Title IX Policies


Title IX provides that: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Title IX has been further interpreted through implementing regulations and subsequent guidance from the Department of Education.

Title IX Coordinator

Marianne Price serves as the Title IX Coordinator as well as coordinates the University's compliance with Title IX. Ms. Price's contact information is as follows:

Marianne Price
Title IX Coordinator
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Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Deputy Title IX Coordinators are Patricia Griffin, Jennifer Luling, and Robin Arnold. Their contact information is as follows:

Patricia Griffin
Director of the Criminal Justice Graduate Program and Assistant Professor
Newtown Site, Room 211
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Jennifer Luling, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Holy Family Hall, Room 209
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Robin Arnold
Associate Director of Athletics
Campus Center, Room 132
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The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of all complaints or reports of violations of this policy, and oversee the University's response to ensure compliance with Title IX and the VAWA. The Title IX Coordinator's activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Communicating with all members of the University community regarding Title IX and VAWA, and providing information about how individuals may access their rights;
  • Reviewing applicable University policies to ensure institutional compliance with Title IX and VAWA;
  • Monitoring the University's administration of its own applicable policies, including record keeping, time frames, and other procedural requirements;
  • Responding to any complaint or report regarding conduct that violates this policy. In this capacity, the Title IX Coordinator oversees the investigation and resolution of such alleged misconduct, directs the provision of any remedial measures, and monitors the administration of any related appeal.

The Title IX Coordinator may delegate responsibilities under this policy to designated administrators, who will be appropriately trained.

Prohibited Conduct

"Sexual misconduct" is a broad, non-legal term that encompasses a wide range of behaviors, including but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking. It is a violation of University policy as well as applicable law to commit or to attempt to commit these acts.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of creating a hostile or stressful living, learning, or working environment, or whenever toleration of such conduct or rejection of it is the basis for an academic or employment decision affecting an individual. Conduct is considered "unwelcome" if the person did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive.

Sexual harassment includes any conduct or incident that is sufficiently serious that it is likely to limit or deny a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's educational programs or a faculty or staff member's ability to work, which may include a single incident of sexual assault or other serious sexual misconduct.

Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence is actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person's consent (as defined in Section (4)). Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Intentional touching of another person's intimate parts without that person's consent
  • Other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person's consent
  • Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person's intimate parts without that person's consent
  • Rape, which is penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person's consent.

Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate-Partner Violence includes, but is not limited to, dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence, including any threat or act of violence against
a person who is or has been involved in sexual dating, domestic or intimate relationship with another person. It may involve one act or an ongoing behavior. Behaviors include, but are not limited to, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence and/or economic abuse. Intimate-partner violence may also include: threats, assault, property damage, or violence or threat of violence to one's self, one's sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner. Intimate-partner violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Course of conduct is defined as "a pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time; however, evidencing a continuity of conduct." Stalking is a crime in Pennsylvania and is subject to criminal prosecution.

Stalking includes any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instills fear in a victim and/or threatens her or his safety, mental health, or physical health. Such behaviors and activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, emails, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and place another person in fear; pursuing, following, waiting, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the victim;
  • Use of online, electronic, or digital technologies, including:
  • Posting of pictures or information in chat rooms or on websites;
  • Sending unwanted/unsolicited email or talk requests;
  • Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networking sites, and/or school bulletin boards;
  • Installing spyware on a victim's computer;
  • Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor a victim.
  • Surveillance or other types of observation, including staring or "peeping";
  • Trespassing;
  • Vandalism;
  • Non-consensual touching;
  • Direct verbal or physical threats;
  • Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, and/or co-workers;
  • Threats to harm self or others;
  • Defamation – lying to others about the victim.


Consent: Consent is defined by the University as an action that is:

  • clear, knowing and voluntary;
  • active, not passive;
  • words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Sexual activity as a result of coercion is non-consensual.

