To: Princeton Theological Seminary Community
From: Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr., Title IX Coordinator
Re: Introduction to Title IX Webpage
Dear Seminary Community,
Many of us know about Title IX as “the law that made school sports more equitable for girls and women.” It has been around since 1972 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Yet, in our context issues of discrimination, harassment, and assault goes beyond the legal parameters as established by federal mandates. God intends that all human beings enjoy a full life, free from abuse and injustice (Micah 2:1-2, 8-9). All human beings are created in God’s image and are deserving of mutual respect and protection. Sexual and physical harassment, abuse, and exploitation are sinful, violating both persons and mutuality within community.
As made clear by recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and recent amendments to the Violence against Women Act (VAWA), it is imperative that educational institutions have effective policies and procedures in place regarding incidents and reports of sexual violence. These policies and procedures may even include such incidents occurring off-campus or somewhere other than a school activity or event. These obligations include the duty to timely and appropriately investigate reports of sexual violence and develop and implement such intermediate measures as are necessary to protect reported victims of such violence.
An institution’s failure to fully satisfy its obligations under Title IX and/or the VAWA may result in significant liability and/or, in regard to post-secondary institutions, jeopardize their entitlement to Title IV funds. At the same time, institutions face potential legal liability for failure to properly safeguard an accused student’s right to appropriate process. Institutions also face the potential for liability relative to the confidentiality rights of students, among other issues.
In order to appropriately manage these risks, educational institutions must understand their legal obligations concerning prevention and responses to sexual violence, including the obligation to investigate reports of such incidents, implement appropriate interim safeguards to protect reported victims of such violence, and impose appropriate student discipline and implement other remedial measures to minimize the likelihood of the reoccurrence of such incidents and to protect the campus community.
Sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse are destructive to persons in that they impede people’s ability to develop and use their gifts of creativity and wholeness. Sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse impede growth, distort relationships, lead to alienation and distrust, and constitute a misuse of power. Jesus teaches that mutuality and respect are essential for faithful living.
Since late August 2014 a Title IX Compliance Team was gathered to begin the task of reviewing the former Sexual Harassment Policy and implementing the new guidelines as prescribed by Title IX, Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), The Clery Act, and the Campus SaVE Act. On December 1st this Compliance Team submitted a final draft to Dr. Barnes for his review and presentation to both the Executive Council and Board of Trustees. Simultaneously, a Preventive & Awareness Cohort composed of faculty, students, administrators and support staff has been meeting throughout the fall and spring semester to design a preventive & awareness program for all levels of the institution. Preventive & Awareness is also a federally mandated objective of every institution of higher education. This multi-tiered educational initiative is currently being crafted and has been rolling-out since early this spring with brief 10-15 minute overviews at different levels of the institution. We are developing a full rolled-out by the summer 2015 and incorporating a variety of venues throughout the Seminary’s life.
Also, through the Office of Multicultural Relations and the Titles IX & VI Compliance Team has submitted to President Barnes, the Executive Council and the Board of Trustees with a refined and expanded Title VI Non-Discrimination Policies & Procedures. Discrimination as a result of belonging to a protected class may constitute a violation of Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, a violation of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, other applicable federal and state laws/regulations, and/or Seminary policy. This effort in consonance with Title IX is mutually inclusive and the need for a comprehensive policy with appropriate protocol is being developed accordingly for adoption in the beginning of March 2015. Simultaneously, through the efforts of Princeton Seminary’s Navigating the Waters Initiatives, Title VI’s Preventive and Awareness efforts will be enhanced through these efforts.
Title IX Prevention & Awareness Cohort – Academic Year 2014-2015
Carla Alleyne, Jan Ammon, Professor Raimundo Barreto, Catherine Cook-Davis, Debbie Davis,
Michael Livio, Sandy Maley, John McAloon, Professor Elsie McKee, Shawn Oliver, Simone Oliver, Joanne Rodriguez, Nancy Schongalla-Bowman, Professor Sonia Waters, Kendra Chavis, Professor Jacqueline Lapsley, Professor John R. Bowlin.
Title IX-VI Compliance Committee
Brad Mitchell (Seminary Counsel), John McAloon (Clery Officer), Mike Livio (Chair, Title IX & Sexual Harassment Hearing Panel), Sandy Maley (Human Resources Director), Dean White (Dean of Student Life), John Gilmore (Senior Vice President), Catherine Cook Davis (Title IX Deputy Coordinator & Associate Dean for Student Life), Jennie Lee Rodriguez (Assistant Director, Field Education, Dean James Kay (Dean of Academic Affairs), Timothy Son (Director of the Asian American Program), Veronica Cotto (M.Div./M.A.).
This website will provide important information regarding our policies and protocols. Also, periodic updates and information on these matters will be provided as these matters are being debated across the spectrum of higher education all across the country. If you have any further question or have any suggestions on how we can further enhance our abilities to respect the integrity of our community and its residents, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Catherine Cook Davis at Catherine.email@example.com. Thank you for your time, suggestions, and prayers!
Victor Aloyo, Jr.
Chief Diversity Administrator
& Director, Office of Multicultural Relations
TITLE IX Information from Department of Education: