Title IX

The Commitment

Florida International University (FIU) complies with Title IX not just because it is the law, but because it is the right thing to do. FIU strives to create and maintain an education and employment environment that is fair and equitable to each member of the University community.

FIU is committed to the safety and well-being of all members of the university community, and encourages anyone who experiences or witnesses discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct in connection with academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the school to report the incident, whether it takes place on or off campus.  At FIU, such behaviors are not tolerated and are prohibited both by law and by University policy.

The Title IX Coordinator provides advice and oversight on policies, preventive educational programs, resources and services required under Title IX, and in addition, oversees all complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence, as well as identifies and addresses any patterns or systematic problems that arise during the review of complaints.

The Process

At Florida International University, all complaints related to harassment and discrimination are addressed and investigated in a fair and equitable manner.  The investigation will include interviews of the person bringing the allegations (complainant), witnesses and the accused party, as well as analysis of documents and other relevant information.

After a review of the information and facts of a complaint, the individual who made the report and the accused individual will be advised of the results of the investigation. Any discipline issued to a student will be subject to procedures as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.  Any employee who is found to have engaged in conduct prohibited by University policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

In addition, appropriate corrective measures will be taken when a consultant, vendor, contractor, visitor or other person is found to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy. In addition individuals may be subject to criminal charges.

Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution
The Student Code of Conduct, Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Form can be found at conduct.fiu.edu

Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity
The EOPD Discrimination Complaint Form can be found at hr.fiu.edu

Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence Defined

Gender discrimination is unequal or disadvantageous treatment of a group or an individual based on gender. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination.
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including Sexual Misconduct or Exploitation when:

  • submission to such conduct is a condition for employment, promotion, grades, or academics;
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic or other decisions affecting an individual;
  • such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it substantially interferes with the individual’s employment, education or access to University programs, activities and opportunities.

Sexual Violence is a severe form of sexual harassment, and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion or similar acts in violation of state or federal law.

Examples of Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence

  • Pressure for sexual activity
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome patting, hugging, or touching of a person’s body, hair, or clothing
  • Sexual innuendos, jokes, or comments
  • Disparaging remarks to a person about her/his gender or body
  • Sexual graffiti or Visuals
  • Asking about a person’s sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities
  • Repeatedly asking for a date after the person has expressed disinterest
  • Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements
  • Offensive letters, email, text messages, posts on social networking sites, internet images or transmissions or voicemail messages.
  • Dating violence, sexual assault, sexual battery and rape

These examples are not all in-inclusive of the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment & sexual violence. This behavior can occur regardless of the relationship, position and respective sex of the parties. Same-gender harassment violates FIU’s policy just as harassment by a subordinate employee of his/her supervisor.

Consent

Consent to sexual activity is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Sexual activity with someone who you know or should know is mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout or otherwise unable to give consent is in violation of FIU policy.

Retaliation

Retaliation in any form against an individual who reports a violation of this policy or who provides information in the course of an investigation of a reported violation is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated

For more information on sexual harassment visit the Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity website at hr.fiu.edu

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

FIU is committed to providing a campus climate free from illegal discrimination and/or harassment.  Anyone within our campus community that has witnessed or experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, or any form of sexual violence can speak with any of the following Title IX coordinators.
The Title IX and Equal Opportunity Coordinator oversees all discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct complaints made by employees, students and visitors. The Vice-President of Human Resources has designated Shirlyon McWhorter, Director of Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity, as the Title IX Coordinator.

How do I file a Title IX complaint?
You may file a complaint with one of the Title IX coordinators listed below. Alternatively, you may file an anonymous complaint using our Ethical Panther Reporting Line, Convercent by calling 844-312-5358 or online at https://compliance.fiu.edu/hotline.html

Shirlyon McWhorter
Title IX Coordinator
Director, Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity
PC321 Phone: (305) 348-1509
E-Mail: eopd@fiu.edu

For reports or inquiries of gender inequity or gender-based misconduct concerning faculty, staff, and outside contractors, visitors or vendors

Kristen Kawczynski
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Director, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
GC311A Phone: (305) 348-3939
E-Mail: kristin.kawczynski@fiu.edu

For reports or inquiries of gender inequity or gender-based misconduct concerning students

Julie Berg
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Senior Associate Athletic Director
USCBA 202A Phone: (305) 348-2352
Email: julie.berg-Mc_Graw@fiu.edu

For reports or inquiries of gender inequity or gender-based misconduct involving athletics
To file a written complaint of discrimination or harass­ment complete the Discrimination Complaint Form at hr.fiu.edu. You may email, fax, mail or hand-deliver it to the Title IX/ EO Coordinator.

Contexts In Which Title IX Applies:

Title IX applies to all University services and academic programs both on and off campus including, but not limited to:

  • Admissions
  • Financial aid
  • Class assignments & course offerings
  • Academic advising & instruction
  • Evaluation & grading
  • Discipline
  • Athletics
  • Housing
  • Health and counseling services
  • Recreational, residential life & extracurricular services and programs
  • Employment of faculty, staff and graduate assistants, including the recruitment, consideration and selection processes.

The Impact of Sexual Violence

Every person is unique and survivors of sexual violence will react and respond to their experience of sexual violence in different ways. It is not uncommon for survivors to have a range of emotions, psycho­logical and/or physical reactions as a result of sexual violence (i.e., sexual harassment or rape). Some individuals may report their incident immediately, while others may wait days, weeks or even months before talking to anyone about it. Regardless of whether a survivor reports her/his incident, whether it occurred on or off campus, or if it was recent or in the past, the effects of sexual violence can negatively impact how survivors function on a day-to-day basis (i.e., personal well-being, success at school or work).
Survivors of sexual violence may experience, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

Emotional and Psychological Effects

  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Shock, disbelief
  • Fear, anxiety, or stress
  • Feelings of lack of control
  • Anger, hostility, or aggression
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Interpersonal problems
  • Flashbacks, panic attacks
  • Low self-esteem, social withdrawal

Physical Effects

  • Physical injury
  • Concerns about physical safety
  • Concerns about pregnancy or contracting an STI or HIV
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns

What to do if you are a victim of sexual assault:

Get to a safe place.

Talk to someone you trust. Sexual Assault advocates are available through the Women’s Center. The advocate can discuss your options and refer you to other services. All identifying information is confidential.

Preserve physical evidence. If at all possible, do not bathe, change clothing, use the restroom or brush your teeth.

Seek medical attention. Medical services are provided at Student Health Services. For severe injuries call 911 immediately.

Seek counseling. The trauma of sexual assault can be debilitating to survivors. Through the Counseling & Psychological Services Center free and confidential counseling is available to all students.

Report the incident. Students are encouraged to report incidents of sexual assault to the FIU Police Department.

Note: Retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment is strictly prohibited. Anyone responsible for retaliation, including the accused party or someone affiliated with the accused party, will be subject to disciplinary action by the University.

Note:  Conduct prohibited by Title IX may also implicate other state or federal laws.   Making a complaint to the Title IX Coordinator does not replace the complainant’s right to pursue other options or remedies under the law, nor does it satisfy any timeliness requirements for asserting a claim under state or federal law.