Know Your IX

  1. What is Title IX? Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex and gender, which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. This law requires Oakton to establish a robust campus response to combat sexual violence and harassment and respond to survivors’ needs in order to ensure that all students have equal access to education. The response is aligned with Board Policy 1102 on Sexual Misconduct and implemented by Oakton’s Misconduct Procedures.
  2. What is sexual misconduct? Sexual misconduct is conduct of a sexual nature or conduct based on sex or gender that is nonconsensual or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person. Sexual misconduct is a form of sex- and gender-based discrimination. As such, it’s an umbrella term that includes: Sexual harassment, a sub-set of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, which includes attempted or completed rape or sexual assault, as well as sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner violence, and relationship/dating violence, which is committed by a person:
    a) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
    b) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  3. Title IX does not apply to female students only. This is a unified policy and applies to our entire Oakton community. Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Female, male, and gender non-conforming students, faculty, staff, student employees, visitors, vendors, and volunteers are protected from any sex-based discrimination, harassment or violence.
  4. All employees have a duty to report Title IX complaints, sexual discrimination, harassment, and misconduct, except employees expressly identified as a confidential reporter. At Oakton, this includes professional counselors (employees with a professional license requiring confidentiality; e.g., Student Health Center employees or Medical Center employees functioning within the scope of that license or certification). Before a student complainant reveals any information to Responsible Employee, the employee should ensure that the student complainant understands the employee’s reporting obligations – and, if the complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the complainant to the campus’ confidential resources. As Oakton employees, we are all responsible for promoting a safe environment for our students and each other. A Responsible Employee must report to the Title IX coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the student complainant. Contact Oakton Title IX coordinator, Robert Peterson, Room 2270 at 847.635.1745 to report Title IX complaints. See Something? Say Something!
  5. What if the student complainant does not want the Responsible Employee to tell? If a student complainant discloses an incident to a Responsible Employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the Title IX coordinator will weigh that request against Oakton’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees, including the student complainant. The employee should also tell the student complainant that the college will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the college will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX coordinator, the Responsible Employee will also inform the Title IX coordinator of the student complainant’s request for confidentiality.
  6. Oakton has an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. The Title IX coordinator oversees the college’s response to all complaints alleging sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct which involve a college student as the complainant or as the respondent. The response to such complaints follow the protocol outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. The Office of Human Resources (HR) will partner with the Title IX coordinator with respect to any Title IX complaints which involve a College employee as the complainant or as the respondent. HR will oversee the college’s response to all complaints of sexual discrimination, harassment and/or misconduct which solely or partly involve employees and/or third parties.
  7. When a complaint is filed, it will be promptly investigated unless there are unforeseen circumstances that prevent such expedition of a timely response to take place. The college must be proactive in ensuring that the Oakton campus is free of sex discrimination, by stopping it, preventing its recurrence, and remedying the effects upon the complainant/reporting party and community. You are protected under Title IX even if you do not experience sex discrimination directly. The college will take immediate steps to address any sex discrimination, harassment or misconduct violence on campus to prevent it from affecting students further.
  8. Retaliation against someone filing or adjudicating a complaint is prohibited. Oakton will keep a complainant safe from retaliatory harassment or behavior.
  9. Oakton is committed to raising awareness, education, prevention, fair adjudication, and support or accommodations to victims of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, and stalking. Because all employees have a duty to report sexual discrimination, harassment, and misconduct, we must know what these behaviors look like and where to report. The Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures located on the college’s website provide specific information on Title IX and sexual misconduct, reporting, adjudication, and training to help employees be prepared to act.