Q&A Part One: IU East celebrates 50th anniversary of Title IX

Indiana University East celebrates the 50th anniversary of Title IX on Thursday, June 23.

Title IX is a federal law, enacted as part of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which has brought the prohibition of sex discrimination in education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

IU East faculty and staff work together to ensure the campus meets the standards and guidelines outlined by Title IX.

Deputy Sexual Misconduct & Title IX Coordinator/Director of Affirmative Action/EEOC Officer
Tracy Amyx

Part one of the Q&As will provide an overview of the Title IX program, what is available on campus and athletics, and what the program covers. In part two, faculty and staff from the Title IX office, IUPD-East and the Center for Health Promotion provides services as part of Title IX.

Tracy Amyx, deputy sexual misconduct and Title IX coordinator/director of Affirmative Action/EEOC Officer at IU East. Amyx has served in her role for more than five years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Social Sciences with a Concentration in Psychology from IU East.

Jennifer Claypoole

Jennifer Claypoole, director of Behavioral Health for the Center for Health Promotion, at part of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Claypoole has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Purdue University and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. She is a licensed clinical social worker. She has 14 years experience working community mental health with children, families and adults, helping them with issues such as parenting skills, behavior management, family preservation, life skills, and mental illness management.

Scott Dunning

Scott Dunning, IUPD-East chief of police and interim chief of police at the IUPD-IUPUI division. Chief Dunning has over 25 years of experience at IUPD. Dunning began his career at IUPD as a patrolman at IU Bloomington in 1995. He then transferred to the IUPUI division in 2011, becoming a sergeant there in 2013 and a lieutenant in 2016. In October 2016, Dunning was promoted to chief at the IU East division. Dunning received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from IU East.

Chera LaForge

Chera LaForge, associate professor of political science for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. LaForge received her doctorate in political science and her Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science from Northern Michigan University. Her research interests include Congress and legislative behavior.

Tiffani Selhorst

Tiffani Selhorst is the senior women’s administrator and head women’s basketball coach for the Office of Athletics. Selhorst is in her ninth year as the head coach of the Red Wolves. Among her highlights are three seasons with over 20 wins, a River States Conference Championship, and three trips to the NAIA National Tournament. Under Selhorst’s direction, the IU East women’s basketball program has earned NAIA Scholar-Team recognition (3.00 team GPA) after every season in school history. This year, she was named as one of the Most Impactful Head Coaches in Women’s NAIA Basketball by Silver Waves Media. Selhorst received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wright State University and a Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Sciences from Ohio University.

What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal legislation that prohibits sex and gender-based discrimination in institutions that receive federal funding. While most people think of gender equity in athletics, Title IX has significantly evolved over the years to include all forms of sexual misconduct. Learn about the legislation from Indiana University’s “The Game Changers.”

LaForge: Title IX is a federal civil rights law that protects against sex-based discrimination in education. The text of the provision is pretty simple, stating that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Today, most people think of Title IX in one of two contexts—either expansion of access to sports for women or the protection of students against sexual violence. However, you can see that it really is about any kind of discrimination in an educational setting, which could include access to admissions, financial aid, or other resources.

Selhorst: Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs. Nearly every post-secondary institution receives benefits from federal aid, so those institutions must comply with Title IX. Title IX has often been associated with athletics, but it covers all aspects of the education programs including, admissions, treatment of students, and employment at all levels of education.

What is the role of a Title IX coordinator?
The designated Title IX coordinator is responsible for ensuring that their campus maintains Title IX compliance. The Title IX coordinator should be knowledgeable of Title IX law and campus policies, develop and implement prevention initiatives, help coordinate campus climate surveys to better understand prevention efforts, conduct investigations of sex discrimination/sexual misconduct and enforce disciplinary action, and collaborate with other departments to ensure compliance with Title IX laws and campus policies. While responsibilities are multi-faceted, Title IX Coordinators are key in ensuring a safe and non-discriminatory campus community.

Is the Title IX coordinator the only person on campus responsible for ensuring Title IX expectations are met?
Amyx: While a bulk of the responsibility lies on the Title IX Coordinator, all employees designated as Responsible Employees also play a key role in Title IX compliance. Those employees designated as Responsible Employees receive annual training and are required to report what they know about an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.

Additionally, the Title IX Coordinator works with the University Title IX Coordinator to help ensure consistency across campuses, the Senior Women’s Administrator to ensure compliance in athletics, as well with the Dean of Students and IUPD-East to ensure safety and conduct compliance.

What resources and assistance are available to the IU East community through Title IX?
Amyx: IU East has resources available through Title IX including:

  • Information on reporting rights and options
  • Assist with access to free, confidential mental health counselors
  • Interim measures such as no contact orders, change in academic, transportation and/or work situations
  • Information on how to file a protection order
  • Accompaniment to the hospital (if desired)
  • Academic Support Services
  • Assistance with reporting information to the police (if desired)
  • Protection from retaliation
  • Interim measures/accommodations to minimize contact between parties throughout the course of an investigation

Does Title IX only protect funding for women’s programs?
No, within athletics Title IX provides an equal opportunity for both males and females based on a three-prong test:

  • Participation in sports that is proportionate to full-time enrollment
  • Continued growth in athletic opportunities for underrepresented gender
  • Offer sports of high interest within IU East competitive region

Why is it important today that we have Title IX in place?
LaForge: At the time that Title IX was passed, women were much less likely to have access to higher education. When Title IX was passed in 1972, only 9 percent of women had completed a college degree, compared to 15.4% of men. In 2021, it has risen to 39.1% of women and 36.6% of men (data from Statista). While it may seem like since we’ve reversed the gap in college attainment, Title IX isn’t needed, we still know that those numbers don’t reflect all the barriers women might face in educational institutions. FiveThirtyEight recently showed how funding and expenses for men’s sports still outpace women’s sports, for instance. And, of course, while men and women are both victims of sexual violence, it is more common among women. Title IX ensures that we remain vigilant against those kinds of disparities. Beyond that, the Biden administration reaffirmed its commitment that Title IX protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and those disparities may be even more significant.

One of the champions of Title IX, Representative Patsy Mink, said it best on the 30th anniversary of the legislation. “It is especially important that we celebrate the many successes of Title IX. However, it is even more important that we not become complacent about Title IX. Many young girls and women today do not even know about Title IX and take it for granted that equal educational opportunities are safeguarded by the Constitution. While it is wonderful that equity has become the expected norm, we must also teach each new generation that there was a time when Title IX did not exist. Further, we all need to be reminded that since Title IX was put in a place by a legislative body, it can also be taken away by a legislative body. We need to be vigilant.”

Selhorst: Although Title IX has often been associated with the growth of female athletics it was not designed with that in mind. Title IX was developed to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and sex for federally funded education programs that were putting higher admission standards on women than they were on men, as well as excluding women from certain fields of study. The unknown benefit was promoting female sports and opportunities. Since Title IX was passed in 1972, opportunities for female athletes have increased exponentially.

How has Title IX helped IU East sport programs grow?
IU East has been in compliance with Title IX since the inception of intercollegiate athletics. IU East athletics has been able to grow and offer athletic opportunities for both genders for the past 15 years.

How does Title IX provide equal opportunities in for IU East athletes?
Selhorst: First and foremost, IU East has been able to offer new sports to both genders since 2007. IU East offers sports that have high interest within our region to both men in women, and we are continually researching opportunities to offer student athletes. As we build a new program here we are mindful about equal finances, facilities, supplies and a number of other resources to make sure we continue to comply with Title IX standards.

How does athletics ensure it meets IU East’s expectations in regard to Title IX?
Selhorst: Every five to seven years, the IU East athletic department does an analysis of our compliance to Title IX. In order to comply IU East must pass one of the three-part tests:

  • IU East must offer participation opportunities to both male and female interests that is proportionate to enrollment of each gender.
  • IU East must demonstrate a history of offering OR continued practiced of program expansion to the under-represented gender.
  • IU East must offer sports within our specific competitive region that has high interest.