Sexual Harassment & Assault Prevention & Education

Resources and Support During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

While many offices on campus and local service providers have moved to remote work, please be assured that we remain available and committed to providing resources and support to our community members impacted by sexual and domestic violence.  Please continue to contact us by email and phone using the information in the Resources section of this site.  In addition to the options and providers listed in the Resources section, Futures Without Violence has made available Information On COVID-19 For Survivors, Communities, And DV/SA Programs.

Statement Regarding Release of New Title IX Regulations - May 8, 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Framingham State University is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive educational and work environment.  When sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sex and gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, or stalking occur, it deeply wounds our entire community.  The University does not tolerate this behavior and remains dedicated to creating and sustaining a culture of prevention and education, establishing clear behavioral expectations, making support resources readily available, outlining clear avenues for reporting, and providing fair and impartial resolution processes.

On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued new Title IX regulations (“the Final Rule”) outlining specific requirements that the University must implement in the investigation and adjudication of sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity. The University has been and remains committed to the care and support of all members of our community and to the principles of due process in all disciplinary procedures. This does not change with the issuance of the new regulations.

The University has regularly updated its Title IX policies to remain consistent and in compliance with the statute and guidance issued by OCR over the years. However, the Final Rule will require many new conspicuous changes to our policies and procedures. The Final Rule is incredibly long and complicated (2,033 pages), so we will need time to study and assess exactly what those changes will look like for our institution and the current sector level policy.

The Final Rule was released only 100 days prior to the effective date of August 14, 2020 during a time that the University continues to focus much of its effort on managing the impacts of the current global pandemic.  The University intends to devote the necessary resources to achieve compliance with the Final Rule, however we do expect the Final Rule to be subject to multiple legal challenges, which could impact the timeframe for compliance.  We will monitor those developments and keep you updated on any impacts to implementation.

Over the next several months, the University, in collaboration with the other eight Massachusetts state universities, the MA Department of Higher Education, and institutional stakeholders will be carefully reviewing the Final Rule, amending University policies and procedures, and developing a plan to implement the new requirements in a way that continues to prioritize responsiveness, support, and fundamental fairness. We will endeavor to be transparent throughout this process and clearly communicate and educate the community on the implementation of all new and adapted policies and procedures.

For more information on Title IX and resources available to the FSU community, please visit www.framingham.edu/shape.

Sincerely,

Kim Dexter
Executive Director of Equal Opportunity, Title IX, and ADA Compliance
University Title IX Coordinator 

Meg Nowak Borrego, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
Title IX Coordinator for Students

Letter to the Community 

Dear FSU Community,

Framingham State University seeks to SHAPE a campus environment free from all forms of sexual violence and relationship abuse.  All members of our community deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and to be able to go to work, get their education, visit, and otherwise participate in life at the University without fear or trauma.

When sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking occur, it deeply wounds our entire community.  Therefore, we are committed to creating and sustaining a culture of prevention and education, where expectations are clear, reporting processes are easily navigable, resources are readily available, and perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

The SHAPE website has been created and designed to serve as a central source of information for prevention and education of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking including as it relates to Title IX, the Campus SaVE Act, the Clery Act, and University policy.

Please explore this site to learn more about our policies, how to identify and respond to problematic language or behavior, how to report concerns, resources accessible to members of the Framingham State community, and other useful information.

Through the ongoing dedication of many people in our community, we will continue to offer and expand educational opportunities and resources for students and employees.  We will continue to support all members of our community and promote a culture where sexual harassment and violence are not tolerated.  But we can't do it in isolation.  We need your participation, feedback, ideas, and commitment.  You might begin by reviewing bystander intervention techniques or learning how to support a survivor of sexual violence.  My door is always open for you to share your ideas or concerns.

Each of us has the power to SHAPE our community.  How will you?

Sincerely,

Kimberly Dexter
Executive Director of Equal Opportunity, Title IX, and ADA Compliance
University Title IX Coordinator