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

In this second part of the Q&A series, faculty and staff at IU East will discuss the Title IX office, IUPD-East and the Center for Health Promotion provides services. Chera LaForge, Ph.D., associate professor of political science for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will also discuss the Education Amendment of 1972 implementing Title IX into a federal law. Part one of the Q&A series provides an overview of the Title IX program at IU East.

Tracy Amyx

Part of the role of the Title IX office is to provide the IU East community with information and resources about sexual violence and misconduct on the safety at the campus website, and also strive to raise awareness about healthy relationships and sexual health. Resources are also available through the Center for Health Promotion and the IUPD-East.

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 assistance is available to anyone in the IU East community under Title IX procedures in circumstances of violence or stalking?
Claypoole: Free counseling is available in addition to Title IX services.

Dunning: IUPD-East works alongside IU East Title IX and surrounding law enforcement agencies, including the Wayne County Prosecutors office, to make sure that all university faculty, staff, students, and visitors have the resources available to them so that they feel welcome and safe while here at IU East. If someone does not want to speak with law enforcement, we make sure that they reach out to our Title IX coordinator.

What happens when someone reports an incident to a department other than the Title IX office? Will the departments work together?
Amyx: Should a person affiliated with IU need to make a Title IX report, there are a variety of options available to them:

All reports of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct are immediately reported to the Title IX office, regardless of what office receives the report. Most employees on the IU East campus are designated as Responsible Employees and are required to report what they know about an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator. This helps to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory campus environment, access to campus and community resources, and information regarding reporting rights and options.

Claypoole: The counselor is considered a confidential employee, thus not required to report to the Title IX officer if given information. However, should the student request it or the incident is known by both the counselor and Title IX officer and consent is given, then there is collaboration.

Dunning: If a report comes through to IUPD-East, we will reach out to the IU East Title IX coordinator with the report that we have received. Within IU, there are people identified as responsible employees that are required to report any incidents that have come to their attention to the campus Title IX coordinator. We remind our responsible employees that they have a duty to report and that they should not promise confidentiality.

How does the IUPD-East collaborate with Title IX to bring awareness or assistance to the campus community concerning domestic violence, safety or stalking issues?
Claypoole: The counselor assists with Title IX awareness events so as to provide support and ensure students know that counseling is available.

Dunning: IUPD-East continues to work with the IU East Title IX coordinator and others to bring awareness with different programs and events around campus. IUPD-East makes sure that they are involved with these events.

What resources can the campus community find through the Center for Health Promotion in regard on domestic violence, safety or stalking issues?
Counseling Services is under the Center for Health Promotion and available to provide support to students involved in such situations (at no cost).

Why is it important to provide prevention programming on the IU East campus and what are some examples of the programming provided?
A key component of the Title IX office is violence prevention programming. Rates of sexual assault are staggering, with 1 in 5 women and 6% of men experiencing attempted or completed assault during their college years. To address this problem, prevention programming is imperative and required. Some of the key prevention programs you can find at IU East involve information on consent, as well as bystander intervention. Some of our most popular programs include:

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • Day of Action
  • Red Flag Campaign
  • Denim Day
  • Take Back the Night
  • Green Dot Bystander Intervention

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
The Clothesline Project
It’s On Us Week

Dunning: Events and trainings continue to remind those on campus that IU cares. These events remind responsible employees of their responsibility to report.

What led to Title IX becoming a law in 1972?
LaForge: Both the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Movements in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in significant expansions of civil rights. The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for instance, outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, sex, and national origin, especially in voting and public facilities, but originally failed to mention sex discrimination in educational institutions. Feminist groups continued to push that sex discrimination also be banned in educational institutions into the 1970s. They found willing partners in Representative Patsy Mink, the first woman of color to be elected to Congress, and Representative Edith Green, an expert in educational policy. Their advocacy, along with the support of Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, would be enough to push Title IX through Congress. The Education Amendments of 1972, of which Title IX is a part, rectified the exclusion of sex-based discrimination in higher education.

Did Title IX change education with the amendment in 1972?
Undoubtedly, on many fronts. As stated elsewhere, it eliminated sex discrimination in education, allowing for the expansion of women’s access to education, the increase in the number of women playing sports and protection against sexual violence in school systems.

Has this law changed since it first became an amendment 50 years ago?
I’ll focus on the interpretation of the law since that’s where I see the largest changes. This also connects to the question below, so I’ll wrap those up together.

While laws are passed and amended by Congress, they are enforced and carried out by the executive branch and the bureaucracy, which are often given wide discretion in how to do so. Title IX is no different, and, especially in the past few decades, we’ve seen a back and forth in how presidential administrations have handled Title IX provisions through the federal rulemaking process.

One area where administrations have differed is in how the actual process of sexual misconduct proceedings must unfold on college campuses. The Department of Education under the Trump Administration rescinded earlier administrative rules on Title IX and released its own set of regulations around Title IX that, many argued, made it more difficult for victims of sexual violence to navigate. The Biden Administration is in the early stages of rescinding those rules to replace them with their own guidance. A second area where we’ve seen great changes is in how sexual orientation and gender identity are addressed. The Trump Administration explicitly stated that both would not be protected under Title IX, reversing an Obama Administration order on the issue. The Biden Administration has already reversed course on that decision.

What have been some of the issues surrounding the title Tile IX amendment?
Concern has been expressed that colleges have been overly aggressive in enforcing Title IX regulations.

  • “lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process” and “are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused.”
  • university adjudicators apply only a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard for determining whether an accused individual is responsible for sexual misconduct. That standard is a far less stringent one than the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt requirement that applies to criminal prosecutions.

Does Title IX apply to LGBTQA+, minority, and male students?
Title IX is specifically about sex discrimination, and, under the current presidential administration, that also includes LGBTQA+ students. Women of color would be included in this. Discrimination in education that is based upon race is protected under a different federal law—Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

But sex discrimination doesn’t just protect one sex, it protects against discrimination of all sexes and genders, meaning that men are also protected. For instance, there are male victims of sexual assault and discrimination, and they can make use of the processes created by Title IX.

What hurdles do women still face today?
We know that women still face hurdles to equal opportunity today. Because people often think of Title IX in the context of sports, I’ll offer just one example from there. The United States women’s soccer team has spent the past six years arguing that they deserve equal pay to the men’s soccer team, especially considering the enormous success that they’ve seen on the global stage. Despite a legal setback in 2020, which saw their gender discrimination lawsuit dismissed, they continued their push for equal pay. Last month, the team reached a labor agreement with the US Soccer Federation that will not only equal their pay in international competitions but also involves back pay to redress previous inequities.

While the educational attainment gap has reversed, it hasn’t ended disparities for women once they leave college. Equal pay isn’t just an issue in sports, there is still a significant pay gap between men and women and that gap is even more pronounced for women of color. This is often a result of the fact that women bare the heavier burden of home and childcare. The United States is one of only a few industrialized countries without guaranteed maternal and family leave policies, which often push women out of the workforce after childbirth or may significantly limit the options they have for moving up the career ladder.