Title IX is a short and simple federal law:

“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.”

Whitman College strives to provide a safe environment in which students can pursue their education free from the detrimental effects of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. Therefore, the College seeks to educate students, faculty and staff about these issues and to provide a means of recourse for those students who believe they have experienced such behavior. The College reserves the right to respond with whatever measures it deems appropriate to prevent sexual misconduct and preserve the safety and well-being of its students.

View The Title IX Policy

Ways to Connect with Title IX Officials at Whitman College

  • Direct Outreach to the Title IX Coordinator
  • Contact a Deputy Title IX Coordinator:
    • Cara Setchell, Assistant Director of Human Resources
      Memorial Building 105

    • Melissa Clearfield, Laura and Carl Peterson Chair of Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology
      Hunter Conservatory 404
  • Submit a Report Online
    Information on a potential Title IX violation may be submitted the online reporting form.

Support and Reporting Options

If you have experienced sex or gender-based harassment, discrimination, or violence, you have options. Sexual harassment includes all forms of sexual violence and is is prohibited at Whitman College.

If you are a sexual violence survivor, please know that:

  • You can speak with anyone at any time.
  • Reporting is always an option.
  • A report will not necessarily lead to an investigation.
  • Choosing one route does not exclude other options; survivors should pursue whatever routes will be the most helpful to recovery.
  • Resources are available to you no matter what reporting option you choose. 

Prompt reporting of a complaint is strongly encouraged, as it allows rapid response to and resolution of prohibited or objectionable behavior. The passage of significant time between an incident and an investigation can result in memory lapses, the departure of key witnesses or other time-sensitive factors that can impair the investigation.

Role of the Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator will coordinate the College’s response to reports of sexual misconduct. This includes:

  • Making information about sexual misconduct and related services available to students in print and via the website
  • Assisting complainants and respondents in understanding their rights
  • Recommend necessary remedial short-term actions to provide appropriate support and safety. This would include facilitating requests for safe housing, negotiating academic accommodations and providing referrals to on and off-campus resources
  • Assist students who choose to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Walla Walla Police Department or other law enforcement agencies
  • Investigating reports of alleged sexual misconduct involving students
  • Issuing no-contact and no-trespass directives

See the complete Grievance Policy for details about the investigative and adjudication process, council organization, and the appeal process.

Title IX Policy and Reports

View The Title IX Policy


The 2020 Title IX Regulations that mandates the public sharing of materials used to train school and college Title IX team members. Whitman's Title IX coordinator and deputy coordinators complete training through the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). The training materials are available on ATIXA’s website.

Twenty Whitman Faculty and Staff completed Title IX Hearing Officer and Decision Maker Training October 5, 2020. This training was completed through the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). The training materials are available on ATIXA’s website.

Sexual Misconduct Defined

The College prohibits sexual misconduct in any form. Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can occur between persons of the same or different genders.

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe or persistent or pervasive such that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs or employment opportunities. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation. A single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.

The list of prohibited conduct under this policy includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or propositions that interfere with a student’s education or employment opportunities
  • Using electronic devices or technology (e.g., cell phone, camera, email, Internet sites or  social networks) to record or transmit nudity or sexual acts without a person’s knowledge and/or permission
  • Committing violence within a relationship (domestic violence or intimate partner violence)
  • Excessive unwanted and persistent attention on a regular basis either with electronic devices or in person or other means (stalking)
  • Intentionally observing nudity or sexual acts of another person without the person’s knowledge or permission (voyeurism)
  • Unwanted touching of the genitals, buttocks, or breasts that is intentional or other unwanted touching or groping
  • Forcing/coercing someone to touch you or someone else in a sexual manner
  • Threatening to sexually harm someone
  • Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of sexual exploitation
  • Ignoring a sexual limit that has been communicated
  • Coercing or intimidating someone into sexual behavior
  • Sexual assault, including unwanted penetration of an orifice (anal, vaginal, oral) with the penis, finger or objects

Consent Defined 

The College defines consent as a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity, expressed by clear, unambiguous words or actions. It is the responsibility of the initiator of the sexual activity to ensure that they have the other person’s consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity by all parties involved. At any time, a participant can communicate that they no longer consent to continuing the activity. Consent may never be obtained through the use of force, coercion, or intimidation or if the victim is mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated, including through the use of drugs or alcohol. 

Students cannot assume consent because of the existence of a previous dating or sexual relationship. The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish a student’s responsibility to obtain consent for sexual activity.