Campus Chat Focuses on Title IX Updates
On Friday, Sept. 30, Emily Caputo, Title IX and University Compliance Coordinator, and April Paul Baer, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, hosted the first installment of Frostburg State University’s Campus Chat Series. The Campus Chat Series is “designed to promote a more inclusive campus community by providing an informal space for faculty, staff, and students to talk about challenging social issues.” The September chat focused on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigation of the University’s response to sexual harassment and sexual assault complaints.
A combination of FSU faculty, staff, and students met in the Lane University Center to openly discuss the university’s updates and changes regarding Title IX policies and procedures. After a 3-year investigation found the university to be noncompliant, FSU entered into an agreement designed to “ensure compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as it applies to sexual violence and sexual harassment.”
Caputo and Baer readily discussed changes being made in regards to Title IX handlings. A major step for the university as a whole will be the mandatory online trainings for all students and faculty. The online program, provided by a $14,000 contract with Campus Clarity, is shorter, more interactive, and updated more often than other vendors’ programs. The funding for the contract came from the Office of the President’s budget.
The 45-minute course will introduce individuals to critical issues associated with gender-based harassment and violence and equip them with the necessary information to care for one another.
Depending on an individual’s role on campus, the interactive training will differ based upon specific needs. For example, a traditional undergraduate student will have a different training than a non-traditional or graduate 30-year-old student.
Further training may be required for students who serve in additional roles across campus. Students who serve as resident assistants, for example, will complete relevant residential training.
A statement attached to the announcement of the mandatory trainings states, “Diversity, mutual respect, integrity, and responsibility are among the core values at Frostburg State University. These values are at the heart of the University’s commitment to maintain a safe, inclusive, and nondiscriminatory campus environment.” In addition, “Completion of this program will be closely monitored. Students who fail to complete the online course will experience delays in registration or access to transcripts until this requirement is fulfilled.”
As the university moves forward to meet the requirements and expectations of the OCR, students are encouraged to promote a safe environment. Caputo and Baer are always looking to partner with campus organizations to educate the student body about Title IX issues. Organizations like BURG Peer Education Network and the newly-founded “Relationship Goals” are already taking these steps. According to Baer, students “have the most amplified, collective voice.” She said, “Let us know. Don’t be quiet.”
Questions or concerns regarding Title IX can be directed to the Office of Gender Equity, Hitchins Room 126 or email@example.com. More information about FSU and Title IX can be found at http://www.frostburg.edu/titleix/.