Updated Message from the Provost: University Response to Sexual Assault and Misconduct Allegations on Social Media
June 8, 2020
Dear Howard University Students,
The University recently became aware of social media messages on several twitter accounts where individuals who identify themselves as Howard University students or alum are accusing other Howard University students of sexual misconduct and assault. Howard University prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct by students, faculty or staff. We are concerned about the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all students, especially during this challenging and turbulent period. We recognize the sensitive nature of sexual misconduct and encourage students to report any such concerns to the Title IX Office here.
The Title IX Office remains available during the COVID-19 pandemic to help you decide how to move forward after experiencing any form of sexual misconduct. The Title IX Officers are available to answer any of your questions about the process and about your rights, options and resources. If you or someone you know has experienced any sexual misconduct, you may reach the Title IX Office directly at TitleIX@howard.edu. The University strictly prohibits retaliation for participation in the Title IX process. The Title IX Office’s ability to respond fully to a report may be limited if the report is anonymous or if the complaining individual declines to participate in the process.
The University provides free, confidential counseling services for students. If you would like to speak with counseling services, please contact them at HUcounseling@howard.edu or HUcounselingoutreach@howard.edu. You may also contact them by calling (202) 806-6870 or (202) 345-6709. The Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program (IVPP) serves as a confidential advocacy resource for students who may have experienced sexual misconduct, and can be reached at (202) 836-1401.
As a reminder to staff and faculty, Cigna offers free and confidential telephonic consultation to employees. You may contact Cigna's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) support line by calling 1-866-912-1687.
Please be safe during these challenging times.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Howard University Celebrates Pride Month!
As Howard University celebrates Pride Month, the Title IX Office celebrates the members of our LGBTQ+ Bison community and reaffirms the University’s commitment to protecting all members of our community from sex or gender-based discrimination and harassment. This includes ensuring a learning, working and living environment free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex assigned at birth, gender expression, or nonconformance with gender stereotypes. Meeting the needs and protecting the rights of all members of our community will always remain at the forefront of our approach. Learn more about the rights and protections provided by Howard University’s Title IX Policy and the related resources available to you.
Also, the Division of Student Affairs invites Bison to engage in social media solidarity moments and virtual discussions that they will be facilitating throughout this Pride Month. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram to participate in these Virtual Pride Month activities and to be considered for prizes throughout the month:
Division of Student Affairs (@HUStudentAffair): Twitter | Instagram
Student Health Center (@HUstudenthealth): Twitter | Instagram
Student Life & Activities (@Howard_SLA): Twitter | Instagram
University Statement Regarding New Title IX Regulations Issued by the US Department of Education
May 7, 2020
Yesterday, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued new regulations mandating how Howard University and all other colleges and universities (as well as elementary and secondary education programs) must investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Title IX is a federal statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity.
Howard University’s current Title IX Policy complies with the Title IX statute and with prior regulations and guidance issued by OCR. Our current policy and implementation practices are fair, thorough and sensitive to all individuals who may be involved in a matter. However, like all educational institutions that receive federal funding, Howard University will likely need to modify our current policy in order to implement these new regulations and ensure our University’s compliance.
We will be carefully reviewing and analyzing the new regulations to assess what we must do to implement the new requirements. As we embark on this work, while we must ensure compliance, a central goal will be the continuation of a fair and thorough system, that remains responsive to the needs of our community. We will make efforts to share our implementation plans and seek input from the University community.
You may always reach the Title IX Office by emailing us at TitleIX@howard.edu or reaching out to one of our Title IX Officers directly. Information and resources can be found on our webpage at https://www2.howard.edu/title-ix/home. We remain available to provide excellent service to the community.
Excellence In Truth and Service,
Leslie T. Annexstein
Title IX Director
Office of the Provost
As of Monday, March 23, 2020, Howard University has moved to a virtual/distance learning and remote/telework environment in order to minimize the possible transmission of COVID-19 and promote the best practice of social distancing. Therefore, the Title IX Office is working remotely until further notice. The Title IX Office will continue to provide support, resources, and services to the University community through email, telephone, and Zoom video-chats. The Title IX Office will be available to conduct in-person interviews only under specific circumstances.
Additional Resources: Note that campus resources for confidential support and services remain available, as well. These include the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program (IVPP), University Counseling Service, Office of the Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program. In addition, there are several national and local resources outside of the university that you can contact for help with issues related to sexual or domestic violence. You can view and download a guide to all of these resources here.
A Message About Title IX and Online/Remote Instruction
Dear Howard University Community -
Now that classes and other academic programs are being provided online by the University, the Title IX Office wanted to take this opportunity to remind members of our community that maintaining an academic program free from sex/gender discrimination remains a high priority for the university. Members of the community should be aware of the following three important points:
- The Title IX Office remains open and is functioning remotely at this time. Anyone impacted by sex/gender discrimination, including sexual harassment or violence, is encouraged to contact the Title IX office to make a report. You may contact us by emailing TitleIX@howard.edu or emailing one of the Title IX Officers directly. Our contact information can be found here on the Title IX website (on the "Officers" page). Investigations are ongoing and will be conducted remotely, and remedies provided, to ensure that any conduct prohibited by the University’s Title IX Policy is addressed promptly. The Title IX Office will continue to provide interim measures, as appropriate, and connect individuals with resources.
- The University's Title IX Policy applies to conduct that occurs online, virtually and/or in the context of remote learning and work. Any conduct that is prohibited by the Title IX Policy is also likely prohibited in cyber-forms, such as cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking that is sex-based. Members of the community are expected to maintain a tone of civility and respect in online classes just as they would if they were in class physically.
- Faculty and staff members are reminded that they are Responsible Employees under the Title IX Policy. Reports of alleged violations of the Title IX Policy are expected when faculty and staff become aware of incidents involving members of the campus community, whether they learn of the potential misconduct in person, in writing, or online. Only those employees designated as Confidential are not required to make a report to the Title IX Office.
We hope that everyone is taking good care of themselves during this time. The Title IX Officers remain ready to assist you, as needed.
Leslie T. Annexstein, Esq.
Title IX Director
Mental Health and Emotional Support Resources
We realize that the past several weeks have been stressful to our students, faculty and staff. If you would like to access mental health services, the following resources are available to you:
University Counseling Service (no walk-ins at this time) - Daytime/Weekdays: 202-806-6870; Crisis Line (After Hours & Weekends): 202-345-6709, Monday-Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and 24/7 on weekends.
"Healthiest You" - the student telehealth mental health provider. Contact them at telehealth4students.com, or via phone at 855-870-5858
Optum - Optum has opened its Emotional-Support Help Line, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.
- BetterHelp - 24/7 counseling
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI Updates on the Coronavirus
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Coronavirus Anxiety - Helpful Expert Tips and Resources
About the Title IX Office
Howard University is committed to providing students with educational opportunities free from sexual harassment and discrimination based upon gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status. The University strives to maintain an environment in which all members of the University Community are: (a) judged and rewarded solely on the basis of ability, experience, effort, and performance; and (b) provided conditions for educational and employment pursuits that are free from sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, other forms of interpersonal violence, stalking, and retaliation.
The Title IX Office exists to ensure the University adheres to that commitment.
This includes educating the University Community on the rights and protections that are provided by the law, and ensuring that those rights and protections are provided to all members of the University community who participate in the Title IX process. This also includes directing individuals who are impacted to the support and resources available.
Contact the Title IX Office:
Walk-in Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:30 am - 2:00 pm (suspended until further notice)
Location: Johnson Administration Building, Suite G06
Street Address: 2400 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059