The Everyday Struggles of Title IX

3349 words (13 pages) Essay in Education

08/02/20 Education Reference this

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Research Paper Proposal: Summary

Title IX History.

Throughout the history of the policy of Title IX, the struggles of enforcing it has long been prevalent. However, it has been displayed in recent years how critical a thorough an immediate investigation can be to the well-being of a student. Though the beginning of this laws legislation has not been that long ago, it continues to evolve in order to accommodate new events.

This amendment embodies the representation of the support that both the government and university provides for its students. The importance of outreach and everyday interactions and the distribution of information to students as well as staff conversed as well. Also, this research paper covers the history and backstory of how Title IX was legislated and how it affects its environments and campuses.

Title IX is a law that was federally enacted in 1972 and encouraged after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many know this law to be spearheaded by the late great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.  The civil rights act was enacted to prohibit prejudicial conduct towards an individual based on race, religion or sex in areas of employment or public accommodation.

  It is a short clause within a law that was signed by then President Nixon, which requires equal opportunity for women in all aspects of education including sports. It was an amendment to the civil rights act which granted women and girls equal access to federally funded education and related programs. This amendment allowed certain precautions to be taken within campuses and allowed a platform for those taken advantage of to ensue justice.

However, this is most popularly known as the bill that gave girls equal access to sports. At the time, only 1 in every 27 athletes was female. Now, as a result of Title IX, 2 in every 5 varsity athletes are girls. Although the stats still are not equal, they have grown and continue to steadily increase.

The objective of this policy was legislated after the civil rights movement in an effort protect the people, especially women, from being taken advantage of or prejudice. According to the Education Amendments of 1972 in reference to Title IX, it states that “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.” Basically it defends students, staff and faculty of any educational program or university while upholding a commitment for zero tolerance towards sexual misconduct.

Every form of education is required to pursue the policy of Title IX. However, different universities execute enforcement of this policy in various ways. Although college is meant to be an academically social stage in one’s life, it is an unfortunate reality that sexual misconduct does happen. While Title IX does have its privileges, such as initiating systematic equality for women, it has its cons as well.

The difference between sexual harassment and sexual violence is that sexual harassment hinders the learning process and emotionally effects and distracts a student whereas sexual violence, which includes sexual assault, dating violence and any unsolicited physical contact can cause a hostile environment making it difficult for victims to perform at their best.

 Permission to engage in sexual activity must be authorized before said activity begins and should remain an agreement to the end of each instance of sexual activity. Consent is exhibited through mutual understanding consisting of words and/or actions that clearly and vividly indicate cooperative compliance to engage in any specific sexual activity. Silence alone, without actions evidencing permission, is considered to be consent. 

Consent must be a conscious decision established between both parties and must be voluntary.  The legal age to give consent is 18 and that the other party must be of legal age to give it.  Assent does not represent consent and is considered statutory rape otherwise. If sex is obtained through coercion from an individual whom the alleged offender knows or reasonably should know is incapacitated, an appropriate reproach will be initiated.

The responsibility of attaining permission relies on the person initiating sexual activity. The incapacitation of alcohol or drugs does not eliminate an individuals responsibility to obtain consent. The agreement to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by any person at any time.  Once withdrawal of approval has been exemplified, the sexual activity must cease to continue. 

Consent is automatically retracted by a person who is no longer capable of giving permission.  A current or prior consensual dating or sexual interaction or relationship between the parties does not itself indicate consent or prohibit a finding of responsibility. It instead causes possible incrimination and violation.

Every school has its way of administering the Title IX policy. Some schools enforce more than others. For Grambling State University, there are rules and regulations enforced to prohibit harassment and discrimination and according to www.gram.edu/student-life/titleIX/ , such offenses are considered “illegal under federal and state statues.” The responsibility of the department of Title IX is to incite a policy that ensures amnesty to victims of policy violations. This research helps depict the behind the scenes of struggles and investigations for everyday Title IX events.

Below is an excerpt of Grambling State Universities Sexual Misconduct policy.

It is the policy of Grambling University that all employees, students, visitors and authorized users of the University’s facilities be able to enjoy a campus environment free from all forms of harassment based upon their race, sexual orientation, age, gender, national origin, religion, color, disability, or veteran status. Politeness and friendliness are virtues that members of the University community seek to demonstrate in their day-to-day interactions. Rude and/or hostile behavior not only violates the University’s tradition of respect for others, but also undermines rational discourse and interferes with the educational process. Grambling University is committed to offering all employees, students, visitors and authorized users of University facilities a campus environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment. No employee (staff, faculty, administrator) or student (male or female), should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical. All members of the University community should be treated with dignity and fairness without harassing conduct, which stifles productivity and hampers academic and professional motivation.

