Frequent Questions

It’s a law. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Marshall is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual misconduct.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that says no institution of higher education can discriminate against anybody on the basis of their sex and gender. Initially having an effect to ensure equal opportunities for women in sports, today, Title IX applies to all forms of sexual harassment and assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Title IX is important because the law requires universities to respond promptly and effectively to address any report of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct and actively take steps to prevent it. Sexual violence on campus is viewed as a hostile environment and thus discrimination, since enduring harassment and victimization prohibits students from equal access to education.

Title IX doesn’t just apply to undergraduate students — faculty, graduate students, staff, and visitors are also protected under the law. The law also does not just apply to female students. It also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, which is important for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

Title IX obligates universities to disclose all of the options and resources available to students. Students who have experienced sexual misconduct are offered resources such as medical care, emotional support, and confidential counseling whether or not they decide to report to law enforcement. Additional supports universities must offer students range from academic and housing modifications, free immediate and long-term counseling, protections from disciplinary action if they were drinking underage or using drugs when the incident happened, and the prohibition of retaliation against students who report. Schools may not retaliate against someone filing a complaint, and they must make an effort to protect the victim from retaliatory behavior and harassment. Students can even choose to file a report anonymously or report on behalf of a peer they know has experienced sexual harassment or assault.

Title IX recognizes all students have the right to due process. The guidance directs universities to balance being as supportive as possible to the student who has experienced the incident while being fair to the person who is reported and honoring their right to due process. Schools are required to be fair. Both parties have the right to present their case, both are allowed to have an advisor of their choice present during Title IX proceedings, and both must receive notification of the outcome.

Sex Discrimination is a broad term that encompasses several forms of prohibited conduct. For example, sex discrimination includes sexual misconduct such as non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Sex Discrimination under Title IX only includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment as defined by Title IX includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

*Sexual misconduct is a form of discrimination under federal civil rights laws. Most forms of sexual misconduct also constitute crimes in Tennessee and throughout the United States.

*You may see Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct used interchangeably, however sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination. The all encompassing term is sex discrimination.

Jessica H. Donahue Rhodes, Esq. is the Title IX Coordinator at Marshall.

The Title IX Office is a compliance, prevention, and resource office. The Title IX Coordinator and associated staff DO NOT have the power to sanction students (e.g., put them on probation, suspend, expel, etc.), or sanction/terminate employees. Decision-makers in the corresponding matters make those decisions.

The Title IX Office is not a discipline office as some believe. The Title IX Office is responsible for three overarching categories:

Compliance – the state of being in accordance with established laws, regulations, guidelines, policies, specifications, or the process of becoming so; ensuring that Marshall conforms to all laws, regulations, guidelines, and policies placed upon them or that are put in place by them. Compliance also includes management or oversight of responding to any alleged violations that occur.
Prevention – focusing up-stream and addressing the causes of sex discrimination/misconduct. True culture change can only be achieved by addressing the patterns, beliefs and behaviors that are at the root of sexual violence (sexual violence is another term that encompasses all forms of sexual misconduct). The Title IX Office implements and supports prevention strategies through training and education efforts, and supporting prevention programming by campus partners and student organizations.
Resources are individualized services that must be mutually provided to the involved parties, where applicable. Resources are intended to restore or preserve equal access to education or deter further harm. An investigation is not needed to request supportive measures under Title IX. See a list of resources – Complainant Resource Guide and Respondent Resource Guide.
Options are paths that you can take to navigate your next steps (formal – meaning an investigation or informal – a process that is not an investigation). See the Title IX Process. If you have questions, please contact the Title IX Office so that the paths can be explained to you.

You can make a Title IX report several ways. If you tell a responsible employee (faculty or staff member who is not a confidential resource) that you are experiencing sexual harassment or other prohibited conduct, then they are required to report that information to the Title IX Office, and the Title IX Office will reach out to you to offer resources.

You can also self-report to the Title IX Office either calling the office at 304-696-3075, emailing at titleix@marshall.edu, or coming to the Title IX Office in person to report information.

Try to be as clear as you can, and, if possible, include the following information: names of anyone involved and any witnesses; whether the incident was reported to any law enforcement official; a timeline of events and relevant background information; specific time, dates, and statements made; and, if any injuries were incurred, describe those injuries and whether any medical treatment was sought.

Click the link below to see the various ways in which you can report an incident. Even if you file a Title IX report and it is determined that it does fall within the Title IX Office, then your report will be forwarded to the appropriate office.


Generally speaking, confidentiality refers to personal information shared with another individual or within a process that generally cannot be divulged or shared to a third party without [your] consent or knowledge. In other words, if you share information with a confidential resource or to persons within a confidential process, then that “resource or process” will not share that information publicly (without a legal process compelling such disclosure). If information is shared with your consent or knowledge, then that information will be kept within what is typically a small group of people/persons who have a right or need to know.

The Title IX Office is not a confidential resource, but we do make every effort to keep student information as private as possible. There is a small group of administrators on campus who are privy to Title IX-related information. The Office does not provide information to parents, other students, faculty, or staff members without your permission through a FERPA release.
If you want to speak with a confidential resource on campus, the Title IX Office can help you connect with the Student Counseling Center. Staff members at the Student Counseling Center are completely confidential and are not required to make a report if you disclose prohibited conduct.

