Everyone wants a safe, secure and respectful place to go to school and work. The folks leading the Title IX awareness campaign are working to ensure that campus community members are fully informed about their responsibilities under the federal law.
If you haven’t yet seen their green “Respect Expected” posters or T-shirts, you soon will.
“We want to provide our campuses with information about Title IX and serve as a resource for people who have a Title IX concern,” said Nelie Viveiros, the university’s Title IX coordinator. “We’re here to help.”
Title IX was established in 1972 in the U.S. Education Amendments. Initially outlawing sexual discrimination in federally-funded educational institutions, it now also requires public universities to eliminate, remedy the harm and prevent cases of sexual misconduct. Viveiros and Will Dewese, deputy Title IX coordinator, are holding informational sessions with students, faculty and staff across campus. They are passing out “Respect Expected” tattoos, T-shirts, stickers, table tents and posters. There is a social media campaign as well as a YouTube video about the campaign. You can watch it here.
In addition to the outreach sessions, Viveiros said the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Title IX website is an excellent resource to get information about the university’s commitment to maintaining a positive learning, working and living environment. The site offers a wealth of information about the Title IX policy as well as links to campus resources and ways to report a concern about possible violations of the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
‘Civil rights matter’
“Our thought behind the ‘Respect Expected’ logo is that Title IX is all about respect in the campus community,” Dewese said. “It’s a civil rights matter. Gender equity and protection from sexual misconduct are part of your civil rights.”
In addition to the ‘report a concern’ link on the website, anyone can report a compliance issue to the Title IX office by phone, email, in-person visit or a third-party individual, Viveiros said. All reports are referred to a trained Title IX expert.
“There are all kinds of ways to report incidents of concern,” she said. “Our overall mission is to stop, prevent, eliminate and remedy incidents of sexual misconduct.”
Because all of us have a part to play in stopping sexual misconduct — an umbrella term that includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, stalking and domestic violence — the awareness campaign is having students, faculty and staff pledge to become a “Title IX Ally.” An Ally is anyone who has received the Title IX training and is sufficiently in-the-know to educate others about the policy.
‘Crowd-sourcing our outreach’
“We’re essentially crowd-sourcing our outreach,” Dewese said. “It’s a way to help spread the word about what is expected.”
Students can now complete a module that teaches them about their rights under Title IX, specific safety methods and best ways to report sexual misconduct. Students will be enrolled through the Canvas platform. Faculty and staff take similar online training, through Skillsoft.
“Students, faculty and staff spend a lot of time on campus, so we need to make our climate as safe as possible for everyone,” Viveiros said. “With this training, we will see more positive resolutions.”