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2019 Town Hall

Based on a vote of the Graduate Senate at the last Graduate Senate Meeting in December, the Executive Council has put together a Town Hall. This Town Hall is open to everyone on campus, but will focus on graduate student issues, concerns, and questions.

The Town Hall will be largely free-form with a few talking points introduced at the beginning.

All questions will be answered to the extent possible during the Town Hall or by January 18th via email and this webpage.

January 14th from 1p-3p in Commons 331.

Light refreshments will be provided.

The talking points are as follows:

  • Introductory Discussion: 5 minutes
  • Retriever Courage (what it is, structure, how to get involved): 15 minutes with questions.
    • Presentation on Title IX (how it’s implemented at UMBC, how to provide commentary): 25-30 minutes with questions
  • Graduate Senate Structure: 15 minutes with questions

Materials for Town Hall

Questions Posed at Town Hall

Question #1

As a GA, I know that I am a responsible employee. Am I therefore required to go directly to the Title IX Office with a disclosure or to my advisor/faculty supervisor?

Answer: Go directly to Title IX Office, the Office will be able to determine whether or not it is appropriate to discuss the details of the disclosure with your faculty supervisor.




Providing Comments on Federal Regulations require adherence to the following…


The Department seeks additional comments on the questions below:

1. Applicability of the rule to elementary and secondary schools. The proposed rule would apply to all recipients of federal financial assistance, including institutions of higher education and elementary and secondary schools. The Department is interested in whether there are parts of the proposed rule that will be unworkable at the elementary and secondary school level, if there are additional parts of the proposed rule where the Department should direct recipients to take into account the age and developmental level of the parties involved and involve parents or guardians, and whether there are other unique aspects of addressing sexual harassment at the elementary and secondary school level that the Department should consider, such as systemic differences between institutions of higher education and elementary and secondary schools.

2. Applicability of provisions based on type of recipient or age of parties. Some aspects of our proposed regulations, for instance, the provision regarding a safe harbor in the absence of a formal complaint in proposed § 106.44(b)(3) and the provision regarding written questions or cross-examination in proposed § 106.45(b)(3)(vi) and (vii), differ in applicability between institutions of higher education and elementary and secondary schools. We seek comment on whether our regulations should instead differentiate the applicability of these or other provisions on the basis of whether the complainant and respondent are 18 or over, in recognition of the fact that 18-year-olds are generally considered to be adults for many legal purposes.

3. Applicability of the rule to employees. Like the existing regulations, the proposed regulations would apply to sexual harassment by students, employees, and third parties. The Department seeks the public’s perspective on whether there are any parts of the proposed rule that will prove unworkable in the context of sexual harassment by employees, and whether there are any unique circumstances that apply to processes involving employees that the Department should consider.

4. Training. The proposed rule would require recipients to ensure that Title IX Coordinators, investigators, and decision-makers receive training on the definition of sexual harassment, and on how to conduct an investigation and grievance process, including hearings, that protect the safety of students, ensures due process for all parties, and promotes accountability. The Department is interested in seeking comments from the public as to whether this requirement is adequate to ensure that recipients will provide necessary training to all appropriate individuals, including those at the elementary and secondary school level.

5. Individuals with disabilities. The proposed rule addresses the rights of students with disabilities under the IDEA, Section 504, and Title II of the ADA in the context of emergency removals (proposed § 106.44(c)). The Department is interested in comments from the public as to whether the proposed rule adequately takes into account other issues related to the needs of students and employees with disabilities when such individuals are parties in a sex discrimination complaint, or whether the Department should consider including additional language to address the needs of students and employees with disabilities as complainants and respondents. The Department also requests consideration of the different experiences, challenges, and needs of students with disabilities in elementary and secondary schools and in postsecondary institutions related to sexual harassment.

6. Standard of Evidence. In § 106.45(b)(4)(i), we are proposing that the determination regarding responsibility be reached by applying either a preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing standard, and that the preponderance standard be used only if it is also used for conduct code violations that do not involve sexual harassment but carry the same maximum disciplinary sanction. We seek comment on (1) whether it is desirable to require a uniform standard of evidence for all Title IX cases rather than leave the option to schools to choose a standard, and if so then what standard is most appropriate; and (2) if schools retain the option to select the standard they wish to apply, whether it is appropriate to require schools to use the same standard in Title IX cases that they apply to other cases in which a similar disciplinary sanction may be imposed.

7. Potential clarification regarding “directly related to the allegations” language. Proposed § 106.45(b)(3)(viii) requires recipients to provide each party with an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence directly related to the allegations obtained as part of the investigation, including the evidence upon which the recipient does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility, and provide each party with an equal opportunity to respond to that evidence prior to completion of the investigative report. The “directly related to the allegations” language stems from requirements in FERPA, 20 U.S. Code 1232g(a)(4)(A)(i). We seek comment on whether or not to regulate further with regard to the phrase, “directly related to the allegations” in this provision.

8. Appropriate time period for record retention. In § 106.45(b)(7), we are proposing that a recipient must create, make available to the complainant and respondent, and maintain records for a period of three years. We seek comments on what the appropriate time period is for this record retention.

9. Technology needed to grant requests for parties to be in separate rooms at live hearings. In § 106.45(b)(3)(vii) we require institutions of higher education to grant requests from parties to be in separate rooms at live hearings, with technology enabling the decision-maker and parties to see and hear each other simultaneously. We seek comments on the extent to which institutions already have and use technology that would enable the institution to fulfill this requirement without incurring new costs or whether institutions would likely incur new costs associated with this requirement.