Spring semester is well underway, and Dixie State University officials said they are making sure to maintain full compliance with Title IX.
Title IX, a federally mandated organization, requires universities in the United States receiving federal funding to provide opportunities for all students regardless of gender.
Athletic Director Jason Boothe and Title IX Coordinator Cindy Cole said the school is in full compliance with Title IX regulations, meaning within every department female students have access to the same classes and activities as men.
There are three “prongs” or areas listed within the law under athletics. The department is only required to meet one of these three areas. Prong one says the percentage of female sports participation should match the amount of females enrolled. Prong two requires the school to show recent history of increasing sports opportunities for women, and prong three involves documenting the accommodation of female interest and ability to participate in sports via survey.
Boothe said if the amount of enrolled students at DSU were fifty percent female, then fifty percent of them would need to participate in sports to be compliant with prong one and if the percentage of enrolled females was less than enrolled males, the university would need to conduct surveys to find out if there is interest in having female sports and then provide those sports to be compliant with prong three.
Boothe said: “We are showing continued progress for adding female sports. We are compliant in this prong in that we added women’s tennis and cross country in ’06 and ’07.”
Boothe said that women’s golf, outdoor track and swimming were added between 2011 and 2017 with tentative plans to add indoor track and lacrosse.
Title IX also applies to gay and lesbian men and women so they have the same opportunity to play on a college sports team.
Marcelo Kanosh, a sophomore secondary education major from Cedar City and president of the LGBTSA club said, “[The mandate] makes sure that you’re not going to get discriminated against because of who you are. You’re able to try out for a male team if you’re a female, but you can’t if you’re male because it hasn’t progressed that much—it’s still a liability.”
Kanosh said in regards to transgendered individuals, the team you can try out for depends on the transition an individual is going through. If they are transitioning from male to female they can still try out for the women’s teams and ten years from now it could be possible for Title IX to be available for all transgender individuals.
Athletic compliance is only one part of the whole. There also needs to be academic compliance, and those requirements account for much broader aspects, which Cole is primarily responsible for. She works with other departments to make sure that no part of the law is being overlooked for the benefit of every student attending DSU.
Cole said: “[Students benefit] by receiving equal access to education. Everyone has an opportunity to have equal access to classes, to feel safe on campus, to feel safe in the dorms, [and] to feel safe at activities in school.”
Federally funded colleges and universities need to provide classes and extracurricular opportunities to all students,
regardless of gender. If there are female students who have an interest in a subject, which is primarily of interest to men, the school cannot bar them from taking the course — neither can the faculty — because doing so would be a violation of Title IX.
Cole said equal access includes transgender and LGBT students as well, and the overall goal of Title IX is to ensure gender equity in investigations and equal access to Title IX for both men and women.
Kanosh said Title IX has to be general and provide access based on gender, not individual sexuality.
The Women’s Resource Center is part of ensuring there is equal opportunity for everyone to feel safe and have access to necessary resources, especially when harassment or abuse occurs.
Florence Bacabac, associate professor of professional and technical writing and director of the WRC, said, “The Women’s Resource [Center] is a place that helps fulfill that Title IX [compliance].”
Bacabac said the WRC is not strictly for women, but it is also for men, and the goal of having a resource center like the WRC is to raise the level of equity. She said that men can go to the Dove center and have someone to talk to, or be referred to the Health and Counseling center, and no organization like WRC exists for men as of right now.
The Title IX coordinator, Athletics and the Women’s Resource Center are working on continued compliance with Title IX by making sure there are no discrepancies in all aspects of the law as it is now, so that all students have equal access to education, sports and help when a sexual harassment issue arises and as the law changes, to change with it.