UF prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, gender transition status, sex- or gender-stereotyping, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, citizenship, or protected veterans. As such, the University strives to protect students, employees and visitors from any form of sexual misconduct or gender-based harassment, including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Stalking/Cyberstalking, Pregnancy Discrimination and associated Retaliatory Actions. No matter what is defined as a misbehavior that falls within the scope and definitions outlined by the Department of Education’s new Final Rule as a “Title IX violation”, we will continue to address sexual misconduct and strive to eliminate any instance of it through a multi-various approach of sexual misconduct prevention education, healthy relationship modeling, and alcohol education in order to prevent harm from occurring, along with a multitude of support options offered for the harmed party once misconduct occurs. None of those offerings will be impeded by the regulation changes that take effect beginning August 14th.
We will continue to provide an educational and work environment that is safe and free of prohibited discriminatory acts as well as all support options for our community members under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as applicable state and local laws. This includes the formal Title IX investigatory process that leads to adjudication if the allegation of misconduct is substantiated. The Office of Title IX Compliance will continue to work very closely with numerous partners who also offer support for people engaged in the process of a Title IX issue. These partners include the University Police Department, the Office of Victim Advocates, the Care Team in the Dean of Student’s Office, the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, the Gator Well Health Education Specialists, the Counseling and Wellness Center, the University Athletic Association, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Employee Relations, the local Police Departments, the Alachua County Sexual Assault Prevention Coalition, and the Alachua County Alcohol Coalition. We are also continuing to reach out to student groups in order to have their voices heard. To that end, we have recently launched the Student Advisory Board to have students provide input on policies, training, and direction of programming and services provided by the Office of Title IX Compliance. We have also recently added a critical full-time position of Education and Training Coordinator to help facilitate positive change and eradicate harm within our UF community.
In short, we are going to maintain our resolve to create and maintain the safe and healthy environment that each of our constituents expect and deserve, regardless of any changes that may have occurred within the Title IX regulations.