Adapted from the Coalition to End Rape Culture (CERC) Survivor Bill of Rights
- Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination at UMass Amherst whether you are on or off campus … even if you are in another country, or if the discrimination is carried out online. Title IX is part of a 1972 federal education law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexual violence are all forms of sex discrimination under Title IX. UMass Amherst is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination, including based upon sex. Title IX protections apply on and off campus including international programs, study abroad opportunities, and university sponsored trips. Title IX protections cover cyberbullying, revenge porn, and other forms of online discrimination or retaliation.
- Title IX applies to everyone. Title IX protects any person from sex-based discrimination, harassment, and violence regardless of their gender expression or gender identity. This includes female, male, transgender, and gender non-conforming students, faculty, and staff.
- If you have been the victim of sexual violence, gender discrimination, or sexual harassment, the university can provide you with a variety of support resources and accommodations. UMass is committed to providing these resources with minimal impact and costs to survivors on a case-by-case basis. Resources are available to survivors with or without them filing a complaint. No upfront costs are charged to any currently enrolled students for University Health Services or the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, and no fees exist for services in the Dean of Students Office, the Center for Women and Community, Student Legal Services, or by live-in residential staff.
- UMass Amherst has established procedures for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. Débora D. Ferreira is the UMass Amherst Title IX Coordinator who manages complaints. If you decide to file a complaint, it will be promptly investigated regardless of whether you reported to the police (a police investigation may very briefly delay other investigations if law enforcement is gathering evidence). A final decision is provided to you and the accused in writing. Both of you have the right to appeal the decision. You have the right to report your complaint to a number of on-campus and off-campus bodies, and you can pursue both options simultaneously. Throughout the reporting and hearing processes, you have the right to describe your incident to as few individuals as practicable and are not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident. Complaints may be withdrawn at any time.
- UMass Amherst can provide interim measures to support victim-survivors of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or sexual violence to continue their education. Interim measures can help ensure that a victim-survivor can successfully complete their college experience free of any ongoing hostility or retaliation. These accommodations can include no contact directives to the accused and reasonable changes to housing, class or sports schedules. Interim measures can be initiated before a formal complaint, investigation or hearing and can continue throughout the entire process. UMass is committed to providing these accommodations with minimal impact or cost to students and each is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Retaliatory harassment or behavior against someone for filing a complaint is prohibited under Title IX. Victim-survivors are entitled to be safe from retaliatory harassment or behavior and UMass Amherst takes these situations very seriously. Any incident of retaliation should be reported immediately to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
- Sexual misconduct is a type of sex discrimination under Title IX. Under the Code of Student Conduct, UMass Amherst defines sexual misconduct as: i. Engaging in a sexual act with another person: a)-by forcing the other person to participate in a sexual act without consent or by threatening or coercing the other person, or b)-by placing the other person in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury, or c)-having substantially impaired the ability of the other person to appraise or control their own conduct by administering or employing alcohol or other drugs without the knowledge or against the will of the other person. ii. Engaging in a sexual act with another person when that other person: a)-is incapable of understanding, or for any reason including intoxication, is unaware of the sexual act, or b)-is physically incapable of resisting or communicating either consent or unwillingness to participate, or c)-is under the age of 16. View the Sexual Misconduct and Consent section of the Code of Student Conduct.
- You have the right TO seek a disciplinary hearing if you have been the victim of sexual misconduct. UMass is committed to a fair, impartial, and prompt disciplinary process. If you choose to seek a disciplinary hearing, the process and your rights are outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. The Dean of Students, staff, and others managing Title IX adjudication undergo extensive Title IX training. All Hearing Board members are trained by the Center for Women and Community (CWC) to ensure their involvement in the process is consistent with the University's commitment to operating with trauma-informed practices. Throughout the reporting and hearing processes, you have the right to describe your incident to as few individuals as practicable and are not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident.
You have the right NOT to seek a disciplinary hearing if you have been the victim of sexual misconduct. If you choose not to seek a disciplinary hearing, you are still entitled to the rights and resources outlined here. In any case where the health and safety of the community is at risk, the University, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, may initiate a separate investigation or take appropriate actions to protect the community.