Yes. The University has an online reporting system that allows for anonymous reports. In addition, reports to Marshall University Counseling Center or University Health Services, Clergy, or to off-campus rape crisis resources can be kept confidential. Certain statistics concerning these incidents, rather than detailed information, must be reported to comply with federal requirements. Other employees are obligated to report all incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office.

The Office for Civil Rights has issued guidance that “the [University] should take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the Report consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation.” Marshall’s ability to respond is limited when an incident is reported without specific names.

*First, if a report does not fall within the Title IX Office, it will be forwarded to the appropriate office.

After the Title IX Office receives a report from a responsible employee or another individual, the Title IX Office will reach out to the identified Complainant (the person experiencing the prohibited conduct) to provide resources, offer assistance, and offer a meeting with the Complainant to help the Complainant understand their options and resources. This is always the next step! Marshall is mainly interested in checking on the individual’s wellbeing and to talk with them about options and resources. It is strongly encouraged that involved parties speak with the Title IX Office in order to know what is available for support and to understand the processes. The Title IX Office typically does not follow up with the responsible employee who has made the initial report to respect the privacy of the parties and due to FERPA protections. If a responsible employee completes the Advocate Online Reporter Form, they will receive a confirmation email for their records confirming that the report has been made. Once you have made a report, there is nothing further you need to do. If you have made a report to the Title IX Office and have concerns about follow-up, please feel free to call the Title IX Office directly at 304-696-3075.

As mentioned above, options are paths that you can take to navigate your next steps (formal – meaning an investigation or informal – a process that is not an investigation). See the Title IX Process. If you have questions, please contact the Title IX Office so that the paths can be explained to you. Resources are individualized services that must be mutually provided to the involved parties, where applicable. Resources are intended to restore or preserve equal access to education or deter further harm. An investigation is not needed to request supportive measures under Title IX.

Once the Marshall Title IX Office reaches out to an involved party, it is up to that individual if they wish to speak with the Title IX Office. No one can force or obligate an involved party to participate in a Title IX process, but there are aspects of the regulations and the policy that must occur when a process is initiated (i.e. certain meetings, review of evidence, timeframes, notices, etc.). The involved party is encouraged to speak to the Title IX Office so that next steps can be discussed (what option is preferred and what support is desired). It does not matter if the involved party wishes to pursue a formal process of investigation or an informal process, they must first have a report [click here] submitted and then file a formal complaint. A report and formal complaint are required for either path. One can get a formal complaint form directly from the Title IX Office after a report is filed. The Title IX Office will typically attempt to contact a Complainant three times, and if the Complainant does not respond, the Title IX Office will respect the Complainant’s right not to respond to contact.

Once a formal complaint is filed, it is reviewed. The formal complaint is the step that identifies which option the involved party wishes to choose (i.e. the formal or informal path). The Title IX Office must review the formal complaint to first determine if it meets the standard of Title IX; if it does, it will be approved to move forward for the action requested in the formal complaint (either a formal investigation or an informal process). If the complaint does not reach the standard of Title IX, it will be dismissed and submitted to the appropriate office for review and adjudication (i.e. Office of Student Conduct, Human Resources for Staff, etc).

As a reminder, both the Complainant and Respondent have rights under Title IX and Marshall policies and procedures. The Title IX process is regulated by the federal guidelines and Marshall policy and procedures. For instance, both the Complainant and Respondent have a right to file a formal complaint, both can exercise their right to free speech, both have a right to have an advisor present at any and all meetings, both are presumed not responsible for any alleged violation until a final determination has been made, and both can expect to be supported under the Title IX regulations and policies – just to name a few. The Title IX Office must ensure that if involved parties wish to participate in the process, that they know their rights and that they are treated equally. Title IX covers undergraduate students, graduate students, employees (both faculty and staff), and participants; all parties must be treated equally under the regulations.

As mentioned above, the Title IX Office is not a discipline office and has no authority to suspend, terminate, or otherwise sanction an individual. The Title IX office can not simply “kick someone out” because a report or report(s) are made. Reports serve as information reported “in good faith” to the Title IX Office. The Title IX Office must be a neutral or unbiased party that follows the federal regulations set forth by the federal government and Marshall policy and procedures [see Marshall BOG Policy, Marshall Title IX Procedures for Students, and Marshall Title IX Procedures for Employees here]. Involved parties have a right to due process under the Title IX regulations and Marshall policy and procedures. When there is a formal option for an investigation, all Respondent parties must be allowed the opportunity to face and defend themselves in a hearing against anyone who brings forth an accusation under the Title IX policy. Where there is an informal option, the Title IX Office will work with the involved parties either face-to-face or individually, to resolve the matter without an investigation.

Responsible Employees are persons required to report any information or knowledge of information that may be related to incidents of sex discrimination/misconduct to the Title IX Office. Responsible Employees make reports about what they know of others. This reporting only applies to incidents of sex discrimination/misconduct; it DOES NOT apply to any other form of misconduct. Reports of other misconduct are strongly encouraged, but not mandated or required under this policy.

