In response to requests by USF community members inquiring about the university’s Title IX policies and procedures, the USF administration has issued the following public statement:
- The university has always used the preponderance of the evidence as the standard of proof for student conduct, including sexual harassment and misconduct, and will continue to do so.
- The university will make a good faith effort to complete the resolution process within a 60- to 90-business day time period, including appeal, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX coordinator, who will provide notice and rationale for any extensions or delays to the parties as appropriate, as well as an estimate of how much additional time will be needed to complete the process.
- The Title IX Office has been and will continue to be operating during the time of this global health crisis. All reports received have been and will continue to be responded to by conducting outreach to the parties to offer supportive measures, resources, and applicable options for resolution. If anonymous reports are received, the office follows up to the extent possible, but is limited in response without identities of persons to reach out to.
- The university will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon notice of alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the university’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the university’s educational environment, and/or deter harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. The location of where an incident occurs does not impact the options for supportive measures. There may be different options available due to who the involved parties are*. Typical supportive measures available include, but are not limited to:
a. Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
b. Referral to the Employee Assistance Program (for employees)
c. Referral to community-based service providers
d. Referral to visa and immigration assistance
e. Referral to student financial aid assistance
f. Education to the institutional community or community subgroup(s)
g. Altering campus housing assignment(s)
h. Altering work arrangements for employees or student employees
i. Safety planning
j. Providing campus safety escorts
k. Providing transportation accommodations
l. Implementing contact limitations between the parties, such as No Contact Orders (NCO)
m. Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
n. Trespass, Persona Non Grata (PNG), or Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) letters/orders
o. Timely warnings
p. Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
q. Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
r. Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX coordinator
*For example, incidents that involve non-USF affiliated persons do not have no contact orders as an option for a supportive measure.
- The university will continue to offer a formal grievance process option for complainants who may wish to pursue such a process regardless of where sex or gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct occurs (on-campus, off-campus, study abroad), so long as it meets the definitions of such behavior to adjudicate and involves an alleged person within the jurisdiction of university. If an incident does not meet the requirements to be designated as a Title IX case, the incident will proceed as a university policy case that uses the same procedures for formal grievance.
- The Title IX Office may suggest informal resolution is not a recommended option given the circumstances of a case and communicate the discouragement of pursuing such resolution option, however, the University will not expressly prohibit exploring informal resolutions for any of the behaviors that fall within sex or gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct. Removing this option takes a choice away from a victim/survivor as to how they may wish to proceed. The university will never use informal resolution unless a victim/survivor wishes to explore such an option, and all persons involved must mutually agree to the conditions of such informal resolution, may stop the process at any time, and may pursue the formal grievance process to continue.
- All students, staff, and faculty — regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression — have the right to learn, live, and work in an safe environment with access to all the programs, services, and benefits of the university. We continue to have services and procedures to address reports of experiences counter to this value and encourage anyone who does not feel safe to please report to the Title IX Office, Human Resources, and/or the Bias Education and Response Team.