Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on gender in education programs and activities that receive federal 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 and the failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics.  
Recently Title IX's scope has been expanded to include employees and campus visitors. Accordingly, Cal Poly has designated the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity as the Title IX Coordinator.

In response to the implementation of Title IX, VAWA/Campus SaVE Act, and Related Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Legislation,  the California State University Chancellor's Office issued - Executive Order 1095 (PDF).

Attachment A: Notice of Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex (PDF)

Attachment B: Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence (PDF)

Attachment C:  Rights and options for Victims of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking (PDF)

The following provides information on what you can do if you are a victim of sexual violence, the reporting of sexual harassment or sexual violence, resources available to victims, and common myths and facts about the causes of sexual violence.

Title IX Coordinator

A Title IX Coordinator is a management employee with delegated authority from the President to receive sexual harassment/violence complaints.  For members of the Cal Poly community (students, faculty, staff, and visitors) the Title IX Coordinator is Brian Gnandt, Director of Equal Opportunity or his designee.

Tera Bisbee serves as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Barbara Martinez, the compliance official for Athletics, serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for complaints within Athletics. 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as follows:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's employment or academic environment;
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for affecting an individual's employment or academic standing; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, learning, or social environment.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes any unwanted, pressured, or forced sexual behavior, including sexual contact with someone that is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol.

If an investigation reveals that harassment/sexual violence has occurred, the university will take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the harassment/violence, eliminate any hostile environment and its effects, and prevent the harassment/violence from recurring.

What you can do if you are a victim of sexual violence:

  • Go to a safe place as soon as possible, and call 9-1-1 if you feel unsafe
  • Preserve evidence by not showering, washing clothes, brushing teeth, etc.
  • Know that you are not at fault.  You did not cause the abuse to occur, and you are not responsible for someone else's violent behavior.

On and Off-Campus Contact Information


To report an incident of sexual violence, contact:

Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators

Brian Gnandt, Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 805.756.1400 or email: bgnandt@calpoly.edu
Location: Administration Bldg. 33-290
Tera Bisbee, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 805.756.5237 or email: tbisbee@calpoly.edu
Location: Building 01-311
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics
Barbara Martinez, Compliance Official for Athletics
Phone:  805.756.5075 or bmartine@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly University Police

Emergency:  Dial 911
Non-emergency:  805.756.2281

On-Campus Off-the-Record/Unofficial Reporting

Counseling Services at 805.756.2511 or
Cal Poly Safer at 805.756.2282 or https://deanofstudents.calpoly.edu/content/safer/index​

Local Police

San Luis Obispo Police
Emergency:  Dial 911
Non-Emergency Police Services: 805.781.7317
Address:  1042 Walnut at Santa Rosa, San Luis Obispo, CA

Medical & Counseling Services

Cal Poly Health Center

Phone including after hours: 805.756.1211
Hearing or Speech Impaired: Call 711 (Telecommunications Relay Service)
Location:  Building 27 (next to the Campus Recreation Center)
Email:  health-counseling@calpoly.edu
Main Phone including after hours:  805.756.1211
Hours:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
             Wednesday  9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Cal Poly Counseling Center

Location:  Building 27, Room 136
Hearing or Speech Impaired:  Call 711 (Telecommunications Relay Service)
Both During and After Hours Psychological Emergencies - Phone: 805.756.2511
Local Crisis Hotline:  800.783.0607
Hours:   M, T, Th, F  8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
             Wed   9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Local Hospital Emergency Rooms – Open 24/7

French Hospital Emergency Services                     Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center
805.542.6378                                                      805.546.7600
1911 Johnson Avenue                                          1010 Murray Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA  93401                                San Luis Obispo, CA  93405

Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

San Luis Obispo Community Mental Health Svs       Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
805.781.4711                                                         805.569.8339
2178 Johnson Avenue                                             400 W. Pueblo Street
San Luis Obispo, CA  93401                                    Santa Barbara, CA  93105


Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

805.781-4878 or after hours 805.781.4550


Cal Poly Safer
Cal Poly Counseling Center
Respect | Inspire | Support | Empower
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
National Sexual Assault Hotline
To be connected to the rape crisis center nearest you, dial 1.800.656.4673
Victim and Witness Assistance Services


Cal Poly Equal Opportunity Office
Cal Poly Student Ombuds Services




Victims should not be deterred from reporting incidents of sexual violence out of a concern that they might be disciplined for related violations of drug, alcohol, or other University policies.  The University's primary concern is student safety; therefore, except in extreme circumstances, victims of sexual violence shall not be subject to discipline for related violations of the Student Conduct Code.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Statement

California Polytechnic State University is acutely aware that sexual violence is an issue of critical concern in colleges and universities throughout the United States and that no institution is immune from this crime.  Despite our zero tolerance policy concerning sexual violence in any form, we realize this is an extremely underreported crime.  The university takes seriously its obligation to be proactive in educating students, faculty and staff about sexual violence.  A comprehensive institutional approach to address sexual assault ensures appropriate education as well as support services, and the creation of an environment that does not tolerate sexual violence.

