Title IX Policy and Procedures

Elon University

Title IX Policies, Procedures, and Resources

Updated August  2016

Elon University Nondiscrimination Policy

Elon University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs and activities.  Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex including sexual harassment as well as sexual violence (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972). The University has designated the following person(s) as Title IX Coordinator(s) to coordinate compliance and handle inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy.

Title IX Coordinator:  Dr. Jana Lynn Fields Patterson, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Student Health and Wellness, Ellington Center for Health and Wellness 104, 2970 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244, (336) 278 7200; patters@elon.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics: Ms. Faith Shearer, Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator, Alumni Field House 239-H, 2500 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244, (336) 278-6790; fshearer@elon.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Law School: Ms. Melissa Duncan, Associate Director of Student and Professional Life, Law School Room 107-M, 2005 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244, (336) 278-9256; mduncan6@elon.edu

Elon University has a legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination or harassment.  Elon University has procedures to receive, investigate, respond to and resolve complaints of discrimination, including harassment based on sex.  Title IX violations include discrimination on the basis of sex or gender and include sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, nonconsensual sexual acts, and sexual misconduct.  In this policy, “discrimination,” refers generically and inclusively to all forms of discrimination based on sex or gender, including sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, nonconsensual sexual acts, sexual misconduct and sexual violence.



Complainant:    The individual complaining of experiencing alleged sexual misconduct.

Respondent:      The individual who has been accused of committing alleged sexual misconduct.

Active By-Stander:   An active bystander is someone who steps in or speaks up when they see something that goes against the values of our Elon community.  More information about active by-stander intervention strategies may be found on the Health Promotion website at  http://www.elon.edu/e-web/students/health-promotion/

Consent: Voluntary, intentional agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity.  Consent cannot be gained by force, by intimidation, by ignoring objections, or by taking advantage of another’s incapacitation.  Consent may not be given by individuals who are mentally incapacitated such that they cannot understand the nature or consequences of the sexual act involved; individuals who are unconscious or otherwise physically helpless; and minors. 

Consent may not be inferred or implied from silence, from prior consent to sexual acts, or from lack of active resistance.  Consent is an on-going process throughout a sexual encounter and may be revoked at any time. 

IncapacitationA physical or mental state in which the person cannot make rational, informed decisions.  Incapacitation may be the result of a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment or the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.

Additional information about consent and incapacitation is available at


Prohibited conduct:

Sex Discrimination:  Conduct that denies or limits a person’s ability to benefit from or fully participate in educational programs or activities or employment opportunities because of a person’s sex.  Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, failure to provide equal opportunity in educational programs and co-curricular programs including athletics, discrimination based on pregnancy, and employment discrimination.

Gender Discrimination or Gender Harassment: Prohibited sex discrimination includes discrimination based on the person’s gender but which is not sexual in nature.  Elon University’s policies prohibit gender-based harassment, which means unwelcome conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex, including discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, , or nonconformity with sex stereotyping.

Sexual Harassment: Prohibited sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of or a condition of education, employment, or participating in university activities;

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for evaluation in making academic or personal decisions affecting that individual; or

  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, living or learning environment.


Examples of this type of prohibited sex discrimination include but are not limited, to slurs, threats, derogatory or suggestive comments, unwelcome jokes, exposure to sexually-oriented literature or pictures (an exception is granted for justified academic purposes), sexual violence, teasing or sexual advances and other similar verbal or physical conduct, including e-mail, phone calls or other online communications.  Sexual violence including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.

Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct is any attempted or actual sexual contact directed against another person in the direct absence of effective, mutually understandable consent.  Prohibited sexual misconduct includes:

  • Sexual Misconduct: Indecent Exposure: Deliberate exposure of one’s intimate body parts; the display of sexual behavior in a public or open setting.
  • Sexual Misconduct: Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any attempted or actual sexual touching directed against another person in the direct absence of effective, mutually understandable consent.  Examples of sexual contact include but are not limited to the intentional touching, groping, or fondling of a person’s breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or mouth or the clothing covering any of those areas, or using force to cause the person to touch, grope, or fondle his/her own breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or mouth.
  •  Sexual Misconduct: Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object by any person upon any other person without consent. 


