Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy
We hope to create an environment where every student and employee in the Northwestern community feels safe and supported. Read more about our policies and resources to address harassment, violence, and discrimination.
Title IX Policies, Reporting, and Resources
University of Northwestern cares about each member of this community and believes it is important for members to know their rights and responsibilities. We are also committed to full accountability under the law and to everyone’s right to a safe learning and working environment. Please visit unwsp.edu/titleix for more information, or contact the Title IX Coordinator, Megan Buchholz.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a component of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act and 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”¦.” (20. U.S.C. § 1681)
Title IX in the Context of a Christian Community
In addition to abiding by state and federal laws, at Northwestern we honor the holy sexual union within the context of the covenant of marriage, a covenant between one man and one woman (See the Declaration of Christian Community). While some portions of Title IX policy may address intimate or sexual activities outside of marriage or use of drugs or alcohol, such discussions should not be seen as condoning these actions. At the same time, an individual’s engagement in intimate or sexual activities outside of marriage does not excuse sexual misconduct carried out against that individual. Northwestern is committed to protecting the members of its community against sexual misconduct—regardless of the context in which it arises.
What Does it Mean?
Northwestern students and employees have a right to an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct, including:
- Sex discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Sexual violence
- Domestic violence
- Dating violence
Northwestern will not tolerate any of these things in any form, including, but not limited to:
- Inequity or a hostile environment on the basis of sex
- Unwelcome physical conduct or assault
- Verbal or written threats
- Derogatory comments
- Threatening actions or gestures
What is Consent?
Consent is defined as words or overt actions indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with someone. Consent can only be given freely and voluntarily and can be withdrawn at any time. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated by drug or alcohol use, is asleep or unconscious, or who is coerced or threatened into submission. For more details on the definition of consent, please see the current Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Any form of non-consensual sexual contact is considered sexual harassment or may be considered sexual violence. If you have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in any form, we encourage you to contact the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible.
Who Can I Report Sexual Misconduct to?
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct, you need to know there are people on campus who are here to help. Students and employees may report incidents to any trusted faculty or staff member, but it’s important to know that laws dictate what people do with the information you share.
If you are unsure of someone’s duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you provide details of your situation. Individuals listed in this guide are fully trained and can assist you if you have been the victim of or have witnessed sexual misconduct of any kind.
Counseling Services and Health Services staff can offer confidentiality, providing options and advice without obligation to tell anyone, unless you request they do.
Form for reporting incidents. (Reporting anonymously is an option.)
Title IX Training
- Title IX/VAWA Investigator Training
- Annual Training for Advanced Title IX Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators
- Annual Training for New Title IX Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators
- Title IX/VAWA Appeal Officer Training
- VAWA Adjudicator Training
- Trauma-Informed Training for First Responders, Confidential Resources, and Campus Security
- Title IX/VAWA Hearing Panel Training
- Conducting a Grievance Process Under the New Title IX Regulations