This policy was put in place to ensure the safety and academic progress of all students regardless of sex and sexuality.

The Process of Enforcing Title IX.

 Grambling State University’s sexual misconduct policy requires no tolerance for stalking, sexual harassment and sexual violence. We have many ways of both enforcing and evaluating the policy for the University. Some of the ways this university enforces the policy is by administering sanctions according to the offense.

 The sanctions start at a monetary fine and can exceed to expulsion and even jail time. There is a decision-making process in which the coordinator will conduct individual interviews with all parties involved. Everything concerning the complaint is deemed confidential. Once all interviews have been documented and reviewed, depending on the severity of the offense, and the consistency between the stories of all parties involved, a resolution will be determined.

 All parties have the opportunity to appeal the final determination. If an appeal so happens to be recommended and rendered, the case is no longer the concern of the Title IX coordinator and an appeals committee will preside over the case providing both parties with the opportunity to plead their case and provide any additional information that is considered helpful.

The Issue With Enforcing Title IX.

 This law disallows discrimination based on sex or the violation thereof in any form of educationally funded programs or activity. These contraventions include but are not limited to rape, sexual assault, domestic violence or disputes, and sexual harassment along with sexual misconduct such as inappropriate touching, groping and stalking.

 The problem with this law is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of pages worth of guidance and training for the policy, however that doesn’t necessarily distract from the difficulty that comes along with enforcing it. Due to a sequence of Supreme Court decisions, it was determined that title ix also applied to sexual misconduct in all educational aspects and settings. In one particular decision, it was concluded that sexual harassment prevents victims from having equal access to education that Title IX supports.

 Up until 2011, enforcement of the policy had not been totally implemented. The same year, the Obama administration required that any university that didn’t both properly investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases that applied to Title IX would lose federal funding.

 Ultimately Schools began creating positions and complying with the policy in fear of losing their federal financial aid. Prior to this, there were never any consequences for violating this law. This caused a major impact.

 Arbitrating criminal cases in a college environment becomes complicated because there are several surroundings in which students are limited to responsibilities and are commencing there newly bestowed freedom. Therefore they don’t always consider their environments and the predicaments they may be placing themselves in. These predicaments provoke claims and what’s happening is these universities are becoming this pseudo criminal and civil processes yet they have overwhelming amounts of cases pending.

 Title IX officers do not have as much authority as understood. The issue are formed from the complexities in each case and the department having a lack of subpoena power. It is also restricted by jurisdiction. Consequently, some of the most severe ramifications include fines up to expulsion.

 Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that individual will have a criminal record and it also confine them from the areas. There is no interim protections that support the criminal process. A trial can take up to three years, by that time a student could’ve graduated. But what will assure the victim that they will not see their assailant on campus or even class?

 Throughout the years, the number of Title IX complaints to the Department of Education involving sexual violence increased over 500%. The amount of awareness created from sexual misconduct movements such as No Means No or Me Too and their platforms sparked not only a social conversation but a series of reports as well.

The Correlation Between The Policy & Internship.

 It is also required by law that every school enlists a Title IX Coordinator. That individual is designated to be accountable for managing the school’s compliance with the policy. They also have the task of overseeing all sexually discriminatory complaints. It is also required that the school be responsible for distributing the contact information for the Title IX department and coordinator.

 The personal experience of serving under the Title IX Coordinator at Grambling State University came with awareness like nonother. For instance, some of the issues that have been observed have been with the local police department. The discrepancies that they exemplify can hardly go unnoticed.

 It would be good for them to attend more training on how to approach and handle sexual misconduct cases. Not only that but they should maybe host and attend more Title IX forums so that they can establish a better relationship with the campus community and educate those on how to avoid situations leading to sexual misconduct. The education of others can prevent other cases of misconduct.

 Other issues noticed in the Grambling Title IX department is how often individuals in authoritative positions are accused and how seldom students and staff come forward. But what becomes problematic is distinguishing the truth based off of all parties’ account of events, determining what sanctions satisfies the victim while holding the accused accountable, and closing a case without stepping out of jurisdiction. It is problematic because when there is two sides of a story, one has an idea of what really happen but can’t make a determination unless there is proper evidence supporting such claims.

 What has been learned is that the key component to respectably and successfully conducting an on-campus investigation consists of knowing how to approach a victim without making them feel attacked and knowing how to reprimand an aggressor without being bias in a reproach. Grambling State University ensures the safety and upholds the rights of any victim. Those rights may include, the right to advise with or not confide in the proper law enforcement authorities, comprising of on-campus and local police and may also opt to be abetted by campus authorities in informing such authorities if the staff, student or employee chooses.

