Skip to main content

DeSales University’s Title IX and Non-Discrimination Policy

Resources, Support, and Policy on addressing sexual violence, discrimination, and protected class harassment.

  • DeSales University Notice of Non-Discrimination

    DeSales University adheres to all federal, state, and local civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and education. The University is committed to providing equal opportunity in the admission of students, the administration of educational programs, and activities for employees and applicants for employment, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, gender identity, age, pregnancy, veteran status, or disability, while reserving the right where permitted by law to take action designed to promote its Catholic, Salesian mission. Notwithstanding the University’s non-discrimination policy, in making employment decisions, in some instances the University may prefer or require some candidates to be members of the Roman Catholic Church or of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

    As a recipient of federal financial assistance for educational activities, DeSales University is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ensure that all of its education programs and activities do not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender. DeSales University also prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internal or external to the institution. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking are forms of sex discrimination which are prohibited under Title IX and by the Policy on Addressing Sexual Violence, Discrimination, and Protected Class Harassment.

    The policy also prohibits harassment and discrimination based on any protected class. Any member of the campus community, guest, or visitor who acts to deny, deprive, or limit the educational, employment, residential , or social access, opportunities and/or benefits of any member of the DeSales University community on the basis of a protected class in violation of the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy. Any person may report discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual violence (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to have experienced the conduct), in person, by mail, by telephone, by video, or by email, using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator (below). A report may be made at any time (including during nonbusiness hours) by submission via email to or using an online reporting form.

    Peter Rautzhan
    Associate Vice President for Administration 
    OCR Compliance Coordinator
    Deputy Title IX Coordinator
    2nd Floor, Lawless Center 

    Tom Johnson
    Title IX Coordinator 
    Deputy OCR Compliance Officer
    2nd Floor, Lawless Center 

Make a Report

Students, employees and others can raise concerns and make reports of discrimination without fear of reprisal or retaliation. 

Report a Bias Incident, Discrimination, and Harassment

Report Sexual Violence

Early Alert report

Report Bias, Harassment, or Discrimination Incident
Cyber Security and Digital Forensics

Get Help

If you need immediate assistance, please contact 911

  • Get medical attention

    • St. Luke's University Hospital - Bethlehem Campus 801 Ostrum St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
    • Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest- 1200 S Cedar Crest Blvd, Allentown, PA 18103
  • Campus & community resources


    Health Center

    • 610-282-1100 ext. 1776

    Counseling Services


    Crime Victim's Council of the Lehigh Valley

    Turning Point of Lehigh Valley

  • Reporting to the University

    You’re encouraged to speak with whomever you feel most comfortable, but it’s helpful to know that there are a variety of different resources on-campus who are available to offer guidance and/or support – some are confidential, some are considered private. 

    Students, employees and others can raise concerns and make reports of discrimination without fear of reprisal or retaliation. 

    Confidential Resources

    • Counseling Services—Dorothy Day, x1776
    • Wellness Center—Dororthy Day, x1776
    • Campus Chaplain—Dorothy Day, x1393

    Non-confidential Resources

    • All other university employees
    • Most employees at the university are “responsible employees,” which means they have a duty to report incidents of sexualized violence and protected class harassment when they learn of it. While this means most employees are not confidential, it is the expectation that they will only share information that is disclosed to them with the appropriate university officials, which is typically the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and/or DeSales University Police.
  • Reporting to law enforcement

    DeSales University Police

    Lawless Center

    • 610.282.1002
    • Anonymous Tip to Campus Police - Text DSUTIP and your message to 50911

    Upper Saucon Township Police Department Headquarters

    5500 Camp Meeting Road Center Valley, PA 18034

Supportive Measures

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive measures the Title IX office can offer to help an individual access to DeSales University's education program or activity. Supportive measures can be used at any point in a process to protect the safety of all parties and DeSales' educational environment.

  • Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to:

    • Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
    • Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
    • Referral to community-based service providers
    • Visa and immigration assistance
    • Student financial aid counseling
    • Education to the institutional community or community subgroup(s)
    • Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
    • Safety planning
    • Providing campus safety escorts
    • Providing transportation accommodations
    • Implementing contact limitations (no communication or no contact orders) between the parties
    • Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
    • No Contact directive or Persona Non Grata (PNG) orders
    • Timely warnings
    • Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
    • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
    • Any other actions deemed appropriate by the OCR Compliance Coordinator

Resolution Options

Reporting an incident does not automatically trigger a specific resolution process. Oftentimes, the Complainant (person targeted by the alleged behavior) will be able to select what, if any, resolution process they would like the institution to pursue. If the institution is unable to honor a Complainant's request due to an immediate or on-going safety concern, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant before initiating any process.

