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http://thesantaclara.org/title-ix-forum-unpacks-sexual-assault-related-issues/#.WQxKIdy1uUk

Title IX Forum Unpacks Sexual Assault-Related Issues

Panel of University Personnel Discuss Gender Equity, Relationship Violence

Meghan McLaughlin
Associate Reporter
May 4, 2017

The Title IX and EEO Office says that Betsy DeVos will not deter their efforts toward gender equity.

At panel discussion last week on demystifying Title IX policies and procedures, the starting point of the discussion was a low, all-female student turnout. Around ten students and a handful of faculty and staff members sat in Graham Commons on April 25 for the discussion.

“We are making sure to get voices heard,” said Jenn Recupero, the university’s Title IX investigator. “We are always wanting to know and understand a little bit more about the kind of groups who need to know this information.”

Four panelists led this discussion, addressing various issues surrounding sexual assault and how the issues can be improved on campus. The event, led by the Violence Prevention Program (VPP) and other on-campus entities, concluded April’s on-campus Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) programming.

In addition to Recupero, other panelists included Associate Dean for Student Life Matthew Duncan, Assistant Watch Commander at Campus Safety Services Lavonne Baker and Women and Gender Studies Professor Laura Ellingson.

Title IX amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Vocational Education Act of 1963, among others. It was passed in 1972, initially focused on gender equity in sports activities within federally funded programs. Since then, it has expanded to include effective responses to sexual assault instances, with additions made to the amendment in 2001.

Title IX issues include anything under the umbrella of gender or sexual-based misconduct, harassment or discrimination. This broad umbrella includes stalking, relationship or intimate partner violence.

“There’s a lot of fear, I think, around what they might do to you at the Title IX office,” Ellingson said. “So I spend a lot of time informally trying to demystify and encourage people to use it.”

How to further involve men in the dialogue about sexual assault was among the topics discussed. A program named Men in Progress was started by faculty and staff to facilitate conversation around why men are not more involved in the efforts to combat sexual assault.

One point of contention during the conversation had to do with involving fraternities in conversations about sexual assault. Because Santa Clara Greek organizations are unaffiliated with the campus, no university representative can speak with fraternities as organizations outside of campus.

Panelists also discussed some of the potential changes to Title IX proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and how they could affect campus policies. Recupero said that she does not think that can be considered until something is officially passed. She and Ellingson agreed that the university has made strides in addressing Title IX issues and they will not let potential political action affect how Title IX issues are dealt with on campus.

In light of Yeardley Love’s murder in 2010, Duncan and Recupero said they have made it a priority to educate athletes as well as the entire student body on identifying emerging issues within relationships.

The One Love Foundation was created after Love, a University of Virginia women’s lacrosse player, was murdered by an abusive boyfriend despite her friends noticing warning signs and red flags. The One Love Foundation chapter on campus provides training sessions on identifying the warning signs of abuse.

One recent development discussed was the partnership between the Office of Student Life and the Title IX Office, who are working together to identify the university’s gender climate and create a National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) program called the Culture of Respect.

NASPA, the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, is an association that prioritizes the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

“The goal of this culture of respect is to actually have a robust evaluation of the programs we currently are and are potentially not doing, as well as evaluating what our policies look like and how people are understanding the culture of what our campus is representing,” Recupero said.

This is a two-year program that the Title IX Office began implementing this school year.

“As a Jesuit institution, that is very important to us, to foster and engage in reflection and open dialogue,” Duncan said. “I think so many times we are responding to the violence prevention side, which is important, but we can lose sight of how to come at it from a different direction.”

Title IX forum brings difficult topics to light

At panel hosted last week on demystifying Title IX policies and procedures, the starting point of the discussion was the low, all-female student turnout. Around ten students and a handful of faculty and staff members sat in the Graham Commons on April 25 for the discussion.

Four panelists led this discussion, addressing various issues surrounding sexual assault and how the issues can be improved on campus. The event concluded Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) programming, led by the Violence Prevention Program (VPP) and other on-campus entities.

Panelists included Associate Dean for Student Life Matthew Duncan, Assistant Watch Commander at Campus Safety Services Lavonne Baker, Women and Gender Studies Professor Laura Ellingson and the university’s Title IX Investigator Jenna Recupero.

