Title IX 2019-20 Annual Report
Seminole State College of Florida is committed to providing a diverse and open environment in which to work and learn. This commitment is borne out in the College’s Mission Statement: “Seminole State College of Florida enhances the educational, economic, and cultural vitality of our region by providing exemplary learning opportunities to our diverse community.” The deeper commitment to inclusion is reflected in the Vision: “Seminole State College of Florida will be a national leader in academic programs and services that cultivate student achievement, career advancement, and global awareness in a collaborative and inclusive learning environment.”
Included in that Mission and Vision is adherence to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The College offers programs to support Title IX by ensuring that “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."
Coordination comes from the Equity, Diversity and Title IX office. Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz, President, provides strategic direction to an Associate Vice President who is a member of the President’s Executive Team. That team also includes the Vice Presidents, General Counsel, and Associate Vice President, Human Resources.
Actions that prevent, remedy, and correct sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, are the responsibility of each leader at Seminole State College. The AVP, Equity and Diversity/Title IX Coordinator is positioned as an initiator and collaborator. Various committees support specific dimensions of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, replacing a former structure of one Diversity Council addressing all such matters. Those committees are noted in their appropriate report sections, with special thanks to each for their effective contributions to non-discriminatory student experiences, work environments, and College culture relating to community partners and visitors to the College.
With these parameters, Equity and Diversity/ Title IX presents Seminole State’s Annual Report on Title IX for July 2019 – June 2020.
A. Orientation - New Students
- Orientation covers the Student Code of Conduct (Policy 3.090). In that document, the College has defined the four crimes (dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking) and provided information on the policies and procedures applicable if such offenses occur.
- Students are reminded that the Student Code of Conduct (Policy 3.090) may be accessed both through the College Catalog and the Student Handbook, or they may talk with the conduct officer for the area.
- The presentation also covers the College’s core values, including Respect, with its description of the expectations for interaction in general.
- Student Life published risk-reduction strategies in the Student Handbook, August 2019, at page 28. Information on risk reduction includes a unit on campus safety. Those elements include centralized dispatch, Seminole State Alert, Kinetic Global (formerly LifeLine) emergency app, the Annual Security Report and Safety Guide, the phone number for the College’s After-Hours Crisis Line, and the existence of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Sexual Predator and Sexual Offender website. Additional element of cultural relevancy: TDD number 7-1-1 for hearing impaired individuals.
- Prevention of Sexual Harassment training for student athletes, August 13, 2019.
- Face-to-face Orientation was updated August 27, 2018 to add the definition of consent and that element remained intact for 2019-20. All elements required by The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act are presented.
- Online Orientation was updated August 31, 2018 to add the definition of consent and that element remained intact for 2019-20. All elements required by Clery are presented.
B. Orientation - New Employees
- New Employee Beginnings (orientation) is required of all new full and part time employees.
- Orientation covers the College’s core values, including Respect, with its description of the expectations for interaction in general.
- Orientation covers safety and security guidelines: Campus Safety and Security confirmed in August 2019 that Orientation covers the four crimes listed in the Clery Act, the definition of consent, bystander options, risk reduction, and applicable College policies and procedures after a sexual violence incident is reported.
- Orientation covers applicable College policies and procedures, including Non-Discrimination, Resolving Discrimination Concerns (including the four crimes listed above), timely warnings and emergency notifications.
- Human Resources includes the verbally-presented curriculum in the New Employee Orientation Booklet, so all new employees can retain the information for future use.
- Equity, Diversity, and Title IX presented to New Faculty Orientation, August 15, 2019.
- Materials from Equity and Diversity/Title IX were provided to all new faculty at Welcome Back August 14, 2019: “First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence.”
C. Title IX Emails Every Semester
- Equity and Diversity/Title IX sends three emails per semester to all employees (every pay plan including student workers; full- and part-time; all campuses). Each contains a highlight relating to the prevention, remediation, and correction of sex discrimination as called for by Title IX.
- Equity and Diversity/Title IX sends three emails per semester to all students. Each contains internal and external resources, available academic adjustments, and the Title IX Coordinator’s contact information.
D. Annual Security Report Section Related to Title IX
Campus Safety and Security publishes the Annual Security Report as required by The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Many of the “Clery crimes” overlap with areas of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX.
Equity and Diversity/Title IX works in concert with Campus Safety and Security as well as the Student Conduct officers on situations involving Title IX. General working guideline: Clery covers situations on the College’s property or under its control, no matter the individual’s affiliation with the College. Title IX covers the affiliated individual no matter where the situation takes place in the United States.
In Spring 2020, while the College facilities were closed related to COVID-19, Campus Safety and Security routed its request for information to Human Resources. In partnership, Equity and Diversity/Title IX prepared information in areas where Title IX overlaps Clery. (Note: this Annual Report on Title IX covers all Title IX areas.)
