Title IX at UCR
The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates the University of California Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.
What Types of Conduct does Title IX Address?
UCR's Office of Title IX, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action, as part of its mission to promote equity and create a working, living and learning climate free from discrimination and harassment, enforces UC anti-discrimination policies. The two most important policies are the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, which we call the SVSH Policy, and UCR's Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint and Resolution Policy. This website focuses on the SVSH Policy. For information on the Discrimination Policy, please visit our main office website.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE SVSH POLICY HAS BEEN REVISED/AMENDED SEVERAL TIMES, and the current version of the Policy only applies to conduct alleged to have occurred on or after the effective date of the Policy. Previous versions of the SVSH Policy are archived on this website.
The SVSH Policy prohibits harassment based on sex. It also prohibits retaliation for people who make a report of sexual harassment or engage in other protected activities.
Sex-based harassment is unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature or otherwise based on sex and that is severe, persistent or pervasive and creates an intimidating or offensive environment. The Policy defines several types of sexual violence. Sexual violence is by its nature severe and understood to create an intimidate or offensive environment. Sexual violence is:
- Sexual assault. Sexual assault basically is sexual physical contact without consent. There are two types of sexual assault, penetration and contact. The full definition is found in the SVSH Policy.
- Relationship violence, including dating violence and domestic violence. Relationship violence basically is physical violence in the context of a close relationship and part of a patten of abusive behavior. Conduct that causes someone to fear physical violence may also be relationship violence (if, again, it is part of a pattern and in the context of a close relationship). The full definition is found in the SVSH Policy.
- Stalking. Stalking basically is repeated conduct that causes someone fear for their safety or substantial emotional distress, when the conduct is based on or motivated by sex (such as romantic interest). Examples of stalking include following, monitoring, or surveilling. The full definition is found in the SVSH Policy.
Retaliation is any conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from reporting sex-based harassment or participating in an investigation or resolution process, such as harassment or intimidation. The full definition is found in the SVSH Policy.
The SVSH Policy also prohibits invasion of sexual privacy, exposure, statutory rape, and failing to comply with a no-contact order or suspension or order of exclusion.
The SVSH Policy establishes the procedures UCR uses to resolve reports of sex-based harassment (conduct that violates the Policy). There are different procedures available depending on two main factors: (1) whether the person reported to have engaged in the conduct is a student, faculty member, or staff, and (2) whether the conduct is covered by the 2020 Title IX Regulations, which are explained below.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The SVSH Policy and UCR's jurisdiction are limited. The Title IX Office resolution processes are most appropriate for matters that relate to current UCR students, employees (including volunteers), contractors/vendors, visitors, guests and patients), and that occurred:
- on UCR property
- in connection with UCR employment or in the context of a UCR program or activity, or
- off UCR property and outside a UCR program or activity but with continuing adverse effect on UCR property, program or activity.
Determining whether the Policy applies or whether or what process and measures may be used for a specific matter can be complicated; Title IX staff can answer questions you have about this, or you may read the Policy to learn more.
2020 Title IX Regulations
- occurred on or after August 14, 2020; AND
- occurred in the United States in a University "program or activity," which includes:
- on campus; or
- off-campus (1) in the context of University operations, at a location, event or circumstances over which the University exercised substantial control over the respondent and the context in which the conduct occurred, or (2) at a building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University; AND
- was "sex-based conduct" as defined in the Title IX regulation, which includes harassment based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex-or gender-stereotyping, or sexual orientation, if the conduct is severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.
If the conduct falls within the above-noted criteria, the university must address the conduct through the newly designated DOE Grievance Process. The DOE Grievance Process may involve a formal investigation, alternative resolution, or other inquiry. If a formal investigation is conducted, if either party does not accept the preliminary determination made in that investigation, a hearing will be conducted. Some of the notable differences between the formal investigations under the DOE Grievance Process and the investigation processed used for other, non-DOE Covered Conduct are that in the DOE Greivance Process: (1) there is a hearing following an investigation, and prior to policy determination;  (2) indirect questioning of parties and witnesses, through advisors who ask questions of the other party during a hearing; and (3) the University will provide a person to read the party's questions during a hearing if their advisor is not present or they do not have an advisor.
If the conduct does not fall within the above-noted criteria (i.e., other forms of Prohibited Conduct), the University will respond through the processes that existed prior to August 14, 2020. Like the DOE Grievance Process, this could result in a formal investigation, alternative resolution, or other inquiry-or the matter could be closed without a resolution process. If a formal investigation is conducted, it would not involve a hearing unless the respondent is a student or a Senate faculty member.
If a case involves both DOE-Covered Conduct and other Prohibited Conduct, the University will respond under the DOE Grievance Process.
The regulations are complex and, as a result, the SVSH Policy is also complex. The above overview summarizes the major changes within the updated policy. To further clarify these changes, the University developed initial FAQs that are available here, and will be updated as appropriate.
What will happen to pending SVSH investigations?
The regulations only apply to conduct that occurs on or after August 14, 2020. SVSH investigations pending before that date will proceed under the existing SVSH Policy. In addition, the regulations do not apply to the new reports of sexual harassment if the underlying conduct occurred prior to August 14, 2020.
Does this change UC Responsible Employee duties?
No. All SVSH Policy requirements regarding Responsible Employees remain in effect. All UC Employees who are not confidential resources and become aware of the possible sexual violence or sexual harassment of students must report the information to the Office of Title IX, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://titleix.ucr.edu/reporting.