While sexual assault incidents are not new to college campuses, a federal law known as Title IX has been enacted to assist in awareness and handling of sexual assault cases. At Rollins, the mission of the Title IX Office is to “reduce or eliminate barriers to educational opportunity created by sex discrimination in the environment through a social justice and prevention model,” as outlined by Title IX Coordinator Oriana Jimenez. Jimenez explained that as a federal law, Title IX states “that educational institutions cannot discriminate in their education programs or activities based on sex, gender identity, or gender expression.”
“At Rollins we also include sexual orientation. Title IX protects female and male students, employees, and visitors, including individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender,” said Jimenez. “Under Title IX, the College must take appropriate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment and violence, is a form of sex discrimination.”
Jimenez and the Title IX Office work to prevent and respond to sex and gender based discrimination at Rollins, whether it occurs on or off campus.
Jimenez, a first-generation college student born of first-generation immigrant parents, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida, majoring in hospitality management with minors in psychology and legal studies. She began graduate studies at Rollins in 2007 and received a Master’s degree in human resources, as well as a graduate degree in business administration from Crummer three years later. The Brooklyn native began working at Rollins in 2006 at the Human Resources Department. Just over nine years later she accepted the position of the Title IX Coordinator.
According to Jimenez, her role “encompasses three major areas of responsibility: education on campus, including awareness and prevention programs; legal compliance to ensure that as an institution we are doing everything we are supposed to be doing to meet our legal obligations
under Title IX; and thirdly, grievance case management when actual reports of sexual misconduct are received.”
She is also able to “help students with accommodations, such as no-contact orders and living or academic accommodations.”
Jimenez welcomes students to come and speak to her about any instances where they may feel that they have personally experienced, witnessed, or overheard any type of sexual violence. This includes sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence (known as intimate partner violence or IPV), stalking, or coercion. Students are also welcome to contact her with general Title IX questions or if they are interested in getting involved with educational programming and awareness campaigns. Under Title IX, however, it must be stated that there is a distinction between what the college considers a “confidential resource” and a “responsible employee.” While students can speak with any staff member, those who are considered a confidential resource will ensure the student receives complete confidentiality.
These individuals will not
share any information that they learn in conversations with students with anyone, including parents, or even Jimenez.
“There are laws that protect the confidentiality of information that students share with them while in the counseling or medical setting,” she explains. However, other faculty and staff not licensed in counseling, as well as RAs and peer mentors, are seen as ‘responsible employees.’ This entails that these individuals are legally required to report to the Title IX Coordinator any information on incidents of sexual misconduct on or off campus, involving a student or employees; they are able to promise privacy but cannot promise confidentiality, since they are legally obligated to report misconduct.
Title IX education is mandatory for all faculty and staff at Rollins. Employees are required to receive training in Title IX at least once per year.
She said, “The faculty and staff community at Rollins is very supportive of Title IX educational efforts on campus and care deeply about our students being provided with the absolute best care and support possible if they should experience sexual misconduct/violence.”