Title IX is an education amendment that was passed in 1972, initially focused on gender equity in sports activities within federally funded programs. Since then, it has expanded to include effective responses to sexual assault instances, with additions made to the amendment in 2001. Title IX issues include anything under the umbrella of gender or sexual-based misconduct and harassment or discrimination, including stalking, relationship or intimate partner violence.

“There’s a lot of fear, I think, around what they might do to you at the Title IX office,” Ellingson said. “So I spend a lot of time informally trying to demystify and encourage people to use it.”

One question raised was with regard to involving men in the dialogue about sexual assault. A program named Men in Progress was started by faculty and staff to facilitate conversation around why men are not more involved in the efforts to combat sexual assault.

One point of contention that arose was that of fraternity involvement in efforts to better members’ awareness of sexual assault. Because Santa Clara University Greek organizations are unaffiliated with the campus, no university representative can speak with fraternities as organizations outside of campus.

Panelists also discussed some of the potential changes to Title IX proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and how they would affect campus policies. Recupero said that she does not think that can be considered until something is officially passed. She and Ellingson agreed that the university has made strides in addressing this issue and they will not let this affect how Title IX issues are dealt with on campus.

In light of Yeardley Love’s murder in 2010, panelists said they have made it a priority to educate athletes as well as the entire student body on identifying emerging issues within relationships. On campus, there is a chapter of the One Love Foundation that provides training sessions on …

One recent development is partnership between the Office of Student Life and the Title IX Office, who are working together to identify the unversity climate and create the Culture of Respect, which is a NASPA program.

“The goal of this culture of respect is to actually have a robust evaluation of the programs we currently are and are potentially not doing, as well as evaluating what our policies look like and how people are understanding the culture of what our campus is representing,” Recupero said.

This is a two-year program that they began implementing this year.

The Title IX Office is located at 900 Lafayette in Suite 100 on the corner of Lafayette and Homestead.

As a part of the events concluding Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a panel discussion entitled “Demystifying Title IX” took place on Tuesday, April 25. Four panelists led this discussion and addressed various issues surrounding the topic of sexual assault and how it can become less of a problem on campus. Around ten students attended, along with other faculty and staff members. The panelists were quick to mention the unfortunately low, all female turnout at the starting point of the discussion.

Panelists included Matthew Duncan, Associate Dean for Student Life; Lavonne Baker, Assistant Watch Commander at Campus Safety Services; Laura Ellingson, professor in Women and Gender Studies; and Jenna Recupero, Title IX Investigator at the Office of EEO and Title IX.

Title IX is the education amendment of 1972. It initially focused on equity in sports activities within federally funded programs. Since then, it has morphed into directing effective responses to sexual assault instances with additions made in 2001. Title IX issues include anything that is gender or sexual based misconduct, harassment or discrimination, including stalking, relationship or intimate partner violence.

“There’s a lot of fear, I think, around what they might do to you at the Title IX office, so I spend a lot of time informally trying to demystify and encourage people to use it,” Ellingson said.

One question that was raised was that of how to involve men in dialogue about sexual assault. A program named Men in Progress was started by faculty and staff to facilitate conversation around why men are not more involved in the efforts to combat sexual assault.

A point of contention that was brought up was that of fraternity involvement in efforts to better members’ awareness of sexual assault. Because Santa Clara’s Greek life is not affiliated with the university, no SCU representative can speak with fraternities as organizations outside of campus.

Betsy DeVos’s platform and potential changes she proposed, and how they would affect campus policy were brought to the attention of the panelists. Recupero commented that she does not think that can be considered until something is officially passed. She and Ellingson both agreed that Santa Clara has made strides in addressing this issue and they will not let this affect how Title IX issues are dealt with on campus.

In light of Yeardley Love’s murder in 2010, panelists have made it a priority to educate both athletes and all of the student body on how to identify emerging issues within relationships. On campus, there is a chapter of the One Love Foundation that has training sessions for all students to attend.

A positive development that is happening is the Office of Student Life and the Title IX Office have partnered together to identify the climate at Santa Clara and create the Culture of Respect, which is a NASPA program.

“The goal of this culture of respect is to actually have a robust evaluation of the programs we currently are and are potentially not doing, as well as evaluating what our policies look like and how people are understanding the culture of what our campus is representing,” Recupero said.

This is a two year program that they began implementing this year.

The Title IX Office is located at 900 Lafayette in Suite 100 on the corner of Lafayette and Homestead.
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