  • Formal Resolution Process

    Formal resolution is a process that involves an investigation and hearing. A finding of responsibility for violations is made by a decision-maker(s). If an individual is found responsible, sanctions are imposed. There is the opportunity for each party to appeal at the end of the process.

    The process can be summarized as:

    1. Investigators collect evidence and produce an investigation report
    2. Parties have the opportunity to review the investigation report and all directly related information and provide feedback
    3. Investigators make any final changes to the investigation report and submit the report to the Title IX Coordinator
    4. The Title IX Coordinator provides the investigation report and all relevant evidence to the parties at least 10 business days before a hearing
    5. Hearing
    6. Decision-maker(s) issues a written decision
    7. Parties have the opportunity to appeal
      • If no appeal is submitted, the decision is final 
    8. Appeal(s) shared between the parties and a chance to respond to the appeals is provided
    9. Appeal board determines if grounds for appeal are met
      • If yes, they determine what corrective action is necessary
      • If no, the original decision stands and the case is final
  • Informal Resolution

    Informal resolution is a voluntary process where both parties agree to negotiate an agreement to resolve an incident. The parties meet with a University-designed resolution officer who will meet with parties separately to help facilitate an agreement, if possible.  

    Agreement resolutions can include, but are not limited to: 

    1. Respondent admitting their actions caused harm
    2. Respondent apologizing for their actions
    3. Education
    4. Counseling
    5. Voluntary removal from the institution or the institution’s program or activities 
  • No Action

    • A person can make a report but request that the institution not initiate either the formal or informal resolution option. This does not mean someone cannot change their mind and request a different process in the future. It also does not prohibit the individual from gaining access to supportive measures.  

Pregnancy and Parenting

DeSales University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by federal laws such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited by law in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health coverage.

  • Pregnancy protections for Students

    DeSales University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by federal laws such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX)). Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs, and activities.

    Under the Department of Education’s (DOE) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding “shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.” According to the DOE, appropriate treatment of a pregnant student includes granting the student leave “for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician,” and then effectively reinstating the student to the same status as was held when the leave began. 

    This generally means that pregnant students should be treated by DeSales University the same way as someone who has a temporary disability and will be given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. Reasonable accommodations  assistive supports typically provided by Office of Student Accessibility may be made available upon review. To the extent possible, DeSales University will take reasonable steps to ensure that pregnant students who take a leave of absence or medical leave return to the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave, including access to the same course catalog that was in place when the leave began. The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to determine that such accommodations are necessary and appropriate, and to inform faculty members of the need to adjust academic parameters accordingly. 

    As with disability accommodations, information about a student’s requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information unless necessary. Administrative responsibility for these accommodations lies with the Title IX Coordinator, who will maintain all appropriate documentation related to accommodations. 

    In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, the institution will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-model programs, medically necessary leaves are sufficient cause to permit the student to shift course order, substitute similar courses, or join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave. 

    Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and DeSales University’s support systems to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.

  • Pregnancy Protections for Employees

    Pregnancy accommodation is governed by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and numerous state laws. Employees who need a temporary change to how, when, or where they work due to pregnancy or related conditions may request accommodation. Employees and applicants, however, are not required to disclose their pregnancy to the University and may still require accommodations. Therefore, if the employee or applicant does not wish to disclose a pregnancy to the University but requires accommodations because or contributed to by pregnancy, they may opt to request accommodations through the Human Resource Office without disclosing a pregnancy. The University will attempt to make, upon request, reasonable accommodations unless doing so imposes an undue hardship on the University.

    An employee’s leave will be dictated by the FMLA policy, which can be found in the faculty and staff handbooks, respectively.

  • Resources for Pregnant and Parenting Students

    The Wellness Center 

    Office of Student Accessibility (OSA) 

    • Dooling Hall Room 19
    • 610-282-1100 x1453
    • The OSA is committed to ensuring equitable and reasonable access to students. We foster and support diversity, equity and inclusion through awareness, advocacy and collaboration. The office can provide assistance with appropriate accommodations throughout the pregnancy.  

