North Country Matters Video: Caitlin Hill & Valarie Dana from Renewal House on Sexual Assault Awareness with a focus on College Campuses (April 5, 2014)
AAUW’s Title IX Champions!
10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out
IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION: To Prevent Violence Against Women On College Campuses - download the AAUW-NYS Action Guide!
Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault.
School Discipline Guidance and Title IX Webinar (April 4, 2014) - Click the link to play it.
Title IX Know the Score Program in a Box Now Updated - Taking action to help schools in your community reach Title IX compliance has never been easier. More than 40 years after Title IX became law, the majority of federally funded schools still don’t comply. Use Know the Score to check out your local schools today. Remember, grassroots advocacy is one of the best ways to address noncompliance.
Updated December 18, 2014
- Colleges often reluctant to expel for sexual violence - with U-Va. a prime example. As growing numbers of students report sexual violence, those who seek justice through internal channels at colleges are learning that even when allegations are upheld, school officials are often reluctant to impose their harshest punishment on the attackers: expulsion.
- College discipline often goes easy on violent crimes - An investigation into campus student judicial systems has uncovered a long list of instances where they meted out light discipline for violent crimes and failed to report alleged crimes to the police. The investigation, by the Columbus Dispatch and the Student Press Law Center of Arlington, VA, also concluded that most higher education institutions don't follow laws that are supposed to make information about their cases open to the public.
- Department of Education Investigates K-12 School Districts for Title IX Violations - In addition to the greatly publicized list of 87 colleges and universities under investigation for Title IX violations, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is also investigating 24 elementary and secondary schools for potential mishandling sexual assault cases.
- It's On Us: Raising Awareness to Prevent Sexual Assault with Snapchat - The White House's It's On Us campaign launched a "National Week of Action" to encourage students to join the movement to prevent sexual assault on Nov. 10. Colleges and universities hosted more than 130 events this week to spread awareness, and more than 40 schools even created their own It's On Us PSAs!
- Title IX covers pregnant and parenting students: 4.8 Million College Students Are Raising Children - More than a quarter of college students (26 percent) are raising dependent children, according to a new report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. A majority of the parent population is made up of single parents, most of them women. Single mothers make up 43 percent of the student parent population, while single fathers make up 11 percent.
- By the numbers: Sexual violence in high school - Sexual violence at colleges is a well-known problem, but at high schools its widespread and little discussed. Unlike at college, there isn't an army of victim-activists coming forward to share their stories and slam their schools with federal complaints. Many high schools are squeamish about discussing sex at all, let alone the ways it can be violently twisted.
- Final Clery Act revisions released by Ed Department - The U.S. Department of Education has issued its final changes to the Clery Act's requirements for colleges and universities. Colleges and universities will have to collect and disclose statistics on alleged crimes that were investigated and then determined to be unfounded. Previously, the department didn't require reporting of those incidents.
- 'Yes Means Yes' Laws Will Not Actually Reclassify All Sex on Campus as Rape - Are people really so frightened of the consequences of a law that says sexual partners must enthusiastically consent?
- Sports 4 Life - Sports 4 Life is a national effort to increase the participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls, ages 11-18, in developmental youth sports programs. Through education, public awareness and grants to organizations nationwide, Sports 4 Life seeks to effect sustainable improvement to the overall health and development of girls in these communities.
- Campus SaVE Act Takes Effect, Expands Protections To Include Same-Sex Assaults - The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act -- included in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (PL 113-4) -- expanded the 1992 Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities that receive federal student financial aid to track and publish crime statistics. Under the Campus SaVE Act, the reporting requirements also apply to domestic violence, dating violence and stalking cases that are reported to campus or local police. The law also details victims' rights to contact local police authorities, obtain referrals for health care and "be guaranteed a fair hearing process." In addition, the law requires further training for campus officials tasked with investigating assaults and requires that schools educate students on how to prevent assaults. Additionally, the law expands the definition of rape to include same-sex assaults.
- Virginia Cases Show Vulnerability of Women on Campus - The vulnerability of female students is a focus at the University of Virginia after a man was linked to the recent disappearance of Hannah Graham, a student, and a killing in 2009.
- Young men at SUNY Potsdam organize rally to fight sexual assault on campus - Following reports of two rapes on campus this month, SUNY Potsdam was dressed in ribbons Monday to raise awareness of sexual assault. Three student activists, all men, "painted the campus teal" as part of a rally to stand up to what has become a nationwide problem of campus rape.
- California Governor Signs Bill on 'Affirmative' Consent - California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, on Sunday signed legislation that will require colleges in the state to use an "affirmative consent" standard in evaluating allegations of sexual assault. The new law also requires other steps by colleges to better educate students about consent and sexual assault. Many women's advocates have praised the legislation, while some civil liberties advocates have expressed concern that the law shifts too much of the burden of proof in these cases to the accused.
