Title IX FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
CDE has created this page to answer frequently asked questions regarding the University's Title IX Policy and related procedures.
Please review the full policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Misconduct for complete information.
George Mason University, consisting of its 10 schools and colleges located throughout four campuses, Fairfax, Arlington, Science and Technology, and George Mason University Korea, as well as instructional sites elsewhere, is committed to providing a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment for all members of the University community.
The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities. To that end, Policy 1202 prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and/or the Virginia Human Rights Act.
The University adopts Policy 1202 with the intention of:
- Eliminating, preventing, and addressing the effects of Prohibited Conduct;
- Creating a climate where all individuals are well-informed and supported in reporting Prohibited Conduct;
- Providing a prompt, fair, and impartial process for all parties; and
- Identifying the standards by which violations of this policy will be evaluated and disciplinary action may be imposed.
Mason’s sexual and interpersonal misconduct policy applies to students who are registered or enrolled for credit or non-credit-bearing coursework; all University employees; and third parties. This policy pertains to acts of prohibited conduct committed by or against students, employees and third parties when:
(1) the conduct occurs on campus or other property owned or controlled by the University;
(2) the conduct occurs in the context of a University employment or education program or activity, including, but not limited to, University-sponsored study abroad, research, on-line, or internship programs; or
(3) the conduct occurs off-campus or outside the context of a University employment or education program or activity, and has continuing adverse effects on or creates a hostile environment for Students, Employees or Third Parties while on University campus or other property owned or controlled by the University or in any University employment or education program or activity.
The University prohibits Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Interpersonal Violence, Stalking, Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, and Complicity in the commission of any act prohibited by this policy, and Retaliation against a person for the good faith reporting of any of these forms of conduct or participation in any investigation or proceeding under this policy (collectively, “Prohibited Conduct”). These forms of Prohibited Conduct are unlawful, undermine the character and purpose of the University, and will not be tolerated.
Conduct under this policy is prohibited regardless of the sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression of the Complainant or Respondent. Prohibited Conduct includes the following specifically defined forms of behavior: Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment, Complicity, and Retaliation.
Employees or Students who violate this policy may face disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. The University will take prompt and equitable action to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. The University conducts ongoing prevention, awareness, and training programs for Employees and Students to facilitate the goals of this policy. It is the responsibility of every member of the University community to foster an environment free of Prohibited Conduct. All members of the University community are encouraged to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of Prohibited Conduct. The University will support and assist community members who take such actions.
The specific procedures for reporting, investigating, and resolving Prohibited Conduct are based upon the nature of the Respondent’s relationship to the University (Student, Employee, or Third Party). Each set of procedures referenced below is guided by the same principles of fairness and respect for Complainants and Respondents. “Complainant” means the individual who presents as the victim of any Prohibited Conduct under this policy, regardless of whether that person makes a report or seeks action under this policy. “Respondent” means the individual who has been accused of violating this policy. “Third Party Reporter” means someone who learns about alleged Prohibited Conduct, committed by or against a community member, and reports it to the University. Third Party Reporters are not entitled to the rights that Complainants and Respondents have. “Third Party” means someone who is not affiliated with the University as a Student or Employee.
A Student or Employee determined by the University to have committed an act of Prohibited Conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University. Third Parties who commit Prohibited Conduct may have their relationships with the University terminated and/or their privileges of being on University premises withdrawn.
The procedures referenced below provide for prompt and equitable response to reports of Prohibited Conduct. The procedures designate specific timeframes for major stages of the process and provide for thorough and impartial investigations that afford all parties notice and an opportunity to present witnesses and evidence and to view the information that will be used in determining whether a policy violation has occurred. The University applies the Preponderance of the Evidence standard when determining whether this policy has been violated. “Preponderance of the Evidence” means that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.
A. WHERE THE RESPONDENT IS A STUDENT
The procedures for responding to reports of Prohibited Conduct committed by Students are detailed in Appendix A: Investigating and Resolving Reports of Prohibited Conduct Committed by Students.
B. WHERE THE RESPONDENT IS AN EMPLOYEE
The procedures for responding to reports of Prohibited Conduct committed by Employees are detailed in Appendix B: Investigating and Resolving Reports of Prohibited Conduct Committed by Employees.
The University offers a wide range of resources for all Students and Employees to provide support and guidance in response to any incident of Prohibited Conduct. For comprehensive information on accessing University and community resources, including emergency and ongoing assistance; health, mental health, and victim-advocacy services; options for reporting Prohibited Conduct to the University and/or law enforcement; and available support with academics, housing, and employment, review the Resources and Reporting Guide for Students & Employees (Appendix D).
The University is committed to the prevention of Prohibited Conduct through regular and ongoing education and awareness programs. Incoming Students and new Employees receive primary prevention and awareness programming as part of their orientation, and returning Students and current Employees receive ongoing training and related education. For a description of the University’s Prohibited Conduct prevention and awareness programs, including programs on minimizing the risk of incidents of Prohibited Conduct and bystander intervention, see Appendix E: Training, Prevention, and Awareness Programs.