“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 . . . .” 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a).
“Title IX” is a general term that we use to talk about a number of laws and federal guidelines that pertain to discrimination on the basis of gender – which includes the following:
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Assault
- Dating Violence
- Domestic Violence
- Pregnancy & Parenting Status
- Equity in Athletics
UMA prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – and so we have a number of policies in place that prohibit discrimination, procedures to address any instances, and measures to prevent recurrence.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, and sexual coercion. Title IX also requires that equal opportunity in athletics be provided.
The University of Maine at Augusta recognizes that pregnant, recently pregnant, and parenting students are entitled to protections under Title IX. More information can be found at our Pregnancy & Parenting web page.
The University of Maine System, including all of its institutions, has a system-wide Policy Against Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, Stalking and Retaliation. This UMA specific edition provides information on how and where to file a complaint, area resources, and details regarding confidential, anonymous, and other reporting options. It also outlines how all UMA employees, excluding UMA’s two licensed clinical counselors, are mandatory reporters. We also have a web page devoted to the definitions that UMA and the University of Maine System uses in considering cases of misconduct.
Information on how to file a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination or other policy violations can be found in the UMA Student Handbook under the Student Conduct Code and the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure.
Title IX Contacts
Students seeking assistance are encouraged to contact the university for support and resources as follows:
Director of Residence Life & Title IX Deputy
Director of Student Support & Development & Title IX Deputy
Individuals with additional concerns or questions about Title IX may also contact the University of Maine System’s Title IX Coordinator as follows:
UMS Title IX Coordinator
Filing a Report
A variety of options for reporting sexual misconduct are listed below. If you have an immediate safety concern, please contact your local law enforcement (911).
UMA Community Member Misconduct: If you want to report an incident of sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence, sexual assault or other gender discrimination by a UMA student or employee, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator for information, to request interim measures, support, and to learn more about the student judicial and/or internal investigative process. You can reach Amie Parker be email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at 207-592-3618. You may also report using our incident report form which goes directly to the Title IX Coordinator. You can complete a report anonymously but reporting anonymously may impact greatly the University’s ability to respond.
Please note that the initiation of any University proceeding does not preclude the possibility of criminal charges. In fact, it is not uncommon for parallel University and criminal proceedings.
UMA Student Impacted: If you have become aware of a UMA student that has been subjected to sexual harassment or misconduct (which includes sexual harassment, dating / domestic or other intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking) and that conduct was not by a UMA student/employee, please report that information to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Kim Kenniston, at 207-621-3310 or Kimberly.email@example.com. You may also complete our incident report form which goes directly to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Regardless of whether an incident of sexual misconduct is reported to the police or the University, UMA strongly encourages individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct to preserve evidence to the greatest extent possible, as this will best maintain all legal options for them in the future.
Below are suggestions for preserving evidence related to an incident of sexual misconduct. It is important to keep in mind that each suggestion may not apply in every incident:
- Do not alter, dispose of, or destroy any physical evidence.
- If there is suspicion that a drink may have been drugged, inform a medical assistance provider and/or law enforcement as soon as possible so they can attempt to collect possible evidence (e.g., from the drink, through urine or blood sample).
- Preserve evidence of electronic communications by saving them and/or by taking screen shots of text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, or other electronic communications, and by keeping pictures, logs, or copies of documents that relate to the incident and/or perpetrator.
- Even if survivors choose not to make a complaint regarding sexual misconduct, they should nevertheless consider speaking with law enforcement to preserve evidence in the event that they change their mind at a later date.
Suggestions Specific to Sexual Assault
- Because some evidence, particularly evidence that may be located on the body, dissipates quickly (within 48-120 hours), individuals who have been sexually assaulted and wish to preserve evidence should go to a hospital or medical facility immediately to seek a medical examination and/or evidence collection.
- In Maine, specially trained Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) nurses are called to the emergency room to complete compassionate and legally sound forensic exams. Advocates from local sexual assault agencies are also called to provide support to the survivor.
- Under Maine law, the cost for a forensic examination for a victim of sexual violence is covered through the Maine Victim Compensation fund, and should not be billed to the patient. Treatment for additional injuries sustained during a sexual assault are not covered (i.e. a broken hand).
- Individuals undergoing a forensic exam may agree to some parts of the exam and not to other parts at their discretion.
Exams typically include:
- DNA collection
- Blood and/or urine samples (especially if alcohol or drugs may be present)
- Nail clipping
- Hair samples (head and pubic)
- Photographs and/or drawings of any injuries or bodily fluids
- STD testing and prophylactic treatment
- Personal statement regarding the incident.
