Title IX at K

Its Implications and Effects on the Campus Community

By Ogden Wright

In a world where students are often subject to discrimination and abuse based on gender and or sex, Title IX as a guarantor to uphold fundamental human rights. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 dictates 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…”

Stacy Nowicki, our Library Director and Title IX Coordinator, highlighted that Title IX is a gender equity law that applies to gender equity across the board.

“It applies to a lot more than athletics, (but) it applies to any kind of gender equity issues for men and women and people who are homosexual or questioning and transgenders,” Nowicki  said. “It’s been applied very recently, very broadly, and it applies to students who have applied here and gotten in. So from your application to graduation, that’s when it applies. So it applies to a lot of people, and it applies over a really long length of time.”

Title IX seeks to protect persons from sexual harassment and assault and the College is tasked with the responsibility to seek redress for any forms of sex and gender based discrimination faced by any student on campus.

“Almost everyone on campus needs to report incidents of sexual harassment and assault if they know about it; I’m talking about faculty and staff. Students of course don’t have that obligation but faculty and staff are agents of the college and if they know about incidents of sexual harassment or assault, they need to get that student help (or) report it to someone who can, because it’s our obligation under Title IX to redress the harassment.”

Students who have been victims of sexual harassment or assault, or those who know of any cases, can speak to members of the Counselling Center or the College Chaplain with the explicit understanding that it will remain confidential. It is highly recommended that victims also speak to the Associate Dean of Students, Karen Joshua-Wathel, if a student is at fault, or Renee Boelcke if the abuse stems from any faculty or staff’s behavior, as they are charged with the responsibility of investigating and mitigating any inappropriate conduct. One can also visit the Title IX website at https://reason.kzoo.edu/titleix/ for more resources on how to tackle cases of sexual and gender based discrimination.

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