California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Sexual Assault: Is Title IX Enough?

    Sexual assault on college campuses happens to roughly one in five female students, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

    Right now one of those victims, Delaney Robinson, is speaking out in an effort to bring herself justice. She was raped by a football player on the University of North Carolina campus seven months ago and only recently has the attacker been arrested. Robinson said in a press conference that the university investigation was โ€œineffectiveโ€ and that she felt she was โ€œbeing treated as a suspectโ€.

    These types of situations are not uncommon on college campuses with administrations putting reputations above its students, and I believe changes need to be made.

    There are things like Title IX which are trying to get justice for the victims of sexual assault on campuses, but this is an uphill battle and weโ€™ve only just started the trek.

    Here at California Lutheran University, we are a Title IX institution. Title IX is a section of the Education amendment which prohibits the discrimination of a person based on their sex.

    According to the Know Your IX website, Title IX also โ€œaddresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence. Sexual violence includes attempted or completed rape or sexual assault, as well as sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner violence.โ€

    Title IX can bring real change when it comes to sexual assault on college campuses but only if it is upheld properly. It requires schools to respond quickly to reports of sexual violence, have faculty properly trained to respond, and have a clear procedure in place for these situations.

    โ€œOur programs do a good job getting to the root of the problem โ€œsaid Jim McHugh, Cal Lutheranโ€™s Title IX coordinator, โ€œThere are two sides to a story and you need to do your due diligence to provide equal opportunity for both sides of the caseโ€.

    Title IX programs also determine situations differently, โ€œour standard of evidence under title IX, which is administrative not legal, is a preponderance of the evidence,โ€ McHugh said.

    This means the administration uses evidence to determine what the most likely situation is and decide based on that situation the outcome of the case. This is the biggest step Title IX takes forward in regard to sexual assault because too many cases, especially for college students, are not prosecuted due to the lack of ability to win the case. If a case is winnable or not shouldnโ€™t be a factor in charging a person with a crime they committed. The victims are students and were in no way looking for this to happen, they deserve justice.

    Faculty on our campus are working hard to prevent these kinds of incidents. Salma Loo, the assistant director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, said,โ€œWe have spent a lot of time making sure that resources are clearly listed for students as well as a fairly detailed outline of the Title IX investigation process. Any of us involved with the Title IX process at this institution would be happy to talk to any student regarding the process and answer any questions they may haveโ€.

    This is a start but, as I said, this is an uphill battle that has only just begun.

    It is wrong to think that just because our campus is smaller or because we live in a low crime area that we are exempt from these problems. Women and men are sexually assaulted on campuses across the country big and small, in high and low crime areas.

    So as individuals we need to be aware of ourselves and others around us. Be helpful and speak out because there is help around us and we have a right to be safe.

    Haley Townes
    Staff Writer