E. Observance of Denim Day
Due to COVID-19, the College facilities were closed on the Denim Day observance date of April 29, 2020. Seminole State observed Denim Day virtually this year, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Employees and students took selfies wearing jeans and other denim clothing. They posted the pictures to the site of the College’s valued community partner, the Victim Service Center of Central Florida. They also posted to their personal social media channels, using #DenimDay.
F. Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Due to COVID-19, the College facilities were closed all during April 2020. The College used RaiderConnect to inform students of the virtual events in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. These events were created collaboratively by the Faculty Gender Violence Awareness Committee, Campus Safety and Security, Student Development, Equity and Diversity/Title IX, and the Victim Service Center of Central Florida.
- Educational Workshop: Sexual Assault in the LGBT+ Community: Prevention and Awareness. Offered virtually April 23, 2020.
- Tabling events and Resource Fairs – canceled, 2020.
- Clothesline Project: Virtual Clothesline Project for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Marketing and Communications prepared a PowerPoint for distribution; participants returned it with a design supporting survivors of sexual assault. Marketing joined the designs as a clothesline graphic and posted on social media in late April 2020.
G. Complaint Investigations and Related College Improvements
- Dashboard: investigation record.
Year Filed by Students Filed by Employees Respondent
2018-19 11 0 2 2019-20 6 0 1
In cases where the matter did not proceed to a finding, the College may have resolved a report or inquiry to the satisfaction of each party under the guidelines of Procedure 1.0600, which permits such actions.
- Students, employees, and visitors may pursue resolution of discrimination concerns (including sex discrimination, the focus of this report) through several channels coordinated by Equity and Diversity/Title IX.
- Reports. Individuals may report to any College official. Officials may resolve the concern and inform Equity and Diversity/Title IX. Usually, resolutions address practices going forward, since the concerned individual need not provide identifying information.
- Inquiries. Individuals may present inquiries to any College official. Officials may resolve the concern and inform Equity and Diversity/Title IX or refer the matter for resolution. Individual remedies are possible because the concerned individual provides specific information. No formal report is prepared, but there are records of resolutions.
- Complaints. Individuals may present inquiries to any College official, who will refer them to Equity and Diversity/Title IX. Steps in Procedure 1.0600 will be followed: determining jurisdiction, securing signed written statements from the complainant, respondent, and witnesses; developing a formal written report with simultaneous notice of findings to each party. Individual remedies are possible because the complainant provides specific information.
|No.||Type||Finding||Resolution & Related College Improvements|
|1||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||No cause to believe Respondent violated College Policy 1.060.|
|2||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||Respondent found responsible for conduct violating College Policy 1.060.|
|3||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||Reporting party agreed to resolution prior to finding.|
|4||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||Reporting party agreed to resolution prior to finding.|
|5||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||Reporting party agreed to resolution prior to finding.|
|6||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||Reporting party agreed to resolution prior to finding.|
Equity and Diversity/Title IX identified no patterns of behavior in these reports; each was a single incident. Campus Safety and Security partnered with Equity and Diversity/Title IX and Student Conduct on each report, coordinating interviews when appropriate. Each office then completed its procedural steps according to its own role, taking individual actions toward resolution. This report of actions taken may exclude independent Student Conduct and law enforcement actions in each case.
H. Assistance Related to Lactation
On June 27, 2019, the College published online information regarding requests for lactation spaces. Human Resources assisted employees requesting such spaces; Equity and Diversity/Title IX assigned students requesting such spaces. See New Moms – Lactation Support.
I. Academic adjustments
Students who report sex discrimination, including sexual violence, receive a customized template letter from Equity and Diversity that includes an invitation to request academic adjustments. The same information was provided to the Respondents in verbal or written form. Beginning in August 2020, all information will be provided electronically for confirmation of simultaneous communication.
|No.||Basis||Academic Adjustment Request||College Response|
|1||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||None.|
|2||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature|
|3||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||None|
|4||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||None|
|5||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||None|
|6||Report: unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature||None|
No patterns were determined in 2019 or 2020; each incident was individual. The July 2019 analysis suggested two improvements in College practice; both were completed in Fall 2019
- Equity and Diversity/Title IX provided a list of possible academic adjustments in writing to Respondents as had been the practice with Complainants and reporting parties. This practice is confirmed for 2020-21, as it is called for by the May 2020 Title IX regulations effective August 14, 2020.
- Equity and Diversity/Title IX maintained this chart as a data base to ensure consistency during the year, rather than analyzing cases at the end of the year. This practice is confirmed for 2020-21, as it is called for by the May 2020 Title IX regulations effective August 14, 2020.
The July 2020 analysis suggested one improvement in College practice:
- Increase encouragement to report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and retaliation, as close to the incident(s) as practicable.
J. Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Transgender Students
- Equity and Diversity/Title IX partnered with Student Life, faculty, staff, and students to offer regular sessions of “LGBT+ Safe Space” training in Fall and early Spring, 2020. The format for those sessions changed in response to early 2019 feedback from the pilot programs. The format requiring two 90-minute sessions was streamlined to one two-hour session supplemented by robust web-based resources. The session addressed sexual violence prevention, recognition, and resources at the College and in the community. In March 2020, all College facilities closed in response to COVID-19 concerns. Faculty and staff then collaborated to produce a one-hour online training with the same concepts. Approximately 150 employees have been trained as of June 30, 2020.
