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Title IX Information

2020 Regulations Update

In May of this year, the federal Department of Education released new Title IX regulations, which go into effect on August 14.  Since that time, Belmont University’s Title IX Office has been working with colleagues across campus and across the country to fully understand the implications of the 2000+ page regulations, and to make a plan for compliance. 

Belmont University is committed to the dignity and worth of every individual, which is embodied in our Community Commitment to Individual Worth.  Discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual misconduct, is the antithesis of this Community Commitment.   Although the new law requires changes in our processes and procedures for investigating and adjudicating certain sexual misconduct cases, we remain firmly committed to addressing sexual misconduct in our community through a complete and fair process that complies with the law.  We also remain committed to providing educational programs to prevent campus sexual misconduct, raise awareness about the issue, and provide resources to those who experience sexual misconduct. 

Where possible, we have maintained many features that have formed the foundation of our sexual misconduct response in the past.  For example, all conduct prohibited under our previous policy is still prohibited.  Our definition of consent remains unchanged.  We have retained the “preponderance of the evidence” standard, rather than requiring “clear and convincing evidence” for a finding of responsibility.  We will continue to provide the same supportive measures to members of our community who have been affected by sexual misconduct, such as academic support, counseling referrals, residence life changes, and connections to law enforcement and other outside resources. 

The new regulations significantly narrow the definition of sexual misconduct under Title IX, limiting coverage to essentially on-campus activities.  In order to continue to address sexual misconduct between community members occurring off campus, we now have two tracks for sexual misconduct cases – a Title IX track and a non-Title IX track.  Under the new law, Title IX track cases must utilize a live hearing at which the parties will be provided Advisors, who will cross examine parties and witnesses.  Hearing officers making responsibility decisions will have legal training and experience and will limit evidence and testimony to only relevant information.  The parties may choose to conduct the hearing remotely, rather than in person. Participants who are dissatisfied with a hearing officer’s decision will have certain opportunities to appeal.

Because we feel that our investigation process prior to the new law was fair and effective, we will continue to use our previous process (neutral investigators, a decision by the Title IX Coordinator with appeal rights, and no live hearing) for cases in the non-Title IX track (generally, incidents occurring off campus).  As always, parties will have the ability to pose questions in writing through investigators for the other party to answer, and will have certain grounds for appeal.

Many students have expressed concern that the new formal hearing process in Title IX track cases will deter students from seeking help from the Title IX Office.  Belmont’s Title IX Office will never force a student to pursue an official investigation, but will fully support those who choose to do so.  Regardless of whether a student chooses to pursue an official investigation, all of the resources offered by Title IX will be available to the student. 

If a student chooses to pursue a formal complaint through the hearing process, that student and the Respondent in the case will be provided trained Advisors to assist them, in addition to all of the many resources available from the Title IX office.  For students who are uncertain about pursuing a full investigation or hearing process, but who seek some resolution of their conflict, we are now offering the option of restorative justice, a completely voluntary process in which the students address the incident and its impact, and seek agreement for remedying and moving forward from the situation.  Since restorative justice is entirely voluntary, both parties must agree to engage in the process and either party may choose to end the process at any time, returning to the formal complaint process.  

Belmont remains strongly committed to its goals of preventing sexual misconduct in our community and of addressing any sexual misconduct through fair and effective complaint procedures.   By working together, we can achieve a campus environment in which every community member feels safe, valued, and respected.  To review Belmont’s new Sexual Misconduct Policy, visit the Sexual Misconduct Policy page.  To report incidents of sexual misconduct, or ask questions about Title IX/sexual misconduct, contact Title IX Coordinator Lauri Chaudoin at titleix@belmont.edu.

 

What is Title IX?

Title IX, a federal anti-discrimination law, prohibits sex discrimination in education programs or activities.  Belmont University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities, including but not limited to in admissions or employment.  For inquiries about the application of Title IX to Belmont University, or to file a complaint, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Lauri Chaudoin at Lauri.Chaudoin@belmont.edu or TitleIX@Belmont.edu, (615) 460-6894, 1900 Belmont Boulevard, Freeman Hall (Third Floor), Nashville, TN 37212.  Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or harassment), to the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, including during non-business hours.  Incidents of sex discrimination may also be reported to the Department of Education, Assistant Secretary.

Belmont University is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination based on sex and provides a number of resources and services to assist students, faculty and staff in addressing issues involving sex discrimination, including sexual violence.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

Victims of sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking and relationship violence are encouraged to seek support and report the incident. Belmont University has appointed a Title IX Coordinator to oversee response to Title IX complaints, develop training and education programs/materials for faculty, staff and students, as well as monitor trends and effectiveness of Title IX education efforts.

Helpful InformationTitle IX Resources 

Lauri Chaudoin
Director of Title IX Compliance and Prevention Programs & Title IX Coordinator
Freeman Hall
Office: 615-460-6894
Email: Lauri Chaudoin

Leslie Lenser
Chief Human Resources Officer/Sr. Director & Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Office of Human Resources
Fidelity Hall
Office: 615.460.5443
Email: leslie.lenser@belmont.edu

 

Resources

Privileged confidential support at Belmont University

  • Counseling Services, 615-460-6856
  • Health Services, 615-460-5506
  • University Ministries pastoral care, 615-460-6419

Non-privileged confidential support and victim advocacy

  • Coordinator of Security Programs, 615-460-5661