Title IX & Sexual Violence Prevention
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs, including athletic programs, or activities that receive federal funding.
The Fredonia athletic program adheres to all of the provisions of Title IX (Letter and intent).
No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of or be treated differently from another person or otherwise be discriminated against in any intercollegiate program at Fredonia.
Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment, rape, and sexual assault.
In the Summer of 2015, Fredonia adopted the state wide policy on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response in compliance with state legislation 129B. For more information about these policies, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.
Resources: Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking
This resource is intended for faculty, staff, and others who work directly with students at Fredonia. As a faculty or staff member, your relationships with students put you in a unique position to offer guidance and help. Often you may be the first person whom victims disclose their experiences. By educating yourself and following some simple guidelines, you can confidently respond to students who are experiencing relationship violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking. The University has a duty to promptly address complaints of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, to limit the effects of the discrimination, and to prevent its recurrence.
- Sexual assault is any sexual contact made without consent. Consent is a clear yes, not the absence of a no. If a person is incapacitated or impaired because of alcohol or other drug use, they are unable to give consent.
- Dating or domestic violence refers to an ongoing pattern of controlling and abusive behaviors that individuals use against their intimate partners. These behaviors include physical, sexual, or emotional attacks and/or economic control.
- Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from a program or activity.
- Stalking is repeated harassment that causes the victim fear. Examples of harassment include approaching the victim, sending the victim unwanted items, or repeatedly contacting the victim through email or text.
If a student discloses to you:
Listen with empathy. Listening is the single most important thing that you can do. No one deserves to be the victim of violence, regardless of the circumstances. Let the victim know they are not to blame for the assault. Avoid asking questions that imply fault, such as “How much were you drinking?” or “Why didn’t you call the police?” Instead, say something simple and kind, like: “I’m sorry that this happened to you.” or “Thank you for telling me.”
Support and respect their decisions. Victims are often met with disbelief when they tell someone. They may be hesitant to trust others with their story. Many victims do not immediately file a report with law enforcement. This is okay. Remember, you are not an investigator; you are someone the victim trusts. Avoid telling the victim what they “should” or “must” do. One of the most important things you can do is help the victim take back the power they have lost. Try phrases like: “What kind of help do you need?” or “When you are ready, there is help available.”
Know where to refer the victim for further help. There are many offices on the campus and in the community that specialize in these issues. You are not expected to be an expert on sexual assault, dating violence or stalking; however, you can direct the victim to people who are experts and can provide advocacy and support. You can refer students to the CEASE program of Counseling Services, which provides advocacy and support for survivors. Ask questions, like: “Are you interested in talking to an advocate or counselor?” or “Would you like to see a nurse or doctor?”
Contact Information: Julie Bezek, Coordinator of Prevention, Advocacy, and Wellness Services (PAWS), Counseling Center, LoGrasso Hall, 716-673-3424.
Reporting Obligation: All Fredonia employees* are required by federal guidance to report any disclosures of sexual violence to the Title IX Coordinator. This includes names of the student(s) involved (if known), relevant facts, date, time and location. Disclosures to the Title IX coordinator will be kept as private as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will contact the victim to ensure that information regarding resources, reporting options, and student and employee rights are provided. *Exempt employees include: licensed physician and clinical staff in the Student Health Center, licensed therapists/counselors/advocates in Student Counseling Services, and any clergy.
Contact Information: Dr. Saundra Liggins, Interim Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator, Fenton Hall Room 143, (716) 673-3358.
Follow up with the student. Let the student know that you take any disclosure seriously and that you care about their well-being. Retaliation against any participants in the process – accused, victim, witness, and reporting individuals - is prohibited. You could begin the conversation with: “I was thinking about the conversation we had the other day. How are you doing?”
Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Resources:
CEASE Program – Counseling Center: Provides advocacy and support for Fredonia students who are survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. The CEASE program can answer questions, provide students with available options, offer emotional support, and make referrals to appropriate resources. The CEASE office is located in LoGrasso Hall; appointments can be made in person, by calling the office at (716) 673-3424, or emailing the CEASE coordinator at Julie.Bezek@fredonia.edu. The CEASE office is open M-F, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.
The Anew Center: Provides a 24/7 helpline for survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence (1-800-252-8748). The helpline can answer questions, provide referrals or send a victim advocate to meet with a survivor. Services are free and confidential.
Health Center: Can provide treatment for injuries, sexual health services such as pap smears, pregnancy tests, testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea, emergency contraception, hormonal contraception and referrals to outside providers for additional services. The Health Center does not provide evidence collection services (also known as 'rape kits'), but they can provide students with transportation to Brooks Hospital to have evidence collected. Contact Information: LoGrasso Hall, http://students.fredonia.edu/healthcenter, (716)673-3131.
Brooks Memorial Hospital: The hospital can provide medical treatment to survivors of sexual assault including treatment of injuries, STD testing and treatment, the morning after pill, and basic evidence collection (also known as 'rape kits'). Advocates from The Anew Center can be contacted to provide advocacy services. Contact Information: 529 Central Avenue – Dunkirk, (716)366-1111.
Emergency contraception (EC) is available at the Health Center for $10.00. In addition, area pharmacies carry EC, available without a prescription for about $40-$50.
University Police are specially trained to identify and respond to the special needs of students who have experienced sexual violence. Victims who want to file a police report can contact the University Police (assaults that occurred on-campus). Contact Information: Gregory Hall, (716) 673-3333
Title IX Coordinator (Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) is specifically trained to offer support for anyone regarding an incident of sexual violence. The coordinator can assist in decision making related to filing criminal or on campus judicial charges, and would serve in the capacity of an investigator related to an on campus hearing process. The coordinator can assist in obtaining interim measures and helps to manage the campus response for intervention and training. The coordinator is a neutral role who also maintains statistical information related to reported sexual violence to understand the campus climate. Contact Information: Fenton Hall Room 143, (716)673-3358
Office of Student Conduct adjudicates cases for students who are charged with violations of the Students Rights and Responsibilities (Code of Conduct). Students may discuss issues of sexual assault, partner violence, stalking or other acts of misconduct by scheduling a meeting with the Director of Student Conduct. Contact Information: Lisa Newell, Director of Student Conduct, S212 Williams Center, (716) 673-4726.
Fredonia Village Police can assist students who have experienced sexual assault, partner violence, and/or stalking off campus. Contact Information: Temple Street, Fredonia, NY, (716) 679-1531.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.
New campus wide Sexual Harassment Policy adopted - May 2016