For our commons campaign, we did a discussion about Title IX. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln defines this as “prohibit discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities in federally funded schools.” it then continues to state that “all students, faculty, and staff at UNL are protected by Title IX (regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, full or part-time status, disability, race or national origin) in all aspects of UNL’s educational programs and activities.”
When we had out discussion, we opened it up to anyone who would like to attend. We ended up with 9 people other than ourselves there. Among the 9 individuals we had several sorority ladies, a gentleman and high schoolers.
What surprised me the most during our discussion was the participation from everyone and also the high schoolers. If I were in their spot, I would not have said a single word out of fear and intimidation. They were very invested in our topic even though they had never heard of Title IX until the day of the discussion. One girl who was a junior in a local high school was enrolled in a women’s and genders study class along with her friend who was a sophomore who attended also.
One gal had told us about how she was surprised she has never heard about this topic and how it wasn’t even mentioned in her handbook for school. She sounded willing to bring it to her school and inform all about the issue and how serious Title IX really is. But she hesitated while stating this. She mentioned how she doesn’t think that her classmates could handle taking this topic seriously and how the administration would halt her from getting too far.
Through the discussion I was surprised how people try and cover Title IX up and make it seem to be not so serious and would rather not bring it up because of how people would react.
We also had some sorority girls with us who brought other opinions. They regularly had speakers and talks about Title IX. This was good to hear since some Greek associations like to drink some. Some of the girls said that if some type of sexual assault does happen a girl might be too scared to tell anyone about it because of what their sisters might think about them or what might happen to their house name.
I personally thought this was concerning having a girl and her attacker in such close proximity and having emotional trauma affecting either party.
Through our decision I learned that Title IX likes to be brushed under the rug and not taken in a serious manner. Having different perspectives through this helped open my eyes up to what really needs help. Starting in high school and continuing through college.