Earlier this year, President Joe Biden proposed to expand Title IX protections to be more inclusive and work toward preventing stereotyping on the basis of sex. Regulations would further evaluate student eligibility to join athletic teams and increase schools’ responsibilities of reporting harassment. At Hofstra University, several of Biden’s revisions are already met by current policies, such as having designated lactation spaces.
The Title IX office has “a commitment on the part of our entire community to norms of interpersonal respect ensuring that no individuals are subjected to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking,” said Brittany Rhoden, the Title IX coordinator for student issues who oversees reports on violence and harassment made by students against their peers.
The office’s policies “apply to all regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction,” Rhoden said. The Title IX office also strives for gender equity by holding training to support students along with examining harassment allegations.
Hofstra’s Title IX office works with the “It’s On Us” committee to spread awareness about interpersonal violence Hofstra’s “It’s On Us” committee is composed of both staff and students that work to educate the campus on awareness and prevention of violence based on identity. More members are needed to increase the involvement of those in the campus community. There are currently three administrators and one student on the committee, and 20 students who have expressed interest in joining.
“My hope is that at minimum, 15 students commit to “It’s On Us” so there can be a full student e-board with majority student members,” Rhoden said.
A social was held on October 25 at the Student Center Greenhouse in hopes to expand the group. Some of the programs that were organized by the groups with The Safe Center LI Inc for Domestic Violence Awareness month in October were “Wear Purple Day” and a screening of a short film followed by a discussion that addressed the topic.
The “It’s On Us” committee can help people with “being more comfortable and (with) calling out harassment and assault,” said Lawson Kidd, a sophomore political science major. “I think it’s a really good idea.”
“We hear that, you know, people got picked on in school, and the teachers did nothing. That’s very damaging,” said Lisa Dresner, associate professor of writing studies and rhetoric, who has taught about the LGBTQ+ community. “A sympathetic teacher and a safe classroom can be a place where someone can explore their gender identity or orientation,” Dresner said.