Frequently Asked Questions


What is sexual harassment? 

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or objectively and subjectively offensive so as to sustainably or effectively interfere with an individual’s employment, education or ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the University. It could be based on power differentials (quid pro quo) where submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment or participation in any University activity, or creates a hostile environment. Some examples may include displays of sexually suggestive materials or content, repeated sexual jokes or innuendos, sexual touching, unwelcome flirting/advances or repeated requests for dates in any form (email/social media), pressuring one for sex, requiring sexual favors in exchange for a grade or favor or some other benefit.


What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving effective consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, intimate partner violence, and/or sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by University employees, fellow students, students from other schools, or third parties. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.


What does giving consent mean?


How can I reduce my risk?

Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act.


How do I know if I was a victim of sexual assault?


What is stalking?

Stalking refers to engaging in a menacing course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (A) Fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) Suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking information from RAINN.


How do I report gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence?

To officially report an incident of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault/violence, you may contact:


Where can I find Michigan Tech's complaint procedures for harassment?

You can find the complaint procedures here.


Can I file criminal charges as well as University policies violations?

Yes. The criminal process and the policy violation process are separate processes, but can occur at the same time.


Where can I find confidential resource information?

For information on confidential assistance and online resources please click here.


Will my complaint remain confidential?

The privacy of the parties is a priority to Michigan Tech. However, sometimes, limited information must be disclosed in order to fully investigate a complaint. If you are concerned about confidentiality, you may want to seek confidential assistance or discuss this issue with the Title IX Coordinator.


What if I want to remain anonymous?

Your confidentiality will be protected to the maximum extent possible, but anonymity may hinder an investigation into your complaint.


Do I have to identify the alleged perpetrator?

In order to conduct a thorough investigation, the alleged perpetrator must be identified. But, if you do not want to reveal the alleged perpetrator's identity, the Title IX Coordinator can still provide information, and connect you with valuable resources and assistance.


I'm concerned that reporting might make matters worse. Should I still file a complaint?

Yes. If you have concerns for your safety, Michigan Tech can provide No Contact Orders, SafeWalk services, academic accommodations, and other steps to assist you. In addition, Michigan Tech has a strong retaliation policy that is enforced if a complainant or a witness is retaliated against for participating in an investigation.


My friend told me he or she was assulted. What can I do to help?

Be supportive - listen to what she or he has to say then encourage your friend to report the incident to the police or to the Title IX Coordinator. You could also consider reporting the incident yourself. You may also suggest that they contact a Counselor or Dial Help. Click here for more suggestions.


Someone has filed a complaint against me. What do I do?

It doesn’t help if you get defensive. Acknowledge that it may have been inappropriate. Stop the behavior immediately and don’t repeat the behavior, even if you don’t think it has been offensive. Do not contact the alleged victim through any means - in person, by phone, by mail, by social media or electronic communication or through someone else.


Familiarize yourself with Michigan Tech's complaint procedures so that you know what to expect. If you have been formally charged, you do have rights as a Respondent. You will be asked to provide details of the incident.  The Title IX Coordinator will investigate the complaint. If the harassment is determined to have occurred, disciplinary action will follow.


If you have questions about the process, contact the Title IX Coordinator.


If you need support contact:
for students: Counseling Services at (906)487-2538
for employees: Employee Assistance Program


If an incident of sexual violence occurs off campus, can the University investigate?

Yes, if the incident has sufficient ties to Michigan Tech. For example, if it occurred at a Michigan Tech event or if the incident involved a Michigan Tech student or employee.


If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?

Michigan Tech's priority is to prevent sexual harassment and violence. While the specifics of the situation will be considered, our primary focus will be to address the sexual harassment/violence. We do not want the involvement of alcohol to prevent the reporting of such serious misconduct. Michigan Tech does have a Good Samaritan clause.  However, the use of alcohol will not excuse the sexual harassment/violence.


What protective measures are available?


What should I know about preserving evidence?


Where can I find the University policies and procedures on sexual harassment/violence?


What are the effects of sexual violence?

Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects. These effects aren't always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed. Learning more about the effects of sexual assault can help you find the best form of care to begin the healing process.


Are women the only victims of sexual violence?

No, all genders and gender identities can be victims of sexual violence. Same gender and gender identity violence can and does occur.


Can I be terminated for filing a complaint of sexual violence/harassment?

No. Retaliation against an employee or student after they have complained about harassment/violence or cooperating in an investigation of harassment/violence is unlawful and can lead to serious consequences. An act of retaliation against a Complainant, Respondent, or witness in an investigation is a violation of the University policy. Any such retaliation constitutes a separate basis for a complaint, even if the initial complaint was found to be unsubstantiated or dismissed.


What can I do if I am a victim of retaliation?

Retaliation against any persons who participate in the complaint procedures is prohibited by federal and state law and University policies. Retaliation exists when action is taken against a participant (whether a complainant, respondent, witness or investigator) which affects their employment, academic, or business status which is motivated in whole or in part by their participation in the process.

Retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in the complaint process may be found regardless of whether or not the underlying complaint is found to have merit. Persons who feel that they have been subject to retaliation because of filing or participating in the complaint procedure may file a complaint based on the alleged retaliation. See complaint procedures.


What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities that receive Federal funds. It 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.” Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include gender discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, intimate partner violence, and/or sexual coercion.


What is a Title IX Coordinator?

The Title IX Coordinator is the university official responsible for ensuring Michigan Tech complies with title IX, including responding to and investigating all complaints of gender discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) at Michigan Tech.


What is a "responsible employee"?


What are Campus Security Authorities (CSA) according to the Clery Act?

Campus Security Authorities according to the Clery Act are University employees designated under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998 to report certain crimes including the sex offenses (forcible and non-forcible) of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes for the Clery Act.  Not sure if you are a CSA? Contact Public Safety and Police Services.

CSA's must pass along statistical information in relation to campus crimes to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. Arrest records, however, are not confidential and are not protected by FERPA.

Complainants of sexual misconduct should also be aware that to comply with the Clery Act university administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The university will make every effort to ensure that a complainant's name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decision in light of the danger.


Why do Universities handle sexual violence reports?

Title IX requires schools to combat sex discrimination in education. One of the most common objections we hear to campus adjudications is "but isn't rape a crime?" It absolutely is, and students who report to their schools can also report to the police. However, rape and other forms of gender-based violence manifest and perpetuate inequality, and federal anti-discrimination law recognizes that. To make sure that all students, regardless of their gender identity and expression, have equal access to education, schools are required to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence. This isn't a replacement for reporting to the police; it's a parallel option for survivors based in civil rights - rather than criminal - law. (Source: Know Your Title IX


What are the laws in the state of Michigan?


What are Gender Pronouns?


Harassment and Discrimination Definitions