When someone tells an individual that they are mandated to report, they are sharing a required obligation that helps Marshall to know when incidents of sex discrimination, misconduct, or violence occur. The language that you may typically hear from a Responsible Employee is, “I want to let you know that I am a Responsible Employee. This means that I am obligated to share information about any incident of sexual misconduct/violence/discrimination with Marshall. What this means for you, is that a representative from the Title IX Office will contact you to offer support and resources. It is your choice as to whether or not to respond to the Title IX Office, but I encourage you to do so. You will not be forced to participate in any processes, but it is important that you know what options and resources are available to you so that you can navigate your next steps with support.” Responsible Employees may say some form of this language before, during, or after a conversation. Responsible Employees may be unsure if a report falls under the sex discrimination policy, but they are encouraged to err on the side of care and caution by reporting anyway.

If you believe you are a Responsible Employee who is also a Complainant that has experienced a potential violation of the Title IX Policy or you’ve been victimized in some way, then you may decide if you want to file a report for yourself; you are not required to report on yourself. Mandated reporting involves reporting what you know about other individuals that may be involved with or may have experienced an incident under Title IX. Mandated reporting is only required while serving in your capacity as specific student leader or Marshall employee. There are times in which someone may believe you are a Responsible Employee and may come to you under that knowledge; we still encourage individuals to err on the side of caution and make a report to the Title IX Office. In short, REPORT!

Those who are NOT a Responsible Employee may always file reports; however, they are not required to do so under Marshall policy. Reports can be filed by anyone at any time from anywhere in the world.


West Virginia law also requires that any person who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a minor (person under 18 years of age) has been sexually abused to make a report. Title IX reports regarding certain reports are copied to Marshall University Police Department in order that they may comply with the federal statute known as the Clery Act. A Title IX report that copies to the Marshall University Police Department IS NOT a police report. One must contact the Marshall University Police Department DIRECTLY if they wish to file a criminal report.

– All faculty and staff – except University Counselors, Medical Staff, or clergy
– Students who fall into these specific categories only while holding these roles. Students may transition out of these roles and are no longer mandated to report, however we encourage all students to err on the side of reporting (no other students other than those listed below are mandated to report):

*The Title IX Office and staff are also mandated reporters!

Marshall prepares an annual report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. The Clery Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) is a federal law that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. It requires colleges and universities to:
– publish an Annual Security Report by October 1, documenting three calendar years of select campus crime statistics
– maintain a public crime log
– disclose crime statistics for incidents that occur on campus, in unobstructed public areas immediately adjacent to campus, and at certain non-campus facilities

Marshall’s annual report is prepared by a team bringing together several offices and departments: the Marshall University Police Department; the Marshall Office of Student Affairs; the Marshall Title IX Office; and the Marshall General Counsel’s Office. The report is e-mailed to the entire campus community and can be found HERE.

While both Title IX and the Clery Act contain reporting requirements concerning cases of sex discrimination, the requirements are not identical.

Title IX provides that no person may be subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex under any educational program receiving federal financial assistance. A school must respond promptly and effectively to sexual harassment, including sexual violence. When Responsible Employees know about possible sex discrimination, they must report what they know to the Title IX Office. Marshall must respond to sexual violence that occurs in the context of a school’s education programs and activities (including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs, whether those programs take place in a school’s facilities, on a school bus, at a class or training program sponsored by the school at another location, or elsewhere).

Under the Clery Act, Marshall must disclose accurate and complete crime statistics for incidents that are reported to campus security authorities and local law enforcement as having occurred on or near the campus (crimes include criminal homicide, rape and other sexual assaults, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and others). “Clery Geography” includes three general categories: campus (academic buildings, residence halls, Greek houses, etc.); non-campus property owned or controlled by a recognized student organization; and public property within the reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution (sidewalks, streets, etc.).

The Title IX Office works with the Complainant or reporting party to address the concerns against Marshall or the department and find a path toward resolution. Individuals are encouraged to fill out the same reporting form. You can list Marshall or the department as the Respondent; however, you will still want to identify the specific person or persons (whether leadership or other individuals) whom you believe to be the Respondents (Respondents are individuals who will be identified to respond to a report depending on the process or path chosen). The reporting form is sufficient to identify these issues as it relates to such reports. The Title IX Office will also work to address and tailor the appropriate support for the Complainant as required.

The Title IX Office can provide several supportive measures for both the Complainant and the Respondent including, but not limited to, the following:

– assistance with academic supports, such as sending absence notifications for Title IX related absences
– assistance with scholarship appeals, individual course withdrawals, or total term withdrawals
– connection to medical care on or off campus
– connection to counseling resources on or off campus
– assistance with housing relocation or change
– connection to off-campus supports, such as Branches or CONTACT
– assistance with filing a formal complaint through the University or reporting to law enforcement
– assistance with safety planning
– assistance with a No Contact Order

Yes! If you are a Respondent in a Title IX case, you can get support and resources through the Title IX Office, including, but not limited to, the following:

– Issuing a mutual No Contact Directive between the Complainant and Respondent
– Providing referrals for medical and counseling services
– Exploration of changes in class and extracurricular schedules
– Exploration of changes in living, transportation, dining, and working arrangements
– Appointment for follow-up support services on or off campus
– Assistance communicating with faculty members
– Requesting academic support and academic accommodations such as rescheduling exams or retaking a course

*First, if a report does not fall within the Title IX Office, it will be forwarded to the appropriate office.

