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Title IX Extends Far Beyond Athletics

If a student discloses that they were sexually assaulted or in a violent relationship, do you know what to do? UNLV's Title IX coordinator explains how the law has helped establish clear processes.
Campus News  |  Sep 17, 2013  |  By Kate Stowell
UNLV’s Title IX coordinator Harriet Barlow.
Editor's Note: 

As a part of UNLV’s ongoing mission of providing Title IX training and education, the Advocacy, Support, and Education Response Team Against Violence (ASERTAV) will host “Disclosures of Interpersonal Violence: What Faculty and Staff Should Know.” The training program will be held Sept. 19 from 10-11:30 A.M. in the Campus Services Building, Room 212G. This training will be offered again on Oct. 10 and Nov. 14. To register, visit the training enrollment webpage.

While Title IX is a common phrase on college campuses, many people still misunderstand what it means. Title IX is an all-encompassing federal mandate prohibiting discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of education institutions.

"We still have a lot to do to raise awareness," explained Harriet Barlow, UNLV's Title IX coordinator. "There are people who still believe Title IX applies only to women in athletics or gender equality in athletics, when it actually prohibits all sex discrimination, which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence among students and employees."

This fall, UNLV is launching workshops to provide information on how everyone on the campus community should respond to sexual assault disclosures as well as different available resources and UNLV's policies.

"Providing awareness is one of the biggest things we're trying to do," Barlow said. "It's part of making UNLV's campus safer and helps us make sure UNLV is in Title IX compliance."

Title IX compliance is a big deal for any educational institution receiving federal financial assistance, including UNLV. It reaches far beyond equity among student-athletes, as was made clear in a "Dear Colleague" letter released by Vice President Joe Biden and the Office of Civil Rights in April 2011. The letter implemented stricter Title IX guidelines, which included the designation of a Title IX coordinator as well as the establishment of clear grievance procedures. It also reminded institutions that failure to comply with these requirements could result in the loss of federal funding.

Since then, Barlow and the Title IX deputy coordinators as well as other campus organizations, such as the ASERTAV, have provided training programs, publications, and newsletters regarding Title IX rules, regulations and processes to UNLV students and staff.

In addition to the different training programs scheduled throughout the semester, the Office of Diversity Initiatives built a Title IX website where students and staff can learn about issues, file a complaint, and contact Barlow or the deputy coordinators.

"The most important thing for UNLV campus life to know is that there is support and help here. The conversations are confidential and no one should be afraid to contact us," Barlow said. "I believe everyone has the right to be in a safe environment conducive for learning and success, and Title IX fits right into that."

Visit the Diversity Initiatives website for more Title IX information, including a full explanation of procedures.