- Obama opens campaign against campus sexual assault - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announce a campus sexual assault awareness campaign from the White House, with a special focus on engaging men in the fight against a largely hidden problem.
White House officials say the campaign, called "It's On Us," will challenge everyone on campuses to see sexual assault as their personal responsibility to prevent, but will particularly target male students. Presidential aides point to research shows that men are often reluctant to speak out against violence against women because they believe other men accept it, and that Obama and Biden hope to set an example by speaking out to help change social norms.
- DiNapoli: Room for improvement in SUNY crime reporting - Of the remaining 25 SUNY schools that were not subject to on-site audits, 13 accurately reported their statistics, while 12 had a number of inconsistencies. The colleges of Fredonia, Canton and Empire State in particular were found to have a higher number of discrepancies between their ASRs and DOE statistics in the categories of burglaries, weapons violations, and sex, liquor and drug-related offenses.
- NCAA Issues Handbook About Handling Sexual Assault - The NCAA issued a handbook to member schools about handling campus sexual violence. The handbook requires schools to comply with all federal and applicable state regulations and - critically - "cooperate with but not manage, direct, control, or interfere with investigations into allegations of sexual assault."
- Physical Fitness Associated With Less Depression in Middle School Girls - Physically fit middle school girls are significantly less likely to be depressed, according to a study presented at the American Psychological Association's annual conference.
- California Bill Sets Sights on Curbing Campus Sexual Assaults - California is poised to become the first state to require all colleges that receive state funds to strengthen their policies on sexual assault by mandating that students give active consent to one another before all sexual activity, either by saying "yes" to a spoken query or by signaling assent in a nonverbal way. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the measure passed by the California Legislature, the new standards would apply both to public universities in the state - many of which have already adopted such rules - and to the many private colleges where students receive state grants.
- Tennis legend shares fight for inclusion, equality - Andrea Mitchell sits down with tennis legend Billie Jean King to talk about her history for fighting for equality and inclusion in the professional sports world.
- 18 Questions to Ask About Your School's Sexual Assault Policy - Colleges have a sexual assault problem. Here's how to tell if your school is dealing with it well. Cosmopolitan.com talked to leading experts on campus sexual assault about what a comprehensive policy looks like, red flags to watch out for, and what you can do to improve the policies on your own campus.
- SUNY crime stats are improving - SUNY's state-operated campuses, which are generally the non-community colleges, are doing a better job of reporting crimes on their campuses, as per the law, but they could still use some improvement, says Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
- Senators call for AF Academy sex assaults review - Two U.S. senators called for an outside investigation of how the Air Force Academy handles sexual assaults, including an allegation that agents were blocked from speaking to football coaches. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota asked the Defense Department inspector general and the civilian U.S. Office of Special Counsel on Wednesday to look into claims by a former Air Force criminal investigator, Staff Sgt. Brandon Enos.
- SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT ASKS FEMALE STUDENTS TO BEND OVER DURING DRESS CODE CHECK - The incident is just the latest installment in a long line of examples of schools telling girls to cover up so they don't distract their male peers. Critics worry that these policies teach girls that it's their responsibility to prevent themselves from being ogled, rather than teaching boys to have the self-control to refrain from objectifying their classmates.
- Inquiry Urged on Air Force Academy's Handling of Sexual Assault Cases - "The military has shown an inability to police themselves over a 20-year period of proclaimed 'zero tolerance' for sexual assaults," Ms. Gillibrand said in a statement. "The military brass is failing at their mission, and Congress must demand accountability."
- SUNY Backs Bill Combating Campus Sexual Assaults - New York's public university system is the first to support a law that would strengthen colleges and universities' assistance for sexual assault victims while establishing strong penalties for non-compliance. SUNY is the largest university system in the U.S. with nearly a half-million students at more than 60 campuses.
- Convicted Steubenville Rapist Playing Football Again - Ma'Lik Richmond, one of two teens convicted in the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, is back on the roster of the Steubenville Big Red football team. Interim Superintendent Melinda Young says part of the current athletic policy states that any student convicted of a felony will be suspended for one calendar year.
- 'What Happens in the Field' - Following a study, scientists call for more attention to sexual harassment and assault prevention at off-campus research sites.
- Coaches in NY schools now mandated reporters of child abuse - School coaches will be added to the list of jobs required to report suspected child abuse to authorities. The law clarifies that coaches who are paid employees of a school district have a duty to report suspected abuse, according to a news release from the governor's office. The state's commissioner of education will create the regulations to implement the training. Coaches have until July 1, 2015, to complete the training.
