Guest Contributor: Ellen Eardley, University of Missouri
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; Title IX Administrator; Cincinnati Law (’03)
Now more than ever, colleges and universities face new challenges addressing campus sexual assault.
Recently, and not without controversy, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been used to address sexual violence – an extreme form of sex discrimination. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has made clear that Title IX requires schools to have policies and procedures for responding to sexual violence. This requires careful attention to the rights and needs of students, faculty, and staff who experience and who are accused of sexual violence.
Some commentators have suggested that OCR has asked higher education to undertake a burdensome, and potentially impossible, balancing act. But rather than a burden, these guidelines present an opportunity to make meaningful shifts in addressing and preventing sexual violence.