Guest Contributor: Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program, National Women’s Law Center
Students around the country have already begun pouring back onto college campuses, ready to embark on a new academic year. This year many students will return to find their schools under investigation by the Department of Education for failing to effectively address sexual violence on campus. Title IX’s nearly 45-year-old ban on sex discrimination in education requires schools that take federal dollars –virtually all schools – to take prompt and effective steps to address harassment and violence. With over 200 universities facing pending complaints, the problem of sexual assault finally has caught the attention of the very policymakers and educators who can make a difference.
But efforts to transform the response to sexual assault will fail if focused on the wrong solutions. Here are five myths that can prevent meaningful approaches to combatting sexual assault on college campuses. Continue reading “Five Myths that Block Effective Strategies Targeting Sexual Assault on College Campuses”
The new focus on sexual assault is an opportunity to make real change on campus.
Guest Contributor: Ellen Eardley, University of Missouri
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; Title IX Administrator; Cincinnati Law (’03)
Now more than ever, colleges and universities face new challenges addressing campus sexual assault.
Recently, and not without controversy, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been used to address sexual violence – an extreme form of sex discrimination. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has made clear that Title IX requires schools to have policies and procedures for responding to sexual violence. This requires careful attention to the rights and needs of students, faculty, and staff who experience and who are accused of sexual violence.
Some commentators have suggested that OCR has asked higher education to undertake a burdensome, and potentially impossible, balancing act. But rather than a burden, these guidelines present an opportunity to make meaningful shifts in addressing and preventing sexual violence. Continue reading “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses”