How can colleges and universities curb sexual violence on campus and create the safe, respectful, collegiate learning and teaching environment that every student and employee deserves? Through education, training, ongoing dialogue and a deliberate shaping of campus culture.
Part of that work means complying with Title IX, as well as the Clery Act. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of key requirements from both the Clery Act and Title IX so that you can review your current practices and ensure your institution meets and exceeds compliance.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or the "Clery Act," requires, among other important safety and public awareness provisions, that all higher education students, faculty, and staff receive training on how to recognize, respond to, and prevent sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. Prevention and education efforts for all incoming and ongoing employees and students is a vital component satisfying Clery Act requirements and in meeting health and safety expectations of your higher education community.
Occasionally, the components of the Clery Act that address the prevention and response to dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are referred to as the "Campus SaVE Act." The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act was integrated into the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 as amendments to the Clery Act and is no longer an accurate term to describe these education and response requirements under federal law.
While most of us are aware of Title IX as the higher education sex discrimination law, not everyone knows how much this law has continued to evolve. Enacted in 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act—later renamed the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of late Senator and civil rights champion, Patsy Mink— prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal funding of any kind.
Campus Culture & Safety
Implementing effective Clery Act and Title IX awareness and prevention education programs for faculty, staff, and students has a positive effect on your campus culture. A comprehensive education solution sets the standard for a safe and equitable campus environment, and promotes a supportive campus culture that stands up to sexual and interpersonal violence through information and skill-building. There is no easy solution for these problems, but Clery Act and Title IX training prepares learners to intervene and prevent sexual harassment and violence, and provide supportive and effective responses when someone may have experienced harm.
Reduces Financial and Reputational Risk
Besides the moral impetus to provide Clery Act and Title IX training, it also reduces financial and reputational risk. Failing to provide effective awareness and prevention education could be your highest area of exposure. Vector Solutions’ Campus Prevention Network courses use realistic scenarios that students, faculty, and staff can relate to, as well as interactive elements that build skills and keep learners engaged throughout the course.
Complying with the Clery Act and Title IX means that your institution operates in a nondiscriminatory manner in many areas, including:
Originally seen as an equality-in-athletics initiative, Title IX has evolved substantially over the last 50 years.
Title IX continues to evolve with regulations enacted in May 2020, new regulations expected to be proposed this month, and federal guidance issued periodically from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
In the Title IX regulations released in May 2020, the Department of Education defines sexual harassment as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
According to the regulations, schools must respond when sexual harassment occurs in the school’s education program or activity, against a person in the United States. Education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the school exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by a postsecondary institution.
Training for “Title IX employees”
The training required by Title IX regulations is for “Title IX employees,” defined as “Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process.” This training must include the definition of sexual harassment under the Title IX regulations, the scope of the institution’s education program or activity, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process, and how to serve impartially.
The Clery Act also requires individuals who conduct grievance proceedings involving sexual misconduct to receive annual training on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
Higher education institutions receiving federal funding are required to designate at least one employee who is responsible for coordinating the school’s efforts to ensure the school’s compliance with its Title IX responsibilities.
For example, Title IX coordinators are responsible for providing supportive measures to someone who reports possible sexual harassment, and coordinating proper responses to complaints.
Therefore, the Title IX coordinator understands the types of discrimination and harassment prohibited by Title IX. Additionally, the Title IX coordinator needs to know the ins and outs of your campus’s policies and procedures on sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. On many campuses, Title IX Coordinators also work closely with Clery compliance officers on campus to ensure the institution is meeting the complex regulatory and statutory requirements of each law.
In fact, it’s a best practice to have the Title IX coordinator involved with the creation of all campus policies addressing issues of sexual harassment, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. This way they can help ensure the policies meet Clery and Title IX requirements.
Conduct Investigations & Enforce Disciplinary Actions
One of the most challenging responsibilities of the Title IX coordinator is investigating complaints and conducting the grievance process, which can include:
Additionally, the Title IX coordinator should be accessible and available to meet with students who need guidance or want to file a complaint.
Our courses use realistic scenarios that faculty, staff, and students can relate to, as well as interactive elements that keep learners engaged throughout the course. Most importantly, the training is written by prevention education and compliance experts.
Vector Solutions offers effective online Clery and Title IX Training: