This year in Utah Rep. Angela Romero (D) and Sen. Todd Weiler (R) passed a bill at the state legislature that extends privacy rules to victims reporting abuse and violence on college campuses. The bill passed through every step of the legislative process unanimously and was signed into law by the Governor.
While these protections don’t yet exist at the federal level, Secretary DeVos has considered going in the opposite direction to dismantle protections for survivors of sexual violence on college campuses as laid out in Title IX.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a 45-year old law created to prohibit sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funding. In 2011, the Obama administration released additional guidelines for Title IX enforcement in a “Dear Colleague Letter” to public universities saying that “Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
Controversial meetings on Title IX
Last week, DeVos met separately with three groups to consider whether or not to roll back the Obama guidance, including advocacy groups and survivors of sexual assault, men’s rights groups and students falsely accused of sexual assault, and university administrators and Title IX coordinators. DeVos came under fire for giving those falsely accused the same amount of meeting time as victims considering that only 2-8% of reported sexual assaults are false. Survivors do not want to see the Obama guidance rolled back. Neither do some administrators, though they would like to see clarification on their responsibilities Title IX.
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask Secretary DeVos not to dismantle Title IX protections for college sexual assault victims. Call on DeVos to continue to listen to the stories and needs of survivors of college sexual assault and create policy that improves prevention, reporting and protections for the people who are overwhelmingly harmed by sexual assault incidences on college campuses. Call (202) 401-1576 or email.
- Call on your Members of Congress to support legislative protections. Ask if you can count on your senators and representative to support S. 856 (Senate) / H.R. 1949 (House), the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to combat campus sexual assault.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. Mia Love (Congressional District 4): (202) 225-3011 (DC) // 801-996-8729 (West Jordan)
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Check here.