UAA prepares for Title IX compliance review

UAA is preparing for a Title IX compliance review, expected to take place next month. Over the past two years, UAA has increased its efforts to raise awareness among university employees, students and faculty of Title IX. All departments and organizations on campus have undergone mandatory Title IX training over the summer.

To prepare for the compliance review, UAA’s departments will be required to compile all documentation related to Title IX training, as well as all their incident reports of sexual harassment over the past three years. So far, more than 10,500 pages of documentation have been gathered — 5,000 pages related to training and 5,500 pages of reports, according to Associate General Counsel Michael O’brien.

Title IX states, “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.”

Under Title IX, universities are required to be proactive in preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender discrimination and all other issues involving gender and prejudice.

Marva Watson, director of Campus Diversity and Compliance, is the coordinator of UAA’s Title IX compliance efforts. Watson said training remains Title IX strongest tool for raising awareness.

“We want to aggressively continue our Title IX training so that our campus community is fully informed of what their rights and responsibilities are in this area,” Watson said. “Training is still going to remain a very high initiative for us. It’s helping to increase awareness and its fully helping people to understand what is meant by Title IX. How we’re accomplishing our efforts is through training, different preventive programs, our counseling groups are exceptional, and engaging with different student groups around campus.”

Title IX investigator Stephanie Whaley said she is optimistic about the Title IX awareness efforts at UAA.

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“We feel like we’re really ahead in terms of raising awareness about Title IX on campus,” Whaley said. “We’ve been able to use new methods like social to get the message out, so we’re ready to showcase our efforts on campus.”

Title IX Compliance investigators will visit UAA Oct. 8-9.