Frequently Asked Questions

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a comprehensive federal law enacted in 1972 as part of the Higher Education Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. 

What are examples of conduct that violate Title IX and relevant laws in California?

  • Rape
  • Oral copulation without consent
  • Forcible fondling (touching the genitals, anus, or breasts without consent)
  • Dating violence or domestic violence (violence committed by a current or previous intimate or romantic partner, spouse or domestic partner, or a person who shares custody of a child with the victim)
  • Stalking a person (can occur physically or through communication methods like phone, email, texting, and social media)
  • Exposing genitals, breasts, or buttocks to another person in an unwelcome manner
  • Pressure for sexual activity
  • Sexual innuendo, comments, noises, and gestures
  • Ogling or leering
  • Sexually explicit questions
  • Requests for sexual favors (i.e. quid pro quo harassment)
  • Unwelcome touching, including, but not limited, to hugging, patting, stroking, squeezing, rubbing, or pinching
  • Spreading rumors about a person’s sexuality or sexual activity
  • Name-calling related to gender or sexuality (i.e, “whore;” “fag”)
  • Displaying or sending sexually suggestive electronic content (i.e. emails, voicemails, text messages, and posts on social media)
  • Pervasive displays of sexually explicit or graphic content (such as pictures, calendars, and cartoons)

Will the information I share with the Title IX Office be confidential?

Confidentiality while making a report: The Title IX Office will keep your information private and only report information to those that need to know. 

Confidentiality during an investigation: The District does not reveal information about ongoing investigations except as necessary to fulfill its legal obligations. The District will keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible, but it cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality because release of some information on a “need-to-know-basis” is essential to complete a thorough investigation. Confidentiality is also necessary to protect the rights of student and employee Complainants and Respondents during the investigation process and any ensuing discipline.

What steps will the Title IX Office make after I make a report?

Individuals have the opportunity to decide whether they want to pursue a formal Title IX complaint. Reporting sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator does not automatically initiate an investigation. A report allows the District to provide a wide variety of support and resources to impacted individuals and to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct. A Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator filing a formal complaint will initiate an investigation.

The incident occurred off campus, can I still report it?

Although the incident may not meet the jurisdictional requirements under Title IX, you may still report the incident and receive support resources. 

What will happen if I make a report?

The college has a responsibility to respond to reports of sexual violence or sexual harassment and attend to the needs of all students who are involved. Reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are taken with the utmost seriousness, and the student(s) will be promptly referred to the appropriate persons or resources for assistance. The college is also responsible to ensure that the individual charged with committing such violence or harassment is treated fairly. Individuals are presumed innocent unless proven responsible.

What steps should I take if someone shares something with me?

  1. Ensure immediate safety.
  2. Be transparent and inform the individual of your obligation to report. 
  3. Emphasize that reporting ensures access to information and resources.
  4. Tell the individual that the District can take steps to stop the behavior, prevent it’s recurrent, and remedy the impact.
  5. Report the situation to the Title IX Office.

While an investigation is ongoing, what immediate remedies are available to me?

During the investigation, the college will take reasonable steps to provide an equitable and safe environment should they be necessary. Possible remedies include and are not limited to:

  • Limit contact between individuals
  • Changes in academic arrangements
  • Changes to work schedules
  • List of supportive resources available within the college and outside support organizations

If I file a complaint against someone, what will happen to them?

Students who are found to be responsible for a Title IX violation will be referred through the student code of conduct process. If the alleged perpetrator is an employee, other board policies or collective bargaining agreements will determine the due process steps and disciplinary consequences. During the impartial investigation process, both parties will have an opportunity to receive periodic updates and present witnesses and other evidence, as necessary. 

How long will an investigation take?

The District will undertake its investigation as promptly and swiftly as possible. To that end, the investigator shall complete the above steps, and prepare a written report within 90 days of the District receiving the complaint.

Am I protected against retaliation?

The District prohibits any intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual who made a report or complaint of sexual harassment, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in a Title IX investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Individuals who experience retaliation should report it to the Title IX Office immediately.

What are my rights during an investigation?

During an investigation, both parties have equal rights, including the right to:

  • Receive a written notice of the allegations
  • Have the opportunity to participate in the investigation, including presenting evidence and identify witnesses
  • Have an opportunity to an advisor of their choice
  • Receive timely and equal access to information gathered
  • Receive timely notice of meetings and hearings
  • Receive written notice of the outcome
  • Have the opportunity to appeal the outcome