Tim Tai

University Title IX Coordinator Elizabeth Conklin told the News that she has been reviewing the University’s websites and communications about discrimination and harassment since she came to Yale in September of 2020. 

In an email to faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, Conklin and Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews ’83 LAW ’86 announced the launch of a revamped website for Title IX resources — an update that has been over a year in the making. 

“The existing site was comprehensive and really fairly thorough,” Conklin told the News. “But we felt that we might be able to make it more a bit more graphical and to lay out the information in a way that would be clear to the University community.”

Goff-Crews and Conklin outlined the website, which includes information on policies and resources for dealing with sex- and gender-based discrimination, including sexual misconduct. The site replaces the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention website and was made with input from the Title IX Student Advisory Board. 

In terms of reporting sexual misconduct, the website includes a reporting form for sharing concerns with the Title IX office. It also links to the website for the University-Wide Committee where formal complaints to the University can be made, which can instigate a formal investigation process. 

“The Title IX site points to view UWC and the UWC site points to the Title IX site, but they are separate entities – closely, collaborative offices,  but there is some separation there,” Conklin told the News. 

The online reporting form, Conklin explained, was originally launched as a way to report to the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility in August 2021. It came as a part of an OIEA update to their website, along with other changes to the University policy for discrimination and harassment. Students used the form for Title IX concerns anyways, and the form was later clearly branded as for both OIEA and Title IX concerns. 

Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator Jason Killheffer said the feedback from students — primarily through the Title IX Student Advisory Board — influenced the navigation and layout of the website. He added that students also helped clarify terminology. 

“The use of terms like confidential versus private, report versus disclose,” Killheffer said. “The students gave us a lot of their thoughts about how they understand those terms and ways that we could improve the community’s understanding of the terms that you’ll see throughout the website.”

Conklin also explained that students were supportive of a quick exit button on the website, which allows a user to quickly leave the site — she said this is particularly important for an individual’s safety if they have concerns about their relationships. 

In addition to reporting resources, the website also includes a data dashboard with the most recent data on sexual misconduct reporting, as well as support and resources for parenting and pregnant individuals. 

“The data dashboard was implemented in response to community feedback on the university’s reporting initiatives and provides an interactive and accessible way for the community to learn more about Title IX-related response resources,” Goff-Crews and Conklin wrote in their announcement.  

Conklin and Goff-Crews wrote that in the future, this dashboard will serve as the primary method for reporting data on sexual misconduct — consolidating information for the semi-annual Title IX reports released by Yale since 2012. 

61 complaints of sexual misconduct were brought to the Title IX office in fall of 2021. 

Sarah Cook is one of the University editors. She previously covered student policy and affairs, along with President Salovey's cabinet. From Nashville, Tennessee, she is a junior in Grace Hopper majoring in Neuroscience.