    Office of Civil Rights Compliance

    • Lawless Center, 2nd Floor 
    • 610-282-1100 ex 2131
    • Ensures all students have access to educational opportunities at the university. Can provide information on rights related to pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, and parenting. The office can provide assistance with the academic adjustment process. 

    Local and National Resources

    Cay Galgon Life House 

    • 714 West Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
    • 610-867-9546
    • Free pregnancy testing, counseling, case management, basic baby necessities, adult hygiene products, consumable goods, transitional housing, and agency referrals. 

    Catholic Charities

    • Berks County: 234 Grace Street, Reading | 610-376-7144 
    • Lehigh/Northampton County: 900 S. Woodward Street, Allentown | 610-435-1541 
    • Schuylkill/Carbon County: 319 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville | 570-628-0466 
    • Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program including free pregnancy tests, baby supplies, counseling services to girls and women. 

    Bright Hope Partners

    • Lehigh County: 2200 Hamilton Street, Suite 108, Allentown | 610-821-4000 
    • Northampton County: 2204 Northampton Street, Easton | 610-821-4000 
    • Free pregnancy tests, free ultrasound screenings, free STI/STD testing, life coaching, education, transitional housing 

    Lifeline of Berks County

    • 612 Reading Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 
    • 610-374-8545 
    • Free pregnancy tests, peer counseling, referrals and other assistance, post-abortion counseling, adoption assistance, etc. 

    Mary’s Shelter 

    • 615 Kenhorst Boulevard, Reading, PA
    • 610-376-1973
    • Temporary housing, counseling, prenatal care, education, parenting classes 

    Life’s Choices 

    • Kutztown: 443 West Main Street, Kutztown | 610-683-8000 
    • Hamburg: 326 State Street, Hamburg | 484-660-3526
    • Pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, pregnancy and childbirth classes, parenting and life classes, pregnancy loss support 

    Birthright of Frackville 

    • 10 N. Lehigh Avenue, Frackville 
    • 570-874-2621 
    • Pregnancy, Childbirth, Adoption, Prenatal Care, Community Programs, Parenting Skills, Child Care, referrals 

    Standing With You 

    Standing With You serves as a directory to connect women with pregnancy resources and does not have an affiliation with every resource listed. Standing With You is an initiative by Students For Life.  

  • Request Adjustments and Accommodations

    Pregnancy Related Conditions and Parent Adjustments and Accommodations Request Form 

    Contact the Title IX Coordinator

    Tom Johnson
    Title IX Coordinator 
    Deputy OCR Compliance Officer
    2nd Floor, Lawless Center
    610-282-1100 ext. 2131  

    Adjustments and Accommodations can include, but are not limited to:  

    • Modifications to the physical environment (such as a larger desk)
    • Mobility assistance
    • Breaks during class, as needed
    • Excusing medically necessary absences
    • Extended deadlines and/or allowing for rescheduling exams
    • Allowing breastfeeding parents reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible.

    The specific adjustments and accommodations an individual will be granted are determined on a case-by-case basis after reviewing the needs of the DeSales University community member and relevant academic and/or work requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is protected class harassment?

    Protected class means a shared characteristic (i.e., sex, gender, race, religion) that is protected by law or policy. Protected class harassment is when someone faces unwelcome conduct based, at least in part, on their actual or perceived membership in protected class. 

  • What is sexual harassment?

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. 

  • What is sexual violence?

    Sexual violence is an umbrella term that can include: sexual assault, rape, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. 

  • What happens after a report is submitted?

    After a report is submitted, the Title IX or OCR Compliance Coordinator will reach out to the impacted party (not necessarily the person who submitted the report) to offer resources, inform them of their rights, and offer a meeting. 

  • Is there a time limit on reporting?

    No, there is no time limit on reporting. It is not uncommon that someone may need time between an incident and when they are ready to report it. The University will offer the available assistance it has to a party when they report and inform them of their options regardless of how much time has passed between an incident and the report. 

  • What happens if I report anonymously?

    Anonymous reporting may limit the university's ability to follow up on a report. When a person is identified in a report and is a member of the university community, a University official may contact that individual to schedule a meeting to discuss available resources, gather more information, or address information provided in the report.

