What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

The Title IX regulation describes the conduct that violates Title IX. Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include sexual harassment, the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics, and discrimination based on pregnancy. To enforce Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education maintains an Office for Civil Rights, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and 12 offices across the United States.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Title IX and Sex Discrimination.

Title IX Coordinator

Michelle Johnson
Associate Vice President of Institutional Resources
mljohnson@sandburg.edu | 309.341.5258

Title IX Deputy Coordinator

Autumn Scott
Vice President of Student Development
Student Services
anscott@sandburg.edu | 309.341.5422


Lisa Hanson
Dean of Enrollment Management
Student Services
lhanson@sandburg.edu | 309.341.5212


Role of Title IX Coordinators

  • Oversee the college’s response to all Title IX reports and complaints, and identify and address any patterns or systemic problems revealed by such reports and complaints.
  • A Title IX complaint includes complaints alleging sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or sexual misconduct (as those terms are defined herein), which involve a college student as the victim and/or complainant, or as the respondent.
  • Be informed of all reports and complaints raising Title IX issues, including those initially filed with another individual or office, or if the investigation will be conducted by another individual or office.
  • Ensure adequate training is provided to students, faculty, and staff on Title IX issues.
  • Conduct Title IX investigations, including investigating facts relative to a complaint, and recommending appropriate sanctions against the perpetrator and remedies for the complaint.
  • Determine appropriate interim measures for a victim and/or complainant upon learning of a report or complaint of sexual violence.
  • Ensure appropriate policies and procedures are in place for working with law enforcement and coordinating services with local victim advocacy organizations and services providers, including rape crisis centers.
  • Promote an educational and employment environment free of sexual discrimination and gender bias.


Title IX/sexual misconduct personnel

The following have been trained in one or more roles that are part of a Title IX investigation. Everyone in these roles completes annual training to stay compliant with federal guidelines. These roles include:

  • Investigator
  • Decision-maker
  • Hearing Panel Official
  • Advisor
  • OWA (Official with Authority)
  • Title IX Coordinator


Tina Braun-Smith: 309.341.5465 | tbraun-smith@sandburg.edu

Doug Ferguson: 309.341.5316 | dferguson@sandburg.edu

Tim Gilmour: 309.341.5473 | tgilmour@sandburg.edu

Lisa Hanson: 309.341.5212 | lhanson@sandburg.edu 

Kang Hee Hong: 309-341-5355 | khong@sandburg.edu

Eric Johnson: 309.341.5349 | ebjohnson@sandburg.edu 

Michelle Johnson: 309.341.5258 | mljohnson@sandburg.edu

Jodi Pospeschil: 214.357.3129 ext. 7247 | jpospeschil@sandburg.edu

Autumn Scott: 309.341.5322 |  anscott@sandburg.edu

Josh Seifert: 309.341.5326 | jseifert@sandburg.edu

Genny Stevens: 309.341.5332 | gstevens@sandburg.edu

Conner Thompson: 309.341.5469 | cthompson@sandburg.edu


Title IX Training Series — Thompson Coburn LLP

2023 Title IX Training — Lori Ferguson

Coordinator One-Foundations — ATIXA:



Carl Sandburg College takes the safety of our students seriously and strives to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, staff, faculty, and guests.

The Campus Sexual Violence Act (Campus SaVE), the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act require college campuses to provide information, training, and ongoing prevention and awareness programs to combat sexual violence.

Sandburg’s policy against sexual violence

It is the responsibility of the college and all employees to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our students. Carl Sandburg College prohibits any violence towards students, employees, and visitors, including but not limited to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The Campus Sexual Violence Act requires institutions to educate students and employees on the prevention and awareness of sexual assault. According to the Illinois Criminal Code, the following definitions apply:

Domestic violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim is dating violence. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • Length of the relationship
  • Type of relationship
  • Frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
Sexual assault

A person commits criminal sexual assault if that person commits an act of sexual penetration and:

  1. Uses force or threat of force.
  2. Knows the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent.
  3. Is a family member of the victim, and the victim is under 18 years of age.
  4. Is 17 years of age or older and holds a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to the victim, and the victim is at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age.