The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation in its education programs or activities.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities operated by the university (both on and off campus).  Title IX protects all people regardless of their gender or gender identity from sex discrimination, which includes sexual harassment and violence.

Staff and faculty who are made aware of an incident of sexual harassment/violence are REQUIRED to report the incident to the Director of Equal Opportunity at 805.756.6770.  The Director of Equal Opportunity is our campus Title IX Officer.

Common Myths and Facts about the Causes of Sexual Violence

Myth: Victims provoke sexual assaults when they dress provocatively or act in a promiscuous manner.

Fact: Rape and sexual assault are crimes of violence and control that stem from a person’s determination to exercise power over another. Neither provocative dress nor promiscuous behavior is an invitation for unwanted sexual activity.  Forcing someone to engage in non-consensual sexual activity is sexual violence, regardless of the way that person dresses or acts.

Myth: If a person goes to someone’s room or house or goes to a bar, she/he assumes the risk of sexual assault. If something happens later, she/he can’t claim that they were raped or sexual assaulted because she/he should have known not to go to those places.

Fact: The “assumption of risk” wrongfully places the responsibility for the offender’s action with the victim/survivor. Even if a person went voluntarily to someone’s home and consented to engage in some sexual activity, it doesn’t serve as a blanket consent to all sexual activity. When in doubt if the person is comfortable with an elevated level of sexual activity, stop and ask. Sexual activity forced upon another without valid consent is sexual assault.

Myth: It is not sexual assault if it happens after drinking or taking drugs.

Fact: Being under the influence of other drugs or alcohol is not an invitation for sexual activity.  A person under the influence does not cause others to assault her or him; others choose to take advantage of the situation and sexually assault them because they are in a vulnerable position. A person who is incapacitated due to the influence of alcohol or other drugs is not able to consent to sexual activity.

Myth: Most sexual assaults are committed by strangers.

Fact: Most sexual assaults and rape are committed by someone the victim knows.  Most often, a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, classmate, friend, acquaintance or co-worker sexually victimized the person. It is important to remember that sexual assault can occur in heterosexual and same-gender relationships.

Myth: A person who has really been sexually assaulted will be hysterical.

Fact: Victims of sexual violence exhibit a spectrum of responses to the assault which can include: calm, anxiety, anger, hysteria, apathy, depression, denial, and shock. Being sexually assaulted is a very traumatic experience, and could have felt life-threatening. Reaction to the assault and the length of time needed to process through the experience vary with each person. Assumptions about the ways a victim “should act” may be detrimental to the victim, because each victim copes in different ways.

Myth: All sexual assault victims will report the crime immediately to the police. If they do not report it or delay in reporting it, then they must have changed their minds after it happened, wanted revenge, or didn’t want to look like they were sexually active.

Fact: There are many reasons why a sexual assault victim may not report the assault to the police or campus officials.  The experience of retelling what happened may cause the person to relive the trauma. People may also delay reporting for fear of retaliation of the offender. There may also be a fear of being blamed, not believed and being required to go through judicial proceedings. Just because a person didn’t report the sexual assault does not mean it did not happen.

Myth: Only young, pretty women are assaulted.

Fact: The belief that only young, pretty women get assaulted stems from the myth that sexual assault is based on sex and physical attraction. Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. Offenders often choose people whom they perceive as most vulnerable to attack or over whom they believe they can assert power. Men and boys are also sexually assaulted, as well as persons with disabilities. Assumptions about the “typical” victim might lead others not to report the assault because they do not fit the stereotype of a typical victim.

Myth: It’s only rape if the victim puts up a fight and resists.

Fact: Many states do not require the victim to resist in order to charge the offender with rape or sexual assault. Those who don’t feel like they can resist may be in shock or very fearful that if they do resist they will anger their attacker, resulting in more severe injuries. Not fighting or resisting an attack does not equal consent.

Cal Poly's Annual Title IX Report

Fiscal Year 2016-2017

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