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A Comprehensive Guide to Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

“I am hoping that the introduction of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator role on TUJ’s campus will bring a heightened awareness to the issues of interpersonal violence, discrimination, and sexual harassment. In having a designated person on campus, I am hoping the process for receiving these inquiries and complaints will be streamlined which will allow the students to receive care and direction sooner.”

- Nicole Despres, Director of OSS and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at TUJ

What is Title IX?

It is a law first enacted in 1972 that all US universities who receive federal funding must abide by. Temple University Japan, amongst thousands of other American universities, operate under this law. The aim is to prevent gender discrimination within education. “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.” Title IX become known as the law that prevented sex discrimination in sports and although it still applies to this, it’s now more than just that. Title IX applies to cases of sexual violence, interpersonal violence, domestic violence, harassment, and sex discrimination in education.

What is the job of Nicole Despres (Deputy Title IX Coordinator)?

As Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Nicole’s job is to provide students with information on how to report sexual misconduct if they wish. While also making them aware of the different options available to them such as filing a confidential statement on what happened (without notifying their perpetrator), reporting and filing a complaint to the university, and conducting an investigation as part of a Student Code of Conduct violation.

What does it mean to report and file a complaint?

Under Title IX and the Temple University Student Code of Conduct, the university is expected to look into any reports of sexual misconduct which are defined as sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. When a student decides to inform Nicole or any faculty member that is not the Counseling Center of an incident, the school is obligated to report to Main Campus at a minimum.

There are several options available to students who ultimately decide to report, but the only way to speak to someone confidentially is by scheduling an appointment (click here!) with one of the Counselors in Mita Hall. If you would rather make an anonymous report online, it is possible by directly accessing this link.

How does Title IX apply to me? How does TUJ handle cases of sexual misconduct?

Although TUJ is located in Tokyo, it is still a branch of Temple University and as a result, must abide by American standards when it comes to dealing with sexual misconduct. As a student at an American university, TUJ must give you the same resources that Main Campus offers to its students. If you or someone you know is subject to any form of sexual misconduct, it is your right to report it and demand a fair investigation and/or accommodations, in order to continue going to your classes as normally as you can.

How will Title XI potentially change under Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration?

As of now, your rights under Title IX have not changed. However, Betsy DeVos is looking to roll back the policies put in place by the Obama administration. As of September 22, DeVos has withdrawn the Dear Colleague letter issued by the Obama administration which was considered to be a milestone in combating sexual violence on college campuses. The letter recognized how prevalent sexual harassment/violence was in higher education, and the importance of preventing it in the future.

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