Access and Equity

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Title IX and why is it relevant if sexual assault or sexual violence has occurred?

    Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (amending the Higher Education Act of 1965) is a federal gender equity law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal funding. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence and other forms of nonconsensual sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited under this law. Title IX 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 assistance. . . .” (20 U.S.C. section 1681)

    Some people associate Title IX only with equal opportunities for women in college athletics because this issue has received a lot of attention since the law was passed. However, Title IX is much broader and seeks to give all students an educational experience free from gender discrimination.

  • What is a Title IX Coordinator?

    Title IX Coordinator is the designated administrator on Clemson’s campus who’s responsibility it is to oversee Title IX compliance efforts.

    Title IX Coordinator
    Jerry Knighton
    Director of the Office of Access and Equity
    110 Holtzendorff Hall
    864-656-3181 (voice) 864-656-0899 (TDD)

    Deputy Title IX Coordinator
    Alesia Smith
    Director, Community and Ethical Standards
    912 University Union
    864-656-0510
  • What is Clemson University’s Policy related to discrimination based on sex?

    Clemson University is committed to an educational and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, free from harassment and or/discrimination. Accordingly, it is the policy of Clemson University that unlawful harassment/discrimination, by employees; students or non-employees will not be tolerated. Notice of Non-Discrimination.

    Clemson has several more specific policies and procedures that address sexual harassment/discrimination and sexual violence (in addition to other forms of harassment/discrimination and misconduct).

    Policies applicable to alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment/discrimination including sexual violence who are students:

    Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy

    Clemson University Student Code of Conduct

    Policies applicable to alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment/discrimination including sexual violence who are not students but are affiliated with Clemson University:

    Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy

    Procedures for Resolution of Discrimination/Harassment Complaints

  • What is consent?

    Consent requires speech or conduct indicating a freely given, un-coerced agreement to engage in sexual contact. Every member of the University community should be aware that all sexual contact or behavior on the campus and/or occurring with a member of the University community must be consensual.

    To be valid, the person giving consent must be physically and mentally able to:

    1. understand the circumstances and implications of the sexual act;

    2. able to make a reasoned decision concerning the sexual act; and

    3. able to communicate that decision in an unambiguous manner.

    There are a number of factors, which may limit or negate a person’s ability to consent to a sexual act. These include impairment due to the influence of alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription), a person’s mental or physical impairment of which the other person is aware or should reasonably have been aware, unconsciousness, and fear or

  • What to do if I am a victim of sexual assault/violence?

    Report it- then seek support, do not go it alone.

    1. Seek a safe location and trusted individual to be with you away from the perpetrator.

    2. Preserve any evidence of the attack (See tips in Reporting to Law Enforcement).

    3. Report the attack or incident immediately to law enforcement or CUPD.

    4. Seek medical care as soon as possible.
    Examinations can be performed at Easley Baptist Hospital; Oconee Medical Center; Greenville Memorial Medical Center; and AnMed Health Center (Anderson); they are available and specially trained to work with victims of sexual assault.

    5. Report the attack or incident immediately to either the Clemson University Office of Access and Equity (perpetrator is faculty, employee or someone affiliated with Clemson University) or the Office of Community and Ethical Standards (perpetrator is a Clemson University student) so appropriate action can be taken on campus (see How to File a Title XI Complaint).

    Healing from sexual assault takes time and support, counseling services are available for students and employees (see FAQ Where to go for Counseling).
  • If I file a complaint with Clemson University, can someone retaliate against me?

    Retaliation against an individual who has filed a Title IX complaint is prohibited at Clemson University.

    The University strongly encourages students to report any incident of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other types of sexual misconduct. Clemson takes such reports very seriously and prohibits retaliation. Retaliation is conduct causing any interference, coercion, restraint or reprisal against a person filing a complaint of discrimination/harassment or assisting in any way in the investigation and resolution of a complaint. Retaliation is a violation of the University’s Harassment Policy and the Student Code of Conduct and appropriate sanctions will be taken against anyone found to have participated in any acts of retaliation.
  • Will my report be confidential?

    The University wishes to create a safe environment in which individuals are unafraid to discuss concerns. We will keep information reported confidential to the extent permitted by law. However, absolute confidentiality of the harassment/discrimination allegation and the identity of the complainant cannot be guaranteed because the University must also consider fairness to the individual accused, the safety and welfare of all members of the University community, and applicable State and Federal laws.

    Confidential resources for students can be found at Redfern Health Center; confidential resources for faculty and staff can be found through the Employee Assistance Program which is housed with the Office of Human Resources.
  • Does it matter whether the perpetrator is a student/faculty/staff/etc?

    A criminal complaint can be filed against a student, faculty member, staff member or other person through CUPD. For internal non-criminal complaints, there is a process for complaints against students and a separate process for complaints against employees or other individuals affiliated with Clemson University. For more information see How to File a Title IX Complaint.

  • Where can I go for more information about Title IX or sexual harassment/discrimination?

    Office of Access and Equity
    864-656-3181
    Advice and information is available regarding any form of harassment or discrimination at Clemson University.

    Office of Community and Ethical Standards
    864-656-0510
    Advice and information how to make a complaint against a student who as engaged in sexual discrimination/harassment/violence.

  • Where can I go for counseling?

    Office of Counseling and Psychological Services
    864-656-2451
    Free psychological counseling is available at Redfern Health Center to students who have experienced harassment.

    Office of Human Resources
    864-656-3360 or 656-2726
    Employee counseling services are available through the Employee Assistance Program.
  • How to help someone who is a victim of sexual violence or assault?

    Listen without judging. Help assure them the assault(s) was not their fault. Let them know they do not have to manage this crisis alone.

    Encourage the victim to seek medical care and report the assault to law enforcement. If the perpetrator is a Clemson University employee or student or if the assault occurred at Clemson University, also encourage the victim to report the incident to Clemson University (see "How to report"). Encourage the victim to talk to a mental health professional, an advocate or someone they trust.