- Collection of other evidence (clothing, etc.)
Individuals may choose, but is not required, to report the information to law enforcement.
- An individual who has been sexually assaulted is encouraged to not shower, bathe, douche, smoke, brush teeth, eat, drink, or change clothes or bedding before going to the hospital or seeking medical attention. When able, sexual assault victims are encouraged to bring a change of clothing, including underwear, to the hospital as they will be asked to provide their clothing as evidence.
- If the individual who has been sexually assaulted decides to change clothes or bedding, they should not wash the clothes worn or bedding used during the assault, and should bring them to a hospital, medical facility or the police in a non-plastic bag (e.g., paper bag) and should refrain from stapling the bag (tape is okay).
- In Maine, individuals who have been sexually assaulted may allow the collection of evidence even if they choose not to make a report to law enforcement. After the evidence is collected, Maine law requires local police agencies to store it for a minimum of 90 days. A sexual assault evidence collection kit may not be opened/tested without consent from the survivor.
Additional resources and links:
If you are unsure of what resources you need, what has happened to you, or if you want to explore your options before reaching out to the University, the following pages are available to help guide you through the process:
- Campus police and public safety offices on each campus
- Confidential resources across the University of Maine System
- Definitions of terms used in Title IX
- Form to fill out and submit a Title IX report (External Site)
- Non-confidential resources across the University of Maine System
- Title IX information for community members
- Title IX information for faculty and staff
- Title IX Information for students
- Title IX information for pregnancy and parenting
- University of Maine System Counseling Services
- “What to do if you have been assaulted” page
- “What to do if you have been accused” page
University Mandatory Reporting
Under Title IX laws, the University of Maine at Augusta has legal and moral responsibility to provide appropriate support and assistance to any individual who has or is experiencing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, sexual harassment or other forms of sex discrimination. The entire University of Maine System policy against sex discrimination, often referred to as Title IX covered issues, is available here.
All University of Maine at Augusta employees are Mandatory Reporters with the exception of UMA’s licensed, clinical counselors and their clinical interns when acting in that capacity.
If a student, visitor, or a faculty/staff member has disclosed to you that they are involved in or have previously been involved in a Title IX situation, as a mandatory reporter you must report this information.
This form should be used to report information pertaining to students or UMS employees who have reported experiencing sex discrimination, such sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence (i.e. dating or domestic violence), stalking, and/or retaliation, or other forms of sex discrimination.
UMA respects the sensitivity of the information that the form requests. Filing this secure incident report notifies authorized University officials: UMS Title IX Coordinator, Elizabeth Lavoie, and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Kim Kenniston and Terri Reiter. Please note that as mandated by Title IX federal laws, the information included in this form is not confidential, but will be kept as private as possible with all efforts made to protect individuals and the greater University community.
For assistance, please call Kim Kenniston, Director of Residence Life & Title IX Deputy, at 207-621-3310, or UMS Title IX Coordinator, Elizabeth Lavoie, at 207-581-1406.
TO REPORT AN EMERGENCY OR IF YOU ARE REPORTING AN INCIDENT THAT POSES AN IMMINENT RISK, CALL 911/POLICE AND THEN CAMPUS SECURITY OR CENTER DIRECTOR.
To quickly address a situation, the University, where it determines it is appropriate, may impose a wide range of interim measures, such as:
- Implementation of a “No Contact Order”
- Change in University-related work schedules or job assignments
- Assistance in addressing off-campus living arrangements
- Restricting a student’s access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of a matter
Please contact Title IX Coordinator if you have a need for interim measures who can assist in supportive measures, even if the party does not wish to file a formal complaint.
Even if a Title IX related situation occurs off-campus and does not include a member of the University community, students impacted by sexual harassment / misconduct or other forms of gender discrimination have a number of rights and resources available. While every situation is different, impacted students are made aware of the following. Incidents do not need to be recent in nature.
Counseling: Free, confidential counseling services are available on the Augusta and Bangor campuses. Local referrals can be made for students who reside outside these areas.
Confidentiality: While counseling services are confidential, other UMA employees will keep sensitive student information private but cannot promise confidentiality. Please see the University’s Policy on Confidentiality.
Directory Suppression: Students can have their “directory information” made private. Directory Suppression requires that employees not answer questions or requests for information about a student who has requested Directory Suppression provided there not a release in place or a court order. Directory Suppression and Release of Information forms are located here.
