Spreading the word

Ferris’ Title IX office’s efforts to increase awareness have led to an increase in reports

Ferris’ Title IX office receives more cases by the year, but this is actually a positive outcome of hard work.

Title IX was passed in 1972 as an education amendment. It was intended to prevent sexual harassment and sexual discrimination among universities across the United States.

“In recent years we have seen an increased number of people coming forward to file a complaint or otherwise seek resources and support. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: increased education on campus for students as well as employees, increased societal awareness of sexual misconduct, major cases at other universities, and movements such as Times Up and Me Too,” Title IX coordinator Kaitlin Zies said.

Student awareness has been a key turning point for the agenda Title IX has been trying to push. With more students aware of what Title IX is, as well as how it can impact them, more students are taking advantage of the opportunity and subsequently more cases are being brought forward.

This uptick in numbers nationwide could be easily mistaken as society moving in the wrong direction but many would argue the contrary. More awareness on campus means more people feeling comfortable enough to speak up.

“We increased students awareness of Title IX and sexual misconduct in a variety of settings and ways,” Zies said. “Examples include: sessions in both online and in person orientation; the Consent and Respect online module; Relationships, Respect, and Resources for incoming students; posters around campus; student employee focused trainings; Bringing in the Bystander workshops; and other educational programs and tabling opportunities throughout the year.”

Students are also in support of Title IX and were unbothered by the modules that Ferris State requested but did not require everyone to take.

“I think they are beneficial; they try to give you a quick overview and the whole thing only took a couple of minutes and it gives you some decent scenarios,” Ferris automotive management major Josh Walker said.

The key idea behind Title IX is support for all people in one of the most vulnerable areas in anyone’s life. This is important to all campuses nationwide and many Ferris students agree that it makes the university a safer space. “

Obviously it’s great. Women need to know that there is support behind them in every aspect of going on if they come forward,” Ferris plastic engineering junior Jessica Bacon said.