OurView: Students have opportunity to stop proposed Title IX changes


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Title IX was started in 1972.

A few months ago, we published an OurView expressing our concerns about the proposed Title IX changes that were leaked to the New York Times. The proposed changes sounded harmful to survivors and appeared to give the upper hand to the accused.

Sadly, these proposed changes might end up happening if we don’t take action against it. Said changes include allowing those accused to have a representative directly question the accusers and limiting universities on what they can do about it.

Before the proposed changes, those accused and accuser could direct questions to a university representative. Now, they can both have an advisor, such as an attorney, cross-examine the other person.

Though this is not as damaging as the original proposed changes, these could still be very harmful to survivors.

Betsy DeVos, the current United States Secretary of Education is the main frontrunner behind these changes. She and her team also like to perpetuate the myth that the majority of sexual assault accusations are false, something that has been disproven with the statistic that one in five women will be sexually assaulted.

Obviously, these changes have the potential to be quite harmful to survivors of sexual assault, and will most likely only decrease the already small amount of people who come forward and report their assault.

While Title IX under the Obama administration was not perfect, it was at least a step in the right direction. By rescinding these changes, we are only taking steps backwards instead of forwards.

However, we should not despair as there is still hope. Since these are proposed rules and are not fully in effect, the public has the opportunity to try and stop the rules from going into effect. This is referred to as “the commenting period.”

The public generally has 30 to 60 days to submit their comment. Based on what these comments look like, the Department might be inclined to change these regulations.

If the proposed changes receive an enormous amount of backlash based on the comments, they might be inclined to change the regulations.

However, before you go to make your own comment, there are very specific guidelines to follow if you want them to take your complaint seriously.

The comment has to be clearly organized, have some alternative suggestions, including data as to back up your point and have relevant arguments. It is also suggested that writers err from using inflammatory language and letting their anger show through.

It may seem like a lot of work to protect yourself on your college campus, but in the long run, it’s a necessary step to take in order to help everyone who has been or may be affected by sexual assault.

For more information on how to make a comment and about the proposed changes, It’s On Us will be hosting a Title IX Commenting Party this Wednesday from 6 to 8pm in Mabee Ballroom C.

Commenters can also go to www.handsoffix.org for more information on what the commenting period is and how to submit your comment.

Once you have your comment written, you can fully submit it to www.regulation.gov and let your voice be heard.