Title IX 2020-21 Annual Report

Introduction

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 for the diverse community we serve.”

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, cultivating equitable and excellent student outcomes, career advancement, and civic engagement in a global society through a collaborative and inclusive environment.” The College updated both documents in 2020 following an extensive preparation process involving students, faculty, staff, and community members.

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, Equity and Diversity/Title IX Coordinator, who is a member of the President’s Executive Team. That team also includes the Vice Presidents 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 is positioned as an initiator and collaborator.

In 2020, the College created the Equity Committee as a standing committee to address inclusion and equity. In relation to Title IX, the Equity Committee will be working to create an environment in which all individuals can contribute fully to the culture of success. Title IX compliance includes an educational component with that same aim, focused on sex and gender. The AVP is the Executive Sponsor of the Equity Committee.

With these parameters, Equity and Diversity/ Title IX presents Seminole State’s Annual Report on Title IX for July 2020 – June 2021.

A.  Orientation - New Students

  1. Orientation covers the Student Code of Conduct (Policy 3.090). In that document, the College has defined the four crimes addressed by The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Those are dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Orientation provides information on the policies and procedures applicable if such offenses occur.
  2. 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 to Judicial Affairs. 
  3. The presentation also covers the College’s core values, such as Inclusion: We engage in practices that respect individuals’ unique qualities and strive for participation and achievement for all.
  4. Student Life published risk-reduction strategies in the Student Handbook, August 2020, at page 29. 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.
  5. Equity and Diversity/Title IX presented Prevention of Sexual Harassment training for student athletes on August 20, 2020 (female athletes) and August 21, 2020 (male athletes).
  6. Face-to-face Orientation included the definition of consent. All elements required by the Clery Act were presented and will be again when face-to-face scheduling resumes. In Summer 2020 and early summer 2021, online Orientation included all elements required by Clery.
  7. Orientation covers applicable College policies and procedures, including Non-Discrimination, Resolving Discrimination Concerns (including the four Clery crimes listed above), timely warnings, and emergency notifications. One element added for 2020-21 informed students of an additional resolution process for sexual harassment concerns, Procedure 1.0601, Resolving Sexual Harassment Grievances Under Title IX. That Procedure took effect August 13, 2020 as a draft posted for public information. Adoption by the College followed on October 20, 2020 after shared governance review avenues were complete.  

B.  Orientation - New Employees

  1. The New Employee Beginnings (orientation) program is required of all new full and part time employees. It was offered only virtually, in condensed form, in 2020-21.
  2. Orientation covers the College’s core values, such as Inclusion, with its description of the expectations for interaction in general.
  3. Orientation covers safety and security guidelines. Campus Safety and Security 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.
  4. Face-to-face orientation was suspended in 2020-21. When it was presented face-to-face in prior years, Human Resources included a summary of the verbally-presented curriculum as a document in the New Employee Orientation Booklet. All new employees then had a record for future use. In 2020-21, employees accessed Orientation online and could return to the presentation for refresher information at any time, so no paper copy was provided. 
  5. Equity and Diversity/Title IX presented to New Faculty Orientation, August 18, 2020.  The presentation covered all three areas of responsibility.  Within the Title IX presentation, emphasis was placed on the May 2020 changes to the Title IX regulations effective in August 2020.  The topics included:
    1. Required notices (statement of coverage)
    2. "First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence."  This document served as the outline for the discussion.  The steps include validating the students' confidence, asking if they are safe, finding the right counselor or victim advocate, helping them find a College contact for health concerns, and referring them for academic adjustments.
    3. Procedure 1.0601, Resolving Sexual Harassment Grievances Under Title IX.
    4. Highlighting the changes in Title IX compliant processing.
    5. Summarizing College and community resources for reporting parties and alleged perpetrators.
  6. Equity and Diversity/Title IX presented "Creating an Inclusive Environment" at Faculty Welcome Back August 19, 2020. Faculty received "First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence" via email. The presentation included summaries of equity and diversity programs, as well as the five elements listed in II.B.5.a-e above.

C.  Title IX Emails Every Semester

  1. Equity and Diversity/Title IX sends three emails per semester to all employees (including student workers; full-time 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.
  2. Equity and Diversity/Title IX sends three emails per semester to all students.  Each contains internal and external resources, samples of available academic adjustments, and the Title IX Coordinator's contact information.

