Title IX & Equity

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” - Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Examples of programs and activities that are subject to Title IX include admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, housing and employment. Title IX also protects students from sexual harassment, including sexual violence, such as rape, other forms of sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.

FIDM’s Title IX Coordinator monitors and oversees the college's compliance with Title IX and related laws in the prevention of sex harassment and discrimination, including the coordination of education and training activities and the response to Title IX complaints. Students, faculty, administrators, staff, or others who participate in FIDM’s education programs and activities with questions, concerns, or complaints about sex discrimination, sex harassment or sexual misconduct are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator.

Title IX Coordinator

Katherine Slauta
Title IX Coordinator/Director of Education
Phone: 213-624-1200 ext. 1830
Fax: 619-232-4322
kslauta@fidm.edu



If you are in the midst of an emergency, please call the police immediately by dialing 9-1-1.

If you feel that you have been the victim of sexual harassment, discrimination or assault, FIDM has a process by which you can report the issue. Regardless of how much time has elapsed since the incident occurred, FIDM is committed to supporting the rights of a person reporting an incident of sexual misconduct or relationship violence to make an informed choice among options and services available. You may also report to FIDM if you feel you have been retaliated against for a previously filed complaint or if you participated in an investigation of such a complaint.

The college has designated a Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for ensuring the FIDM’s compliance with Title IX including oversight of investigations into complaints. Our Title IX Coordinator oversees efforts across all four FIDM campuses.

For more detailed information about your reporting options, view our document Reporting Options and Resources for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence (PDF).

Confidential Reporting

If you wish to obtain confidential assistance without making a report to FIDM, you may do so by speaking confidentially with one of our personal counselors who are obligated by law to maintain confidentiality.

Personal counselors by campus:

  • Los Angeles & Orange County
    Jessica Cattani, M.A.
    213-624-1200 x4556
    jcattani@fidm.edu
    Room #A203b

    Shannon DiLauro, M.ED.
    213-624-1200 x4574
    sdilauro@fidm.edu
    Room #208C

  • San Francisco
    Shannel Busuioc, MFT
    415-675-5200 x1529
    sbusuioc@fidm.edu
    Room #514

  • San Diego
    Kacey Wehr, M.S., LMFT
    619-235-2049 x1831
    kwehr@fidm.edu
    Room #3145

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

If you wish to fill out a complaint form online with the OCR, you may do so at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.

Phone: 800-421-3481
Email: ocr@ed.gov

On-Campus

FIDM Security Directors are available to take reports or answer safety questions and concerns for all FIDM campuses. They are both located in the Los Angeles campus main building rotunda.

FIDM Personal Counseling:

  • Los Angeles & Orange County
    Jessica Cattani, M.A.
    213-624-1200 x4556
    jcattani@fidm.edu
    Room #A203b

    Shannon DiLauro, M.ED.
    213-624-1200 x4574
    sdilauro@fidm.edu
    Room #208C

  • San Francisco
    Shannel Busuioc, MFT
    415-675-5200 x1529
    sbusuioc@fidm.edu
    Room #514

  • San Diego
    Kacey Wehr, M.S., LMFT
    619-235-2049 x1831
    kwehr@fidm.edu
    Room #3145

  • Student Housing
    Paloma Franco
    Associate Director of Housing
    800-624-1200 x5625
    pfracno@fidm.edu
    Room #424
Off-Campus

Annual Security Report

FIDM is dedicated providing a safe learning environment for all students and employees. View our Annual Security Report (PDF).

Reporting Party – Within the college’s processes the reporting party is the party making the allegations.

Responding Party – Within the college’s processes the Respondent is the person who the allegations have been made against.

Proceeding – Proceeding means all activities related to a non-criminal resolution of an institutional disciplinary complaint, including, but not limited to, fact-finding investigations, and formal or informal meetings.

Result – Result means any initial, interim, and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution. The result must include any sanctions imposed by the institution. Notwithstanding (FERPA), the result must also include the rational for the result and the sanctions.

Coercion – Coercion is the improper use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against his/her will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats and blackmail. A person’s words or conduct are sufficient to constitute coercion if they wrongfully impair another individual’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Examples of coercion include threatening to “out” someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity.

Incapacitation – Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because he/she lacks conscious knowledge of the nature of the act, and/or is physically helpless. An individual is incapacitated, and therefore unable to give consent, if he/she is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring. Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether a Respondent knew or should have known that the Complainant was incapacitated.

Affirmative Consent – FIDM policy defines affirmative consent as affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.

Sexual Harassment – Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that can undermine the foundation of trust and mutual respect that must prevail for the college to fulfill its educational mission. Two types are quid pro quo harassment, and harassment when conducted creates a hostile environment.

  • Quid Pro Quo – Sexual harassment defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational benefits or services, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual. Page 6 of 27 Rev. 1.2016
  • Hostile Environment – Sexual harassment defined as intimidating, threatening, or offensive verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature, including incidents of sexual assault, or violence, which is unwelcome and is sufficiently severe or pervasive to interfere with an employee’s work environment or a student’s education.

Sexual harassment is not limited to conduct motivated by sexual attraction. It may occur between members of the opposite sex or members of the same sex, regardless of their sexual orientation. It also includes offensive non-sexual conduct directed at an individual because of his or her gender.