A person commits stalking when they knowingly engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and they know or should know this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to:

  1. Fear for their safety or the safety of a third person.
  2. Suffer other emotional distress.

This means a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission by the victim resulting from the use of force or threat of force by the accused shall not constitute consent. The manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense shall not constitute consent.

Carl Sandburg College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, and sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of sex discrimination. Other acts can also be forms of sex-based discrimination and are also prohibited by Carl Sandburg College as well as federal law — whether sexually based or not and include dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Because you are reporting a possible form of sex-based discrimination, Carl Sandburg College wants to inform you of our policy and procedures that address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, whether the incident occurs on or off-campus as well as your rights and Carl Sandburg College’s responsibilities.

As a complainant of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking, you can receive a full copy of our institution’s policy. The policy has procedures in place that serve to be sensitive to those who report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These procedures include our right to inform you of your right to file criminal charges as well as the availability of medical, counseling and support services. We also offer additional remedies to prevent contact between a complainant and an accused party, such as a temporary or permanent change in academic, transportation and working conditions, if reasonably available.

The policy also addresses possible sanctions and interim and/or long-term protective measures that Sandburg may impose following a report through the final determination of our discipline process. If you would like more information than is contained in this handout regarding any process or procedure, or if you’d like to make a report, ask questions about the policy, or need to request an accommodation to your working arrangements regardless of whether or not you chose to report the crime to law enforcement or Public Safety, contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Michelle Johnson, at 309.341.5258 or in-person in room E209 on the main Galesburg Campus.

In Illinois, a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking has the following rights:

  • Crime victims are treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice system and to increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system by affording certain basic rights and considerations to the witnesses of violent crime who are essential to prosecution. Learn more on the Illinois General Assembly site
  • Carl Sandburg College Department of Public Safety complies with Illinois law in recognizing orders of protection and will honor orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court. Please bring a copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety on the Galesburg campus in D209. On the Carthage campus, please contact the Director of the Branch Campus at 217.357.3129, ext. 7247.

To get an order of protection, you have several options. You can contact the state or district attorney, or inform the police you wish to apply for an order of protection. You can also go to the county in which you or your abuser resides and ask the Court Clerk for an order of protection form. Emergency orders become effective immediately upon a judge signing the papers.

After the paperwork is filed, a hearing date will be set (typically within 14 days), and you will be required to appear in court on that day. The hearing may take place in family court or criminal court. The judge will ask you to prove you have experienced abuse or been threatened with violence. Witnesses, police reports, hospital and physician reports, and evidence of physical abuse or assault are often necessary to convince the judge to issue an order of protection.

A complainant may then meet with Public Safety to develop a Safety Action Plan, which is a plan for campus police and the victim to reduce the risk of harm while on campus or coming and going from campus. This plan may include, but is not limited to:

  • Escorts
  • Special parking arrangements
  • Providing a temporary cellphone
  • Changing classroom location
  • Allowing a student to complete assignments from home, etc.
Protection from abuse orders may be available through your local courthouse starting with the circuit clerk’s office. Please contact Carl Sandburg College’s Department of Public Safety at 309.341.5304 for further help.

To the extent of the victim’s cooperation and consent, college offices, including the Office of Student Success and it’s counselors and advisors will work cooperatively to ensure that the complainant's health, physical safety, work and academic status are protected, pending the outcome of a formal college investigation of the complaint.

For example, if reasonably available, a complainant may be offered changes to academic or working situations in addition to counseling, health services and assistance in notifying appropriate local law enforcement. Additionally, personally identifiable information about the victim will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons with a specific need to know who is investigating/adjudicating the complaint or delivering resources or support services to the complainant. 

