with a perceived rise in sexual assaults on TU’s campus comes an increased efforts to investigate past and prevent future sexual assault cases.
Listen up, everyone but especially ladies and members of the trans community! You’re about to be educated on your rights given to you by the glamorous Title IX.
On Thursday, November 9, our very own Title IX Coordinator Matt Warren along with Violence Prevention Program Coordinator Kelsey Hancock and Dean of Students Mike Mills held a know your IX information session.
Verbatim, Title IX says “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Richard Nixon signed it into federal law in 1972. It was initially in place to promote gender equality and remove institutional barriers to equal access in educational programs and activities which includes but not limited to academic, athletics and extracurriculars.
Title IX covers all of the following actions based on sex: discrimination, harassment, misconduct, stereotyping and specifically discrimination based on pregnancy or parental status, although it is not limited to these actions.
Reading further into the text, it includes a statement about where it applies: “Excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.” This includes areas in educational institutions such as recruitment, admissions, access and participation in athletics, extracurricular activities, academics, hiring, firing, discipline, advancement, retaliation, etc.
Judicial interpretation takes a liberal stance on the subject and is an advocate for laws protecting transgender individuals also. In the executive branch the Office of Civil Rights exists with the president just providing guidance on interpretation. Legislative enactments include the Violence against Women Act and the Clery Act.
Hancock made it known that it doesn’t matter where the misconduct happens. It can happen off campus or online. Because you are a TU student or faculty member, TU will provide help. Student safety is their major concern, Hancock indicated, and they will provide an avenue to get relief.
The Clery Act has close ties with Title IX. The Clery Act was established after an incident on a college campus in 1990. A female student named Jean was raped and murdered in her own dorm room. The university didn’t let Jean’s parents know for a long time. Her parents won their battle in court. The Clery Act, which was written in response to that court decision, requires colleges and universities to disclose all campus crime and campus statistics.
If assault or harassment happens to you, you can visit Emory Lazenby on the 3rd floor of Hardesty Hall. Lazenby keeps your information confidential since she is not university employee; she is an employee for DVIS.
Most other on-campus places to report require mandatory reporting. The report only includes a date, time, location and event report. Location isn’t even specific; the options are “on campus”, “on campus in a residence hall” and “off-campus”. You also have the option to anonymously include the perpetrator’s name. The perpetrator will absolutely know nothing about the report unless investigation is initialized.
Currently outside of the TU bubble, the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos just removed the Dear Colleague Letter component of Title IX. This was put in place in 2011 by the Obama administration. The Dear Colleague Letter removed barriers to reporting and made it easier and more accessible to victims.
It additionally offered strict guidance in the reporting process. DeVos made this change because it wasn’t enacted by revision. There is a notice and comment procedure, which DeVos believed didn’t allow for enough due process for the accused. Since the elimination of the letter, there has been no new rule in place by the Trump Administration.
Overall, you have an abundance of rights under Title IX if any harassment or assault happens to you. TU has many options to offer and cares a lot about your safety and comfort on campus.