D. Introductory Title IX Notifications per 2020 Federal Guidelines

  1. All applicants for Fall 2020 enrollment.
  2. All Fall 2020 registered students.
  3. Student Handbook.
  4. College Catalog.
  5. All Academic Foundations students, from the Associate Vice President, Academic Foundations, with a statement about parents' rights.  Academic Foundations included in the Adult High School, English as a Second Language, and English Language Institute.
  6. Dual enrollment high school students, with a statement about parents' rights.
  7. All applicants for employment.
  8. All employees (full-time, part-time, Federal Work Study).
  9. Collective bargaining representatives.
  10. General notifications online:
    1. Title IX website of the College
    2. Title IX videos, "Take Five for Title IX." Series of six five-minute videos addressing six specific topics in the August 2020 regulations. Employees who viewed all six could record 30 minutes of credit on their employee professional development transcript.

E.  Annual Security Report Section Related to Title IX

Campus Safety and Security publishes the Annual Security Report as required by the Clery 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 Judicial Affairs officer 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 partnership, Human Resources and Equity and Diversity/Title IX also prepare information in areas where Title IX overlaps Clery in terms of employee notifications and training. (Note: this Annual Report on Title IX covers all Title IX areas, a scope greater than Clery.) 

F.  Observance of Denim Day

Due to the pandemic, many College facilities were closed on the Denim Day observance date of April 28, 2021. 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 Services Center of Central Florida. They also posted to their personal social media channels, using #DenimDay.

G.  Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Due to the pandemic, many College facilities were closed during April 2021. 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, Marketing, Equity and Diversity/Title IX, and the Victim Services Center of Central Florida.

  1. Educational workshop "Supporting the End of Rape Culture on College Campuses."  Offered virtually April 8, 2021.
  2. Tabling events and Resource Fairs - paused, 2021.

H.  Complaint Investigations and Related College Improvements

  1. Dashboard:  Investigation Record
    YearFiled by StudentsFiled by EmployeesRespondent Found Responsible
    2018-191102
    2019-20
    6
    0
    1
    2020-21
    0
    0
    --
    The College operated remotely in many academic programs and employment categories in 2020-21. Concerns based on sex discrimination totaled zero in this environment.
  2. 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.
    1. 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. The individual receives no remedy.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Complaints relating to sexual harassment of students are investigated through Procedure 1.0601, Resolving Sexual Harassment Grievances Under Title IX. Possible findings: responsible, not responsible, complaint dismissed during process.

      Complaint investigations related to sex discrimination against students:1
      #Type (a, b, c, or d as defined above)FindingResolution and Related College Improvements
      ------Zero complaints 7.1.20-6.30.21
      When there are complaints, Campus Safety and Security partners with Equity and Diversity/Title IX and Judicial Affairs, coordinating interviews when appropriate. Each office then completes its procedural steps according to its own role taking individual actions toward resolution. This report of actions taken may exclude independent Judicial Affairs and law enforcement actions in each case.

1 Through August 14, 2020, students with concerns related to sex discrimination had an option to use College resolution channels or file with the federal Office for Civil Rights, U. S. Department of Education. After August 14, 2020, they also had access to Procedure 1.0601, Resolving Sexual Harassment Grievances Under Title IX.

I.  Assistance Related to Lactation

The College publishes online information regarding requests for lactation spaces. Human Resources assists employees requesting such spaces; Equity and Diversity/Title IX assists students requesting such spaces. See New Moms – Lactation Support.

J.  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 is provided to the Respondents in written form. Beginning in August 2020, the College provides all information electronically for confirmation of simultaneous communication to involved parties.

#BasisAcademic Adjustment RequestCollege Response
------Zero requests, 7.1.20-6.30.21

No patterns were determined in 2019, 2020, or 2021. The July 2020 analysis suggested one improvement in College practice; it was completed in Fall 2020.

  • “Increase encouragement to report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and retaliation, as close to the incident(s) as practicable.” The College promulgated notices to 10 sources to address this improvement. See Section II.D.1-10.

K.  Prevention of Sexual Violence, Including Against Transgender Students

  1. Equity and Diversity/Title IX partnered with Student Life, faculty, staff, and students to offer “LGBT+ Safe Space” training online in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. The one-hour online training included the same concepts presented face-to-face prior to the pandemic. Employees who completed the training online received their laminated Safe Space plaque for display at their workstation.  
  2. The College published an update to Guidelines for Responding to Requests from Trans* Students in August 2019 and they remained correct for 2020-21. At that time, 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 or deletion of pronouns when possible.
  3. The College updated its list of single-user restrooms on August 1, 2019 and it remained correct for 2020-21 while many face-to-face classes were paused. The College added no new single-user facilities during the pause. 
  4. During Social Justice Week 2020, the College offered a workshop titled “Using Privilege to Achieve Equity.” It included the same information that is published in the Student Handbook regarding safety while acting as an “upstander,” an individual who speaks out against sexual harassment or other types of oppression. 
  5. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 2020, the College offered a workshop titled “How Can I Stop Domestic Violence? (Asking for a Friend).” This was a collaboration among Human Resources, Marketing, Student Affairs, Campus Safety and Security, and Equity and Diversity/Title IX.
  6. During the month of April 2020, the College observed Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Because of the pandemic, College facilities were closed, so the observance was virtual. See section II.F-G. The College partnered with Victim Services Center to showcase panelists discussing “Supporting the End of Rape Culture on College Campuses.” Two faculty members assigned their classes to attend, and additional students attended.

