Title IX at Virginia Tech

If you have experienced gender discrimination, including sexual harassment or violence, we encourage you to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. You can report your expereince by completeing an online complaint form.  If you prefer talking to someone in person, you can contact the university's Title IX Coordinator, Katie Polidoro, directly at 540-231-1824 or polidoro@vt.edu

Below are some things you should know about Title IX investigations at Virginia Tech:

Gender based harassment includes acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical agression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping.  Those acts might be sexual in nature.  Even if not sexual, those acts might be targeted based on a person's sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, or gender identity or expression. Learn more here.

Example: Someone repeatedly uses slurs to refer to you because of your sexual orientation.   

Example: Someone threatens to harm you if you don't leave a restroom because of your gender identity.

Sexual violence means physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to their use of drugs or alcohol, or is unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability, or is not of legal age to consent as defined by law.  Sexual violence can be rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coersion. Learn more here.

Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Silence is not conastand coercion, force, or threat of either party invalidates consent.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats that influence another person. It might be bahaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone. Dating Violence includes acts of physical or sexual abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social realtionship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Learn more here.

Stalking means repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted.  It may cause the person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or substantial impairment of a person's ability to perform the activities of daily life.  Stalking may occur in person, but often happens by phone and online. Learn more here. 

Sexual exploitation means acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person's sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantae, or any other non-legitimate purpose.

Example: Without your permission or knowledge, an former partner shares explicit pictures of you that you took during your relationship with their friends or posts them in an online forum.

 

When Virginia Tech offcials are made aware of any potential act of sexual violence that violates Title IX, an investigation into the incident is required. Upon receiving the complaint, a trained Title IX investigator will contact all individuals involved to gather information about the incident. The Title IX investigator will meet with complainants, respondents, and witnesses throughout the investigation process. The investigation process may involve interim measures, which include but are not limited to: No Contact Orders, changes made to schedules, and on-campus housing relocation. If you have any concerns that arise during the investigation, you may voice them to the investigator.

After the investigator has gathered all relevant information, he or she will write an investigation report which is then submitted to Virginia Tech’s Title IX Coordinator. Based on the information collected in the report, the Title IX Coordinator will determine the appropriate response from Virginia Tech. You can expect either of the following at the conclusion of the Title IX investigation:

  • The case has been closed and not referred to Student Conduct.
  • Or, the case has been referred to Student Conduct for adjudication. You will have the option to not participate in their adjudication of the matter.

If you are involved in a Title IX investigation, whether as a complainant, a respondent, or a witness, a Title IX investigator will request a face-to-face meeting. At this initial meeting, the investigator will explain detailed information regarding your rights and options in the investigation process. Participation in this meeting, or any step in the process, is optional.

Some additional rights and options in the Title IX investigation include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Any reasonable accommodations needed to participate if you are a person with a disability.
  • You are encouraged to bring an advocate with you that can support you throughout any step in the process. If you are unfamiliar with someone who can serve in this role, the investigator will be able to provide options.
  • You have the option to not answer questions or provide information to the investigator. It is important to note that the Title IX Coordinator can only offer an effective response to your situation if they have the necessary information to investigate the matter.
  • You will be provided with a prompt, adequate, reliable, and impartial Title IX investigation.
  • Throughout the investigation, you will be provided with updates regarding the progress made in meeting with all parties. It is possible that the investigator may meet with you and others several times during the course of the investigation.
  • At the conclusion of the investigation, you can expect to receive a copy of the investigator’s report if it has been referred to Student Conduct for adjudication.
  • You will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and any adjudication processes that may follow.