By Zachary Wright
Title IX has been a complicated but unique subject for universities to address. First issued under the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX originally address sex discrimination in education. Since then, the scope of what is covered has broadened.
Charity Seaborn, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said “it’s become how universities respond to sexual misconduct.”
Seaborn said that Roosevelt University has a sexual misconduct policy that incoming students learn during orientation, as well as it being taught in ACP 101.
Sexual misconduct includes stalking, sexual assault, harassment, rape and other any unwanted acts fall in this category. Title IX is not a static law. As time goes on, federal government continues to make changes.
Recently under the Forbidding Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, confidential advisers have been placed in Roosevelt, along with all schools nationwide.
“One thing to note is that all employees are responsible employees,” says Seaborn. “What that means is that they have a duty to report any instance of sexual misconduct to the office of Title IX compliance with the exception of our counselling center and our confidential advisers,” Seaborn said.
LaDonna Long, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, said “What Roosevelt wanted to do is give an outlet to anyone who had questions or talk to someone confidentially.”
Confidential advisers have no obligation to report to the Title IX coordinator, a position currently being fulfilled by Sharron Evans. Title IX also protects victims of sexual misconduct from potential retaliation, a big reason on why many victims do not report these instances.
“It’s just really a way to be anonymous and confidential but still potentially get the help you need without having the information go to [the] Title IX [coordinator].” Long said.
“Those confidential advisers had to go through 40 hours of trauma informed training,” says Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Sharron Evans. Essentially, to be an adviser, one must take training specifically geared towards the trauma of sexual misconduct.
“It’s very much so an advocate role,” continues Evans. This means it is a role that the advisers, Audrey Guy and LaDonna Long, volunteered for.
How misconduct cases are investigated depends upon the victim and perpetrator. “Let’s say that the accused is apart of our community, then in addition to providing resources to the potential victim, there is an investigation that takes place” says Evans.
“It’s a very thorough investigation because we need to hold that person accountable if there truly was any kind of sexual misconduct,” says Evans.
Long urges victims of sexual misconduct to seek the help they need by reporting to the advisers or to the counselling center. Long or Guy can be reached at (312) 244 0577 or (312) 244 0426. These numbers can be reached through text or call.