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Frequently Asked Questions

Title IX


Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972 (“Title IX”), refers to a 1972 federal law that protects students from a broad range of sex-based harassment and obligates schools to prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex.  

Title IX applies to specific sex-based harassment involving students and/or employees that are participating (or attempting to participate) in domestic, YU-sponsored programs or activities, including incidents that occur on campus. Complaints of sex-based discrimination or harassment that don’t meet that criteria fall outside the Title IX regulations, but may still be prohibited behavior under YU policies and should still be reported and will be managed by the Title IX Office.  

No, the Title IX office will assist, support and investigate complaints independent of its status as a Title IX or non-Title IX complaint. 


YU encourages all members of the campus community to report incidents of sexual misconduct so the University can provide support and services and address the conduct. YU requires employees to report incidents of sexual misconduct unless they are a confidential reporter. Examples of mandated reporters include Title IX officers, coaches and athletics administrators, residence life, student life, human resources, and security.  

Victims retain the right to go to law enforcement at any time, before, during or after a university disciplinary process. They also have the right to decline to report to law enforcement. Should you choose to go to the police, the University will help you and will protect you from retaliation.   

Law enforcement and the University act independently. The University is tasked with determining whether a school policy was violated and if so, remedying the effects of the violation. A criminal investigation is intended to determine whether a defendant violated criminal law.  If, at the conclusion of the criminal investigation, the defendant is tried and found guilty, the defendant may be sentenced to criminal penalties. Law enforcement and the University use different definitions and different standards of evidence.  

The University will provide supportive measures that can include modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual “no contact” orders, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.  Supportive measures are available, whether or not a formal complaint has been filed.  

The University’s disciplinary authority may not extend to third parties who are not students or employees of the University; however, YU will still offer assistance and supportive measures to the victim and can provide support in making a report to law enforcement. 

  • Formal Resolution involves an investigation in which the parties and witnesses are interviewed, and relevant evidence is collected. In the case of complaints that meet the federal definition of Title IX, a determination of responsibility is made only after a hearing.  

  • Informal Resolution is available for some types of complaints if both parties and the institution agree. An Informal Resolution may involve mediation or other informal resolution process.  

The University can implement modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, “no contact” orders, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures. Intentional and/or continued violations of a University-issued “no contact” order is a violation of University policy and may result in additional charges and sanctions.

Filing a Complaint

YU believes the choice to bring a formal complaint rests with the complainant. That said, YU must weigh the request for confidentiality against the institution's obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of its community. Only in limited circumstances will the school bring a complaint against the wishes of the complainant and the complainant is never required to participate. 

The University does not, and has never, required that the parties execute a non-disclosure agreement before it starts an investigation.  The University strives to maintain the privacy of everyone involved in an investigation, and requests that the parties keep the investigative report confidential.  An NDA may be used to ensure that the written report is not shared in inappropriate or retaliatory ways. The University does not restrict the parties from discussing the incident or collecting and providing evidence.  

The Title IX office has a specialist for cases involving a University employee. In all cases YU will conduct a fair and impartial investigation and take appropriate action against any employee who is found to have violated the policy. 

A party may bring a complaint at any time, however, the University strongly encourages prompt filing as the passage of time makes investigation more difficult. 

Due to the nature of the process and the need to speak with witnesses candidly, YU cannot maintain confidentiality once a complaint is filed. However, YU treats all information with diligence and care, and privacy will be maintained to the extent possible, not sharing information with anyone who does not have a need to know. Except in an emergency situation, the University will not release information to family members without consent. 

Formal Process

Both the complainant and respondent may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice during any meeting or proceeding related to the formal complaint. That advisor may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.  If a party needs an advisor at the hearing, one will be provided by the University at no cost. 

In order to begin the investigatory process, the respondent will need to be informed of the allegations, including the name of the complainant. Each party has the right to see all the allegations and evidence. YU strictly prohibits retaliation and will investigate and address reports of retaliation expeditiously.   

Generally speaking, one may withdraw a complaint during the process. However, depending on the details of the allegation, the University may choose to pursue the investigation to ensure that we provide a safe, non-discriminatory, and harassment-free environment. A complainant is never required to participate and may withdraw from participation, even if the complaint is proceeding.  

YU utilizes trained, independent investigators. By independent, YU means they do not have a previous relationship with either the complainant or the respondent. The Investigators may be University employees or outside investigators. 

YU makes every effort to be reasonably prompt in resolving complaints but it is difficult to estimate the duration of the process as each case is unique. The process can be lengthened based on the availability of the complainant or respondent, availability or volume of witnesses or evidence, number and length of interviews, and several other factors. The federal regulations also require a timeframe to review the investigative reports. The parties will receive written notice of any temporary delays or extension of time frames.  

Both parties are given an equal opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The investigators also collect relevant evidence.  

For these purposes, the standard of evidence is “a preponderance of the evidence” which is essentially like saying it is more likely that it happened than likely that it didn’t happen. This is very different from the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. 

If the University determines that an individual has violated the policy, the University may impose sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion for students, and termination of employment for employees. In addition to any disciplinary action, the University may take action to eliminate, prevent, and address the effects of the discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct on the parties involved, the witnesses and the University community, as appropriate. 

If a formal complaint is filed with the University, you will receive written notice of the alleged behaviors, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. You will also be provided supportive measures. No permanent disciplinary action will be taken until the conclusion of the grievance process.  

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