The Title IX amendment was passed in 1972 to prevent colleges from discrimination based on gender. According to the amendment, there has to be an equal amount of federal aid given, participation in sports and educational opportunities to both sexes.
The real question is“Does it do its job?” According to USA News, there has been a 545 percent increase in women’s participation in college athletics since 1972. The stat proves that Title IX is helping, but men’s participation has gone up at an even higher rate at the same time.
This gap is not just due to a lack of interest females have in playing sports. USA News also reported there were an estimated 3.1 million female athletes in high school; that number falls to around 200,000 athletic opportunities for women in college.
According to the Los Angeles Times, at most Division 1 schools, 80 percent of the athletic budget goes to football and men’s basketball. To make sure that Title IX is still in effect, these schools will cut the budget of other men’s sports. This leads to the stigma that Title IX hurts men’s sports.
Title IX historian Susan Ware said that in 2002, 91 of the 115 colleges in Division 1 spent a larger proportion of their budgets on football than on all of their women’s teams combined. Title IX does not mention the amount of money that is spent on each sport between genders. It also does not mention equal numbers of men and women athletes. It requires schools to take measures to make male and female participation on sports teams proportional to the overall numbers of men and women in the student body.
A common question listed on the NCAA Title IX website is about why it is not required for each sport to have equal funding. The website explains that price will vary on equipment. For example, while male football players need much more pads and equipment, female soccer players only need shin guards and cleats.
CBC Philadelphia reported that Temple University in Pennsylvania cut its female rowing team because it was too expensive to maintain. That following year, they spent 10 million dollars to update the indoor practice field for the football team and are talking about building an on-campus stadium for them as well.
Although Title IX is most famously associated with athletics, it also deals with sexual assault. The office Title IX website says, “Title IX requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.”
Seeing as these rules are broad, it leaves it up to the universities to make the final decision on how they want to go about handling cases of sexual assault.
One of the most famous college rape cases of this was of Brock Turner, a Stanford University student who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman in 2015.
Turner will be released after three months in jail, which is half of his six-month sentence. He is being released on good behavior and faces three years of probation as well as being expelled from the university.
Many saw this ruling as a “slap on the wrist” and there has been an outcry for more severe punishments for rapists. The letter addressed to him written by his victim went viral and inspired many survivors to share their stories and get involved helping others.
Two months after Brock Turner’s case, a judge in Colorado gained some publicity after giving a college man who isolated and raped a barely conscious woman two years of work release. This sentence means he can attend school or work during the day.
Fariha Quasem, the Title IX coordinator here at SNHU, had some helpful advice on how college campuses can improve rape culture.
“Appropriate training and educational programs are important so the University community understands that rape culture is about far more than rape. Discussing rape culture involves talking about the societal attitudes regarding sexuality and gender that normalizes sexual abuse,”said Quasem.
Quasem has been working hard to get students and faculty trained and involved in Title IX. She is giving monthly informal information sessions called “Title IX Tuesday’s” in the Women’s Center with the goal of giving students the opportunity to meet and discuss anything about Title IX with her.
She also explains that SNHU has many other wonderful resources available for just this purpose. The Women’s Center and Wellness Center have both taken initiative in hosting events to open the discussion about college rape culture.
The staff and faculty are doing everything they can to make sure students are educated and given plenty of information when it comes to dealing with Title IX, campus rape and many other issues.
Just this past year, SNHU updated its policy on sexual misconduct. The policy goes into great detail and deals with topics such as reporting, confidentiality and actions taken by the university. The policy can be found on my.snhu.edu.
Quasem has also been working on putting more information on My SNHU for students’ awareness and convenience. “The University now has a Sexual Misconduct webpage, which students can access through my.snhu. The University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and procedures can be found on the webpage. Along with the website, I created pamphlets last semester which provide students with contact information for on and off campus resources as well FAQ’s on Title IX and sexual misconduct.”
In addition, students will see flyers posted around campus in the upcoming weeks that focus on consent as well as resources available both on and off campus.
For any questions about policies here at SNHU pertaining to Title IX or our sexual assault policy, contact Fariah Quasem at f.quasem@ snhu.edu, Brooke Gilmore head of the Women’s Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Wellness Center.