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Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972

Title IX is a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

Specifically, the law provides that no person 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.”

This law requires federally funded education institutions (e.g., school districts and colleges or universities) or programs (e.g., 4-H) to widely disseminate information on Title IX protections against discrimination on the basis of sex and the name address, and telephone number, or other contact information of the designated Title IX Coordinator.

Title IX best practices from NIFA Land Grant Universities. Check back periodically for additional best practices. 

University of Massachusetts-To ensure transparency of the Title IX program, University of Massachusetts (UMass) dedicates a website to Title IX resources for students, faculty, and members of the public.  Examples include Title IX reporting, Title IX policies, and Title IX resources.  Moreover, the website contains easily accessible contact information for individuals who may need immediate help or need to report an incident. 

A hotline is also available for those who may want to discuss a confidential matter.  The website can be found at https://www.umass.edu/titleix/.  In addition to offering a plethora of Title IX resources, UMass also utilizes various proactive measures, such as the Your Intervention Strategies (YIS), the online sexual assault prevention training created by UMass. These actions exhibit how transparency in Title IX services and resources can really benefit faculty, students, and members of the public.  UMass’ efforts to promote Title IX awareness and providing access to Title IX resources demonstrates their commitment to non-discrimination based on sex in their programs and activities.

Laredo College- Laredo College is a Hispanic Serving Institution which has taken Title IX to a whole new level.  As Title IX and concerns with sexual harassment become more of an issue in academia and in agriculture, Laredo College has instituted an electronic platform known as STOP!t, which aims to mitigate, deter, and control harmful and inappropriate behavior as well as help create a positive and safe learning environment for the campus community. STOP!t is an integral part of the college’s effort to deter and mitigate risks associated with sexual harassment and assault, Title IX, the Clery Act, hazing, violence, and other threats to student safety. STOP!t can be accessed directly on the college website or through other platforms to include Android or Apple phones.  Students can download STOP!t for free from iTunes or Google Play. 

The application allows students to anonymously report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator.  Reporting may include text and photos or video with an option to send direct messages to Laredo College staff.  With this technology in place, Laredo College does more than prohibit sexual harassment – it sends the message to students that it is not tolerated.  Students know someone is always watching, and exactly where to go with issues related to sexual harassment.  With Laredo’s proactive approach to prohibiting sexual harassment and encouraging students to say something if they see something, NIFA is confident they can set the example for universities across the nation.

Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) supports Stand for State, which is a bystander intervention program focusing on sexual and relationship violence, mental health concerns, acts of bias, and risky drinking and drug use. Bystander intervention programs create a community of people who step in, speak up, and interrupt potential acts of violence.  The program helps spread Title IX program awareness.

 Moreover, the Affirmative Action Office and Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response, acting collaboratively with the University's Title IX Coordinator, provides various types of programs and services related to Title IX. These include educating students about their rights and Penn State policies and procedures in addressing incidents of sexual misconduct; facilitating accommodations for pregnant and/or parenting students; and offering resources, information, and options to individuals affected by sexual and gender-based misconduct These offices also offers training for faculty and staff, including critical student workers such as those in Residence Life, regarding these topics, as well as related topics such as the role of employees as mandatory reporters and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

 To ensure that Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations have access to Title IX information, Penn State provides resources in several languages as part of the University's It’s On Us PA campaign.  Included in the resources are several videos intended to increase awareness of options and resources for those affected by incidents of sexual misconduct and sexual violence. The videos, found at https://titleix.psu.edu/translations/, are available to all University community members and can be used by faculty and staff in conjunction with the learning activities in classes or other group settings. Having information available in different languages to those who have a limited ability to speak, read, or understand English demonstrates a commitment to serve LEP communities.  With such resources in place, Pennsylvania State University extends its Title IX resources to all, regardless of their race, color, or national origin.

Oklahoma State University- As Title IX and sexual harassment continue to be a focal point in academia, Oklahoma State University has taken a proactive approach to ensuring that faculty, staff, and students receive the appropriate training to comply with Title IX requirements, while also educating students and faculty on different Title IX principles.  As such, Oklahoma State University offers mandatory annual Title IX training for students, student employees, and university employees.  In addition to annual training, Oklahoma State University offers monthly campus events to educate students and faculty of Title IX implications.  Such events include Dinner and Learns which emphasize one-hour presentations to teach students about consent and related topics over dinner.  Oklahoma State University also hosts Lunch and Learns, which are one-hour presentations to staff/faculty about sexual violence and related topics.  To continue to engage students, Oklahoma State University hosts a monthly event, called Don’t Do Muffin, Say Somethin! Which serves as a Title IX outreach activity, where students get a muffin and learn more about consent, intervention, and sexual violence reporting options on campus. The outreach activity also serves as a place for open dialogue.

As Oklahoma State University continues to spread Title IX awareness on campus, students and faculty become more alert of the consequences of Title IX violations.  As a result, people are more likely to say something if they see something. Oklahoma State University’s proactive approach to Title IX training and spreading overall awareness educates the University community about their rights, resources, and responsibilities under the University’s Title IX policy prohibiting gender discrimination and sexual harassment and Title IX law.  As a best practice, offering training and routine outreach, like Title IX campaigns, brings mindfulness to Title IX and educates students and faculty of its implications. 

 

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