  • What happens if the person who did something doesn't go to DeSales?

    The University will still provide assistance to the person who was impacted by the reported action. An individual accused of sexual violence or protected-class harassment can be barred from University property. The Title IX office can also assist an individual with contacting community resources, law enforcement, or the other party’s school if they wish. 

  • How can I meet with someone from the Title IX or OCR Compliance office?

    You can meet with someone from the Title IX office by scheduling an appointment, calling, or stopping in. You can also schedule a meeting on our Bookings page.  

    Meetings can be held in person, on the phone, or over Zoom (or other video conferencing). 

  • Can I meet with someone to talk about someone I’m concerned about?

    Yes. You are encouraged to speak with someone from the Title IX or OCR Compliance office if you have a concern that we may be able to assist with. As long as you are not a Responsible Employee, you have no obligation to share identifiable information about who the person you are concerned about is.

    During the meeting, the Title IX team member can share resources with you and attempt to answer the questions you may have. 

  • Do I have to come to a meeting alone?

    No. You are welcome to have someone with you at any meeting. This can be a friend, family member, faculty/staff member, or whomever you trust to support you during a meeting. 

  • How is the Title IX team trained?

    The Title IX team has completed training through the SUNY Student Conduct Institute.

  • What is a bias-related incident?

    A bias-related incident constitutes an expression of hostility or intimidation, in words or actions, against a person or property of another because of the targeted person’s protected group status.  Protected group status is afforded and defined in the Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy.  

    A bias-related incident may be a violation of DeSales Student Code of Conduct, Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy, or other policy. 

    It is important to note, however, that behavior or expression may be considered inappropriate or disruptive without being a bias-related offense or policy violation. After a bias-related incident is reported, the incident will be referred to the appropriate office for review and evaluation.

  • What happens if the University cannot determine who was involved in an incident?

    There may be times when it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify the person responsible for the reported incident or behavior, or when the individual is someone external to the DeSales community who is not subject to university policies.  There may also be times when the reported incident is ultimately determined not to be a policy violation.  None of these preclude the University from implementing an educational and supportive response. Counter-messaging, condemnations, dialogue, education and support as a response to hateful speech or conduct may be considered. 

    While it isn't always easy to recognize, bias can be present in the classroom, workplace, and media, and often stems from fear, misunderstanding, hatred, or stereotypes. Even when offenders are not aware of bias or do not intend to offend, bias may be revealed by an act that is worthy of a response and can serve as an opportunity for education.

  • What is a hate crime?

    A hate crime is a criminal offense in which the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias. 

    In the United States, federal laws that inform responses to hate crimes include the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2)), the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. § 994), and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (Division E of H.R. 2647).  In addition, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Protocol and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (20 U.S.C.§1092(f)) – also known as The Clery Act – defines hate crimes for the purposes of its reporting requirements.  

  • What differentiates bias-related incidents from hate crimes?

    While bias-related incidents and hate crimes both involve behavior that is motivated by bias, there is an important distinction between the two. Hate crimes are criminal offenses motivated by bias. These crimes would be crimes even if not for the bias element.  A bias-related incident may not involve criminal behavior. It may be a violation of University policy or it may not. Not all biased or hateful behavior rises to the level of a crime or policy violation and not all crimes are hate crimes. 

    Hate crimes include such offenses as:

    • physical attacks/assault 
    • property damage 
    • arson 
    • homicide 
    • terroristic threats 
    • vandalism 
    • sex offenses 
    • robbery 
    • burglary 
    • theft 

    Bias-related incidents include such things as:

    • bullying based on perceived national origin 
    • telling jokes based on stereotype or making a joke about a targeted person’s protected  class 
    • using racial or ethnic slurs 
    • making comments on social media about a targeted person’s protected class 

    Some bias incidents or hate crimes may involve hateful speech. Hateful speech, like all speech is protected by the First Amendment as long as it does not incite immediate violence. That does not mean, however, that it must be tolerated. Hate speech but can still cause real harm.

    Although some people may feel anger, resentment, frustration, or discouragement in response to hateful speech, those feelings alone are not sufficient grounds to limit that speech. Effective responses to hateful speech include counter-messaging, condemnations, direct support to targeted individuals and groups, dialogue, and education.

Contact Us

Office of Civil Rights Compliance
Lawless Hall