- The College published an update to Guidelines for Responding to Requests from Trans* Students in August 2019. Based on the 2018-19 Annual Report, Equity and Diversity/Title IX added resources for helping students avoid and address sexual violence. This was a specific revision as a step to combat sexual violence in the transgender community by supporting students as they express their identity. The College also moved to the term “trans*” to respect non-binary and other individuals who do not choose to be associated with a gender. As Policies and Procedures were updated, the College moved to the term “they” as the singular pronoun.
- The College last updated its list of single-user restrooms on July 8, 2019. Equity and Diversity/Title IX listed the restrooms in the newly-renovated Altamonte Springs campus’s Hummer building well before the August 1, 2019 date projected on the 2018-19 Annual Report.
- During Social Justice Week 2019, the College offered a workshop titled “Intersection of Domestic Violence with Sexual Violence.” The College partnered with Victim Service Center for panelists. Two faculty members assigned their classes to attend, and additional students attended.
- During the month of April 2020, the College observed Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Because of the pandemic, all College facilities were closed, so the observance was virtual. See section II.F.
- The College’s remembrance of Pulse on June 12, 2020 was individualized for safety. A Student Life Coordinator traveled to nearby Orlando, visiting the memorial and recording her observations on Student Life’s Facebook page, using Facebook Live. It marked the fourth anniversary of 49 lives lost at Pulse nightclub.
Publications and Presentations
- Title IX Annual Report, Seminole State College. July 8, 2019.
- College Guidelines for Trans* Students, updated for Equity and Diversity/Title IX website August 8, 2019.
- The Student Handbook, prepared by Student Life, includes Tips to Lower the Risk of Sexual Violence at page 28. Updated August 2019.
- Student Title IX Rights, updated August 3, 2018. Updates were suspended through implementation of new Title IX regulations announced in May 2020.
- First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence. Updated July 6, 2020.
- Prevention of Sexual Harassment training for student athletes, August 13, 2019.
- Materials from Equity and Diversity/Title IX provided to all faculty at Welcome Back, August 14, 2019. “First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence.”
- Six email notifications to employees, ref. section II.C.1.
- Six email notifications to students, ref. section II.C.2.
- “LGBT+ Safe Space” training, including prevention of discrimination based on sex. July 9, July 11, October 6, October 21, 2019. January 29, February 13, 2020. Online version: released June 9, 2020.
- “Sexual Assault in the LGBT+ Community: Prevention and Awareness.” Presented virtually, April 3, 2020.
III. Title IX Training Record
The U.S. Department of Education issued Title IX regulations in May 2020, effective August 14, 2020. As projected in the 2018-19 report, the College convened its committee for implementation discussions in June 2020. The full list of implementation strategies and notifications will appear in the 2020-21 report of this title. Segments appear at this time on the Equity and Diversity/Title IX webpage devoted to Title IX.
During 2019-20, the College provided the following training on Title IX to the Title IX Coordinator. Each was virtual.
- OCR: Title IX Regulations Addressing Sexual Harassment, May 7, 2020.
- Discussing Title IX Final Regulations: American Council on Education, May 11, 2020.
- What You Need to Know About the Title IX Regulations: College and University Professional Association – Human Resources, May 20, 2020.
- Florida College System Title IX Coordinators – Parsing Title IX Regulations, May 28, 2020.
Seminole State closed the 2019-20 Title IX program of prevention, remedies, and corrective action with two complaint investigations, four campus partner referrals for collaborative resolution, and continued partnership for addressing complaints, inquiries, reports, and concerns.
Because most initiatives focused on prevention, the College pivoted from in-person events to remote events in Spring 2020. Sexual Assault Awareness Month changed from tabling at all campuses around the theme “Consent is Hot” to three virtual activities marketed to all students through RaiderConnect.
The College retained the metaphor “Consent is Like Tea” through a short avatar video embedded in the emails sent to all students. Other initiatives beyond those six emails included involvement of Student Government Association in programming, and continued partnership with the Victim Service Center of Central Florida. Their representative maintained a course in Canvas (in the College’s learning management system) called “Be the Hero” to emphasize the role of bystanders to intervene, when safe, as a preventive action.
A College-wide committee analyzed the U.S. Department of Education’s May 2020 regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Next year’s reporting period beginning July 1, 2020 will document Executive Team review, College Advisory Council review, and implementation of the new grievance practice as a Procedure.
Equity and Diversity/Title IX appreciates the strong support of Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz President, and members of the Executive Team for these programs that protect students’ rights in education.
For information and questions, please contact:
Janet Park Balanoff
Associate Vice President,
Equity and Diversity/Title IX Coordinator
Office: SLM Weldon 204-L
Equity and Diversity/Title IX, 8.31.20