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Three-year review releases recommendations to improve Title IX response, awareness

Recommendations include establishing more connection between offices that handle Title IX complaints

By
Metro Editor
Monday, May 4, 2020

The Steering Committee on Equity and Diversity’s three-year review, released May 1, recommended new measures to increase awareness and better responses to Title IX and Gender Equity incidents.  

To help inform the new recommendations, the review evaluated trainings related to the issue, the current case management system, and progress of past recommendations of both the Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board and the original Sexual Assault Task Force. 

The review calls for “greater alignment between the Title IX and Gender Equity Office, the Department of Public Safety (DPS), SHARE (Sexual Harassment & Assault Resources & Education) Advocates in BWell Health Promotion, and Health Services in general” in order to facilitate greater awareness of available resources and a more effective response to traumatic events.

New recommendations from the review include establishing a formal mechanism for the alignment of the above offices, assessing institutional trust and confidence and emphasizing support resources for populations such as faculty and staff experiencing domestic violence. 

The review also recommends clarifying the position of responsible employees, who are required to share “all known details of incidents or suspected incidents of sexual and gender-based harm or discrimination with the Title IX Program Officer,” and providing additional training for student leaders serving in this role. 

Additional training for Medical School faculty who are not employed by the University was also recommended, along with developing the capacity to address gender-based issues in academic or administrative departments that are not at the level of a Title IX violation and formulating a methodology for vetting and evaluating external investigators of Title IX complaints 

The review also pointed to the importance of implementing training to address the “intersectional nature of violence, power, privilege and oppression,” to work to develop equity in the University’s response capacities, as well as a partially implemented recommendation to increase “confidential resources in identity centers and (resources) dedicated to graduate and medical students.”

Some incomplete recommendations include a suggestion to re-evaluate the protocol that requires DPS to respond to all EMS dispatches, the creation of a “list of local attorneys willing to represent, pro bono, complainants and/or respondents unable to afford legal counsel” and the implementation of an anonymous feedback mechanism on the Title IX website.

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