The college does not publish the name of crime victims nor house identifiable information regarding victims in the campus police department's daily crime log or online. Victims may request that directory information on file be removed from public sources by request of the Director of Public Safety.

Male victims

While most victims of sexual assault are women, some men are also victims. Male victims will receive the same services as women. Emotional support, optional counseling, legal advocacy and medical treatment are available to assist all those recovering from sexual assault.

If you have been sexually assaulted or injured in any way, you should seek medical treatment immediately regardless of whether you report the matter to the police.

  • If on campus, immediately call the Department of Public Safety at 309.341.5499 or 911 for the local police and emergency medical services.
  • If off campus or at an off-campus site, call 911 for emergency services.
  • If the victim chooses, the Department of Public Safety can assist in contacting the law enforcement authorities.
  • Consider seeking assistance from the sexual assault crisis center in your area; see the Victim Assistance Agencies below.

The student does have the right to decline notification of authorities.

Reporting options

Electronically: You may report an act of sexual violence electronically by filling out the online Report Form below.

Third-party: A third party or bystander may report acts of sexual violence to Sandburg’s Department of Public Safety, electronically by filling out the online Report Form, or by contacting any of the individuals listed under the CSA Contacts listed below.

In-person: Victims, third parties and bystanders can make a report of sexual violence and violations of Sandburg’s policy in person to any of the CSA contacts listed below.

Campus Security Authorities (CSA) are individuals who are required to report allegations of sexual assault and violations to Sandburg’s policy against sexual violence. These individuals may ensure the privacy of the victim and can keep the victim’s name and personal information confidential. Communication between the victim and the CSA may also remain confidential.

CSA contacts

The college’s Chief Safety Officer, who is notified of a complaint which is made pursuant to this policy shall promptly and thoroughly undertake or authorize an investigation. Other authorized investigators include the college’s EEO Officer(s), Vice President of Student Services or any other person(s) designated by the college. The standard of evidence required is a preponderance of evidence generally used in civil courts. The preponderance of evidence standard means, based on whatever evidence is garnered, it is more likely that the crime was committed than not. Investigators will be trained annually on sexual assault and other intimate partner violence issues and the preponderance of evidence standard.

The Director of Public Safety or designee will conduct a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice.

If the allegations are founded as a result of the investigation, the college will take remedial action against the accused and prevent a recurrence. Both the accuser and accused will be informed in writing of:

  • The outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of sexual assault.
  • The procedures for the accused and the victim to appeal the results of the institutional disciplinary proceeding.
  • Any change to the results occurring prior to the time that such results become final.
  • When such results become final.

The college will keep complaints and the terms of their resolution confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances. The college is required by law to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The college will comply with the reporting requirements of this law without including identifying information about the victim to the extent permissible by law.


Academic Assistance

The Sandburg Advising/Counseling Services will assist victims in changing their academic situation (class schedule), on-campus work, and transportation situations after a sexual assault incident if requested by the victim and if the accommodations are reasonably available. Carl Sandburg College does not maintain on-campus student housing facilities or residence halls.


Possible Sanctions 

Sexual assault is a violation of federal, state and local law and the policy of Sandburg. Therefore, criminal sanctions by the criminal justice system and administrative sanctions by the college may be imposed upon the accused if it is found that the accused perpetrated the offense. Disciplinary proceedings by the vice president for student services will determine what if any, administrative sanctions are imposed by the college upon students charged with violating the Student Conduct Code. Administrative sanctions may include disciplinary reprimand, probation, social probation, suspension, expulsion, assessment for restitution, separations or restrictions.

The Carl Sandburg College Office of Public Safety will honor orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders, or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court. Please bring a copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety on the Galesburg campus in D209. At Carthage, please contact the Student Services office.

To get an order of protection, you have several options. You can contact the state or district attorney, or inform the police you wish to apply for an order of protection. You can also go to the county in which you or your abuser resides and ask the court clerk for an order of protection forms. Emergency orders become effective immediately upon a judge signing the papers.

After the paperwork is filed, a hearing date will be set (typically within 14 days), and you will be required to appear in court on that day. The hearing may take place in family court or criminal court. The judge will ask you to prove that you have experienced abuse or been threatened with violence. Witnesses, police reports, hospital and physician reports, and evidence of physical abuse or assault are often necessary to convince the judge to issue an order of protection.

Victims are encouraged to report a sexual assault to the Sandburg Department of Public Safety. However, if the victim does not want to file a report, there are resources available, which include:

Sandburg Counseling Services 
Galesburg campus: E100 | 309.341.5237
Carthage campus: 217.357.3129, ext. 7247

Bridgeway Inc. 
2323 Windish Dr, Galesburg, IL 61401 
309.344.2323 | bway.org

Advanced Behavioral Health 
2101 Windish Dr #100, Galesburg, IL 61401 

Galesburg Public Library
Provides material for dealing with abuse, including books and legal resources. Free internet access is available.
40 E. Simmons St, Galesburg, IL 61401
309.343.6118 | galesburglibrary.org

Knox County Child Advocacy
Child Advocacy Center — Provides services to child victims of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse cases in Knox, Warren and Henderson Counties.
139 S. Cherry St, Galesburg, IL 61401
309.344.8416 | paladincac.org

Knox County State’s Attorney Victim Advocate
Provides emotional support, court advocacy, service referrals, case status updates and scheduling info for victims or survivors of violent crimes once the criminal case has been filed.
200 S. Cherry St #3, Galesburg, IL 61401
309.345.3886 | co.knox.il.us

Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center 24-Hour Crisis Line
Provides confidential help to individuals who are experiencing violence in their relationships through court advocacy, a 24-hour crisis line, emergency safe house, counseling, food and clothing, and referral services. Walk-ins welcome.
1188 W. Main St, Galesburg, IL 61401
309.343.SAFE (7233) | safeharbordv.org

Victim Services 24-Hour Crisis Line
All services are free and confidential. Services in Knox County are for sexual abuse/assault survivors only. Crisis intervention, legal advocacy and follow-up counseling services.
309.837.5555 | wirpc.org/victimservices

Hancock County Mental Health
607 Buchanan St, Carthage, IL
217.357.3176 | mhcwi.org

WIRC-CAA Victim Services
Crisis line: 309.837.555 (Macomb) | wirpc.org

Local hospitals

OSF St Mary Medical Center
3333 N Seminary St
Galesburg, IL 61401

OSF Holy Family Medical Center
1000 W Harlem Ave
Monmouth, IL 61462

McDonough District Hospital
525 East Grant St
Macomb, IL 61455

Memorial Hospital
1454 North County Road 2050
Carthage, IL 62321

No victim is ever to blame for being assaulted or abused. Unfortunately, a person who is the victim of sexual or dating violence is more likely to be re-victimized. Below are some tips to help reduce your risk, to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior, and how to avoid potential attacks.

Warning signs of abusive behavior

Domestic and dating abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And, while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic and dating violence are also severe. Warning signs of dating and domestic violence include:

  1. Being afraid of your partner.
  2. Constantly watch what you say to avoid a “blow up.”
  3. Feelings of low self-worth and helplessness about your relationship.
  4. Feeling isolated from family or friends because of your relationship.
  5. Hiding bruises or other injuries from family or friends.
  6. Being prevented from working, studying, going home and/or using technology (including your cell phone.)
  7. Being monitored by your partner at home, work or school.
  8. Being forced to do things you don’t want to do.

Help reduce your risk and avoid potential attacks

If you are being abused or suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up or intervene.

