Office of Equity & Inclusion

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under an educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Read More.

Marywood University is committed to adhering to all federal and state law related to Title IX. It is our commitment to protect our students, faculty, and staff from sexual or gender based misconduct including discrimination, assault, and harassment.

As outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Marywood does not condone and will not tolerate sexual discrimination or sexual violence of any kind, including, but not limited to, rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, harassment based on sex, sexual activity for which there is no consent, or any other misconduct that may violate this Sexual Misconduct and Complaint Procedures Policy if it is sex/gender-based, including hazing, bullying, and cyberbullying.

The definitions below are used often used in the Office of Equity and Inclusion and are outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Title IX Training Materials Effective August 2020 

Marywood’s campus community is encouraged to utilize the incident report form or contact one of the coordinators below to report an incident. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Notice of Report

Once a notice of a report is made, the Title IX office engages in a preliminary inquiry to gather as much information as possible about the report. Next steps in the process include but are not limited to 1. The university determining if the information presented in the report establishes a violation of the policy, 2. Resolving the issue through an informal process, 3. Commencing a formal investigation.

If the complainant wishes to remain anonymous, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not wish to pursue a formal complaint, the complainant may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. However, the University’s response may be limited, including pursuing discipline. Furthermore, because of the University’s obligation to maintain a safe environment for all members of the University community, the University may not be able to fully honor a complainant’s request and may have an obligation to pursue an investigation without the complainant’s cooperation. When evaluating a request, the Title IX Coordinator will examine certain factors, including whether violence, weapons or alcohol were involved; one of the parties is a minor; there is a pattern; or if a continuing threat to the community exists.

Investigative Process

Interim Measures

Marywood University will make every effort to take immediate action to address Title IX incidents and mitigate its effect on the parties involved and the campus community as well as prohibit its reoccurrence. As such, interim measures may include the following:

  • Adjusting a student’s class schedule
  • Relocating a student’s on campus residence
  • Providing additional support for a student
  • Issuing a contact order


Individuals may choose to proceed informally or formally. Both the reporting party and respondent will be given notice of the investigation in writing.

Informal Resolutions

The Title IX Coordinator will determine the steps to take to resolve the issue. Both parties must be in agreement with the terms of the resolution and in some cases, issues can be resolved through mediation. A complainant may choose to stop the informal process and proceed to the formal process any time before the completion of the informal process. Resolutions achieved through this process cannot be appealed.

Note: Situations involving sexual assault or sexual violence will proceed formally.

Formal Resolutions

Both the complainant and respondent will be notified of a formal investigation in writing. The Title IX Coordinator will assign a trained investigator(s) that will engage in an information gathering process. This includes but is not limited to 1. Interviewing the complainant and respondent, 2. Interviewing witnesses, 3. Reviewing evidence (i.e. documents, video, etc.), 4. Working with Campus Safety.

The investigator will write an investigative report that includes the results of the interview with both parties and witnesses, summary of information collected, and findings based on the preponderance of evidence (more likely so than not). Both parties will have an opportunity to review the investigative report and provide feedback within 5 business days.

If there is no policy violation or the respondent admits to the charges, the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will determine sanctions and conclude the investigation. In other cases, the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will appoint a panel to review the case. The panel will determine, based on a preponderance of evidence, if there was a policy violation.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct is an umbrella term used to describe unwanted conduct that is sexual in nature such sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, sexual intimidation, stalking, and relationship violence (intimate partner and dating violence).

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as threats of, or deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature that is against another person’s will or without consent. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. deliberate physical contact of a lewd type, including brushing, touching, grabbing, pinching, patting, hugging and kissing;
  2. deliberate or reckless threats, actual or implied, of physical contact of a sexual nature that results in reasonable fear of sexual assault or physical harm;
  3. coerced sexual activities, including rape. Rape, the most severe type of sexual assault, is legally defined in Pennsylvania as sexual intercourse that is coerced through force or threats of force, or with someone who is unconscious or with someone who is so mentally deranged or deficient as to be incapable of consent.


