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Colleges facing new Title IX responsibilities

Most people who have heard of Title IX associate the term with gender equality in school athletics, but the federal act is much more than that. Angie Maddy, dean of Student Services at Barton Community College, recently provided college trustees with a status report on BCC compliance.
Title IX is a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972. It is 37 words long: “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.”
But the policies it creates for the college are close to 30 pages long, Barton administrators said.
The list of responsibilities for colleges expanded last October, and compliance is required by July 1.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said now that the government has chosen to “ratchet the expectations,”  he expects the college will need to hire a Title IX compliance officer in a year. BCC will also need to purchase pre-packaged online training for students and employees.

Multiple Federal laws
Title IX provides protection from sexual discrimination and sexual violence, which can include sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexual-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner abuse. Overlapping laws include the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE), the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act.
Together, these acts:
•  Require incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking be disclosed in annual campus crime statistics reports
• Require students or employees reporting as victims must be provided with written information about their rights
• Require minimum standards for disciplinary procedures
•  Require primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees
• Require ongoing awareness and prevention programming for students and faculty
“We do not take this lightly,” Maddy said. After the law changed, 18 college employees attended Title IX training in Wichita, and the college joined the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA).
Maddy said not all students must take the prevention and awareness programs, but the training must be available to all of them. This poses a logistical problem because the college has online students worldwide. And the training and protections extend beyond the campus. It also includes visitors to the campus, such as Camp Hope attendees.