Directory information includes:
- Student’s name
- Telephone number
- University email address
- Date of birth
- Honors and awards
- Current major
- Degrees earned
- Enrollment status
- Dates of attendance
- Grade level
- Most recent educational institution attended
- Sports participation
- Student-Athlete’s height/weight
Please note that awards / recognition for those with directory suppression are not made public.
If you are part of a the Maine Address Confidentiality Program, please note that students must still individually request directory suppression and that your participation in such a state run program does not automatically transfer to the University system.
Security Services & Safety Planning: Students who have concerns about safety on campus or even off campus can meet with designated University personnel for assistance with safety planning.
Assistance Reporting to Police and/or Seeking a Protection Order: The Deputy Title IX Coordinator or designee is available to assist students who wish to file a police report, or want assistance in seeking a Protection from Abuse or a Protection from Harassment order. While the State of Maine has an excellent guide which explains the process well, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator can answer general questions regarding the typical process.
Plan for Title IX Accommodations: Students who have been subjected to intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking or other forms of gender discrimination may need reasonable academic accommodations such as an extended due date, the opportunity to make up a quiz missed due to a court date, etc. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator works with impacted students to determine needs and then makes arrangements faculty for appropriate accommodations. Such communications with faculty are upon request and the nature of the incident is not disclosed.
Time Limits: The opportunity to report instances of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or other forms gender discrimination are not time limited. In addition, as sometimes individuals are affected far after the incident(s), there are not time limited related to requests for accommodation. Students needing assistance should contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
If you are a faculty or staff member and receive a request from the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator about assisting with interim measures, more information on this process can be found in this document.
Title IX Trainings
An online training is required for all incoming UMA students and strongly recommended for all students. An employee version must be completed by all University employees every 3 years. Students and employees can access Get Inclusive by logging into their UMA portal (my.uma.edu), clicking on “UMS Quick Links” located on the left-side bar, and selecting “Sexual Assault Prevention Training.”
New Student Orientation Online
Students may complete UMA’s Online New Student Orientation as an alternative to the “Get Inclusive” training program described above. The online orientation covers all required Title IX topics including definitions, resources, procedures, and University contacts.
Understanding Title IX – In-person and customized to audience
This training is designed to promote a common and consistent understanding and application of the University of Maine at Augusta’s policies, standards, and processes with regard to Title IX. The training facilitator will address required timeliness all potential responders must adhere to upon becoming aware of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment. The training can be tailored to best fit the audience, providing information and scenarios participants can relate to. This workshop can be designed to run in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute time frames.
The goal is that participants will gain an enhanced awareness of the various forms of harassment, sexual misconduct and domestic violence.
Training Completed by Staff Responsible for Title IX and Conduct Administration
A comprehensive list of trainings that have been completed by various staff responsible for the administration of Title IX and conduct policies can be found here.
There are a number of resources external to the University which students, faculty, staff and guests may find helpful resources.
Students who reside in Maine are encouraged to call the Maine Sexual Assault Helpline at 1-800-871-7741 or visit the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault‘s website at mecasa.org. Calls to the helpline will automatically be directed to the caller’s most local Maine sexual assault response agency.
Domestic Violence Support:
Students who reside in Maine are encouraged to contact the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence helpline at 1-866-83-4HELP or visit their website at mced.org to connect with their local intimate partner violence support agency.
While Maine does not have a dedicated stalking resource center, individuals can contact the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence as listed above, or visit the National Stalking Resource Center at victimsofcrime.org.
Human Trafficking Resources: Local students can contact either the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence or the Maine Coaliton Against Sexual Assault for resources in Maine. For resources throughout the country, including Maine, the National Human Trafficking Hotline and website is a great resource.
Filing a Complaint External to the University:
Title IX prohibits retaliation for raising a complaint under Title IX or for advocating for a right protected by Title IX. Students may file a complaint with the following external entities:
Maine Human Rights Commission: Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination covered under the Maine Human Rights Act may file a complaint with the Commission. Complaints may be made in person or mailed to 51 State House Station in Augusta, ME 04330, filed by phone at 207-624-6290 or filed electronically.
Office of Civil Rights: The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is the entity that is charged with enforcing Title IX compliance. Inquiries about these issues may also be referred to the local branch of the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921, telephone (617) 289-0111, fax (617) 289-0150, TTY (877) 521.2172 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The website for the Office of Civil Rights can be located by following this link: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.htm