By Ana Berbel, Distribution Manager
As of Jan. 2, Campus Activities Coordinator Kate Billings overtook the position of Title IX Coordinator.
“Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex and gender in education programs, including athletic programs or activities that receive federal funding,” Billings explained. “Under Title IX, schools must ensure that all students have equal access to education, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
She had previously assisted as a Title IX investigator, who helps in resolving cases of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, gender-related violence including stalking and intimate partner violence, and protected class discrimination and harassment involving students, faculty and staff.
“The Title IX Coordinator would be the ‘gatekeeper’ of the incident and then assign it to an investigator to be the ‘fact finder,’” Billings explained. “As a Title IX Investigator, I acted as a neutral party in the investigation and provided a detailed, unbiased report regarding the findings of the investigation to the Coordinator.”
Billings was already busy with campus activities before taking up the Title IX Coordinator position.
“It will definitely be tough,” she said about balancing both positions. “This year we have been able to grow our department with the addition of a Student Activities Graduate Assistant and an Intramurals/Wellness Center Graduate Assistant. They have been able to help with much of the office work and event execution in campus activities. This has given me more time to focus on Title IX.”
“We are definitely looking for partners for educational programs and sessions, so if a club wants to host a speaker with us for campus, or create an educational game, or do events like the Clothesline Project or It’s on Us, they can contact me to get involved,” Billings said.
West Liberty offers a lot of Title IX information on its website. Students can read about myths, reporting procedures, complaint forms and what to do if they encounter a difficult situation. Learning about Title IX “gives students a voice and an ability to work with the university to help create a safe campus culture,” Billings said.
Photo Credit: Ana Berbel