Title IX

Title IX forbids discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities.

Sexual Misconduct, including Title IX Violations

The University is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all its members. Sexual misconduct is a serious violation of the standards set by the University since it creates an atmosphere of distrust and inequality and will not be tolerated. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. 

A Sexual Misconduct policy has been established and can be found in the Student Handbook through a student’s or employee’s Midwestern University online portal. This policy/procedure establishes a protocol whereby those who believe they have been subjected to sexual misconduct may obtain redress promptly and equitably through the policies and procedures of the University.

This policy applies to all members of the University community, regardless of position/status, race; color; religion; creed; national origin or ancestry; ethnicity; sex (including pregnancy); gender (including gender expression, gender identity; and sexual orientation); marital status; age; disability; citizenship; past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services; genetic information; or any other protected classes recognized by state or local laws, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

Each member of the University community is expected to report promptly complaints about violations. Any student found to be in violation of the Title IX sexual misconduct policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, which may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary warning, disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal. Any action taken by the University does not preclude or limit other redress such as the University reporting to or working with law enforcement agencies. Midwestern University is independent of actions taken by external law enforcement agencies. Nothing about this policy is intended to limit the independent acts of law enforcement agencies.

Title IX

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits sexual discrimination. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are considered forms of sexual discrimination and are therefore violations of Title IX. The Title IX statute applies to persons in the United States with respect to education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Universities must respond when sexual harassment occurs in the University’s education program. Violations of the University Sexual Misconduct Policy must be reported to Dr. Shannon Sesterhenn, email sseste@midwestern.edu , the Title IX Coordinator for the Illinois and Glendale campuses (full contact information listed below). In addition, students can report perceived Title IX violations to the Student Counselors, who serve as a confidential resource to students (see the Confidentiality section associated with this policy for details).

No Retaliation Statement

No action shall be taken against anyone who submits a complaint that they believe to be valid regardless of the outcome of the investigation; however, any person found to be intentionally dishonest in making the allegations or to have made them maliciously is subject to University discipline.

Title IX and Related Education

In accordance with 34 CFR Part 106, the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators receive education on sexual misconduct and Title IX violations through courses provided by:

Also, all employees and students of Midwestern University are required to complete and pass online courses through VectorLMS regarding related topics on Sexual Assault and Prevention, Harassment and Discrimination, and Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. In addition, all Midwestern University students sign an agreement that they are responsible for the policies outlined in the Student Handbook, including its sections on the Code of Conduct and Sexual Misconduct - Title IX Violations policy.

Procedure - Initiating an Investigation

Please see the Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Violations Policy in the Student Handbook for details on definitions, how to report and initiate an investigation of alleged violations, how investigations are conducted along with possible outcomes, as well as reporting and recording of violations and confidentiality.

Procedures for Reporting a Sexual Assault on Campus

Any student who is involved in or witnesses a sexual assault should contact Campus Security immediately (Downers Grove, dial 630-515-7111; Glendale dial 623-572-3201). Students have the option to notify law enforcement authorities, including local police, and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities. It is extremely important to preserve any evidence related to the crime as may be necessary to provide proof of the assault. The student should not bathe or shower, use the restroom, change clothes, comb hair, clean up the crime scene, or move or touch anything the offender may have touched. If Campus Security is contacted in an emergency, they will notify the police and the Title IX Coordinator. The Manager of Residence Life will also be notified if emergencies occur within campus housing. The following is a list of emergency campus telephone numbers.

Downers Grove Campus:

  • Security: 630-515-7111
  • Police: 911 
  • Resident Advisor on Duty:  630-515-7111 (reached through security)
  • Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Shannon Sesterhenn, Dean of Students: 623-572-3357 or 623-572-3210 or 630-515-6470
  • Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Associate Dean of Students: 630-515-6470
  • Student Counseling: 630-515-7142
  • Student Services: 630-515-6470

Glendale Campus:

  • Security: 623-572-3201
  • Police: 911 
  • Resident Advisor on Duty: 408-258-3247
  • Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Shannon Sesterhenn, Dean of Students: 623-572-3357 or 623-572-3210
  • Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Dr. Shawn Tennant, Associate Dean of Students: 623-572-3366 or 623-572-3210
  • Student Counseling: Email studentcounseling@midwestern.edu or call 623-572-3210
  • Student Services: 623-572-3210

Counseling Services for Sexual Assault Victims and Witnesses

The University has counseling services for students who are victims of or have witnessed an act of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking). Student victims of an alleged act of sexual misconduct have options for requesting a change in academic situations and on-campus residence arrangements if such requests are reasonably available. In addition to seeking assistance from the Title IX Coordinator, students may also seek assistance from the following University personnel or outside resources:

In Illinois:

University Personnel:

  • Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Shannon Sesterhenn, Dean of Students:  623-572-3357 or 623-572-3210 or 630-515-6470
  • Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Associate Dean of Students: 630-515-6470
  • Manager of Residence Life, Kendra Hoes: 630-971-6400
  • Student Counseling, Dr. Carrie Torgerson: 630-515-7142

Community Resources-Illinois:

  • YWCA of DuPage, 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 630-790-6600 ext. 2479
  • Family Shelter Service Hotline: 630-469-5650
  • Northwest Action Against Sexual Assault
  • 24-Hour Hotline    800-656-4673
  • Mutual Ground Hotlines:     
    • 24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline: 630-897-8383
    • 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 630-897-0080
  • Y.W.C.A.R.E.S. (South Suburban YWCA): 708-754-0486

In Arizona:

University Personnel:

  • Title IX Coordinator: Dr. Shannon Sesterhenn, Dean of Students: 623-572-3357 or 623-572-3210
  • Title IX Deputy Associate Coordinator: Dr. Shawn Tennant: 623-572-3366 or 623-572-3210
  • Office of Student Services: 623-572-3210
  • Manager of Residence Life, Jose Ponce: 623-572-3348

Community Resources-Arizona

  • Glendale Police Victim Assistance Hotline: 623-930-3030
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 623-930-3720
  • Maricopa Crisis Hotline: 1-800-631-1314

Sexual Misconduct Education and Awareness

Midwestern University provides educational programming that consists of primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees and ongoing awareness and prevention campaigns for students, faculty, and staff that:

  • Identify sexual misconduct which includes sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as prohibited conduct;
  • Define what behavior constitutes sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking;
  • Defines 'consent to sexual activity' under University policy and state regulations
  • Covers information on reporting sexual violence, assisting victims and survivors of sexual violence, and preventing sexual violence through bystander training.
  • Explains rights of accuser and accused, including the right to file reports with external law enforcement agencies and the right to an advisor.

More Information

Additional information regarding Title IX can be found in the academic course catalog.