Pregnant and Parenting Students

How Does Title IX Protect Me?

Title IX protects pregnant and parenting (including non-birth) students from discrimination. This includes pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, miscarriage, or recovery from any of these conditions. It is illegal to exclude a pregnant student from any part of an educational program due to their pregnancy and parenting status.

Definitions

A pregnant student/birth-parent refers to the student who is or was pregnant.
A non-birth parent includes:
  • Spouses or partners of individuals anticipating or recently experiencing the birth of a child
  • Parents who adopt a child
  • Parents by means of surrogacy

Absences

Absences related to pregnancy and childbirth must be excused as long as your doctor deems the absence medically necessary (i.e., for doctor’s appointments, bed rest, recovery, etc.). Documentation may be requested by the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As part of this process, you may work with professors for an opportunity to make up missed work. 

Please see the Pregnant and Parenting Adjustment Form below for assistance.

Adjustments and Accommodations

Any special services provided to students with temporary medical conditions must also be provided to a pregnant student in need of those same services. Reasonable adjustments may include, but are not limited to:

  • Larger desk
  • Frequent bathroom breaks
  • Flexibility with attendance and deadlines
  • Makeup/online work
  • Incomplete in course
  • Course withdrawal or replacement

Child Care Resources

Information on child care at Mason and surround communities can be located at Contemporary Childcare Resources.

Confidentiality

We are committed to maintaining your privacy. Information you share related to pregnant or parenting status will not be shared with others, including your faculty, unless you give us permission to share it. If you have questions about the safeguards in place to protect your privacy before submitting a written request, please email the Title IX Office at titleix@gmu.edu.

Lactation Spaces

Individuals may request private space to breastfeed, pump milk, or address other needs related to breastfeeding while on campus. Mason offers private spaces on each campus to accommodate nursing parents. While we do have dedicated spaces for lactation on campus, we understand that convenience is important as well.

Fairfax

Johnson Center

Location: Ground Floor Ladies Room

Hours: Available during JC operating hours. To view updated building hours, visit https://studentcenters.gmu.edu/our-buildings/building-hours/.

How to Access: This lactation room requires a key code to enter, which changes seasonally. Please visit the Johnson Center Information Desk during building hours for the key code to enter.

If you experience any issues with this space, please visit the Johnson Center Information Desk for assistance.

Merten Hall

Location: 4th floor, inside Human Resources & Payroll office

Hours: Available M-F, 8:30am – 5:00pm

How to Access: Please visit Human Resources & Payroll (4th floor, to the left of the elevators) between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm to request access to this lactation space. There is a breast pump available on site (please request the pump when renting the room).

If you experience any issues with this space, please contact Human Resources & Payroll at (703) 993-2600, or hr@gmu.edu.

Nguyen Engineering Building

Location: Private Office

Hours: Varied

How to Access: Because this lactation space is an internal office within the Nguyen Engineering Building, all who need access should contact Kimberly Goodwin-Slater (kgoodwi@gmu.edu) or Patricia Sahs (psahs@gmu.edu) at least one day in advance to request use. Availability will vary based on use of the office.

If you experience issues with this space, please contact Kimberly Goodwin-Slater or Patricia Sahs directly.

SUB I

Location: Room 1004 (to the left of the Enrollment desk)

Hours: Available M-F, 9:00am – 5:00pm

How to Access: Please visit the Enrollment desk, located on the first floor of SUB I, between 9:00am – 5:00pm to request access to this space.

If you experience any issues with this space, please visit the Enrollment desk for assistance.

Mason Square

Van Metre Hall 

Location: Room 323A

Hours: Available 7 days a week from 7:00am to 11:00pm.

How to Access: The door should remain unlocked unless the space is in use. Please lock the door when you are using the space.

If you experience any issues with this space, please contact Arlington Operations at (703) 993 – 2525 or arlops@gmu.edu.

Science & Technology (SciTech)

Student Health Services

Location: Colgan Hall, Room 229 (Student Health Services)

Hours: M & W 9:00am – 4:30pm; Th 11:00am – 6:30pm (open availability during Fall and Spring semesters).

How to Access: Please visit Student Health Services during operating hours to request use of the space. If you need to access the space after-hours or in the summer, please contact the SciTech Executive Office at (703) 993-8355.

If you experience any issues with this space, please contact Student Health Services at (703) 993-8374.

If you are a student in need of a lactation room separate from the spaces listed, please contact Alissa Karton at akarton@gmu.edu.


Additional Resources

You may find additional information about your rights and resources as a pregnant and parenting student through the following links:

Discrimination Based on Pregnancy and Related Conditions: A Resource for Students and Schools (U.S. Department of Education)

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students (U.S. Department of Education brochure)

Reporting Discrimination

If you feel you have been discriminated again due to parenting or pregnancy please submit a Title IX Report.

Title IX Coordinator

For more information about your rights, contact George Mason University's Interim Title IX Coordinator:

Thomas "Tom" M. Bluestein, J.D. 
Interim Assistant Vice President, Equity and Access Services
Phone: 703-993-8730
titleix@gmu.edu