This is the question most frequently asked by parents when they pass the Office of Title IX’s table at Orientation.
Sometimes parents ask ‘Isn’t that the law about women and sports?’ While that is true, Title IX is much broader than just sports and addresses other forms of sex and gender based discrimination in higher education. Title IX was enacted in 1972 as an amendment to the Higher Act of 1965 and states:
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.
Recently, our media and national climate has brought much needed attention to Title IX and the issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment faced by many in different industries. While this media attention may seem new, the University of Mary Washington and the Office of Title IX has been working for years to combat and reduce sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment and to bring awareness and education to our campus community.
Throughout the academic year, the Office of Title IX and our Center for Prevention and Education, along with various other campus, student, and community partners, sponsor events and programs for our students, faculty, and staff on issues of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Past events have included Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the Red Flag Campaign, the It’s on Us Bystander Intervention Campaign, and Take Back the Night. Events scheduled for the Spring 2018 semester include:
- Consent and Cocoa
- The Red Sand Project
- The I Can, We Can Art Project
- Portraits in Persistence
- Self-care in the Age of #MeToo
- As well as a number of additional events during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.
In addition to the events and programs hosted, the Office of Title IX administers UMW’s Policy on Sexual and Gender Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. Under this Policy, if there is a complaint involving sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking or sexual harassment, the Office of Title IX provides resources, support, and accommodations to the survivor and the accused and is responsible for adjudicating these incidents in a timely and equitable manner. The Office works closely with law enforcement, other UMW departments, and community partners, as necessary, to address the safety and needs of our community. Parents and students can report concerns or make a complaint via online at www.umw.edu/concerns/ or can contact the Title IX Coordinator directly.
As a parent, we know that this topic can be very difficult to navigate. We want you to know that Office of Title IX is here to help your student should they ever need our services or want to get involved in our education and volunteer opportunities. For more information on the Office of Title IX, grant projects, reporting options, resources, and support, please visit our website at http://diversity.umw.edu/title-ix/
Tiffany Oldfield, Title IX Coordinator