Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin under any program or activity (such as a college) receiving federal financial assistance. Title VII prohibits such discrimination in employment and adds gender and religion as protected categories. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 expanded protection against employment discrimination based on gender.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued a 19-page "Dear Colleague" Letter (2011 DCL) that established many new requirements for education institutions, particularly college campuses, to prevent and address sexual violence under Title IX. More info on Title IX here. In 2013, the OCR issued another DCL (2013 DCL) reminding schools that retaliating against complainants or witnesses for filing a complaint, or participating in an investigation or proceeding in any manner, is prohibited under retaliation provisions.
An overview of pertinent federals laws is available on the left navigation of this webpage.