The Title IX Office will handle investigations as confidentially as possible. If a victim chooses to make a report but does not want an investigation, the Title IX Office will typically honor a victim’s wishes not to proceed with an investigation and thereby keep their identity confidential.

Sometimes a victim makes a report or discloses to a “responsible employee” of the school but then requests that the school not take any action. It is important to understand that while the Title IX Office will do its best to honor the victim’s wishes, some rare situations may require the school to proceed with investigating the report. Some examples are when the report involves allegations of the use of a weapon, when there are multiple perpetrators or the perpetrator has been involved in other Title IX reports, when the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others, and circumstances suggesting there is an increased risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence. Remember that even when a school decides to proceed with an investigation, a victim is never obligated to participate.

If a victim wishes for the school to investigate an incident of sex or gender discrimination including Sexual Harassment, the victim will not be able to remain confidential. In most cases, the respondent (accused individual) will have a right to be informed as to who has made the report. For this reason, a victim may wish to consult with a confidential source in order to make an informed choice about reporting.

After receiving a report, the Title IX Office will work the Complainant to determine the best way to proceed. In most cases, we will be able to honor your request not to pursue an investigation. However, in some cases we may be required to proceed with an investigation even if it is requested that we don’t. In each situation, the Title IX Office will consider the seriousness of the alleged Sexual Harassment, the age or maturity of the complainant, the existence of any previous accusations against the alleged violator, and the existence of independent evidence to substantiate the allegations. Again, our goal is to help victims, but as a university we are also responsible to ensure we appropriately address the behavior and stop it from happening to others.

Informal Resolution, Formal Resolution, and Declining Participation for Student Conduct

No! The Title IX Office nor any other party can force anyone to participate in a Title IX process.

It is always your choice whether you make a report to the police or pursue a criminal process. The Title IX Office does not make reports to police without the participation of the Complainant, nor can we pursue a criminal process on your behalf without your participation. If you want to report to law enforcement, the Title IX Office will help you connect with police depending on the jurisdiction of the crime. If a crime has occurred on campus, the Marshall University Police Department (MUPD) has jurisdiction. You can report to MUPD by calling 304-696-HELP(4357) or 911 during an emergency.

A report to Title IX means that you are giving the University information about something that occurred in order to prompt some type of university action. For example, you may want the University to know that you have experienced prohibited conduct (prompting the university to make a record of the information or share resources for support), but you do not want to initiate a formal complaint to either the Title IX Office. You can make a report to the Title IX Office to prompt the university to implement supportive measures, to connect you with resources, and/or to share information about reporting options, and all of these university responses are available to you without a requirement that you make a formal complaint. If a Complainant chooses to file a formal complaint, they will sign a formal complaint form. The Title IX Office will assist Complainants in filing a formal complaint.

When you contact the Title IX Office, you will receive information about reporting options, including information about reporting to law enforcement. You can make a report to the Title IX Office with or without reporting to law enforcement or pursuing a criminal process. It is always your choice whether you file a formal complaint and/or report to law enforcement.

Reporting to the police is always your choice. The Title IX Office will never force a Complainant to report to the police. A Complainant can choose to report to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the incident took place.

If an incident occurs on University property (space that is controlled or owned by the University), a Complainant can choose to report to the Marshall University Police Department (MUPD). MUPD can be reached by either calling 911 or via the non-emergency dispatch line at 304-696-HELP(4357). Additionally, there are over 150 Blue Light Phones around campus that can be used to connect to MUPD in an emergency.

If an incident occurs off-campus (not on University-controlled or owned space, such as the Fort), a complainant can choose to report to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.

West Virginia State Police Troop 5, Huntington Detachment
3339 U.S. Route 60 East
Huntington, WV

Huntington Police Department
675 10th Street
Huntington, WV

Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
750 5th Avenue
Huntington, WV

One of the first things victims and witnesses learn about the West Virginia criminal justice system is that it frequently takes enormous lengths of time for a case to wind its way to completion. This is not the fault of judges, prosecutors, or defendants and their lawyers. It happens primarily because West Virginia’s criminal justice system is old fashioned and time consuming. There are so many stages through which a case must progress that it is very difficult for ordinary citizens to understand the process. Please understand that, usually, neither the judge nor the prosecuting attorney has the legal authority to speed up this process. Any changes in the law must be made by the legislature.

To learn more information about the criminal process, you need to speak with the prosecuting attorney that has jurisdiction over the matter. Prosecuting attorney’s offices have victim advocates that can provide detailed information about how the criminal process to you.

Complainants (those who are bringing a report of harm) may take action through the Title IX Process, through the criminal justice system, or through both. When the Complainant is known — some reports are anonymous and give only gender and the location of alleged incident — the Complainant is informed about the option to contact law enforcement.

A Complainant may choose not to pursue criminal action. When an individual decides to turn to the police with a report of sex discrimination, Marshall can simultaneously conduct its own investigation of the allegation and take appropriate action as required by Title IX.

Yes! A Complainant can make a report to the Title IX Office and request supportive measures even if the Respondent is not affiliated with Marshall University. Supportive measures are available regardless of whether a Complainant chooses to file a formal complaint or report to law enforcement.

If a Respondent is not affiliated with Marshall, Marshall is limited on what actions can be taken against the Respondent. A formal complaint can only be initiated if the Respondent is affiliated with Marshall, either as a student or an employee. If a Respondent is not affiliated with Marshall, the Complainant would still have the option to report to law enforcement within the jurisdiction in which the conduct occurred. If an incident has occurred on campus, the Marshall University Police Department (MUPD) has jurisdiction.

Yes! Even if the prohibited conduct occurred in another semester, in a different academic year, or at an off-campus location, a Complainant could still provide information to the Title IX Office and request supportive measures.

Incident(s) that occur outside of a University program or activity may fall under the Code of Conduct for Students, and the Title IX Office will refer any incident(s) to Student Conduct.

If the Respondent is no longer affiliated with the University, the University is not able to investigate a report of prohibited conduct. However, the Complainant can still request assistance with supportive measures.

We encourage students to report as little or as much information as they feel comfortable providing. You are not required to provide details of the incident to receive help and support from the Title IX Office. The Title IX Office may ask questions related to safety, medical needs, or concerns, but you always get to decide how much information you provide.

To initiate a formal complaint, you must provide the following information to the Title IX Office:

– Your name
– The name of the Respondent
– The incident date (if known)
– The incident location (if known)
– A description of the prohibited conduct

A formal complaint is required to begin an investigation under the University’s Title IX Procedures.

Yes. Both the Complainant and the Respondent may have a support person with them during meetings with the Title IX Office. The support person may attend for purposes of observation, but will not be permitted to participate in the interview. If someone attends a meeting as a support person, this may affect whether or not they will be able to be a witness in the investigation.

A No Contact Order (NCO) is a written directive offered through the Title IX Office and issued either by the Title IX Office or the Office of Student Conduct. The purpose of the NCO is to stop all communication between two or more parties, with the goal of helping parties move forward in a helpful and successful way. NCOs are often issued when one party wishes to have no further communication with another party, or when the University determines that two or more people need to have no further communication due to alleged prohibited conduct or other safety concerns. A NCO is not a finding of responsibility, and it does not mean that either party is in trouble. If one party reports a violation of the NCO, the University (Student Conduct) will investigate the report and recommend some type of sanction if it determines a party violated the directive.

An Protective Order (PO) is a legal order given by the court system when there has been a determination of some type of safety risk posed by one person against another person (e.g., if there is a report of domestic violence, and one party has been arrested). The University cannot issue an PO, as it must be sought through the court system. An PO has criminal legal consequences if it is violated.

If a student or employee has an PO against another party, the Title IX Office encourages the Complainant to notify the Marshall University Police Department since they have jurisdiction over the campus. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Website has information about Protective Orders, including links to Personal Safety Forms and Domestic Violence Forms. If you need help obtaining an PO, Branches and CONTACT located off campus can assist.

First, No Contact Orders (NCOs) are MUTUAL and are enforced through the Marshall’s Office of Student Conduct or conduct processes. NCOs typically involve three parties; the two with a conflict and Marshall. A NCO is not one-sided; it is mutual. Both parties are restricted from communication, places, and interactions with one another. Even if one individual “files” a NCO, what they are ideally doing is making a request for Marshall to review and approve the need for a mutual NCO between both parties. The NCO is not “against” the opposing party, but rather “with” another party; it includes both parties and Marshall.

Simply requesting or having an NCO request approved does not imply any judgement regarding the factual nature of the incident. Neither party is deemed responsible for any violation of the Marshall’s policies. An NCO is a support measure rather than a disciplinary process; however, if a NCO is violated, the violation is handled through the appropriate discipline office.

When requests are approved, the expectation is that both individuals will refrain from approaching one another at any time; calling one another at any time; send via email, campus or regular mail anything to one another; contacting or communicating with one another – including through a third party – in any way at any time; entering each others residence halls at any time; and entering each other’s Greek Houses where official membership is held – at any time. It is rare that a NCO is not approved, but each approval is on a case-by-base basis.

If you are a faculty or staff member who learns from a student or colleague that there is an active NCO in place, then you are welcome to work with the party(ies) on what is best for them. There is no requirement beyond ensuring that both parties are not placed in a position where they must make contact with one another. Please know that both parties can be in the same place at the same time, so long as they follow the stipulations of their order (i.e. no verbal or physical contact with each other or through other parties or mediums). The measure is always for support and is not an indication that either party is at fault. It is also not an indication that either party is accused or responsible for a violation.