- How many colleges mishandle sexual assault cases -- and what to do about it - A bipartisan group of senators just introduced legislation in Congress that is aimed at curbing sexual assaults on college campuses. The legislation would force school officials to be more transparent and accountable in dealing with sexual assaults, including requiring better training for on-campus personnel who investigate cases and participate in disciplinary procedures. Schools that fail to comply could face steep fines.
- Campus Sexual Assault Bill Relies on Public Shaming of Colleges - The new bill proposes fines of up to 1 percent of a college's operating budget. If Harvard were found responsible, for example, the university would be on the line for $42 million - a sizable fine, but one that would probably not hurt the university's students. But these far more realistic penalties still require manpower. Without enough staff to evaluate student complaints, many colleges that violate federal law will not be investigated or fined.
- A Race and Gender Scorecard for College Sports - The report by the University of Central Florida institute gave the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its member colleges a slightly better grade on racial diversity in 2013-14 than they received the previous year, but scored them lower on gender equity. Among other statistics, all 11 leaders of the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences were white men, and men represented more than 90 percent of the athletics directors and almost 90 percent of the associate athletics directors in Division I.
- Athlete Twice Accused of Sex Assault Will Play Again - A college basketball player accused of sexual assault at two colleges has found a third team to play for, enrolling on scholarship at Northwest Florida State College. The way colleges handle sexual assaults involving athletes recently came under sharp scrutiny when a report released by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill stated that more than 20 percent of institutions allow their athletics departments to oversee sexual assault cases.
- The Right to Expel - Many were surprised when a Christian college won exemption from Title IX so it could bar a transgender student from housing. Two more Christian colleges have now received exemptions -- giving them the right to subject transgender students to expulsion.
- Clarkson University's Title IX Resource Page
- In the News: High School Sports Participation Reaches Record High... Again - Girls' participation in high school sports also reached a new all-time high in 2012-13, with an additional 15,190 female student-athletes from the year before. A total of 3,222,723 female student-athletes participated in high school sports during the 2012-13 school year, the NFHS found.
- Just to put these numbers in perspective, the number of girls playing today is still one-half million under the number of boys who played sports in 1972, the year Title IX was signed into law! There were 3.7 million boys participating in interscholastic athletics in 1972.
- New Online Guide for Assessing Gender Equity in School Sports
- New GoGirlGo Curriculum Available
- Local Title IX Symposium with Mitzi Witchger, GREAT! and a panel of local experts.
Schools Must Include Students with Disabilities in School Sports - The Department of Education announced new guidance that says students with disabilities must be given the opportunity to participate in traditional school sports. The department says schools must make "reasonable accommodations" for students with disabilities who want to join traditional teams, or create a parallel athletic program for students with disabilities if the necessary adjustments would fundamentally alter a sport or give an advantage to the students with disabilities. Advocates have praised the decision and compared it to Title IX, which is largely credited with expanding athletic opportunities for women.
Five Tips for Title IX Coordinators - Do you work with Title IX issues, or are you interested in learning more about Title IX? Title IX, which was adopted in 1972, is the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. This includes not only athletics, but also harassment and bullying, access to career and technical education programs, and treatment of pregnant and parenting students. Higher Ed Jobs has released a list of best practices for Title IX coordinators, who are charged with ensuring that the law is followed at their schools.
AAUW strongly supports Title IX and opposes any efforts that would weaken its effectiveness or undermine its enforcement. AAUW has many resources to learn more about Title IX, including our Know the Score athletics evaluation and a major report on Title IX released by a AAUW-chaired coalition.
New Online Guide for Assessing Gender Equity in School Sports - The Women's Sports Foundation has posted to their website Step-by-Step: A Practical Guide To Assess and Achieve Gender Equity in School Sports. Title IX's impact on women's athletic participation is one of the country's greatest success stories. It has changed the playing field dramatically for girls and women in sports. However, full equality of opportunity has not been achieved. The Women's Sports Foundation created this guide to help parents, students and coaches understand how to become advocates for change.
AAUW firmly believes that expansion of athletic opportunities for girls and women must continue at both the high school and college levels. AAUW "advocates vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education." Learn more about AAUW's position on Title IX and equity in school athletics. Leave your comments about Title IX on AAUW Dialog, and watch for future Action Network alerts on legislation advocating for increased enforcement of Title IX's protections.
GoGirlGo Curriculum Available - Created by the Women’s Sports Foundation in 2001 to prevent young girls from falling into a sedentary lifestyle, GoGirlGo! offers at-risk girls a fun, interactive program to keep them on the track to success and deter them from the high-risk behaviors that can accompany inactivity including obesity, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, tobacco use, drug use, teenage pregnancy and depression. The GoGirlGo! curriculum is available at no cost through the Women’s Sports Foundation. For more information on GoGirlGo! and to order kits for a classroom or community organization supporting girls, log onto www.GoGirlGo.com or call 800-227-3988.
Back to the Index
Branch Homepage - Public Policy Issues to Watch