 Students are strongly encouraged to make a report of any situations and incidents that may occur. They are also urged to share information about sexual misconduct and harassment. Even if the complainant or witness has concerns about underage drinking, drug use or other prohibited activity, that student considered a subject of violation and is still urged to tell their testimony and is still. The university practices a policy of offering alleged victims absolution from infringement of  policy and will not pursue disciplinary action based on the incident to encourage the reporting of sexual misconduct.

 Personally, my recommendation to improve sexual misconduct on campuses would be to sponsor seminars and workshop and open them to all that is willing to participate. However, some of this university’s actions to improve the Sexual misconduct policy include:

  • Spreading awareness about Sexual Assault through all forms of media

    • Myself along with Academic and Greek Organization such as the SGA and Omega Psi Phi have done a PSA on Sexual Awareness through Grambling’s locally syndicated radio station
  • Keeping the students and community involved with sexual assault awareness

    • The Miss GSU recently posted a Sexual Awareness flyer on Instagram
    • Students are asked to join the movement by posting their participation in the movement and tagging the university at the university’s official Instagram account
  • Posting Sexual Assault Awareness flyers

    • We have posted Sexual Awareness flyers that provide contact information on who to go to in the bathrooms of every academic building on campus

Some of the recommendations for other universities such as Berea College include the following:

•Every four years, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment should administer a sexual harassment survey and a sexual assault survey using the College’s definitions of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

•College policies and procedures related to sexual harassment and sexual assault should be reviewed by the Office of the Vice President for Labor and Student Life.

•The Office of the Vice President for Labor and Student Life should review the Student Handbook to ensure that consistent, definitive and needed information on College policies on sexual harassment and sexual assault are included.

•The Office of the Vice President for Labor and Student Life should develop an informative statement on the College’s philosophy on unwanted and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. This statement should provide suggestions to students on ways to 16 handle this behavior and suggestions to faculty and staff on how to assist students dealing with this type of behavior.

•The role and responsibilities of all Berea College employees as agents of the College should be clarified. Agents of the College have a responsibility to report criminal activity. College employees need to be informed of this responsibility. In addition, College employees should be informed of campus policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault.

What impact has this had on American Schools?

 There are different perspectives towards the effects of Title IX and its policies. According to advocates of Title IX’s current interpretation site, in 2006 it was determined that there was a major increase in the amount of women participating in athletics at both the secondary school and college level. It was determined that the amount of women  in college athletic activities had increased by at least 450%. A 2008 study revealed that women’s collegiate sports matured to more than 9,000 teams  or 8.65% per school. The most offered sports include:

  • Basketball 98%
  • Soccer 92%
  • VolleyBall 95%
  • Cross Country 90%
  • Softball 89%

Currently in Title IX.

 Title IX has provided eligibility to higher learning for women. Despite popular belief, prior to the amendment being established in 1972, it was frowned upon and at some schools, prohibited to admit women into universities. It was perfectly legal too before the legislation of Title IX.

 It has also created equal opportunities for all sexes in all departments. For example, home economics weren’t really offered to boys before Title IX. Now it is. The sole purpose of it was for social change which is one reason why women benefit from it everday.

 This part of the education amendment protects parenting and pregnant students from discrimination as well. Schools are now allowed to accommodate for student-parents. Before , it was legal to expel a student for being pregnant.

 The sexual Misconduct policy is not limited to just women. There are men who are victims of sexual misconduct as well. Actually, the Office of Civil Rights has a three-prong test for compliance with Title IX.

RESEARCH SUMMARY.

This research paper not only exemplifies the struggles of enforcing the Title IX policy, however it covers how critical a thorough and immediate investigation can be to the well-being of a student. The importance of outreach and everyday interactions and the distribution of information to students as well as staff conversed as well. Also, this research paper covers the history and backstory of how Title IX was legislated and how it effects its environments and campuses.

Title IX is a law that was federally enacted and encouraged after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law disallows discrimination based on sex or the violation thereof in any form of educationally funded programs or activity. These violations include but are not limited to rape, sexual assault, domestic violence or disputes, and sexual harassment along with sexual misconduct such as inappropriate touching and groping and stalking.

Every form of education is required to pursue the policy of Title IX, however different universities execute enforcement of this policy in various ways. Although college is meant to be an academically social stage in one’s life, it is an unfortunate reality that sexual misconduct does happen. While Title IX does have its privileges, such as initiating systematic equality for women, it has its cons as well.

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