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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

Bradley University’s Title IX collaborates with the Center for Prevention of Abuse along side Smith and Co Studios for an event centered around Title IX protection. If you are unfamiliar with Title IX, it is a federal law that protects individuals from sex-based discrimination and sexual assault in any educational setting — such as school.

With April being Sexual Assault Awareness month four Seniors at Bradley University, Emily Deischer, Shelby Dean, Kayla Harvey and Peyton Orrico, chose a social issue they could engaged with on a local level for their senior Public Relations Advertising capstone project. They picked Title IX due to the lack of understanding regarding Title IX and what is protected under it.

They conducted their campaign on preexisting research with surveys that were taken by Bradley students over the spring semester. One of their surveys found that 74% of the respondents know someone who has experienced sexual misconduct at Bradley. In a follow up question only 25% said they could confidently file a Title IX report. With the help of two speakers, Jessica Spelman from the Center for Prevention of Abuse and Jocelyn Watkin Bradley’s Title IX coordinator, they taught the audience what they need to know about Title IX.

Jessica Spelman

Jessica Spelman is the legal medical advocacy coordinator at the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria. The Center has been around since 1975 and has a mission to help all people, women, men and children live free from violence and abuse.

They are a multiprogram center. One program is adult protective services which serves adults 18 to 59 with a disability and over 60 without a disability. The domestic violence program serves survivors of domestic violence with safe shelter, case management counseling, safety planning, legal advocacy, and orders of protection and crisis intervention. Their human trafficking program provides service to survivors of human trafficking. Both the sexual assault program and prevention education program provide services for survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault and community violence including play therapy, parenting support and medical advocacy.

The Center has someone for every step of the way as mentioned in Spelman’s speech, someone will meet you at the hospital if you report any form of sexual assault along with supporting you when going to the police station or going to court.

Spelman highlighted that women are at a higher risk of being sexual violence in college, with one in five women and one of 33 men experiencing sexual assault during their college years. The perpetrators are typically trusted individuals and the majority of assaults occurring in residence halls or fraternity/sorority house. At the Center they offer a 24/7 hotline and shelter for anyone who needs to escape a violent situation.

Spelman wrapped up her time by encouraging listeners in the audience to believe survivors and offer them support such as resources like contacting the hotline or connecting with them through there social media, in person or on the website.

Jocelyn Watkins

Watkins shared information on ways Bradley students can get help from Title IX and what they will provide.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits any sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination, prohibiting acts of sexual violence and retaliation against those involved in reporting or resolving violations. As the coordinator, Watkins is in charge of providing overview of federal civil rights law for education settings.

Title IX categories sexual harassment are in two categories, quid pro quo and hostile environment. Quid pro quo is a this for that situation, which is when someone is in the position of power and demanding something in order to get something in return. Hostile environment is the creating of an uncomfortable workplaces with severe and pervasive behavior. In the sexual harassment category it also includes sexual assault, rape, fondling, intimate partner violence, stalking and non-consensual sexual contact.

Along with the requirements of what Title IX is defined as, Bradley University added into their policy prohibiting any sort of non-consensual contact anywhere on a persons body and sexual exportation.

At Bradley University in order to fall into the jurisdiction of Title IX the harasser has to be as a student, faculty or staff member. Then the school also has control of the contact of the harassment meaning it took place on their property or at one of their events. If they don’t fall into the jurisdiction, Watkins says she will find support and resources for the person.

Watkin shared how Title IX at Bradley University will offer support and resource to the affected individuals and handles grievance process for sexual harassment, violent and misconduct. They also offer counseling, no-contact directives, academic adjustments, housing adjustments, work adjustment and escorts to survivors on campus by the Bradley Police Department.

There are three options for addressing harm at Bradley, informal resolution, formal grievance process and not moving forward. The informal resolution is both parties must agree and create a contract on how to move forward and continue with their life. The formal grievance process is when the survivor wants to hold the person accountable by writing a formal complaint, interview both parties and anyone who is involved, has an investigation gather evidence then holds a hearing panel to determine who is responsible. Last category is not moving forward is not a forever decision if the person changes their mind in two years then they can still get support.

My opinion of the event

This event was filled with snacks, prizes, information and mocktails. The audience were engaged by participating in surveys in order to win prizes at the end of the event. The speakers and the hosts were all very friendly and welcoming to anyone willing to come up and talk to them, even though this was about a tough topic the event brought in a community of positivity and support.

I feel like this was one of the best event I have been to on campus and I would recommend anyone to get in contact to learn more information though the Instagram @advocatesforsociety.

Ann McManus

Bradley U '25

Hey!! My name is Ann and I'm a junior journalism major with a minors in creative writing and political science. As you can tell I love to write, but when I'm not, my favorite activities to is reading, crocheting, or catching up on my favorite shows/movies.<3