  • Sexual Misconduct: Sexual Exploitation: Taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent. Examples include but are not limited to causing incapacitation of another person for a sexual purpose; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual activity; engaging in voyeurism, trespassing, spying, or eavesdropping for sexual arousal; distributing intimate or sexual information/images of another person; and/or knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection.


Domestic violence: Attempting to cause bodily injury; intentionally causing bodily injury; or inflicting substantial emotional distress by causing fear of imminent serious bodily injury or harassment by someone with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship.  A personal relationship means one between current or former spouses, persons who live or have lived together, persons who have a child in common, or persons who are or have been in a dating relationship.


Dating violence:  Violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or threats of or attempts at such abuse between partners who are or have been in a personal, romantic, or intimate relationship.


Stalking: Any course of conduct directed against another person that violates reasonable expectations of personal privacy and that is sufficiently serious to cause physical, emotional, or psychological fear or to create a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment for a reasonable person.  This includes actions or contact through a third party.  Examples include but are not limited to:  repeatedly contacting or following a person; use of electronic devices or software to obtain or attempt to obtain private data; entering or opening a student’s private property without express consent; use of another person’s password or ID to attempt to gain access to personal information. 

Sexual coercion or intimidation: Words or actions used to pressure, manipulate, isolate, trick or intimidate a person into engaging in unwanted sexual activity.

Retaliation: Retaliation is taking action against someone for that person’s participation in protected activity.  Protected activity under this policy includes (i) a good faith reporting of a complaint under the policy, (ii) participation in an investigation or hearing under the policy, and (iii) opposition to practices that an individual reasonably believes are in violation of this policy.


Complicity:  It is important that members of the University community look out for one another and report dangerous situations including acts of sex discrimination.  Complicity is defined as any act that knowingly aids, facilitates, promotes or encourages the commission of a code of conduct violation by another person.  Students, faculty and staff who are found to engage in complicity around sex discrimination may also be held accountable.

Assistance Following an Incident of Sexual Misconduct

In the event of an emergency where immediate assistance is needed, call 9-1-1.

Complainants may also report the incident to local police authorities (Town of Elon Police, 336-584-1301; Elon University Campus Police, 336-278-5555).

Elon University has trained on-campus counselors who can provide an immediate confidential response in a crisis situation.  Complainants may seek assistance from the following confidential on-campus resources (“Confidential Resources”):

  • The Coordinator for Violence Response, (336) 278-5009 or (336) 278-3333 (any time)
  • Counseling Services, R.N. Ellington Center for Health and Wellness, (336) 278-7280
  • Health Services, R.N. Ellington Center for Health and Wellness,  (336) 278-7230
  • Members of the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life staff who are ordained and acting in their role as a clergy-counselor within their respective faith tradition.  

The following off-campus resources are also available to complainants of sexual misconduct:

  • CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center -  336-228-0360- 1206 Vaughn Road, Burlington, NC    http://www.crossroadscares.org/
  • Family Abuse Services - 336-226-5985- 1950 Martin Street, Burlington, NC  http://www.familyabuseservices.org/
  • Employee Assistance  and Counseling Program (faculty and staff), Cone Health Systems 1240 Huffman Mill Road, Burlington, NC 27215, (336) 538-7481. Employees may access any location.
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673

Making a Report:

At Elon University, the Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating efforts for the investigation, resolution, implementation of corrective measures, and monitoring the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination based on sex.  To assist Elon in preventing discrimination based on sex or gender, all members of the university community are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Coordinators if they are personally subjected to, become aware of, or observe conduct that may be in violation of Elon University’s policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. 

Complainants may also report violations of this policy to the following mandatory reporters (also known as responsible employees).  When responsibility employees receive reports or complaints of alleged sex and gender-based discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct involving students, they must promptly report the incident to one of the University’s Title IX Coordinators.  Responsible employees include:

  • academic department chairs

  • deans

  • department  heads

  •  senior administrators

  • supervisors

  • human resources staff

  • campus safety and security staff

  • residence life staff (including  student staff and faculty-in-residence)

  • student conduct administrators

  • faculty and other employees supervising overnight domestic or international student trips

The Title IX Coordinator will determine the most appropriate course of action to ensure a prompt and equitable response, in accordance with University policy. Reports from complainants and responsible employees should include all available information including the name of the complainant (target, victim, and survivor), the respondent (if known) and any other details which may help determine if a violation may have occurred.  Reports may be submitted electronically at   https://www.elon.edu/e/campus-life/inclusion-global-engagement/bias-response/report-bias.html or by calling the Title IX Coordinator at (336) 278-7200.   

