Your Rights as a Student

Under Title IX, you have a number of rights, through which you can seek support and justice, as well as accommodations at your university.

You have:

  • The right to file an internal complaint with Cal Poly and receive a prompt and equitable investigation and resolution.
  • The right to file a complaint with law enforcement for the purposes of filing a criminal complaint and/or seeking and enforcing a no-contact, restraining, or similar court order.
  • The right to have support from Cal Poly in seeking assistance from law enforcement.
  • The right to request and receive a change in your living situation if such change is appropriate and reasonably available.
  • The right to request and receive a change in your academic situation if such change is appropriate and reasonably available.
  • The right to be referred to on- and off- campus counseling, mental health, or other student services for survivors.

Your Rights at Cal Poly

The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation in its education programs or activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities operated by the university (both on and off campus). Title IX protects all people regardless of their gender or gender identity from sex discrimination, which includes sexual harassment and violence.

Staff and faculty who are made aware of an incident of sexual harassment/violence are REQUIRED to report the incident to the Director of Equal Opportunity at 805.756.6770. The Director of Equal Opportunity is our campus Title IX Officer.

Protections for LGBTQ+ Students under Title IX

  • Title IX protects all students who experience sexual violence, assault, or harassment, regardless of the gender of the survivor or the perpetrator. Schools are required to investigate instances of sexual violence against LGBTQ students at the same standards used for all investigations for complaints of sexual violence.
  • For transgender and gender nonconforming students, the protections instated by Title IX are still in place. Transgender students have a right to equal access to educational opportunities, and Title IX requires schools to respect a students’ gender identity, in areas such as dress code, names, pronouns, and access to single-sex facilities.
  • To learn more, visit here.

Protections for International and Undocumented Students under Title IX

Title IX under the Current Administration

Changes to Title IX have been discussed under the leadership of this current administration. In September of 2017, the U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced plans to decrease federal guidance on Title IX. Currently, all protections of Title IX are still in place. All students are entitled to their rights under Title IX, as well as under the Clery Act. Despite proposed changes, colleges must act to ensure their campus is not a hostile environment, promptly investigate and respond to complaints, and provide resources, accommodations, and prevention training.

History of Laws Protecting Students from Sexual Violence and Harassment

  • 2013 - The Campus SaVE Act
    • The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act) updated the Clery Act, focusing on transparency, accountability, and education for colleges and universities. 
  • 2011 - Dear Colleague Letter
    • In 2011, Vice President Biden and Secretary Duncan presented this document, which reaffirms the regulations enforced by Title IX and stresses the importance of certain procedures, a campus Title IX coordinator, and other requirements from Title IX. It extends Title IX to more requirements towards a university’s response to sexual assault, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment or discrimination. 
  • 1994 - Violence Against Women Act
    • The Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, and fostered support and resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. This act established the U- and T-visas, created legal assistance programs for victims, developing prevention strategies, and funding rape crisis centers. The Act was reauthorized in 2013, with added provisions to protect Native Americans, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrant victims.
  • 1990 - The Clery Act
    • The Clery Act is a federal law passed in 1990 that requires colleges to report crimes that occur on campus. These reports are compiled and available in an Annual Security Report (HERE). Campuses must report crimes, including incidences of stalking, intimidation, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and hate crimes. The Clery Act does not permit the release of information identifying the victim, and it does not require a campus to begin an investigation. 
  • 1972 - Title IX
    • Passed in 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational institutions that are the recipients of federal funding. Supreme Court decisions broadened Title IX to include protections against sexual violence and sexual assault.

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