No. Respondents and Complainants do not have to meet or speak to each other as part of a Title IX investigation or informal resolution if they do not wish to. Both parties will have the opportunity to read and respond to the statements and evidence of the other, but all communication will be facilitated through the investigator.

Should a student who is a Complainant or Respondent decide not to participate in the grievance process, the process proceeds to a reasonable resolution in their absence. The student will continue to receive updates regarding the progress of the investigation and hearing, if any, and may re-engage with the grievance process at any time prior to its conclusion.

Yes! Both parties will have the opportunity to present witnesses and the investigator will make every effort to speak with every witness. The investigator may also develop additional witnesses. Both parties may also provide any relevant evidence. Evidence is often comprised of text messages, emails, photos, videos, or other documents. Evidence can be any information that corroborates or contradicts the allegations, and both parties will have equal opportunity to present evidence and witnesses.

A formal investigation follows a prescribed process and will conclude with a formal finding and outcome.  In nearly all cases, discipline and sanctions can only occur after a formal investigation is complete.  However, if the preponderance of the evidence standard is not met, there will be no discipline and the case will be closed.  An informal resolution works to conclude the matter quickly and confidentially, at the end of which there is no formal finding or discipline.

Yes. Marshall can use Microsoft Teams and you just need to inform the Title IX Office of that request.

If you are in violation of Title IX policy, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) or suspension and expulsion for more serious or repeat violations. Also, there are additional educational sanctions that could be assigned dependent on the case. The possibility of informal resolution is available in these matters. If you are found not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions.

Title IX records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, and medical schools and employers with sensitive information (like the United States government) often ask for a release of the applicant’s conduct record, including Title IX records. Files are retained for at least seven years after the date of the incident; expulsion files are retained indefinitely. The following formal sanctions are recorded on the academic transcript.

  • Probationary Suspension
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
. Grievance process proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the grievance process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with Marshall University policy and federal and state laws and regulations. Although there is an expectation of privacy around information and evidence shared with the parties during the investigation and hearing, the parties have the discretion to share their own knowledge and evidence with others if they so choose. Parties are encouraged to discuss any sharing of information with their advisors before doing so.

Rumors and gossip that are sex-based, sexual in nature, or use disparaging sex-or gender-based language are of particular concern. For example, rumors centered on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression may qualify. Additionally, gossip stemming from allegations of sexual harassment (i.e., sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking) may qualify as sexual harassment, especially if it contributes to or exacerbates an ongoing hostile environment.

To determine if rumors and gossip rise to the level of sexual harassment, the Title IX Office looks at several factors, including:

– The content and nature of the rumors or gossip;
– The degree to which the rumors or gossip affect the target’s ability to access the institution’s education program or activity;
– The frequency, intensity, and duration of the rumors or gossip;
– The age, maturity level, and relationship of those involved;
– Whether the rumors or gossip are contributing to other sex-based harassment within the institution’s education program or activity.

Anonymity in online platforms adds complexity to the analysis, given the widespread use of disparaging language, rumors, and gossip. In situations where online harassment plays a significant role, the Title IX Office can help maintain a safer educational and work environment by encouraging the development of safety plans, which may include bolstering the target’s privacy settings on social media platforms, blocking problematic individuals from accounts, or limiting their online presence for a short period of time.

Evaluating whether rumors or gossip have risen to the level of sexual harassment is nuanced and often done on a case-by-case basis. While rumors and gossip often tend to be less severe than in-person harassment, in terms of content, the cloak of anonymity provided by online communications can cause people to say things online they would never say in person. Conversely, the nature of online communications can easily render harassment more pervasive, as it spreads rapidly and widely. The above criteria can assist the Title IX Office in determining whether rumors and gossip within the school environment constitute a violation.

Marshall is committed to free expression. Speech not specifically directed against individuals in a harassing way may be protected by traditional safeguards of free speech, even though the comments may cause considerable discomfort or concern to others in the community.

Platforms typically have some type of policy and procedure regarding the community standards expected of their users and what to do when a user violates those standards. Click on the links below to learn about the policies and steps that you can take to address inappropriate content. A non-exhaustive list is provided below:

YIKYAK has “Community Guardrails” that speak to what is and is not allowed on their platform. [CLICK HERE]

INSTAGRAM has “Community Guidelines” that speak to community expression and safety. [CLICK HERE]

SNAPCHAT has “Community Guidelines” that speak to community expression and safety. [CLICK HERE]

TIKTOK has “Community Guidelines” that speak to violent or graphic content, illegal activity, and hateful behavior. [CLICK HERE]

FACEBOOK/META has “Community Guidelines” that speak to community expression, privacy, and safety. [CLICK HERE]

TWITTER/X has “Rules and Policies” that speak to platform use and integrity. [CLICK HERE]

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students’ academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. Parents and families may call our office to seek answers to general questions about university procedures, student rights and responsibilities, and other related questions. However, we will not discuss students’ individual educational record without an Authorization to Release Information.

Learn More about FERPA
The staff tries to resolve cases as soon as possible, but sometimes there are delays. It may take a while to get a completed investigation report or we may be backed up with other cases. If your case is going before the Review Panel, it may also take time to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Participants will always be informed in writing of any extensions in the process at all times. Our goal is to complete all investigations within sixty business days. Rest assured that we are moving as efficiently as we can.

