Title IX Coordinator holds ice cream social and Q&A

Freshman Angela Caraballo and sophomore Isabella Melendez enjoyed ice cream during the event in the Diversity Center.
Photos by Emma Gilshannon

To provide a safe and casual space for students to learn about Title IX and campus advocacy, an ice cream social was held by Title IX Coordinator Kim Jones and Campus Advocate Cathy Kaye at the Diversity Center on Monday, Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m.

“Title IX and campus advocacy can be difficult topics to talk about,” said Kaye, “I feel last night’s event allowed students to come to a safe, welcoming place, have some ice cream, ask questions about Title IX and campus advocacy if they had any, and meet Kim and I on a more personal level”.

As campus advocate, Kaye meets with faculty, staff, and students who have been affected by sexual violence. “My main role is to believe and listen to the [victim/survivor/witness] without judgement,” stated Kaye. Then depending on what the person wants, Kaye helps them decide what action to take – whether that means reporting, safety planning or other available resources.

While not having hosted an ice cream social before, Kaye has started meeting with RLAs to hold conversations about campus advocacy in the residence halls. “From those conversations I’ve learned some students were not aware of campus advocacy, Title IX and/or the resources available to students involved in sexual misconduct on campus.”

Along with campus advocacy to help members of the Lawrence community, Title IX Coordinator Kim Jones also works with those affected by violence, whether it be sexual violence or gender-based violence and discrimination. Jones specifically works with people involved in the process of filing a complaint to make sure that the process is equitable, fair and timely.

Title IX was introduced as a part of Education Amendments of 1972 and is a comprehensive federal law which prevents federally funded educational activities and programs from discriminating on basis of sex. Every educational institution is required to have a Title IX Coordinator as a part of regulations set by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). This coordinator is required to try to create a safe environment for students which is free from sexual harassment or assault.

Employees with any supervisory power, such as RLAs, faculty, administrators and coaches, are required by Title IX to report any sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Besides resources provided by Title IX, the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources & Education (SHARE) committee also provides people who can provide confidential resources. The faculty members who are confidential resources are Associate Professor of Art Ben Rinehart and Associate Professor of Mathematics Scott Corry. The staff who are confidential resources are Director of Wellness and Recreation Erin Buenzli, Assistant to the Dean of the Conservatory Rosie Cannizzo and Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life Amy Uecke.

To get involved with preventing sexual assault, there are several clubs on campus which focus on educating about sexual violence and how it can be prevented. Student Alliance Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (SAASHA) provides bystander intervention training, which also discusses topics such as rape culture and consent. Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault (MARS) focuses on toxic masculinity and how to create a safer campus culture. LU Sexual Health (LUSH) educates on how to have healthy sex and volunteers at Planned Parenthood.