Title IX

Maharishi International University is committed to preventing sexual harassment and violence on campus. All students, staff and faculty are trained each year in how to be an Active Bystander; using tools and resources to safely intervene in a problematic situation. Please become familiar with the Title IX Policies and Reporting Procedures. See below for Support Resources and Frequently Asked Questions.

The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs, and sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of sex discrimination. The University’s policy prohibiting sex discrimination applies to conduct on and off-campus and protects students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

9 for IX — Title IX Concepts

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits excluding an individual from participating in educational programs and activities based on that person’s sex. Sexual harassment is a form of such discrimination.

  1. Maharishi International University is a place where we encourage conversation and dialogue about sexual assault prevention, education, and compassionate support. Breaking the culture of silence requires a willingness to engage the community and speak openly about these issues.
  2. The University prohibits all forms of sexual harassment and misconduct on our campus. Read more about our sexual harassment and sexual assault policies which contain specific definitions, but in general, prohibits all conduct of a sexual nature that occurs without consent, including intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual assault. MIU will act promptly to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
  3. Consent consists of an affirmative, conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. The person must act freely, voluntarily, and have knowledge of the act and who is involved. Consent must be present at every stage and can be withdrawn at any time. An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs (including prescriptions) cannot give consent.
  4. The University encourages all students to be active community members and take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or interrupt an act of sexual misconduct.
    Taking action may include direct intervention when safe to do so. Indirect intervention may include enlisting the assistance of friends, seeking assistance from a person in authority, or contacting law enforcement.
  5. The University prohibits retaliation against any individual or group who makes a report, who is named in a report, or who participates in an investigation.
  6. The University provides campus resources that are confidential. These include the Student Support Services and Integrative Wellness Center Staff. There are also confidential resources in the community. Please see below for a complete list of campus and community resources.
  7. The University encourages — but does not require — all students to make a report to local law enforcement and seek medical treatment. MIU also encourages all students to make a prompt report to the Title IX coordinator, campus security, or the Dean of Students’ office. There is no time limit for reporting. MIU will respect the privacy of all individuals in responding to a report.
  8. When a report is made, under most circumstances, the complainant maintains agency and autonomy in choosing how to proceed. Procedural options following a report include informal, remedies-based resolutions and formal and sanctions-based resolutions. The University will balance an individual’s expressed preferences with its obligation to keep the campus safe. Read more about Reporting and Procedures.
  9. The University will support any individual who is affected by sexual harassment or misconduct, regardless of whether or not disciplinary action is sought. There are many accommodations available to a student, including no-contact orders, academic accommodations, and residence modifications.

Support resources

Title IX Coordinator

Caterina Tomaselli
Gate Ridge Court, Room 102
P: 641-233-8003
E: croesler@miu.edu

Dean of Students

Maggie Ventsias
112 Dreier Building
P: 641-472-1190
E: mventsias@miu.edu

Dean of Faculty

Vicki Alexander Herriott
Dreier, Room 233

Vice-President of Human Resources

Carol Passos
Dreier, Room 231
641-472-7000 x4826

Title IX resources

Any Emergency (24 hrs) 911

Fairfield Police

(24 hrs) 641-472-4146

Campus security

Around campus, 641-472-1115 (24 hrs)
RLC on call
Campus security officer

Personal support services

Clint Cunningham, LBSW
Clint is available for same-day sessions if you email him by 2:00 pm CST.

Campus nurse

Integrative Wellness Center (North Peace Palace building)
nurse@miu.edu, 641-472-7000 x3406 or x3411

MIU website

MIU Sexual Respect web page

National Sexual Assault Hotline

800-656-HOPE (4673) Confidential

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence Hotline


Jefferson County Health Center

(24 hrs) 641-472-4111 Confidential

Crisis Intervention Services

(24 hrs) 800-270-1620 Confidential

Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Region V Office
500 W. Madison St., Suite 1475
Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-730-1560
Email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov

Questions and answers

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the University’s sexual violence policy and procedures.

Does information about a complaint remain private?
The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected by the University, except insofar as it interferes with the University’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy it not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused individual may lead to action by the University.

In all complaints of sexual violence, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged complainant. Certain administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President of the University, Deans of Students, Director of Campus Safety and Security). If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual violence and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a complainant must speak with the police, but the institution is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

If I describe an incident to a professor, TA, RA of staff person on campus, can I request that they not tell anyone, including the title IX Coordinator and not give my name to anyone?

The only people that can guarantee you complete anonymity are the ones listed as confidential resources, as described below. In order to ensure the safety of the campus residents, it is the University policy that nearly everyone else on campus, especially Faculty and Administrators (including TAs and RAs) are “mandatory reporters”. This means that if an incident is disclosed to them they are required to inform the Title IX Coordinator and will not be able to withhold your name.

However, only the main title IX Coordinator and possibly a second coordinator will know of this, and you will not be contacted by them unless you want them to contact you. In general, nothing further will happen without your permission. If you ask that the incident not be investigated, it will be tallied for statistical purposes, but no  one else will know its details.

Will my parents be told?

Generally no, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the accused individual, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, or in a life-threatening situation, or if an accused individual has signed the permission form at registration that allows such communication.

Will the accused individual know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused individual has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged complainant. If there is a hearing, the University does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including Skype or using a room divider.

Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the complete confidentiality policy above to better understand the University’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different University officials). Complainants should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively and protect others.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
DO NOT contact the alleged complainant. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Department of Student LIfe, which can explain the University’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor or seek other community assistance.

Will I (as a complainant) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?

Not typically, if the institution provides these services already. If a complainant is accessing community and non-institutional services, payment for these will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc.

What about legal advice?

Complainants of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue prosecution because representation will be handled by the County Attorney. You may want to retain an attorney if you are the accused individual or are a complainant considering filing a civil action. Accused individuals may retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus conduct proceeding.

What about changing residence hall rooms?

If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is typically institutional policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. If you want the accused individual to move, and believe that you have been subjected to sexual misconduct you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal University complaint. No contact orders can be imposed and room changes for the accused individual can usually be arranged quickly. Other accommodations available to you might include:

  • Assistance from college support staff in completing the relocation;
  • Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and adjusting room charges;
  • Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
  • Taking an incomplete (if available) in a class;
  • Assistance with transferring class sections;
  • Temporary withdrawal;
  • Assistance with alternative course completion options;
  • Other accommodations for safety as necessary.

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged complainant’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been subjected to a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the local hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. A Campus Safety and Security officer or someone through the Department of Student Life can also accompany you to the hospital and law enforcement or Student life staff can provide transportation. If a complainant goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a complainant, but will not obligate him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the complainant decide later to do so.

For the Complainant: the hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the examination, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene-leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.

Will a person be sanctioned when reporting a sexual violence policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?

No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the University’s response, but whenever possible the University will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the University does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct conduct complaint?

The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused individual’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused individual.

Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
If you believe that you have experienced sexual violence, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s policy, you should contact the Department of Student Life who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.


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