Title IX and Pregnancy

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, recovery, and other similar and related conditions. Consistent with its mission and convictions, St. Thomas is committed to upholding the dignity and well-being of all persons. Students who are pregnant are encouraged to seek out information about support and resources by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. The University is committed to supporting pregnant students by providing accurate information about options and resources and working with them to support their academic goals.

 Students who believe they may be experiencing harassment or discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions should contact the Title IX Coordinator to report those concerns.

Expectations under Title IX regarding pregnancy are generally as follows:

1. Treat absences due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions as excused absences if a doctor says the absences are necessary.

2. Once a student returns to St. Thomas following an absence due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, the University must make efforts to return the student to the same academic and extracurricular status as that held by the student prior to the absence, including the opportunity to make up any work missed while absent.

3.Students must be given the opportunity to earn points missed (participation, pop quizzes, and missed assignments) due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions.

4. A student cannot be required to take a leave of absence or withdraw from their studies due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.

5. The University is not required to make modifications of the essential elements of any course or academic program or otherwise change educational or course requirements.

Yes. Title IX requires that St. Thomas excuse a student's absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student's doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. When a student returns to school, they must be reinstated at the status they held when the leave began, which should include the opportunity to make up any work missed. 

Professors may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, including participation points from excused absences and pop quizzes. Faculty will work with students to determine an appropriate solution that allows the student to make up the work while meeting the educational objectives of a given course or program.

Students may choose to share information about their pregnancy in order to request support or accommodations. Students can reach out to the Title IX Coordinator to coordinate support resources. Students can also work directly with professors and other campus resources.

Pregnant students are strongly encouraged to communicate proactively and consistently with professors about missed classes and potential issues that may arise so that professor and student can work as a team to devise a plan that meets all goals.

Students may reach out to the following resources for assistance and/or support:

Title IX Coordinator
Room 247, Anderson Student Center
(651) 962-6882

Dean of Students
Room 241, Anderson Student Center

St. Thomas Health Services
(651) 962-6750

St. Thomas Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
(651) 962-6780

St. Thomas Campus Ministry

Professors who are notified of a student's pregnancy are strongly encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator to ensure they understand how best to support the student, be in compliance with University policy and Title IX, and achieve the academic expectations of the course. 

Information about lactation rooms available on campus can be found in the Other Resources section of the Off-Campus Student Life webpage. Lactation rooms are available to all students, faculty, and staff.