George Mason University has implemented a new Title IX/sexual and interpersonal misconduct policy and procedure for employees and students in response to new federal Title IX regulations – Policy 1202: Sexual and Gender Based Misconduct and Others Forms of Interpersonal Violence. In May of 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued new regulations mandating how colleges and universities must investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities. As a result, all educational institutions that receive federal funding, including George Mason University, were required to update their policies related to sexual and interpersonal misconduct by August 14th, 2020.
George Mason University continues to take sexual and interpersonal misconduct seriously and is committed to providing an inclusive, safe, and welcoming educational and working environment for all members of its community. The University’s goal is to meet its responsibilities in a manner that ensures compliance with federal law while best fulfilling our commitments to safety, wellbeing, and equity.
The new policy includes a single procedure for handling allegations of sexual misconduct in both student and employee cases. The updated Title IX website provides additional information regarding resources and the new policy and procedure, which were effective August 14th, 2020.
Under the new policy, conduct of a sexual nature that previously constituted a violation of University policy will continue to constitute a violation of University policy. The University will also continue to address reports of misconduct falling outside the jurisdiction/scope of federal Title IX regulations.
Other important aspects related to GMU’s Title IX/sexual and interpersonal misconduct policy include:
- University policy continues to apply to off-campus sexual misconduct between two members of the University community when the conduct has continuing adverse effects on or creates a hostile environment for an individual while on the University’s campus or other property owned or controlled by the University or in any University employment or educational program or activity.
- The preponderance of the evidence standard (more likely than not) continues to apply in student and employee matters.
- A complaining party has the option to request a formal resolution process. The formal resolution process includes an investigation and a live hearing with the opportunity to cross examine (conducted by parties’ advisers).
- Parties who do not wish to participate in the University’s formal resolution process may have an option to participate in a voluntary informal resolution process.
- Individuals may obtain supportive measures (such as No Contact Orders, academic support, safety planning, or housing changes) through the Title IX Coordinator regardless of whether they initiate or participate in a formal or informal resolution process.
To report sexual misconduct, discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender in any of the University’s education programs or activities or to obtain assistance with support measures, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator or complete the online reporting form: https://diversity.gmu.edu/titleix-webform.
Angela Nastase, University Title IX Coordinator
Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, 373 Aquia Building
4400 University Drive, MS 2C2
Fairfax, VA 22030
The Title IX Office continues to remain open, functioning remotely or via appointment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit GMU’s Title IX website for more information. For immediate safety concerns, please call 911.
Angela Nastase, JD
Title IX Coordinator
Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics