After the U.S. Department of Education had made a decision on the 6. On 14 May, the Commission announced that the disputed new rule in Title IX would remain in force until 14 May. If the new law were to enter into force on August 1, Pitt, along with other universities, asked for more time to implement it.
The goal of the University of Pittsburgh is – and always will be – to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual behavior on our campus and ensure that everyone feels safe, respected and supported as a member of our community, the university said in a statement. However, the new provisions of Title IX require universities, including Pitt, to review our procedures, policies and training before the 14th anniversary of the date of publication of this Title. August.
The controversial new legislation introduces several changes to the procedures of section IX, including live hearings and cross-examinations of victims by the defendant. The new rule is also more restrictive in the definition of sexual harassment which includes any undesirable behaviour that a reasonable person would find so serious, widespread and objectively offensive that it would deny equal access to education.
After the Federal Ministry of Education first proposed a new scheme at the end of 2018, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher expressed concern about the requirements for hearings and cross-examinations in February 2019. Mr Gallagher also expressed concern about changes in the definition of sexual abuse, which, in his view, could confuse students as to whether or not they should speak out.
We believe that the ministry’s regulations, if implemented as now proposed, could have a direct, multiple and therefore negative impact on the university landscape, according to Gallagher at the time.
Mary Roach, a recent graduate political scientist from Pitt and former teacher of violence and Sex Education expressed concern that some people might not even be aware of the new rules, with the Covid 19 pandemic attracting most people’s attention.
I think it’s really interesting that they have now published the rules, because if you don’t really know the whole process, the changes that have been made, then of course no one really wants to know that news, Rocher said. It’s a very difficult time for everyone, so I don’t even know if many people know.
Roche was junior to Pitt when a deadline was set for submitting comments on the proposed changes. Like Mrs Gallagher, she presented a statement to the Federal Ministry of Education in public speeches, highlighting many organisational problems and the political nature of the issue.
I know a lot of people are talking about redefining sexual harassment, and in general I would say sexual misconduct, Roche said. And many survival rights activists say it’s a narrower definition, which I certainly agree with, so it’s scary.
Another important issue mentioned by Roche was the question of cross-examination and the possibility that the survivor and the alleged perpetrator must be in the same room to be questioned. Claire Lapat, an aspiring microbiology student and president of the Pitt Unmuted student group, said she agreed that it was a challenge and that she had several other problems.
Mrs. Lapat stated that she believes that students will feel less at ease if they come to the Title IX office with a new rule.
I think it’s hard enough for someone who’s been through something so terrible he’s played before, Lapat said. Nobody wants a live test… No one wants to be cross-examined, and I think this only discourages students from going to the Title IX office.
Rocher said she was satisfied with the more than 120,000 letters she sent to the federal government during the comment period on the rule, but her doubts about the new rules did not go unnoticed. She was worried that students might not be inclined to use the office of Title IX as a resource, perhaps because of these new rules.
My biggest concern is that Title IX should be a source of income for students at these universities, Mr. Roche said. And I fear that many survivors do not want to move to Title IX because they fear that Title IX will not help them.
Lapat said she shared Roche’s concerns and added that students often prefer to contact the Title IX office rather than the local police, as the office can provide resources that go beyond a specific investigation. The office can provide on-campus and off-campus referrals for medical, counseling or related services; provide training on consent and prevention of sexual violence and assist students in preparing a formal report to the Pitts Police and ensuring contact.
Although the board of Title IX will continue to do these things, according to Lapat this does not change the fact that the students are worried about the changes that the new regime will bring.
They can provide housing and create some kind of space for students to talk to their faculty about what they’re going through, and they can work with the faculty to support them, Lapat said. And if you take that away from the people who experienced it, I think it contradicts everything Title IX stands for.the history, uses, and abuses of title ix,title ix controversy,higher education news,higher education publications,higher ed issues,higher education websites,ihe inside higher ed,title ix history timeline