By: Justin Worthing~Staff Writer~
Since its formation over the summer, Xavier’s Title IX office has been working to prevent and raise awareness about sex discrimination and sexual assault on campus.
Title IX Coordinator Kate Lawson and her team have worked to make Xavier a safer and fairer place for students, focusing especially on increasing publicity and founding a stable advocacy network for students on campus.
During her first 150 days, Lawson has spoken to over 1,850 students, including the entire first-year population, in order to increase awareness about her office’s role. According to her observation, Lawson believes the increased publicity is working.
“We’ve seen an increase in reports – not an increase in incidents,” Lawson said. “But that’s one indicator that visibility, information and resources can get the message out to students on how to file a report. (It’s useful to have) that information for students on what to do if something has happened to them or a friend.”
In addition, 97 percent of Xavier’s staff and faculty completed an online training session for what to do if a student approached them with a sexual misconduct-related concern. Of these staff members, 115 received in-person training.
Lawson hopes her efforts so far will help distribute information about Title IX to students before an incident occurs.
“What a lot of campuses struggle with is that people think of Title IX for the first time when something happens, and it’s obviously a stressful time (for everyone involved). The more we can integrate Title IX issues into the fabric of a student’s experience, the better,” Lawson said.
In the upcoming months, the Title IX office hopes to develop a stronger prevention education program through collaboration with the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center as well as strengthen the Title IX committees throughout campus.
By Justin Worthing
In addition, the office plans to host representatives from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on Feb. 12 in the Cintas Center conference rooms.
The OCR promotes equal educational opportunities and works to prevent civil rights abuses and discrimination based on sex (as well as based on age and race) in federally-assisted educational facilities, including college campuses.
For more information on the office or to report an incident, visit the Title IX office in Gallagher Student Center 332, email Kate Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Title IX website at http://www.xavier.edu/titleix/.