  1. Get help by contacting a counselor in Student Services for support services.
  2. Learn how to look for “red flags” in relationships; so you can learn to avoid some of those characteristics in future partners.
  3. Consider making a report to the Department of Public Safety and/or the Title IX Coordinator, and ask for a “no contact” directive to prevent future contact.
  4. Consider getting a legal protective order or stay-away order.
  5. Learn more about what behaviors constitute dating and domestic violence, understand it is not your fault, and talk with friends and family members about ways you can be supported.
  6. Trust your instincts — if something doesn't feel right in a relationship, speak up or end it.

Sexual assault prevention (from RAINN)
  • Be aware of rape drugs.
  • Try not to leave your drink unattended.
  • Only drink from unopened containers or from drinks you have watched being made and poured.
  • Avoid group drinks like punch bowls.
  • Cover your drink. It is easy to slip in a small pill even while you are holding your drink. Hold a cup with your hand over the top, or choose drinks that are contained in a bottle, and keep your thumb over the nozzle.
  • If you feel extremely tired or drunk for no apparent reason, you may have been drugged. Find your friends, and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible.
  • If you suspect you have been drugged, go to a hospital, and ask to be tested.
  • Keep track of how many drinks you've had.
  • Try to arrive and leave with a group of people you trust.
  • Avoid giving out your personal information (phone number, where you live, etc.). If someone asks for your number, take their number instead of giving out yours.
  • Make sure your cell phone is easily accessible and fully charged.
  • Be familiar with where emergency phones are installed on the campus.
  • Be aware of open buildings where you can use a phone.
  • Take major, public paths rather than less-populated shortcuts.
  • Avoid dimly lit places, and talk to the Department of Public Safety if lights need to be installed in an area.
  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears; so you can be more aware of your surroundings.
  • Carry a noisemaker (like a whistle) on your keychain.
  • Carry a small flashlight on your keychain.
  • If walking feels unsafe, call the Department of Public Safety for an escort.

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment in institutions of higher education, specifically prohibiting unwelcome advances or conduct of a sexual nature, and requests for sexual favors of students by an executive, faculty member, administrative staff member or teaching assistant. Institutions of higher education include public or private universities, colleges, community colleges, junior colleges, business schools and vocational schools.

Examples of sexual harassment in higher education
  • Prohibited behavior includes interfering with the student’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, such as a professor who continually makes jokes of a sexual nature in the classroom.
  • A registration advisor who tells a student they might be able to get into a class if the student dates the advisor.
  • An admissions officer who tells a prospective student that the advisor will put in a “good word” for the prospective student if they dates the advisor
  • A financial assistance advisor who tells a student that “if you have sex with me, I can look out for scholarships for you.”
  • A teaching assistant who promises a student a better grade if the student does not resist any inappropriate touching or sexual advances.

Protection against retaliation
The Human Rights Act also prohibits retaliation against a student for:
  • Opposing sexual harassment in higher education.
  • Participating in an investigation (internal or external) of sexual harassment in higher education.
  • Filing a charge.

What to do

Any student who believes they is being subjected to sexual harassment or retaliated against should report the incident(s) to the following.

  • Your local law enforcement agency.
  • The Illinois Department of Human Rights:
    • To file a charge via phone call 312.814.6200 (Chicago) or 217.785.5100 (Springfield), 866.7403953 (TTY).
    • For information about the charging process, visit state.il.us/dhr.
  • Michelle Johnson, Title IX Coordinator at 309.341.5258 or mljohnson@sandburg.edu.

Any charge alleging sexual harassment in higher education must be filed within 180 days of the alleged incident(s). Complaint forms are available at state.il.us/dhr The department may be reached at:


A list of places you can file a sexual harassment claim.

100 W. Randolph Street
10th Floor Intake Unit Chicago, IL 60601
866.740.3953 (TTY)

222 South College Room 101-A Intake Unit Springfield, IL 62704
866.740.3953 (TTY)
2309 West Main Street Suite 112 Intake Unit Marion, IL 62959
866.740.3953 (TTY)


The charge process may be initiated by completing the form located here: State of Illinois Document:

(775 ILCS 5/) Illinois Human Rights Act

  • Sexual harassment