Consent means an informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. By definition, there is no consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological. A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist the aggressor; the lack of informed, freely given consent to sexual contact constitutes sexual misconduct.

Sexual Harrassment

Sexual Harassment is defined as conduct that is sexual in nature, unwelcome, and denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a school’s educational program. Sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment.

There are three forms of sexual harassment: quid pro quo, hostile environment, and retaliation.

Quid pro quo harassment can only be carried out by a faculty member, an administrator, or another employee. It consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and submission to, or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action. Some examples include:

  1. submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; or
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as sexual or intimate partners engaging in one or more of the following acts:

  1. Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, or indecent assault with or without a deadly weapon;
  2. Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
  3. Inflicting false imprisonment;
  4. Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury.


Rape is defined as an individual engaging in sexual intercourse with another individual:

  1. by forcible compulsion;
  2. by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
  3. when the other individual is unconscious or is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring;
  4. where the individual has substantially impaired the other individual’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or
  5. where the other individual suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.


Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts towards another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place the other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to the other person or engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicating to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to the other person.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation includes, but is not limited to, prostituting another person, non-consensual visual or audio recording of sexual activity, non-consensual distribution of photos, images or information of an individual’s sexual activity or intimate body parts, non-consensual voyeurism, coercing someone against their will to engage in sexual activity, or knowingly transmitting sexually transmitted disease (STD) without disclosing STD status.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex—including pregnancy and parental status—in educational programs and activities.

All public and private schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any Federal funds (“schools”) must comply with Title IX.*

Title IX provides that:

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.

ED’s regulation implementing Title IX specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.15 The Title IX regulation also prohibits a school from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex.16

Under Title IX, it is illegal for schools to exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program.17 This prohibition applies to specific classes such as advanced placement or honors classes, extracurricular programs, interscholastic sports, honor societies, and opportunities for student leadership, among other activities. Schools may implement special instructional programs or classes for a pregnant student, but participation must be completely voluntary on the part of the student, and the programs and classes must be comparable to those offered to other students.18

In addition, a school must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns to school, she must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her medical leave began.19

Any special services provided to students who have temporary medical conditions must also be provided to a pregnant student.20Therefore, if a school provides special services, such as homebound instruction or tutoring, for students who miss school because they have a temporary medical condition, it must do the same for a student who misses school because of pregnancy or childbirth.21

Title IX Requirements Regarding Pregnant and Parenting Students

Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students

Marywood considers ALL employees responsible employees. This is means that all employees has an obligation to report if there is active or constructive notice of sexual harassment/sexual misconduct. Counseling/Student Development Center, Health Services, and Clergy are considered confidential employees. These employees must meet the following requirements to be considered confidential: 

  1. Acting in the capacity for which they are employed
  2. Acting within the scope of their license, and
  3. Receive the disclosure during the scope of that employment

Professional staff in the Student Health Services Center and the University chaplain have an obligation to report aggregate, non-identifiable data for Clery and Title IX purposes upon request.

Whistleblower Hotline

Any member of the Marywood community may call the University Whistleblower Hot Line at 855-278-2074 and/or use the Internet-based reporting system. See Whistleblower Policy.

Women's Resource Center

Lackawanna County: 570-346-4671
Susquehanna County: 1-800-257-5765
Visit Website

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

TTY: 1-800-787-3224
Visit Website

National Sexual Assault Hotline


Love is Respect Hotline
1-866-331-9747 or Text "loveis" to 22522

It's On Us

In December 2018, Marywood University was one of the recipient of the Its On Us grant. This funding will allow us to increase education and training about sexual discrimination including sexual misconduct on campus.

Visit It's On Us Website

GLBT National Help Center

Hotline 1-800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743) or Online Chat

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Hotline  1-800-832-1901

FORGE– serves transgender and gender nonconforming survivors of domestic and sexual violence; provides referrals to local counselors

Contact Title IX Coordinators

Yerodin Lucas
Ross Novak
Nicole L Malloy