If you or your family wishes to be advised by an attorney, this is a personal decision to be made and funded only by you.

Anonymous complaints will be reviewed; however, because the Respondent is entitled to certain due process rights, including, but not limited to, the right to confront their accuser, the University’s ability to address alleged misconduct reported by anonymous sources is significantly limited.

A criminal investigation is completely independent of any Title IX investigation and often runs concurrently. The Title IX investigation is looking into alleged violations of the university policy whereas the criminal investigation is looking into alleged violations of criminal law. The Title IX Office does not share the outcome of its investigative activity with the police and vice versa. A student may, however, provide a waiver allowing the sharing of specific information at their request. Because of the differing standards of evidence in each process, it is possible for the Title IX investigator to reach a finding of responsibility based on the “preponderance of evidence” standard even when a criminal case is unable to meet the higher “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Marshall’s efforts fall into four main categories:

1. Monitoring. Marshall routinely evaluates the campus environment to understand students’ experiences, especially concerning social activities, patterns of behavior, and students’ health and safety.
2. Prevention. Based on these assessments of campus culture, Marshall develops prevention programs to address concerns strategically.
3. Response. When incidents happen, Marshall’s response includes supporting students and their friends, preserving evidence, gathering critical information, providing medical response, informing victims of their options, and creating an environment that feels safe.
4. Training. Marshall trains students on effective bystander intervention. Residential life staff, Greek leaders, and peer educators all receive basic training on prevention and response. Staff members involved in the investigation and hearing process receive training to understand the issues and prepare for their roles.

See below for areas to consider:

1. Reports vs Formal Complaints. First it is important to know that reports are different from formal complaints. Reports serve as information and can come from anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The Title IX Office does not always have the opportunity to speak directly to the Complainant to understand the concerns within a report or to substantiate those concerns. A formal complaint can occur when the Title IX Office has had an opportunity to speak directly to the Complainant about their concerns. A formal action typically follows a formal complaint (i.e. investigation or other informal request).
2. Faculty Role. First, faculty (and staff) are responsible employees who are mandated to report and should always file a report when they believe there is a Title IX issue. Now, when it comes to students, the Title IX Office will not release information to a faculty member without the consent of the student or other extenuating circumstance where the faculty member has a right or need to know. The student, however is always encouraged to speak directly to their faculty about their need for support. If a student chooses to speak to their faculty, it is important that faculty members should never make students feel as if they must share information that is protected. Faculty members may check on students, but should allow students the room and agency to share what they feel is most comfortable. It is alright to ask “Are you comfortable sharing what occurred? It is your choice to do so.” However, faculty should not demand or require an answer to this question. We often ask faculty to offer consideration, where possible, to students who endure a Title IX report or formal complaint, particularly if there is an active investigative process. Again, this is something that faculty will not know, unless the student shares this information or the Title IX Office is released to share this information with faculty. If faculty are contacted by the Title IX Office based on a release from a student, it will be done via email. Utilize the information in the email to provide balanced support based on your capacity, availability, equity within your class, and the needs of the student. A timeframe regarding the needs of the individual may be provided (i.e. a week extension on an assignment or three days to make up an exam), and it is not done lightly.
When it comes to employees, faculty should take the same approach, especially if they are the chair or head of a program, department, or other place of leadership over another faculty member.
3. Staff Roles The same rules apply for staff as they do for faculty, however certain staff have a responsibility to respond to reports when they are received. Outside of these roles, staff are expected to honor the same standards that are listed above for faculty. This is particularly important for Coaches, chaperones, and leaders, and other offices or departments where individuals may be in close proximity due to co-curricular experiences.
4. Support. Offering support is a two-way street. You must be comfortable providing support and the individual must be comfortable receiving the support that you provide. Always ask the individual about their comfort level with support. Faculty and staff are not required to provide support, however it is extremely ideal to do so. There is not a timeframe on when and how long to provide support, so we ask that you work with the individual based on their immediate needs. We want to honor the value of community, so please think of how your support can contribute to the success of the individual who may be in need.
5. Training and Other Questions. If you feel you need additional support or have other questions about how to work with a student, colleague, or other individual, then please reach out to the Title IX Office at titleix@marshall.edu.


Important Definitions

A full list of definitions can be found in the Title IX Procedures. Below is a list of most commonly asked about definitions.

