Goshen College is committed to providing equal opportunities in education and employment and to creating equal access to college benefits, programs, and activities for all students. Toward this commitment, the college strives to provide an environment in which students, staff, and faculty can study and work without having to overcome the barriers of discrimination and harassment because of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, documentation status, race, ethnicity, or any other protected class.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) oversees and enforces statutes protecting individuals from multiple forms of discrimination in educational programs or activities. Like other civil rights legislation, Title IX informs Goshen College policy and practice, as well as our commitment to providing a safe, equitable, and supportive learning and working environment for members of the Goshen College campus. The college addresses Civil Rights violations and other violations of the college’s community standards through grievance processes that protect individual safety and access to education and balance those protections with the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.
The Title IX Sexual Harassment and Assault Policy covers the principles and procedures related to discriminatory effects of specific sex-based discrimination. Title IX refers to the 1972 Higher Education Amendment, 10 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., to the U.S. Civil Rights Act (1964) that states:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
In compliance with federal and Indiana state law, the college has adopted a Policy on Sexual Harassment and Assault in order to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex — including pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment — in educational programs and activities.
In order to address the requirements of the new Title IX regulations (announced in May 2020 and implemented on August 14, 2020), the college has revised our Sexual Assault and Misconduct Policy and procedures (2018). Any report on or after Aug 14, 2020 will be processed following the new federal guidance. We will continue to work with every report of sexual harassment or assault to ensure student safety and support, as well as to guide a fair and prompt resolution in line with the college’s mission and community standards.
Our reporting process remains essentially the same, and you may report sexual harassment or assault in a variety of ways, including the online reporting form. You may also contact confidential resources for advice and support before you decide to report. The Title IX Policy executive summary highlights ways that the 2020 policy has changed.
This policy works in conjunction with other campus grievance policies and procedures designed to address and remedy violations of the college’s community standards for employees and students, particularly the Policy and Procedures on Bias-related Incidents of Discrimination and Harassment and the Process for Responding to a Violation of Standards. Employee grievance policies are managed by the Human Resources Office.
During the process of addressing a report of sexual harassment or assault, the Title IX Coordinator may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules. The Title IX Coordinator may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the institutional website, with the appropriate effective date identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this policy and procedures.
The current Title IX Sexual Harassment and Assault Policy is based on the Policy on Sexual assault and Misconduct, revised in 2018 according to recommendations by the OCR. In January 2020, the OCR gave final approval to that policy and the policies listed below. The OCR also affirmed the college’s training and implementation of the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Policy.
- Anti-Harassment and Anti-Violence Statement (May 2018): Goshen College strives to provide a safe, supportive, and respectful living, learning, and working environment for all members of the community. Goshen College does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or violence of any kind.
- Record keeping and data retention policy (February 2018): Goshen College respects the privacy of all individuals involved in reports of gender or sexual violence. This policy guides the documentation and communication related to processing a report of gender or sexual violence.
This policy does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protection of the background state and federal laws which frame such policies and codes, generally. If government laws or regulations change – or court decisions alter – the requirements in a way that impacts this policy, this policy will be construed to comply with the most recent government regulations or holdings.
Please contact the Title IX Coordinator Beth Martin Birky with policy questions. Our resources, support, and accommodations remain the same, and are overseen by Title IX Deputy Coordinator Kendra Yoder.