As students returned to classes Jan. 11, many noticed a new section discussing Title IX and its implications in professors’ syllabi.
Although Title IX originally began as a movement for gender equality in academic settings, the implications of Title IX have grown. Many Truman State professors now include a section on their syllabus stating students are welcome to speak to them to report any sexual misconduct, and the professor is then required to report information about a potential crime to the University.
Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity, according to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Jamie Ball, institutional compliance officer and Title IX coordinator, says sexual harassment and assault were added to Title IX because it is a gender and discrimination issue. Ball says Title IX is a way to put pressure on college campuses to address and prevent the problem of sexual assault.
“Sexual harassment can take a lot of different forms, and the stakes are high for students. When you are a student in the classroom, you’re looking at your professor for direction, and they have a position of power and authority over you. Every student is wanting to do whatever to get the best grade, and I think when you have the power differential between people, the potential for harassment is there.”
– Jamie Ball, institutional compliance officer and Title IX coordinator
Ball says the reason for including Title IX in syllabi is to protect anyone who might be involved in situations involving sexual assault. Ball says in university communities, one of the important relationships for students is with their professors. She says the Department of Education recognizes that relationship, and because professors are seen as responsible employees under the law, they are required to report any situations of sexual misconduct they are aware of.
Ball says students need to know they can talk to their professors, but there are going to be times when professors have to get involved.
To read more from Ball and a representative from student senate continue on Issuu.