5 facts you should know about Title IX (and your rights!)

It’s hard to believe that not long ago, women were banned from most collegiate sport teams and that certain science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs were offered only to men. Today, thanks to Title IX, federally-funded educational institutions cannot discriminate against individuals based on their sex or gender identity.  

Forty-six years after its signing, Title IX continues to make an impact on college campuses across the nation.

To celebrate the anniversary of the law, the Office of Student Affairs hosted a birthday bash complete with cupcakes at the Graham Center Pit. Students along with the rest of the university community were invited to learn more about the progress made possible by the legislation that guarantees equal opportunity in education at FIU.

“Although there is much to celebrate with Title IX, we need to commit ourselves to continue to promote access and equity for all,” said Tony Delgado, interim Dean of Students.

Here are five facts everyone should know about Title IX. Plus, what you can do to help.

1. What is Title IX?

Title IX guarantees students have the right to learn in a healthy environment, free from all forms of discrimination—including sexual harassment and assault.

 Title IX states that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

2. Why is Title IX important?

Title IX protects your civil rights. Not only does it ensure all students have equal educational opportunities, but it also holds universities accountable.

Schools are legally required to have established procedures for handling complaints of gender-based discrimination and sexual assault so that students can continue their educations free from harassment, discrimination and violence. Failure to do so, can strip the institution of its federal funding.

3. Does Title IX protect only women?

No. Title IX applies to all students regardless of their sexual orientation. Title IX also protects faculty, graduate students, staff and visitors.

4. What kind of support is available for victims of sexual discrimination?

Whether victims decide to report to law enforcement or not, schools are required to provide them with resources.

At FIU, counselors from CAPS Victim Empowerment Program offer free confidential assistance to anyone in the FIU community affected by sexual discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence. They are available 24 hours a day (305-348-2277) to provide emotional support, resources, and even accompany victims to the hospital, police, court or other appointments if desired.

Victims can also request to change their classes, rearrange their dorm housing and change their work schedules to avoid seeing their alleged abuser.

5. How do I file a Title IX complaint at FIU?

FIU has Title IX coordinators ready to assist victims of sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment.

For reports or inquiries of gender inequity or gender-based misconduct concerning faculty, staff, outside contractors, visitors or vendors, contact:

Shirlyon McWhorter

Title IX Coordinator

Director, Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity

PC 321 Phone: (305) 348-1509

Email: eopd@fiu.edu


For reports or inquiries of gender inequity or gender-based misconduct concerning students, contact:

Kristen Kawczynski

Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Director, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

GC 311A Phone: (305) 348-3939

Email: Kristin.kawczynski@fiu.edu


For reports or inquiries of gender inequity or gender-based misconduct involving athletics, contact:

Julie Berg

Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Senior Associate Athletic Director

USCBA 202A Phone: (305) 348-2352

Email: Julie.berg-Mc_Graw@fiu.edu


Help keep FIU free from sexual discrimination

Student safety is the university’s top priority, which is why FIU is committed to being proactive to prevent and stop sexual violence on its campuses.

“Title IX has helped us understand that sexual harassment and sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination,” said Delgado. “This past year in particular, the Me Too movement has reminded us that sexual violence is an international issue that has long been kept quiet but no more.”

Through its partnership with It’s On Us, a national campaign aimed at ending sexual assault on colleges nationwide, FIU offers a multitude of resources to help educate the university community and to empower individuals to be active bystanders.

Ensuring everyone’s rights are protected under Title IX is an ongoing collaborate effort of FIU students, staff and faculty—to act and speak out against sexual violence.

“Let’s continue the hard work to transform ourselves and our culture because it’s on all of us,” said Delgado.

To learn more about the resources available for survivors, and how to help someone who has been sexually assaulted, visit the Office of Student Affairs.