Quinnipiac University is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students, where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as defined by the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies and health insurance coverage.
Students interested in obtaining an accommodation are encouraged to reach out to the Title IX coordinator to learn about their rights as pregnant or parenting students.
The university Title IX coordinator is:
Sarah Hellyar, Interim Title IX Coordinator
275 Mount Carmel Avenue, CCE-180, Hamden, CT 06518
Students have a right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy and parenting. The term “pregnancy” may include prenatal care, and childbirth or recovery from childbirth. The term “parenting” refers to the postpartum period following childbirth and is interpreted to include the first year following pregnancy.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification that allows a pregnant or parenting student to benefit from a program or activity, where such an accommodation does not constitute a substantial change or fundamental alteration to an essential element of a course or program or pose an undue burden on the university. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, leaves of absence, excused absences, modified class schedules, lactation accommodations and alternative testing options.
A student may, at their discretion, express breast milk or breastfeed on campus, as needed. While individuals are not prohibited from breastfeeding in public spaces, the university will make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location where the employee can express milk in private.
Information about lactation rooms is available on MyQ.
How to Request an Accommodation
You may make a request for an accommodation in writing to the Title IX coordinator. A request for an accommodation should include:
- an explanation of why the person making the request requires an accommodation
- a description of the requested accommodation
- the expected duration of the accommodation (e.g., start and end dates)
Students who have a temporary disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy are not required to notify Quinnipiac University of their pregnancies. If students do not want to request a reasonable accommodation due to pregnancy they may request an accommodation pursuant to the Students with Disabilities Policy.
Coordinating an Accommodation Under the Pregnant and Parenting Students Policy
Upon receipt of an accommodation request, the Title IX coordinator will schedule a meeting with the student making the request. A professor may also be present for this meeting to provide course-related guidance during the interactive process.
During the meeting, the student will discuss their request and all parties will discuss potential accommodation options.
If the Title IX coordinator determines that the accommodation request is not reasonable or would not be effective, parties will discuss other alternative accommodations. While students have a right to participate in a good faith interactive process, they do not have a right to a specific accommodation or to a preferred accommodation.
The Title IX coordinator will assist students in determining whether an effective and reasonable accommodation exists. The university may request medical documentation from a healthcare provider to assist in the interactive process of determining an appropriate accommodation.
If an accommodation is approved, the university will send a written notification of approval to the student. This notification will include a summary of the accommodation and the duration of the accommodation.
If a specific accommodation request is denied, the university will provide an explanation for the denial.
Appealing a Denial for an Accommodation
Students who disagree with the accommodation decision may submit an appeal letter to the vice president for academic innovation and effectiveness.
An appeal may be made on the following bases:
- The student was not provided access to an interactive process
- A party involved in determining the reasonable accommodation had a bias or conflict that materially impacted the outcome of the interactive process
The appeal letter must include a summary of the requested accommodation and the grounds for appeal. The vice president for academic innovation and effectiveness or designee shall review the appeal and issue a decision within 10 business days.
If upon review, the vice president for academic innovation and effectiveness or designee determines that the appeal letter does not raise sufficient grounds for appeal, the appeal will be dismissed.
If upon review, the vice president for academic innovation and effectiveness or designee determines that the appeal letter does bring forth sufficient grounds for appeal, the vice president for academic innovation and effectiveness or designee may:
- Affirm the decision of the Title IX coordinator, upholding the denial;
- Approve the requested accommodation;
- Commence a meeting with the student and other necessary parties, for the purpose of reconsidering the accommodation request.
Modification of Accommodation
If a student needs to modify an accommodation, they should notify the Title IX coordinator in writing.
Absences Related to Pregnancy and Parenting
While the university will not assume that a pregnant student cannot attend school or participate in school activities, absences due to pregnancy or childbirth shall be excused for as long as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s doctor.
Where possible, a student should make an accommodation request for an excused absence in advance of the missed class. Students may make up work they missed while out due to pregnancy or any related conditions, including recovery from childbirth. If a professor awards “points” for class attendance, students must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes missed because of pregnancy.
Class Attendance and Participation in Activities
Pregnant and/or parenting students will not be prevented from attending class on the basis of pregnancy. As such, pregnant or parenting students may continue participating in activities and programs outside of class such as sporting, extracurricular activities, labs and career rotations.
The university will not terminate or reduce athletic, merit or need-based scholarships because of pregnancy or parenting.