Title IX

A Quick Guide To the Safe Academic & Work Environment, Sexual Misconduct, and Title IX Policies

The following excerpts are from the 2019-2020 Mars Hill University Student Handbook. Please see the handbook for complete policies and definitions.


Mars Hill University has a zero tolerance policy for violence or harassment. All students are prohibited from engaging in threatening behaviors, violence or harassment against another person at the University. Any student that engages in violence, threatening behavior or harassment in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.


Mars Hill University has a zero tolerance policy for hazing on its campus. In accordance with North Carolina law, no student, student organization or athletic team, shall permit, plan, direct, encourage, participate, assist, engage, aid, condone or tolerate hazing. Any student, student organization or athletic team, that engages in hazing, or in an act that is in disrespect of the basic human dignities of other students, or members of the administration, faculty and/or staff, in violation of this policy, or in violation of North Carolina law, shall be subject to disciplinary action.


Mars Hill University has a zero tolerance policy for bullying on its campus. No student, student organization or athletic team shall permit, plan, direct, encourage, participate, assist, engage, aid, condone or tolerate bullying. Any student, student organization or athletic team that engages in bullying in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.


Mars Hill University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the community, including students, faculty, staff and administrators, are treated with respect and dignity, free from gender and sex-based discrimination. All forms of gender-based discrimination is prohibited, including, but not limited to, sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and other sexual misconduct. Mars Hill University has a zero tolerance policy for sex discrimination. Any student found to have violated this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Title IX Grievance Procedures.

Sexual misconduct means any physical sexual act perpetrated against a person’s will, or without their consent, or when an individual is incapable of giving consent. Sexual misconduct can be perpetrated upon members of the opposite gender or of the same gender. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse*
  • Non-consensual sexual contact*
  • Sexual exploitation*
  • Sexual harassment*
  • Other gender-based misconduct*


If you are the victim of sexual misconduct, and in particular sexual violence, you should:

  • Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
  • In the case of an emergency or an actual or an imminent act or threat of violence, call Campus Safety & Security, Mars Hill Police Department, or 911
  • Talk with a counselor
  • Understand that the act of sexual misconduct was not your fault
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible to address physical health needs and to collect important evidence in the event of a later decision to take legal action
  • Additional steps are listed in the Sexual Misconduct Policy section of the Student Handbook

There are trained professionals available at Mars Hill University who can confidentially provide information and support to victims:

Cassie Pavone – Counseling Center

Stephanie McLeskey – Chaplain

Stephanie Shelton – University Wellness Center


The Title IX Grievance Procedures outline the procedures that should be followed when reporting a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, a gender-based violation of the Safe Academic & Work Environment Policies, and any other gender-based discrimination, as well as the procedures the university will utilize to investigate all such reports.

Where to Report Grievances

The university encourages victims of gender discrimination, sexual misconduct and specifically, sexual violence, to talk to someone about what happened to them. The university also encourages victims to report incidents of gender discrimination, sexual misconduct, and specifically, sexual violence, so that it can respond appropriately. A victimized student may not know who to trust or turn to for help, and may also not realize that there are different individuals on campus that have different abilities to maintain confidentiality for the victim.

When to Report Grievances

Grievances should be reported as soon as reasonably possible and within 60 calendar days of the incident resulting in the grievance.

How to Report Grievances

Grievances may be reported in person, over the phone or in writing. The initial report, if in writing, should include the following basic information:

  • Name and contact information of grievant(s)
  • Nature of the alleged violation
  • Name of the respondent, or other persons involved and responsible for the alleged violation, if known
  • Indication of whether the grievant consents to the disclosure of their identity to the respondent
  • Relief or corrective action requested by the grievant(s)
  • Any other information the grievant believes to be relevant including to the investigation of the grievance, including the names of other groups or persons affected by the alleged violation

For more information on Title IX procedures, see the Title IX Grievance Procedures section of the student handbook. If you have questions regarding your confidentiality options, the university has designated the following individuals to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a responsible employee is on notice of alleged sexual misconduct:

Jennie Matthews, MBA
Title IX Coordinator
Nash 209

Additional Non-Confidential Reporting:

MHU Campus Security

*See 2018-2019 Mars Hill University Student Handbook for additional information.