In addition to Occidental’s mandated Clery Report, the Title IX Office issues an annual report about Title IX office programs and activities to inform the community about the steps taken to address and prevent sexual assault and other forms of sex discrimination. Providing such information is vital to our ongoing commitment to transparency, educating the Oxy community about its rights and responsibilities, and helping to foster a culture of respect on campus.
Completion of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Title IX Investigation
In June, the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights announced the conclusion of its investigation of the Title IX complaint filed against the College in April 2013. After a review of all sexual harassment and sexual violence cases from 2010-2014, OCR concluded that the College did not violate Title IX. OCR did identify certain concerns that the College agreed to address in a formal Resolution Agreement. The OCR report and other documentation can be found here:
After the findings were announced June 9, the College held a town hall on June 13 to present the findings and answer questions. A second town hall is scheduled for September 13 at 11:45 a.m. in Choi Auditorium.
Complaints/Reports to the Title IX Office
The Title IX Office is responsible for responding to complaints of sex and gender discrimination. These include allegations of discrimination in programs and activities, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Although complaints of sex discrimination are made primarily by students about other students, Title IX and the Occidental Sexual Misconduct Policy are also applicable to faculty, staff, administrators and other members of the College community.
Community members report to the Title IX Office for a variety of reasons. Some report as the first step in initiating the formal process. The formal complaint resolution process must be employed to impose discipline on a student or employee.
Title IX Formal Complaints from the 2015-2016 Academic Year
The following are the aggregate number of cases resolved using the formal complaint process during the 2015-2016 academic year. We provide these aggregate figures to balance our responsibility to inform the Occidental community about the number, nature and outcome of all complaints filed with preserving the privacy of the individuals involved in the process.
Note that these figures differ from those provided in the annual Clery Report (known formally as the Annual Fire Safety and Security Report). The federal Clery Act requires colleges and universities to issue an annual report each Oct. 1 that covers the previous calendar year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) listing reports of seven major crimes: criminal homicide; sex offenses; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; arson; and motor vehicle theft. The Clery Report requires colleges to employ criminal law definitions of crimes rather than definitions in the Occidental College Sexual Misconduct Policy, and covers only incidents that occur on campus; on streets and sidewalks immediately adjacent to campus; on property owned or controlled by the College; or property owned or controlled by institutionally recognized student organizations. The Clery Act requires reports to be included in the year in which they were reported, not the year in which the incident actually occurred. (It’s not uncommon for reports of sexual misconduct to be delayed.)
The Title IX Office Annual Report includes all formal complaints and informal resolutions handled by the office, including cases that fall outside of the Clery Act’s criminal categories and/or geographically based reporting requirements.
The 2015 Clery report is here:
2015-2016 Formal Charges
Formal Complaints (4)
- Intimate Partner Violence -- resolved without a formal process as requested by the Complainant
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact and Sexual Assault – Respondent found responsible for sexual assault and non-consensual sexual contact; Sanction: Expelled
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact – Respondent found responsible for non-consensual sexual contact; Sanction: Suspended for one semester
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact – Investigation is pending
Title IX Informal Resolutions and Other Cases
The majority of individuals who seek support do not use the formal complaint process. In some cases the formal process is not applicable, as the assailant is not a member of the Oxy community and is not subject to College discipline. In other cases not involving sexual violence, the complainant requests an informal resolution of the complaint. Informal resolution does not result in discipline but may be resolved by the issuance of no contact letters, education or other steps to resolve the situation. In still other cases the complainant requests confidentiality, access to resources and various kinds of support, or that the College take no action at all.
The following are the total number and types of cases and informal resolutions handled by the Title IX Office during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Sex or Gender Based-Discrimination (new policy charge as of Feb. 2016): 1
Discrimination in Programs and/or Activities (under old policy prior to Feb. 2016): 1
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: 3
Intimate Partner Violence: 3
Sexual Exploitation: 4
No Title IX Charge: 4
Sexual Assault: 13
Sexual Harassment: 14
Total: 49* **
*Some cases have multiple charges.
**It is important to note that not all cases involve Oxy community members as Respondents, and not all of cases involve incidents that occurred on campus or during 2015-2016. (Delayed reporting is common.) The "no Title IX charge" cases are those in which community members sought support from the Title IX Office but allegations could not be characterized as sex discrimination. In those cases, immediate assistance was provided and the individual was referred to the appropriate office for follow up.
Interim Measures & Remedies
An important service of the Title IX Office is to coordinate interim measures. Interim measures are services and support that the College can provide in response to sex discrimination. Most interim measures are available even in the absence of filing a formal complaint. Interim measures restricting a third party are generally not available in the absence of a formal complaint. In each case, the Title IX Office analyzes what is necessary to provide those requesting support with resources to ensure that they have access to educational opportunities, stay in the classroom and pursue their Oxy experience. Most requests require coordination between departments such as Student Affairs, Residential Education, Facilities Management, and Campus Safety.
During 2015-2016 we coordinated 36 interim measures. Some individuals received multiple interim measures. The most typical interim measures were requests for academic support services (such as academic flexibility request letters sent to faculty, tutoring, and time management support services), access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointment, and changes in on-campus housing.
After meeting with a student focus group during Fall 2015, The College made changes to our online education program. For first year students, we continued to assign the introductory Campus Clarity "Think About It" program. For sophomores, juniors, and seniors, we assigned other programs from the Campus Clarity library that we believe are more appropriate for students after their first year. We also adopted a more expansive opt-out alternative for survivors. For the past few years we have permitted survivors who contacted us to complete an alternative to the online program. From student feedback, we learned that the lack of advertisement meant that students were unaware of this option. This fall we implemented a formal process allowing students to contact the confidential Survivor Advocate to request the alternative assignment.
Upcoming Training Dates
New Staff Title IX Training – new staff and administrators are required to attend one of the training sessions listed below.
- Wednesday, September 21 from 10-11 a.m. in Swan Dumke West
- Tuesday, October 11 from 11 a.m.-12 noon in Johnson 203
Anti-Retaliation Training – required by OCR Resolution Agreement for all staff, faculty, and administrators (all sessions held in Swan Dumke West). Individuals are required to attend one of the sessions listed below.
- Wednesday, October 5 from 10-11:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, October 5 from 5-6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, October 6 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 11 from 5-6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 26 from 10-11:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, November 1 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Associate Professor of Economics Bevin Ashenmiller has been appointed as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Dr. Ashenmiller has been a member of the Economics Department since 2005. During the 2012-2013 academic year, she served as the Senior Economist for Energy and the Environment on the White House Council of Economic Advisors. She was elected to the Faculty Council in 2015.
In her new role as Deputy Title IX Coordinator, she joins previously appointed deputy coordinators Jacalyn Feigelman, Associate Director of Employee Relations and Training, and Alison Haehnel, Head Softball Coach, as members of the Title IX team. The Title IX team, led by the Title IX Coordinator, is responsible for the intake, review, investigation and resolution of all reports received by the Title IX Office. Deputy Coordinators will also work on special projects as needed.
Title IX Coordinator, Associate Dean