Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "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 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence and sexual assault, is a type of sex discrimination and is prohibited by Title IX and by UVU.

UVU is committed to responding promptly and effectively to reports of discrimination based on sex. We strive to stop the harm, remedy the effects, and prevent its recurrence.



white blossoms against a blue sky

What is discrimination?

Generally, to discriminate against someone means to treat that person differently, or less favorably, for some reason. For purposes of UVU, it means treating someone differently on the basis of their inclusion (or perceived inclusion) in one or more protected classes when:

  • that conduct adversely affects a term or condition of employment (e.g., compensation, benefits, duties, position classification, etc.), education, or participation in a UVU program, activity, or service.


  • a person’s membership in a protected class serves as the basis or motivating factor in a decision adversely affecting the terms or conditions of employment, education, or participation in a UVU program, activity, or service.

What is harassment?

Harassment is any unwelcome verbal, physical, written, electronic, or non-verbal conduct (whether directly, indirectly, or through a third party) based on that person’s inclusion in one or more protected classes that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment of an employee or to limit, interfere with, or deny educational benefits or opportunities of a student, from both a subjective and objective viewpoint based on a totality of the circumstances.

What is a protected class?

According to Policy 165, protected classes include: "Race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 and over), disability, veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or other bases protected by applicable law."

What is severe, persistent, or pervasive?

While UVU takes all reports seriously and is committed to conducting complete and thorough fact-finding to reported incidents, courts have indicated that the severe, persistent, or pervasive standard is intended to prevent these laws from becoming a “general civility code” by filtering out complaints focused on the ordinary tribulations of the workplace. These ordinary tribulations may include things such as simple teasing, offhand comments, abusive language, genuine but innocuous differences between genders, or isolated incidents and are generally considered insufficient to constitute actionable discrimination or harassment, unless it is severe, persistent, or pervasive.

While not all unprofessional or uncivil workplace conduct may rise to the level of unlawful discrimination or harassment, for those cases that do not meet this threshold, they may be handled under other appropriate UVU policies such as Policy 326 - Workplace Conduct, because UVU strives to provide and maintain a workplace and learning environment free from abusive conduct and expects everyone to demonstrate respect and fairness to others.

What is a hostile environment?

Hostile environment is a form of harassment and becomes unlawful when the conduct is severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation is an action, performed directly by an individual or through others, that is aimed to dissuade a reasonable person from engaging in a protected activity or is done in retribution for engaging in a protected activity.

An action in response to a protected activity is not retaliatory unless:

  • it has a materially adverse effect on the working, academic, or other university-related environment of an individual 


  • it would not have occurred in the absence of (but for) the protected activity.

Some examples might include filing a report of protected-class discrimination or sexual harassment in good faith, assisting others in making such a report, or honestly participating as an investigator, witness, decision maker, or otherwise assisting in an investigation or proceeding related to discrimination or harassment.

When do I report an incident?

Should you experience, witness, or receive a report of alleged or actual discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, we encourage you to report the incident(s). Even if you doubt or are unsure if you should report an incident, we encourage you to do so. This will trigger the fact-finding process that follows specific principles and rules to ensure everyone involved is treated fairly and incidents are resolved in the most appropriate manner possible.

UVU Policies

Policy 162: Title IX Sexual Harassment

UVU’s Title IX Sexual Harassment policy applies to students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Sexual harassment is prohibited verbal or nonverbal conduct on the basis of sex (including sex, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression).

Under Title IX, the following types of conduct constitute sexual harassment and are prohibited:

  • Any instance in which an employee of UVU conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of UVU on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
  • Any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a UVU education program or activity.
  • Any instance of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined  by law or UVU policy.

Retaliation is also prohibited under Policy 162, which includes actions such as intimidation, threats, coercion, or others aimed at dissuading a reasonable person from engaging in actions protected under the policy or as retribution for having done so. Some of the more common protected actions may include:

  • Making a report in good faith.
  • Testifying during an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
  • Conducting or assisting with an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
  • Participating or refusing to participate in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.

Policy 165: Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action

UVU is committed to maintaining a respectful and safe environment for its students, faculty, staff and visitors. UVU Policy 165 defines and prohibits all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on any protected class including race, color, religion, national origin, sex/gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran/military status, pregnancy-related condition, genetic information, or any other class protected by law.

This commitment includes:

  • Endeavoring to provide equal opportunity consistent with applicable law in all recruitment, admissions, and employment-related activities, procedures, and decisions.
  • Ensuring that our practices and decisions should be instituted and administered in a fair and equitable manner, without prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
  • Providing reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to qualified UVU job applicants, employees, or students, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on UVU and/or compromise legitimate academic or technical standards, course objectives, or educational goals.
  • Responding promptly and effectively to reports of protected-class discrimination, harassment, and retaliation as well as taking appropriate action to stop and prevent it’s recurrence.
Retaliation is also prohibited under Policy 165, which includes actions such as intimidation, threats, coercion, or others aimed at dissuading a reasonable person from engaging in protected actions under the policy or as retribution for having done so.

Related Laws

The Clery Act

The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges to:

  • Report crimes that occur on campus and list school safety policies each year in an Annual Security Report (ASR).
  • Issue timely warnings when there are known risks to public safety on campus.
  • Have a Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights, which requires colleges to disclose educational programs, campus disciplinary processes, and victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints.

The Violence Against Women Act

VAWA, or the Violence Against Women Act, creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.


The Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVe)

The Clery Act was expanded in 2013 by theCampus SaVE Act. The Campus SaVE Act requires universities to provide “primary prevention and awareness programs” for new students and employees, as well as provide ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns.