Campus focuses on Title IX education

On a national level, a strong push is being made for universities to educate faculty, staff and students about Title IX and the legislation involved with it.

According to the United States Department of Justice website, Title IX is a federal law that outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

As part of its efforts to educate the campus community, Missouri Southern has posted a Title IX training video to Blackboard. The video, which has a runtime of 45:50, has been available for student viewing since Jan. 27.

While students have not been required to view the video, those who completed the training by today’s deadline will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win several different prizes.

“You can win one of two iPad Minis or one of five $50 bookstore gift certificates,” said Dean of Students and Title IX coordinator Ron Mitchell. “Just over 80 students finished the training as of [Wednesday]. Hopefully, we will have more [students] participate in the next couple of days.”

While the deadline for a chance to win a prize ends today, the training will remain open throughout the semester for student reference, according to Darren Fullerton, vice president of student affairs.

The training is very important, according to Mitchell.

“[The] key points in the training are, one, definition of sexual assault and how an incident of sexual assault can and will affect the people involved; two, the training addresses what to do and whom to contact for help if you or someone you know is assaulted; and three, it trains students on methods to help prevent a sexual assault (bystander intervention),” said Mitchell.

Faculty started training in the fall of 2014 and administration has continued to spread information about Title IX throughout the spring semester. On Feb. 20, Haley Hanson, the leader of higher education at Husch Blackwell law firm, made a presentation to the Board of Governors on the legalities associated with Title IX.

One of the points Hanson addressed was the proposed Campus Accountability & Safety Act, which could penalize schools who violate Title IX policy up to one percent of the annual operating budget.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is the main advocate behind the act.

“Sen. McCaskill has been extremely passionate about this subject and will continue to move forward with this legislation,” said Hanson.

Hanson also addressed the legal definitions of topics such as consent, sexual exploitation and the basic institutional responsibilities.