If the Title IX Coordinator (or deputy Coordinator) is the person alleged to have discriminated, a complaint may be filed with Ms. Carla Ugboro, Associate Director of Human Resources for Employee Relations, The Office of Human Resources, Human Resources Building, (336) 278-5560.

Persons making a complaint will be informed about options for resolving potential violations of the policies prohibiting discrimination based on sex.  These include informal resolution, formal investigation and handling under the applicable University policy, and the availability of resources outside of any University process. Informal resolution procedures will not be utilized for acts of sexual misconduct. Complainants will also be informed of their rights to report to law enforcement and will be assisted in filing the report if requested.   Complainants shall also be informed about the range of outcomes of the handling of a complaint including the availability of interim protections, remedies for those being harmed by violations of the policy and actions that may be taken against those accused of a violation.

All investigations will be completed within the guidelines specified by the appropriate adjudicating policy found in the Student Handbook , The Staff Manual at  https://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/bft/hr/uploads/staffmanual/DiscriminationandHarassmentViolations.pdf  and the Faculty Handbook  at    http://elon.smartcatalogiq.com/en/2016-2017/Faculty-Handbook/Grievance-and-Appeal-Processes/Faculty-Grievance-for-Discrimination-and-Harassment-Including-Sexual-Harassment.  Additional information about Title IX complaint procedures may be found at the Inclusive Community website at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/org/inclusive-community/.   Complaint procedures may also be reviewed in the Office of Student Health and Wellness located in the Ellington Center for Health and Wellness.

In addition, or instead of, submitting a report to Elon University, a complainant may file a complaint with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) at any time.

The OCR office for North Carolina is located at:

Washington DC (Metro)
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1475

Telephone:        202-453-6020
FAX:       202-453-6021
TDD:      800-877-8339
Email:   OCR.DC@ed.gov


Privacy and Confidentiality of Reports of Discrimination

Complainants should not assume that reports of sex discrimination, including sexual violence, will be kept confidential. In fact, responsible employees as defined above are required to share information they have regarding any incident of sexual bias, discrimination, or harassment with the Title IX coordinator. Although the University will attempt to honor requests for confidentiality, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the University’s legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination or harassment and the rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will review requests for complete confidentiality, considering several factors, including but not limited to:

  • whether there is an increased risk that the alleged perpetrator /respondent may commit additional acts of sexual or other violence

  • whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged perpetrator/respondent;

  • whether the alleged perpetrator/respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;

  • whether the alleged perpetrator/respondent  threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;

  • whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators/respondents;

  • whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;

  • whether the victim is a minor;

  • whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);

  • whether the complainant’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.

If the University determines that it cannot maintain a complainant’s confidentiality and must proceed with an investigation, the University will inform the complainant prior to starting an investigation.

The University will strive to keep information received from complainants private, meaning that information related to a report under this policy will only be shared with those University employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report. These individuals will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process. If the decision is made to pursue disciplinary action against a respondent, information related to the report will be shared with the respondent.

Members of the University community wishing to make a confidential report of sex discrimination may make such a report to those persons classified as Confidential Resources above or through the system on the Inclusive Community Wellbeing website at https://www.elon.edu/e/campus-life/inclusion-global-engagement/bias-response/report-bias.html.  Those persons and entities classified as confidential resources will maintain the highest level of confidentiality of all reports except as required or allowed by law (e.g., with express written consent, where there is a continuing threat of serious harm, or where there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor). These confidential resources are not responsible employees with regard to mandatory reporting of incidents of sexual bias, discrimination, and harassment, and are therefore not required (except in the cases listed above) to share information about such incidents to the Title IX Coordinator. Confidential reports made to confidential resources or on the Inclusive Community Wellbeing website are not considered official reports to the University and do not serve as notice to the University to address the alleged discrimination or harassment


Information regarding a report will not be shared with either party’s parents or guardians unless: the party is a minor and disclosure is permitted by FERPA; the party has signed a waiver that is compliant with FERPA; or there is an articulable threat to the health or safety of the party or other individuals.


