Welcome to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination at Sonoma State!

OPHD is a prevention, response, and compliance office that focuses on sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, stalking, harassment and discrimination based on protected status, and retaliation. It is our commitment to the Seawolf community that we will work to provide an environment that is safe and equitable for all.

If you or others you know have experienced any of the acts mentioned above, please contact us by submitting an online report using the link on our page or by emailing ophd@sonoma.edu. The campus and our surrounding community have additional resources to assist those experiencing stress and trauma.

Community Updates

President Sakaki's Message Regarding The Campus's Title IX Responsibilities

President Sakaki's email to the campus community (on February 16, 2022) reiterates our commitment to maintaining a learning, living, and working environment free from discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct and reminds us of our collective responsibilities.

Annual Report 

The 2020-2021 OPHD Annual Report is now available for viewing.  Any questions regarding the report should be sent to ophd@sonoma.edu

2020-2021 OPHD Annual Report

Notice of Non-Discrimination

See the Compliance page for the updated Notice of Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender or Sex.

Message Regarding Federal Title IX Regulations

Dear Seawolf Community,

I am writing to inform you of the U.S. Department of Education’s new regulations relating to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Federal Regulations). The Federal Regulations include key changes to provisions addressing scope, questioning at live hearings, review of evidence, appeals, and training, among others. All educational institutions which receive federal funding, including Sonoma State University and the other 22 California State University campuses, must comply with these regulations as of August 14, 2020, or risk loss of federal funding.

In response, the CSU Chancellor’s Office has issued Addendum B: Federal Mandated Hearing Addendum, which accompanies CSU Executive Orders 1096 and 1097, and which outlines the policy and procedures required under the Title IX Federal Regulations. Please note that regardless of the Federal Regulations, our policies governing sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sex- and gender-based discrimination, as stated in Executive Orders 1095, 1096 and 1097, still remain fully in effect. The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges that SSU and other universities may address misconduct through their policies and through state law, and SSU is firmly committed to responding to and addressing sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that affects the CSU community. In the case of California law and CSU policy, policies are more expansive than the conduct prohibited by the Federal Regulations.

The Changes

All formal complaints submitted to the Office for the Prevention for Harassment and Discrimination will be first assessed under Addendum B to determine whether those procedures apply. If a formal complaint does not meet the criteria to be processed under Addendum B, the complaint may be processed under EO 1096 or 1097 (our current single-investigator model) or Addendum A (our current hearing-model for student cases).

Two significant aspects of Addendum B:

  • Under Addendum B, alleged incidents can be considered for investigation only if they occur within the United States, and only if they occur in university-sanctioned programs or activities, or on properties owned or controlled by the university or recognized student organizations. If these criteria are not met, the allegations may be evaluated under EOs 1096 and 1097, or Addendum A, which apply much more broadly to alleged violations involving any university student, staff, or faculty member, including in non-SSU locations and outside of the United States
  • All Addendum B investigations, which apply to the Federal Regulations, will involve live hearings with mandatory Hearing Advisors who will conduct the cross-examination of the Parties. The hearing will be facilitated by a Hearing Officer, who will monitor decorum and assess the appropriateness of the questions. The CSU will provide trained Hearing Advisors if either complainant or respondent do not have one available.
  • Other regulation details are available at Addendum B. Please note that FAQs will be forthcoming. Any inquiries can be directed to ophd@sonoma.edu.

What has NOT changed:

  • Employees still have a duty to report potential incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, and stalking to OPHD, unless they are specifically exempt under CSU policy.
  • Executive Orders 1096 and 1097 and Addendum A are still in effect but only after consideration whether allegations are governed by Addendum B, based on specifically defined criteria.
  • Regardless of which process, or whether a case meets the criteria for an investigation, our OPHD team continues to provide supportive measures and other services, conduct intakes relating to reports and complaints of sex- and gender-based misconduct, and coordinate with other campus offices on Title IX issues of misconduct, harassment, stalking, and gender equity.

All current active investigations as well as intakes regarding alleged incidents that occurred prior to August 14, 2020, will still go through the process under EO 1096 and 1097 or Addendum A. Incidents occurring on or after August 14 will be subject to the new process described above, including determining whether they are governed by procedures stated in Addendum B.

Sonoma State University remains committed to supporting a safe and equitable campus environment as we move forward with these new regulations issued by the federal government. OPHD will continue to work and collaborate to provide supportive measures and other services in our processes for our campus community.

Thank you,

Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
Sonoma State University
International Hall, 2nd Floor

Relevant Links

Interim CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Superseded from CSU Executive Orders 1095, 1096, and 1097)

  • The current interim systemwide policy explains student, employee, and third-party rights, defines prohibited conduct, and describes procedures for resolving complaints.