Consent cannot be given under certain conditions. These conditions include: while asleep, unconscious, physically or mentally helpless, disoriented or unable to understand what is happening for any reason, including due to alcohol or drug use, or being under the age of 17 (the legal age of consent). A person will be considered unable to give consent if he/she cannot understand the specifics of the sexual interaction, (i.e. who, what, when, where, and how). A person under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not relieved of his/her responsibility to appreciate another's inability to consent. A person who engages in sexual activity with another when that person knows, or should know, that the other person does not, or is unable to, consent has violated this policy.

Complainant: The term Complainant refers to the individual(s) who has been the subject of prohibited conduct, regardless of whether that individual makes a complaint or seeks disciplinary action.

Respondent: The term Respondent refers to the individual(s) who has been accused of prohibited conduct.

Reporting and Confidentiality

Holy Family University encourages all members of the community to report any incident of sexual misconduct as promptly as possible so that the University can respond effectively. The University recognizes, however, that not every person will choose to make a formal report with the University or with local law enforcement. When consulting campus resources, community members should be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting in order to make informed choices. On campus, some resources can offer confidentiality, sharing options and advice without any obligation to tell anyone unless the Complainant wants them to do so. Other resources are expressly required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.

Confidential Resources

For those 18 or older, who are not yet prepared to make a report or pursue a complaint under this Policy, the University provides confidential professional and pastoral counseling. Conversations with professional and pastoral counselors are confidential. They can explain options for obtaining additional support from the University and off-campus resources. They can also arrange for medical care and accompany complainants, or arrange for someone to accompany complainants, to seek such care. Complainants may use these resources to talk to someone about an incident of sexual misconduct in a confidential manner whether or not they decide to make an official report or to participate in the University complaint resolution process or the criminal justice system. Conferring with these resources will not trigger an investigation by the University or law enforcement. However, these offices are familiar with the University's complaint resolution processes, can explain what to expect, and can provide support while University or criminal processes are pending. Should the Complainant decide to file a complaint with the University or law enforcement, these individuals will direct the complainant to the appropriate individuals to do so.

Professional counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator without a complainant's permission. Following is the contact information for these individuals:

John Watson, MS, NCC, LPC
Director of Counseling Services
Holy Family University
Campus Center 213 A-D
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Sister Cordia Wilczewska, MA, MS
Campus Center 213 A-D
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A Pastoral Counselor is an employee of an institution, who is associated with a religious order or denomination, recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling, and who is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor.

Reverend James MacNew, OSFS
Director of Campus Ministry
Campus Center, Room 224
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Resources Who Can Afford Partial Confidentiality

A Complainant can seek assistance and support from individuals who work or volunteer in the Campus Health Services. While these individuals must report that an incident occurred to the Title IX coordinator, they are not required to reveal any personally identifying information about an incident to the University.

Following is contact information for these non-professional counselors and advocates:

Julia Scherpenberg
Director of Health Services
Campus Center, Room G-7
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Reporting to Responsible Employees

When a complainant tells a "responsible employee" about an incident of sexual violence, the complainant has the right to expect Holy Family University to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.

A responsible employee must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the complainant. To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the University's response to the report.

The University defines a "responsible employee" to include supervisors, officials, and employees with significant responsibility for student and campus activities including, but not limited to, academics, student residences, athletics, discipline, campus life and campus safety.

Reporting to Law Enforcement

The Complainant has the absolute right to decide whether an incident of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, or stalking is reported to Law Enforcement. If the complainant decides to report the incident to law enforcement, the University (through Public Safety) is committing to assisting the complainant.

Reports to a Non-Confidential Resource – Request for Confidentiality

Title IX requires Holy Family University to balance the needs of an individual who has reported an incident of sexual misconduct to a "responsible employee" (who must report the incident) who may request confidentiality or that no action be taken, with its obligation to end the harassment and ensure the well-being of the community at large.

The University has designated the Title IX Coordinator to evaluate these requests.

In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator will weigh the request against the University's obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant.