Any person intended to assist the Complainant or Respondent student during the disciplinary process, including, but not limited to, a University-appointed Advisor, faculty member, attorney, or other person. Unless otherwise indicated by the Complainant or Respondent in writing, the Advisor shall be provided a copy of all materials provided to the Complainant or Respondent. An Advisor may be called as a witness to provide testimony, but if the Advisor is an attorney, such an Advisor may invoke the attorney-client privilege. The advisor may assist the party by helping to prepare materials, draft questions, and confer with the party during meetings and hearings, as long as this does not unreasonably disrupt or delay the process. The advisor also represents the party by asking questions of the other party and witnesses at the hearing; however, the advisor may not make statements on behalf of the party. If a party does not have an advisor to ask the other party and/or witnesses questions at the hearing, one will be appointed for this purpose by the institution

Learn More about Advisors
An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. For example, a dean of students who oversees student housing, a student center, or student extra-curricular activities has significant responsibility for student and campus activities. Similarly, a director of athletics, team coach, and faculty advisor to a student group also have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. A single teaching faculty member is unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities except when serving as an advisor to a student group. A physician in a campus health center or a counselor in a counseling center whose only responsibility is to provide care to students are unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. Also, clerical staff are unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

This means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation under Marshall BOG GA-1 policy. There may be more than one Complainant for an incident.

An employee who is not a mandatory reporter or is not obligated by Marshall BOG GA-1 policy to share knowledge and reports of sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator. On-campus confidential resources include licensed mental health professionals and health care providers acting within the scope of their confidential roles. These employees have an exception for extreme cases of immediate threat or danger, in cases of abuse of certain populations (e.g., minors), or when required to disclose by law or court order.

Marshall University confidential resources include:

  • Licensed professionals and staff at Counseling Center,
  • Healthcare providers and staff at Marshall Student Clinic,
  • Licensed professional counselors available through the Employee Assistance Program, and
  • Licensed professionals and students registered for practice under a licensed psychologist at the Psychology Clinic.

Off-campus confidential resources include:

  • Licensed professional counselors and other medical providers,
  • Rape crisis counselors,
  • Domestic violence resources,
  • Local or state assistance agencies,
  • Clergy/Chaplains, and
  • Attorneys.
A mutually acceptable romantic, dating, or sexual relationship between individuals.

A document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University with which the formal complaint is filed. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, through an online portal provided for this purpose by the University, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator, and by any additional method designated by the

A method of resolution utilized to address allegations of sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, and retaliation as defined by BOG GA-1 policy.

Occurs when one person uses power and control over another through physical, sexual, or emotional threats or actions, economic control, isolation, or other kinds of coercive behavior.
University position responsible for the University’s Title IX investigations and other investigations involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or other forms of interpersonal violence, who is trained on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the University’s education program or activity, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias. Investigations may be done by the University Title IX Investigator or other trained individual they designate or assign to a matter. Provided that, in the absence of a Title IX Investigator, the Title IX Coordinator may investigate or assign cases to other trained Investigators or external resources.
A notice sent by the Title IX Office which states that a student or student organization may have no direct or indirect contact with another person, student organization, or student organization member (including by another person on behalf of the person to whom the order was issued); prohibited contact includes but is not limited to making a contact by way of personal (verbal or non-verbal), physical, phone, and/or electronic means including social media.
The Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) in a matter, collectively.
Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation as defined in Board of Governors Policy GA-1.
A reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.

Information provided to the Title IX Coordinator indicating that sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation may have occurred.
Any individual that makes or files a complaint about prohibited conduct under the Board of Governors Policy GA-1 policy. The Reporter may be the Complainant, any other person, or the University.

Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or retaliation under Marshall BOG GA-1 policy.
Decision-makers from a standing pool of members of the University community or external professionals who are trained decision-makers appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to adjudicate allegations of Prohibited Conduct and to determine the appropriate sanction.

A consequence imposed by the University on a Respondent who is found to have violated BOG GA-1.

A Hold will be placed on the student’s account if a student is charged with or found responsible for Prohibited Conduct. A Social Obligation Hold will prevent the student from conducting University business without the approval of the Title IX Coordinator as well as prevents a student from registering for academic courses pending the outcome of the investigation, adjudication, and disposition of the complaint. A student who is under a Social Obligation Hold is not permitted to withdraw from the University without the approval of the Title IX Coordinator. In situations where a student is found responsible and given a Reportable Sanction, a notation will be placed on the Student’s

The University will use a Preponderance of the Evidence standard (i.e., the evidence demonstrates that it is more likely than not that the conduct occurred), often referred to as “50 percent plus a feather.”

A person chosen by a party (the Complainant or Respondent) to provide support to them at meetings and interviews with investigators and other Marshall staff. The parties may bring up to two support people at a time with them to meetings and interviews, in addition to the party’s advisor. These support people do not have to be the same people every time. Support people do not actively participate in the process but can be present at meetings and interviews to provide support to the party. Support people do not attend the hearing, if any, but the party must be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor. A support person cannot be a witness in the matter in question.

Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been The University will maintain the confidentiality of supportive measures provided to the parties to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair its ability to provide the supportive measures. Supportive measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment or to deter sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, and retaliation.

An individual who is not a University student, faculty, or staff member. Third parties may be a participant in any University related program or activity, for example, visitors, guests, independent contractors, and vendors.

The official designated by Marshall University to ensure compliance with Title IX and oversee the implementation of this policy. References to the Title IX Coordinator throughout may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.

The Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Case Manager, and the members of the grievance process pool.

Person who is requested to participate in the grievance process because they may have relevant information about the alleged violation. The Investigator(s) may identify potential witnesses, or their names may be supplied by the Complainant, Respondent, or others with knowledge of the matter.