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Penn State Updates Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy

Penn State recently adopted two major changes to its Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy AD85, according to an email sent out to students on Thursday, September 16.

Penn State’s Title IX AD85 policy now prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) adopted this in June 2021 in accordance with the Supreme Court, which ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination must be included under Title IX as it is in Title VII, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

The second change made to Penn State’s policy notes that any individual, party, or witness that fails to appear at a Title IX hearing for one reason or another will still have their statements considered by university administrators.

Prior to this, OCR and Penn State followed a strict policy where if any individual involved in a Title IX hearing failed to appear or answer a question, they would have their statements disregarded and thrown out.

The new changes to Penn State’s Title IX policy went into effect retroactive to August 30.

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a senior early childhood education major from "right outside of Philly" - or in exact words, from 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and has been a huge Penn State gal since before she could walk. Send her pictures of puppies, or hate mail at [email protected]

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