The University handles complaints of sexual misconduct with due regard for the parties' concern for confidentiality. However, if occurrences of sexual misconduct pose a general threat to the University community, Holy Family will take affirmative steps to notify students, faculty, and staff of the potential danger.

If you are concerned about confidentiality, discuss this issue first with the University's confidential counselors, who will be able to explain various options you may take, and the implications for each option, and direct you to other on- or off-campus resources as appropriate.

Assistance Following an Incident of Sexual Misconduct

Support Services: Holy Family University offers services on and off campus to Complainants even if they choose not to report the incidents. Some of these services include:

Support Services for Victims

  • Aria Hospital Crisis Center: 215-949-5252
  • Holy Family University Counseling Center: 267-341-3232
  • Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) (www.woar.org) (WOAR is not a University Organization)

The Counseling Center provides services, advocates and provides information for victims in a safe, supportive and confidential setting.

The University also offers resources for both students and employees, whether as Complainants or Respondents, to provide support and guidance throughout the investigation and resolution of a report of Sexual Misconduct.

Interim Measures/Accommodations: The university reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students' rights and personal safety.

Holy Family University is committed to supporting victims of the various forms of violence listed in the Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) by providing the necessary safety and support services. Student, faculty and staff victims of sexual misconduct are entitled to reasonable and appropriate measures to protect the Complainant and the Complainant's access to Holy Family's employment or education programs and activities, which may include protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation. Such protective measures and accommodations, which may be temporary or permanent, may include:

  • no-contact order;
  • services of a victim advocate;
  • change in an academic schedule;
  • transportation modification;
  • work modification;
  • provision of alternative housing opportunities;
  • the imposition of an interim suspension on the accused;
  • provision of resources for medical and/or psychological support.

A Complainant may wish to seek an order of protection from a court of appropriate jurisdiction against the alleged perpetrator in some circumstances. A Complainant may also seek restriction of access to Holy Family University by non-students or non-employees in certain circumstances.

For assistance obtaining these safety accommodations, please contact the Director of Public Safety. If safety is an immediate concern, the complainant is encouraged to contact law enforcement (Philadelphia Police Department) for assistance as well.

Investigation/Adjudication Procedures

The procedures for student disciplinary proceedings in cases of alleged sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, or stalking are fully described in the University Student Judicial Policy, located at pages 65-75 of the Student Handbook.


When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administration's attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. Sanctions for students include, but not limited to, reprimand, suspension, and expulsion. A complete listing of university sanctions include:

  • Warning - written notice given that is kept on file
  • Program Attendance or Facilitation - expectation to attend or facilitate an educational program(s)
  • Writing Assignment - requirement to complete a relevant research and/or reflection paper
  • Discretionary Sanctions - requirement to complete and or participate in work assignments, community service, university services or programs, or other related discretionary assignments
  • Loss of Privileges - denial of specific privileges for a defined period of time (e.g., guest, computer, housing selection, visitation, dining services, university representation, co-curricular activities, athletic participation, work-study position, leadership role)
  • Counseling Assessment/Meetings - assignment to complete a number of counseling sessions including but not limited to anger management, alcohol, and drug assessments, and alcohol education classes
  • Fines- requirement to pay a specified monetary fee to the university
  • Restitution - requirement to make payment to the university, other persons, groups, organizations for damages
  • Administrative relocation in housing - requirement to be placed in an assigned or relocated space in University Housing
  • Disciplinary Probation - a period of fixed duration, during which the status of a student at the university may be evaluated. This includes the possibility of more severe sanctions if the student is found responsible for violating university policy during the probationary period
  • Removal from University Residence - separation from the residence halls for a defined period of time. The student may be prohibited from participating in the university dining program. The student will be barred from entering all residences within the university residential community during the time of removal from campus housing
  • Suspension - separation from the university for a specified period of time. The student shall not participate in any university-sponsored activity and may be banned from the university premises. The university will not accept any credits earned from another institution during this period towards a university degree. In case of residence hall groups, this sanction may include the disbanding of a living unit, and in the case of a student organization, this may include the removal of recognition
  • Expulsion
  • Revocation of Admission and/or Degree – admission to or a degree awarded from the university may be revoked at any time of fraud, misrepresentation, or another violation of the Code of Conduct in obtaining the degree or for other serious violations committed prior to graduation or admission.
  • Withholding Degree – the University may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in the Judicial Process, including the completion of all sanctions imposed if any.

Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the University reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense.

The University will consider the concerns and rights of both the Complainant and the Respondent. Appeals will be heard by the Vice President for Student Life for students and the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources for employees. Interested parties will be notified of any changes prior to the final decision made.

Additional Information - Sexual Violence

Holy Family University seeks to foster a safe and healthy environment built on mutual respect and trust. At the very basis of the University's mission is the recognition of the essential dignity and worth of each member of our community. Sexual violence is a very serious violation of these principles and will not be tolerated in any form. The university encourages all members of its community to be aware of the trauma caused by sexual violence and challenges its members to work together to prevent its occurrence.

When sexual violence or intimate partner violence has occurred, it is very important to preserve any potential evidence by not showering or straightening up the crime scene. In case of rape, the individual will be accompanied to the Rape Trauma Unit at Aria Hospital for immediate medical attention. The individual is apprised of all options for filing a complaint, both on campus and off, including the right to report fully to the Philadelphia Police, to file an anonymous report with the Philadelphia Police, or to file no report with the Philadelphia Police. The choice is solely up to the individual and remains an option even if the victim chooses not to go to the hospital. The Public Safety Officer will outline the procedures and potential consequences of all these options. The university will also assist in notifying authorities upon request. Victims are also encouraged to immediately contact the Public Safety Department or the members of the University Community included in Sections (2) and (5) above.

Holy Family provides support for victims and urges victims to seek assistance using any appropriate resources. The university handles complaints of sexual violence with due regard for the parties' concern for confidentiality. If occurrences of sexual violence pose a general threat to the university community, Holy Family will take affirmative steps to notify students, faculty and staff of the potential danger.

The University will pursue disciplinary action in the case of sexual violence, taking into account the wishes of the victim. The procedures for student disciplinary proceedings in cases of an alleged sex offense are fully described in the University Student Judicial Policy, which can be found at pages 65-75 of the Student Handbook. The University's judicial process acts independently of any legal proceedings.

Various services are available on and off campus and will be offered to the victim. Some of these services include:

Support Services for Victims

  • Aria Hospital Crisis Center: 215-949-5252
  • Holy Family University Counseling Center: 267-341-3232
  • Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) (www.woar.org) (WOAR is not a University Organization)

The University sponsors a series of workshops and seminars, including Presidential Lectures, trainings and tabling events, designed to increase students', faculty and staff's awareness of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and explain steps to take to enhance personal safety. Electronic announcements are distributed informing students of dates and times of these events.

Additional Information - Stalking

Holy Family University is determined to provide a campus environment free of violence for all members of the campus community. Holy Family University does not tolerate stalking, and it will pursue the perpetrators of such acts to the fullest extent possible. Holy Family University is also committed to supporting victims of stalking through the appropriate provision of safety and support services. This policy applies to all students and employees of the Holy Family community.

The Director of Public Safety is available to inform victims of the reporting procedures and offer appropriate referrals. Victims of stalking choosing to pursue the reporting process have the right to assistance or consultation of an advocate.

Holy Family University offers services to victims even if they choose not to report the incident(s).

Such circumstances include any incidents that warrant the undertaking of additional safety and security measures for the protection of the victim and the campus community, or other situations in which there is clear and imminent danger, such as when a weapon may be involved. However, it is crucial in these circumstances to consult with the Director of Public Safety, since reporting may compromise the safety of the victim. Personal safety concerns are often very important for stalking victims. Crisis intervention and victim safety concerns will take precedence.