
- Counseling and guidance
- Classroom assignment
- Vocational education
- Physical education
Sexual harassment and sexual violence is illegal. It is prohibited in the education context by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and in the employment context by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
University Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation
Colorado State University strives to create and maintain a study and work environment that is fair, humane, and responsible so that each member of the University community is treated with dignity and rewarded for such relevant considerations as ability and performance. The University prohibits any acts of sexual harassment or sexual violence by students, or any retaliation related to acts or reports of any acts. When allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence by a student are reported, and a student is found to have violated CSU policy, sanctions will result and may include expulsion from CSU. All members of the CSU community are expected to not infringe upon the rights of others. Sexual harassment and sexual violence cannot be tolerated and are prohibited by the University.
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Defined
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- directed toward an individual because of their gender,
- is severe or pervasive,
- has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment or unreasonably interferes with another’s academic performance.
Generally, a single sexual joke, offensive epithet, or request for a date does not constitute sexual harassment; however, being subjected to such jokes, epithets, or requests repeatedly may constitute hostile environment sexual harassment.
Sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment, and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion or similar acts in violation of state or federal law.
Consent to sexual activity is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive, and requires cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Sexual activity with someone known, or who should be known, to be mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout, or otherwise unable to give consent, is not valid consent. A person is considered to be incapable of giving consent when the person lacks the cognitive ability to make an important life decision, and this measure applies even when the same persons have engaged with one another in consensual sex in the past.
Reporting Student Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence
The University can only respond to allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence if they are reported. Reporting enables the University to promptly provide support to the impacted student(s), and to take appropriate action against the responding party to prevent a recurrence and protect the campus community.
Any student who believes they may be the victim of sexual harassment or sexual violence is encouraged to report to CSU through one or more of the following resources:
- Emergency Response: 911
- Title IX Coordinator/Office of Support and Safety Assessment: (970) 491-1350
- Colorado State University Police Department (non-emergency): (970) 491-6425
- Director of Student Case Management & Referral Coordination: (970) 491-8051
Any faculty or staff who receive reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence regarding a student must contact the Title IX Coordinator/ Office of Support and Safety Assessment at (970) 491-1350. In the event of an emergency, call 911.
In addition to the above resources, students may report confidentially to the following campus resources that provide support and guidance:
- CSU Victim Assistance Team: (970) 492-4242
- Women and Gender Advocacy Center: (970) 491-6384
- Women’s Clinic at CSU Health Network: (970) 491-1754
- CSU Counseling Services: (970) 491-6053
CSU has the option of contacting law enforcement about the safety of students and the campus community. CSU recognizes that some victims may not wish to involve law enforcement or cooperate with a criminal investigation. The university strives to balance individual concerns of victims with risks to students and the campus community. CSU seeks to balance these interests by first doing the following:
- Encouraging students to report to law enforcement to help determine if a crime has been committed and what criminal action, if any, may be appropriate;
- Advising students on how to report to law enforcement and what to expect if the student does report;
- Offering support in the reporting process through a victim advocate, case manager or Student Legal Services.
Complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence are treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible. In all situations, confidentiality is maintained on a strict need-to-know basis; however, confidentiality can only be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct that require the University to take corrective action.
CSU prohibits retaliation against individuals who engage in the protected activity of filing complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence or who participate in complaint processes. Retaliatory action is regarded as a basis for a separate complaint under the University’s procedures and can lead to sanctions.
Accommodations for students
In the event of alleged sexual assault or sexual violence, it is possible to explore reasonable changes in student academic and living situations. These changes may include:
- Change of an on-campus student’s housing to a different on-campus location;
- Assistance in completing the relocation;
- Modifications to a housing contract;
- Exam or academic assignment rescheduling;
- Taking an incomplete in a class;
- Transferring class sections;
- Temporary withdrawal;
- Alternative course completion options.
Illegal Drug and/or Alcohol Use
Whenever possible the University will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs or alcohol when a report of sexual misconduct or sexual violence is made. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the University does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of an incident.
Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Strategies
Sexual assault is a crime. It is never acceptable to force sexual activity. While there are no definitive means to prevent sexual assault, below are some tips to consider:
Reduce the risk of being sexually assaulted:
- Know your sexual intentions and limits and make them known.
- You have the right to say “NO” to any unwanted sexual encounter.
- Know that drinking and drug use can impair your judgment. You might not be able to make the same decision you would make if you were sober.
- Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. A real friend will get in your face if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them if they do.
Reduce the risk of committing sexual assault:
- If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. Share your intentions and limits and learn your partner’s.
- Don’t fall for the cliché “no really means yes.” If your partner says “NO” to sexual contact, believe them and stop.
- Don’t make assumptions about:
- Someone’s sexual availability;
- How far you can go;
- Whether they are mentally and physically able to consent to you.
- Having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is sexual assault. If you have sex with someone who is drugged, intoxicated, passed out, or is otherwise incapable of saying no, you may be guilty of sexual assault.
Title IX Enforcement
The Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education is responsible for enforcement of Title IX.
- Dear Colleague Letter, April 4, 2011
- Dear Colleague Letter, April 20, 2010