Clery Act Reporting Obligations

In accordance with Clery Act mandates, the Elon University Police Department Chief, or a designee, will develop timely warning notices for members of the Elon University community about serious crimes against people and/or property that occur on campus (including reported sexual assaults), where it is determined that the incident may pose an ongoing threat to members of the Elon University community.  These warnings will be distributed if the incident report is either to Elon University Police Department directly or to the Elon University Police Department indirectly through a campus security authority or the Town of Elon Police Department.

The University also complies with federal statistical reporting obligations under the Clery Act.  All faculty, staff and students will be provided an electronic copy of these procedures annually.  No information that identifies individuals will be reported in the annual statistical reports. 


Interim Remedies:

The University may take immediate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant pending resolution of a complaint if the University determines such measures are necessary. Potential interim measures include but are not limited to:

  • Access to counseling services and assistance in setting up initial appointment, both on and off campus
  • Imposition of campus “Cease Contact Order”
  • Assistance in making reports to police or other authorities
  • Assistance in pursing legal judicial orders regarding contact  (i.e. “Restraining order” )
  • Rescheduling of exams and assignments (in conjunction with appropriate faculty)
  • Providing alternative course completion options (with the agreement of the appropriate faculty)
  • Change in class schedule, including the ability to take an “incomplete,” drop a course without penalty or transfer sections (with the agreement of the appropriate faculty)
  • Change in work schedule or job assignment
  • Change in on-campus housing
  • Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund in accordance with campus housing policies
  • Assistance from University support staff in completing housing relocation
  • Limit an individual or organization’s access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter
  • Voluntary leave of absence/withdrawal (with pending hearing for a respondent)
  • Providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities
  • Providing medical services
  • Providing academic support services, such as tutoring
  • Interim suspension or College-imposed leave
  • Any other remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy.

Retaliation will not be permitted.  An individual who is subjected to retaliation (e.g. threats, intimidation, reprisals, or adverse employment or educational actions) because he or she (a) made a report of discrimination or harassment in good faith, (b) assisted someone with a report of discrimination or harassment, or (c) participated in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a report of discrimination or harassment, may make a report of retaliation under these procedures.  The report of retaliation will be referred by the Title IX Coordinators to the appropriate academic or administrative supervisor or to the University Office of Student Conduct for immediate action.

Centralized Coordination, Monitoring, and Reporting

In some circumstances, investigation and disposition of complaints may be referred to other offices within the University such as University Human Resources or the Office of Student Conduct for proper handling.  However, to assure University-wide compliance with this policy and with applicable law, the Title IX Coordinator receives reports of all incidents of sex discrimination and their resolution, regardless of how the complaint is brought, investigated, or resolved, unless such complaints are received by Confidential Resources.

Annual reporting shall be made by the Title IX Coordinator to the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Student Life, and to the Office of the Provost.

Other Resources

Emergency response procedures and resources to assist victims of sexual harassment, sexual exploitation or acts of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault) are available by  contacting the Office of Campus Safety and Police at (336) 278- 3333 (SafeLine)  or (336) 278-5555 at any time.

Additional education and materials about Title IX, sex discrimination, sexual harassment and other related issues are available:

The Office of Student Health and Wellness, R.N. Ellington Center for Health and Wellness 104 (336) 278-7200

The Office of Student Conduct, The Center for Leadership (336) 278-7271 http://www.elon.edu/e-web/students/conduct/

The Office of Human Resources (336) 278-5560 http://www.elon.edu/e-web/bft/hr/

The Elon University Student Handbook at  http://elon.smartcatalog.co/2016-2017/Student-Handbook

Interpersonal Violence Response at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/students/saa/default.xhtml

Elon University Campus Safety and Police at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/bft/safety/

Elon University Inclusive Community website at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/org/inclusive-community/

White House  Not Alone Campaign: Not Alone at  https://www.notalone.gov/T

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault at www.nccasa.org and 919-871-1015

Reach Out (College/Elon Edition) Sexual Violence Resource App- available on I-Tunes Store and Google Store


Office of Student Health and Wellness, August 2016

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