MASTERING MONDAY: TITLE IX
“No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” (Title IX 1972 Education Amendments)
Above, is a quote directly taken from Title IX. Through the years, the anti-discrimination act has faced plenty of misconceptions. While often preconceived as a sports-directed act banning discrimination against gender, Title IX is actually far more complex. In an attempt to end discrimination, Title IX extends itself to all categories of college life. From Residence Life and Housing and sexual assault to educational opportunities and extra-curricular activities, Title IX wants to end ignorance and enhance collaboration amongst all members of our campus.
In the video below, Amy Schumer creates a commentary about rape culture in our society. Parodying “Friday Night Lights” Schumer points out how rape and sexual assault isn’t something that just happens. These things are systemic and far from being a problem based on what you wear or who you are. In fact, the entire culture around sexual discrimination is one that is encouraged through normative “male activities.” This video showcases how, those people with perceived power (in this case a coach), should do more to end these issues in society by creating a culture that says rapists are the problem, not the victim. The video ties in ideas about consent and what it covers.
Did you know students at SUNY Oswego have a Bill of Rights under Title IX? Well, they do and it’s both comprehensive and extensive. Within it, students are granted protection from all forms of sexual, dating, and discrimination violence in an attempt to keep all of our students in school, safely. Students should not fear retaliation or coercion from the school both in telling their story and in reporting it to as few members of faculty as possible. Read up on it below and become an empowered student and peer.
Do This: Being a positive and inclusive student.
- Understand that your experiences are not the same as others. A lot of times, students who have not experienced difficulties based on a variety of marginalizing factors fail to understand that others have. By looking outside of your own understandings of daily life, trying to understand how someone may feel because of their identity and the way they feel they have been misinterpreted, misused, or misrepresented is a great first step. Ask questions to gain an understanding for yourself because more inclusion for them does not mean less inclusion for you.
- Be an ally, not a controlling voice. As noted, students everywhere should try to be accepting of other students’ self-perceived and systemic issues. But, students who have not experienced these marginalized groups should be an ally and not control the conversation surrounding the students. For instance, identifying as a cisgender male, does not mean that you can’t be supportive of other identities, but it does mean that you should not actively control the conversation. Be supportive, but don’t be the voice. Stand by their side, but allow them to annunciate their experiences and needs.
- Avoid “statements” on Facebook. We all have that family member or friend who decides Facebook should be an outlet for politics. However, at its base Facebook was meant for open communication in a “friendly” matter. Avoid making statements that might offend or hurt someone and when you do see them, report the user or delete them from your profile.
Written By Riley Ackley, Peer Mentor
Photo Cred: Title IX