WGLZ Announcer Kaitlynn Wheeler Discusses Title IX Topics With Kate Billings

On October 16, 2019, WGLZ announcer, Kaitlynn Wheeler, interviewed West Liberty University’s Title IX Coordinator and Director of Student Activities, Kate Billings. This interview focused specifically on Billings role as Title IX Coordinator and to inform West Liberty students on the procedures they can follow if they were to ever be in a dangerous situation.

The basic concept of Title IX is to prohibit sexual discrimination, violence, or misconduct in the educational system. Due to it being a federal law, Kate Billings is required to inform all persons who hold respectable positions on campus. During the interview, Kaitlynn Wheeler informed Billings that she is a resident assistant and therefore had to go through training on Title IX, and wanted to know if other faculty and administration had to experience the same process. Billings answered that they do indeed go through the same training. What happens is that faculty and administration gather in a building on campus known as College Hall, and Billings gives an elaborate power point presentation detailing the protocol and what the campus has to offer to students if they require assistance.

While on the subject of students, Wheeler follows up with a question regarding the process students have to complete if they report a Title IX case. Billings stated that if a student, resident assistant, faculty, or administration reports a situation, an investigation will ensue. The investigation usually involves Billings scheduling a meeting with the victim. Once the victim finishes relaying their side of the story, Billings will then offer special accommodations to he or she. These accommodations range from having a restraining order on the assailant, banning the assailant from entering campus grounds, or switching classes or dormitories. It all depends on the nature of the situation. Billings gave an example along the line of a female student switching classes due to a male sexually harassing her. Billings stated that this is the main purpose of title IX: to ensure the safety of students if they feel their lives are put into danger.

Toward the end of the interview, Wheeler asked Billings about the best way to get into contact with her. Billings stated that getting in touch with her through email is the most efficient way. She also said that if students are trying to track her down, her office is located in the building for Housing and Student Life. If she is not there, then she is usually on campus hosting an activity. Therefore, Kate Billings is almost always available; students do not have to fret about finding her. She is either in her office or on West Liberty grounds. Before the end of interview, Billings shared a few remarks to the students detailing that there is always someone to talk to. No one is alone, help will always be provided when needed.