The College of New Jersey is committed to providing its current and prospective employees and students with a workplace/educational environment free from prohibited discrimination or harassment. Prohibited discrimination/harassment undermines the integrity of the academic environment and employment relationship, compromises equal employment opportunity, debilitates morale and interferes with the opportunity for all persons to fully participate in the academic, work and living environment of the College.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has improved our nation’s response to violence. However, not all victims had been protected or reached through earlier iterations of the bill. VAWA 2013 closed critical gaps in services and justice. VAWA 2013 reauthorized and improved upon lifesaving services for all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking – including Native women, immigrants, LGBT victims, college students and youth, and public housing residents. VAWA 2013 also authorized appropriate funding to provide for VAWA’s vitally important programs and protections, without imposing limitations that undermine effectiveness or victim safety.
This letter clarifies sexual violence is a form of harassment prohibited by Title IX. The letter notes that Title IX coordinators should not have other job responsibilities that create a conflict of interest. Title IX coordinators and the school’s law enforcement unit employees should all receive training on Title IX grievance procedures. Grievance procedures should be clarified to note that mediation is not appropriate in sexual assault cases.
The Jeanne Clery Act, a consumer protection law passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus. This information is made publicly accessible through the university’s annual security report. Under the Act, institutions must provide survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking with options such as changes to academic, transportation, or living, or working situations, and assistance in notifying local law enforcement, if the student or employee chooses to do so. It also provides both parties in a campus disciplinary process certain rights. Colleges and universities must outline specific policies and procedures within their annual security reports, including those related to disseminating timely warnings and emergency notifications, options for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and campus crime reporting processes.
On January 22, 2014, President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. As part of the recommendations, The White House launched NotAlone.gov, a website containing information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to prevent and respond to sexual assault on college and university campuses and in our schools. On NotAlone.gov, you can find nearby crisis services locator and learn how to file a complaint about your school. The website also includes legal guidance for schools, a map of reports about complaints filed at schools across the country, and other helpful resources.