At Binghamton University we value the success of all of our students, including students who are pregnant and/or parenting. For more information about your rights, please contact the Title IX Office. Pregnant employees also have rights under Title IX and can contact the Title IX office to find out more.
- The Rights of Pregnant/Parenting Students
According to the Office for Civil Rights 2013 Dear Colleague Letter: “A school must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns to school, [they] must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before [their] medical leave began. By ensuring that the student has the opportunity to maintain [their] academic status, we can encourage young parents to work toward graduation instead of choosing to drop out of school.”
Title IX protects students from discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom. More specifically, a school must not discriminate against any student or exclude any student from their education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity based any of the aforementioned conditions (34 C.F.R. § 106.40(b)(1)). A school must also not discriminate against or exclude from employment any employee or employment applicant on these bases (34 C.F.R. §106.57(b)). Schools must treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery therefrom the same as any other temporary disability (34 C.F.R. § 106.40(b)(4)).
A school must excuse student absences for pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, for as long as the student’s physician deems medically necessary (additional information on student leave policies). After those absences, the student must be returned to the status that they held when their absence began (34 C.F.R. § 106.40(b)(5)).
- Preparing for an Accommodation Meeting
Our goal is to provide reasonable accommodations that can help support you in completing your education and meeting your academic goals. Students who are pregnant are encouraged, but not required, to contact the Title IX Office early in their pregnancy. Accommodations are only made once the student has contacted the Title IX Office, submitted the required documentation, and the Title IX Office has completed an interactive process with the student, and the student’s faculty. Therefore, it is helpful if students contact the Title IX Office as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for a thorough accommodation process.
In an initial meeting, the Title IX staff will guide students in obtaining the appropriate medical documentation, which will serve as the basis for determining reasonable accommodation(s.) The Title IX staff will coordinate with the student and their instructors to implement reasonable accommodations. All reasonable accommodations are issued in writing from the Title IX office to the student and their faculty once they are finalized.
Pregnant/Parenting Student’s Role:
· Contact the Title IX Office when they know they are pregnant or that pregnancy will impact their education.
· Provide required medical documentation promptly.
· Follow up with Title IX Office, faculty, and provider(s) as required/needs dictate.
Reasonable Accommodations & Accommodation Procedures
The Title IX Office coordinates accommodations for students based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom. Support of these individuals is an iterative and interactive process. Due to the unique nature of each student’s needs and circumstances, the Title IX Office’s approach to every case is individualized.
Examples of common reasonable accommodations coordinated through our office may include (but not be limited to): the ability to make-up classwork or assignments at a later date, remote access to class through platforms such as Zoom/Panopto, completion of clinical assignments at a later date, elevator access, larger desks, more frequent bathroom breaks, etc.
Accommodations are considered not reasonable if they:
· Alter or remove essential requirements
· Fundamentally alter the nature of the program
· Pose a threat to others
Students seeking accommodations should contact the Title IX Office as soon as possible so we can better understand your unique circumstances and develop a reasonable accommodation plan with you. We encourage students to re-engage with our office as their circumstances develop or change over the course of their pregnancy or other related condition. Accommodations are not retroactive. Students must contact the Title IX Office and request services before or at the time they are needed.
To begin the process, you can contact the Title IX Office.
- Lactation Spaces
Binghamton University proudly offers lactation spaces/rooms for students and employees at each of its campuses. Questions about alternate lactation spaces for students may be directed to the Title IX office. Employees may contact Sara DeClemente-Hammoud in Human Resources.
The University Union offers the Mamava Pod as a private and reservable lactation space. It is located across from the Dean of Students Office on the 2nd floor of University Union West. To access the Mamava Pod, please email The Union at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-777-3300
Health Sciences Campus:
The Decker College of Nursing & Health Sciences and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offer lactation rooms in each of their campus buildings. These multipurpose spaces are quiet, private, rooms that can be used for lactation and/or prayer. These rooms are lockable from the interior and have frosted, non-transparent glass windows. These rooms are located in Pharmacy Building Room 433 and Room 147 of the Health Sciences Building. Students and employees of both schools have 24/7 card access to each building. The lactation spaces on the Health Sciences Campus are ‘use as available’ spaces with door signage indicating when they are in use.
Downtown Center Campus:
The University Downtown Center (College of Community & Public Affairs) offers a multipurpose space that is quiet, private, and reservable for lactation and/or prayer. The space is located on the 4th floor and can be accessed by contacting the Dean’s Office in DC 333 or by calling 607-777-5572.
- Resources for Students who are Pregnant/Parenting
The Rights of Fathers
As Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex, some of the same protections and accommodations apply to fathers as well. In some situations, fathers may not receive the same accommodations due to the nature of pregnancy and recovery. We encourage fathers to contact our office to discuss reasonable accommodations.
- Information for Faculty & Instructors
Faculty/Instructors interested in receiving training for how best to support pregnant and parenting students are encouraged to contact the Title IX Office to request a training presentation for their department, division, committee, or organization. The Title IX Office is also happy to consult with faculty one-on-one to discuss questions they may have.
DO DON'T Familiarize yourself with the rights of pregnant/parenting students* Request medical information or ask for a doctor’s note unless that is something done for all students with temporary disabilities (e.g. – broken wrist) Refer students to the Title IX Office to discuss the reasonable accommodation process Say things like, “you should have planned your pregnancy better” Include a non-discrimination and accommodation policy in your syllabi** Restrict access to academic or extracurricular opportunities Communicate clearly that students taking leave will be welcomed back following their absence. Remember that discouraging employees/students from taking their legally guaranteed leave may be considered discrimination. Make assumptions about the student’s capabilities or medical needs based on their pregnancy or related conditions. For example, you cannot automatically mandate that a student avoid certain activities; such decisions are to be made by the student in consultation with their physician and in accordance with applicable procedures & policies. Discuss make-up work opportunities and be flexible when scheduling options Contact the Title IX Office to consult on any questions you may have about accommodating a student in your class
**Syllabi Insert: Binghamton University does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions. Absences due to medical conditions relating to pregnancy will be excused for as long as deemed medically necessary by a student’s doctor and students will be given the opportunity to make up missed work. Students needing accommodations can seek assistance with accommodations from the Title IX Office.
- If You Believe you may Have Experienced Discrimination, or Have Question or a Complaint
The Title IX Office is committed to supporting an environment free from gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination.
If you have questions about an accommodation being met, have a complaint, or have experienced discrimination/harassment related to being a pregnant/parenting student, please contact the Title IX Office.
This form is to connect students who are pregnant or experiencing other related conditions (false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom) with the Binghamton University Title IX Office for the purpose of requesting reasonable accommodations.
This form is NOT to report emergencies and/or to request immediate attention. If help is needed immediately, please contact University Police, at 607-777-2222 or dial 911.
We encourage you to use this form to help the Title IX Office understand the context and needs of your individual situation in advance of a reasonable accommodations meeting. All reports are sent directly to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. If you would like to meet with a representative of the office without completing this form, please reach out to us via phone or email at: