Title IX law protects all students

UVa-Wise students need to be aware of their rights under the federal law, Title IX, which protects students from discrimination or exclusion based on sex.

Title IX applies to all institutions of higher education receiving federal financial assistance. UVa-Wise is equipped to provide specific accommodations allowing all persons to participate fully in their education.

Title IX provides accomodations for pregnant and parenting students; protection, services, and accommodations for students that are the subject of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, stalking, spousal/partner abuse; and other acts of violence or coercion.

Title IX coordinator Tabitha Smith says students should report all such instances, since her office focuses on empowering individuals affected by gender discrimination and gender-based violence.

Smith said students should know that any responsible employee, including faculty and staff on campus, is required to report incidents of Title IX violations to Smith. Athletic trainers, medical staff and campus counselors are not mandatory reporters, therefore these instances remain confidential until such time the student decides to report to Smith or Campus Police.

“I want all students to know that my hope is for this to be a safe academic environment for them, but should they find themselves subject to an incident, I want them to know that they are not alone and that we have mechanisms here on campus to support them,” Smith said.

Smith operates out of the Office of Compliance, Conduct, and Inclusion, located on the second floor of Cantrell Hall, which deals with a broad range of campus civil rights and federal compliance issues.

The office is headed by Associate Vice Chancellor for Compliance, Conduct, and Inclusion Jewell Worley.

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