Examples:

  • Verbal harassment – Sexual requests, jokes, innuendoes, comments, or sexual remarks about clothing, body or sexual activities.
  • Physical harassment – Attempted or actual kissing, fondling, or other inappropriate touching or feeling.
  • Visual harassment – Drawings, written/email messages, or comments of suggestive nature.

Sexual Violence – Sexual violence is an extreme form of hostile environment/sexual harassment. The scope of these offences includes those that are forced and/or against a person’s will, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.

Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is defined as any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity; because of his/her youth; or physical incapacity. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to rape, forcible sodomy, penetration with a foreign object, sexual battery or the threat of sexual assault.

Sex Offenses – Sex offenses may be categorized as forcible or non-forcible:

Forcible – Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual’s freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in sexual activity. For the use of force to be demonstrated, there is no requirement that a Complainant resists the sexual advance or request. However, resistance by the Complainant or when the Complainant is incapable of giving consent will be viewed as a clear demonstration of non-consent.

Examples:

  • Rape (Except Statutory Rape) – Rape is defined as the carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against the Page 7 of 27 Rev. 1.2016 person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  • Sodomy – Sodomy is oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  • Sexual Assault With An Object – To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  • Fondling – Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Non-forcible – Non-forcible is defined as unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.

Examples:

  • Incest – Incest is non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape – Statutory Rape is non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Stalking – A course of physical or verbal conduct directed at another individual that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm, harass, or cause fear of harm or injury to that person or to a third party. A course of conduct consists of at least two acts. The feared harm or injury may be physical, emotional, or psychological, or related to the personal safety, property, education, or employment of that individual. Stalking includes cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.

Retaliation – Retaliation is acts or attempts to retaliate or seek retribution. Retaliation can take many forms, including threats, intimidation, pressuring, continued abuse, violence, reprisal and/or an adverse action related to employment or education. Retaliation may be committed by Page 8 of 27 Rev. 1.2016 or against an individual or a group, and that a Complainant, Respondent or third party may commit or be the subject of retaliation. Retaliation against a person who properly reports or participates in the investigation of violations is strictly prohibited. Retaliation may result in additional sanctions or legal action, or both.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)* – Intimate partner violence, often referenced as Domestic Violence and/or Dating Violence, describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate partner. An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that can be characterized by the following: emotional connectedness; regular contact; ongoing physical contact and sexual behavior; identity as a couple and/or; familiarity and knowledge about each other’s lives.

The relationship need not involve all of these dimensions. Examples of intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, dating partners, or sexual partners. IPV can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. IPV can vary in frequency and severity. It occurs on a continuum, ranging from one episode that might or might not have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over a period of years.

The college will not tolerate IPV of any form. For the purposes of this policy, the college does not define IPV as a distinct form of misconduct. Rather, the college recognizes that sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and retaliation all may be forms of IPV when committed by a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating or other social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.

* Intimate Partner Violence: Definitions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/definitions.html

Will the information I share be kept confidential?

Confidential – Communications with some individuals are considered confidential. This means that any information shared by the reporting party with a specific individual will not be used against him or her in court or shared with others. This individual cannot be subpoenaed to testify against the reporting party in a court of law.

Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the personal counselors.

Private – FIDM is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. The college will safeguard the identities of the students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct. That is, college employees will seek to keep the information private.

A FIDM employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but the individual can guarantee privacy. Information is disclosed only to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities. As is the case with any educational institution, the college must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the community at large. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

Why should I seek medical attention when I haven't decided whether I want to report the assault to the police or the College?

Seeking medical attention can help you in many ways. First, seeking medical attention can help you take care of your own health by checking for injuries, treating those injuries, and addressing the possibility of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy.

Second, a forensic medical exam can preserve evidence of the assault. This is important even if you are currently undecided about your next steps because you may later decide to pursue criminal charges or College disciplinary charges - that evidence can help in both situations. A medical exam is not, however, required before pursuing criminal or College disciplinary charges.

Does it make a difference if the sexual misconduct occurs on or off campus?

No. According to the College's policy and procedures, under the grievance section it is defined that sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking covers both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as those terms are described below.

On-Campus Violations – The campus includes the geographic confines of the College, including its land, and buildings, its leased premises, and common areas at leased premises. College housing includes apartments through FIDM’s Student Housing department.

Off-Campus Violations – Students should be aware that off campus violations that affect a clear and distinct interest of the College are subject to disciplinary action. As examples, sexual misconduct and harassment are within the College's interests when the behavior:

  • Involves conduct directed at or by a College student, employee, or other member of the College community (e.g., private house party, outside employment)
  • Occurs during College-sponsored events (e.g., field trips, social or educational functions, College-related travel, student recruitment activities, internships and service learning experiences)
  • Occurs during the events of organizations affiliated with the College, including the events of student organizations
  • Occurs during a Study Tour Program or other international travel
  • Poses a disruption or threat to the College community
Why am I encouraged to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator?

The Title IX Coordinator can assist a student in filing formal complaints or, if the student does not want to file a formal complaint, the staff can work with the student to address concerns over housing, class assignments or schedules, leaves of absence, withdrawal or other academic concerns. The staff can also assist the student in notifying local law enforcement, if the student so requests.