L.  Publications and Presentations

  1. First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence. Updated July 6, 2020.
  2. The Student Handbook, prepared by Student Life, includes Tips to Lower the Risk of Sexual Violence. Updated August 2020.
  3. Student Title IX Rights, updated August 9, 2020 following guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2020, effective August 2020.
  4. Materials from Equity and Diversity/Title IX provided to all faculty at Welcome Back, August 19, 2020. “First Reference for Faculty and Staff Assisting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence.” 
  5. Prevention of Sexual Harassment training for student athletes, August 20 (female athletes) and August 21 (male athletes), 2020.
  6. Title IX Annual Report, Seminole State College. August 31, 2020. 
  7. “Take Five for Title IX,” six five-minute videos for employees, various Title IX compliance topics. Eligible for professional development credit. 
  8. “Supporting the End of Rape Culture on College Campuses.” Presented virtually, April 8, 2021. 
  9. Six email notifications to employees, ref. section II.C.1.
  10. Six email notifications to students, ref. section II.C.2.
  11. Ten notifications to various populations announcing new Title IX guidelines and complaint process for sexual harassment, ref. section II.D.1-10.
  12. “LGBT+ Safe Space” training, including prevention of discrimination based on sex in the form of adverse actions related to trans* individuals. Online version: released June 9, 2020. More than 30 employees reported completion of the online workshop in 2020-21.

III.  Training Record, Title IX Coordinator

The U.S. Department of Education issued revised Title IX regulations in May 2020, effective August 14, 2020. The College convened its committee for implementation discussions in June 2020. The full list of implementation strategies and notifications appears in Section II.D.1-10. The College’s webpage devoted to Title IX includes all information on the new regulations as well as ongoing programs of support. Elements added in August 2020, when the regulations took effect:

  1. Procedure 1.0601, Resolving Sexual Harassment Grievances Under Title IX.
  2. FAQs for Sexual Harassment Grievances Under Title IX.
  3. Definitions:  sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, date rape, acquaintance rape.
  4. First reference for faculty and staff assisting students who disclose that they were victims of sexual violence.
  5. New Moms - Lactation Support.
  6. Pregnancy and Childbirth - Academic Adjustment Guidelines.
  7. Title IX Notification.
  8. Title IX Strategic Plan 2020-21.
  9. Title IX Annual Report 2019-20.
  10. Title IX Investigator Training materials.
  11. Title IX Decision Maker Training materials.
  12. Title IX Advisor Training materials.

During 2020-21, the College provided the following training on Title IX to the Title IX Coordinator. Each session was virtual.

  1. Due Process Protections under Title IX: An OCR Training Webinar, July 16, 2020.
  2. Conducting and Adjudicating Title IX Hearings: An OCR Training Webinar, July 23, 2020.
  3. EEOC Training Institute (including one session, Conducting an Investigation), August 27, 2020. 

IV.  Summary

Seminole State closed the 2020-21 Title IX program of prevention, remedies, and corrective action with zero complaint investigations, zero campus partner referrals for collaborative resolution, and continued partnership for addressing complaints, inquiries, reports, and concerns. The absence of complaint investigations or partner referrals in no way signifies a standard of achievement. The College encourages timely reports and will take steps to review each one. 

Because most initiatives focused on prevention, the College conducted all events remotely in 2020-21. Sexual Assault Awareness  2021 included two effective remote events from the remote schedule of 2020: Denim Day observed individually and a webinar partnered with the Victim Services Center of Orlando.  

The College retained the metaphor “Consent is Like Tea” through a short avatar video embedded in the emails sent to all students in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Other initiatives beyond those six emails included involvement of Student Government Association in programming, and continued partnership with the Victim Services 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 in potential or actual situations of sexual violence. They also created two other modules: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention and Healthy Dating Relationships.  

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. That was followed by Executive Team review of planned actions, College Advisory Council review, and implementation of the new Procedure 1.0601.

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.

Equity and Diversity/Title IX, 7.28.21

Contact

Janet Balanoff
Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity/Title IX Coordinator
407.708.2963