Newly proposed Title IX regulations under review by U.S. Department of Education


Lola Claire / Hilltop Views

In the case of an emergency, there is a task center on myHilltop called “Sexual Misconduct / Title IX,” or you can reach the Title IX page at the bottom of St. Edward’s University’s homepage.

The United States Department of Education recently proposed changes to the Title IX regulations. The changes were released for public comment in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX. 

The list of regulations given are not set in stone, but they are currently under consideration by the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of these proposed changes would be to secure the safety and security of women and those in the LGBTQ community. 

The proposed regulations are being put in place so that women, girls and LGBTQ students are all guaranteed protection from discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics and pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. 

There are also regulations under consideration that would keep students who exercise their Title IX rights safe from any kind of retaliation by other students or anyone else, as well as regulations that would make sure schools are maintaining and sharing their nondiscrimination policies with students and faculty. 

Separate rules will also be discussed in reference to rule making for athletics, though these have not been shared yet. 

All of the listed proposed regulations are currently up for public comment, meaning the U.S. Department of Education is looking for the input of those who would be affected by the changes being proposed in order to aid in the decision making process. 

Updates on whether these regulations will be put into effect are expected within the coming months. 

When these changes are codified, they will be different on a national level  compared to the regulations  that will be maintained specifically at St. Edward’s. There is a process by which regulations must become more customized to the university and the mission statement, according to Lisa Kirkpatrick, vice president of student affairs and Title IX coordinator.

“We begin that process by talking about it through new student orientation and new employee orientation,” Kirkpatrick said. “That is done both online at a person’s own pace, as well as in person at these orientation programs. It also starts with educating the community about sexual misconduct.”

Her biggest emphasis was on the fact that it is not enough for the school to be prepared for an incident to occur. According to Kirkpatrick, we should be working together, as a community, to stop sexual violence before it happens, and we cannot wait to care until it is too late. 

“We are a community who not only cares, but is actively involved in changing the climate and holding ourselves accountable and doing everything we can to stop sexual violence before it happens,” she said. 

There are a variety of ways students can get involved on campus. There is a Title IX Advisory Board students can apply to join, or they can get involved with the student organization, It’s On Us. 

In the case of an emergency, there is a task center on myHilltop called “Sexual Misconduct / Title IX,” or you can reach the Title IX page at the bottom of St. Edward’s University’s homepage. 

“Policy is important,” Kirkpatrick said. “What is equally, if not more important, is that as a community, we value and respect each other.”