Several students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln spent their summer lobbying their Title IX office for more changes to the victim's advocacy system at the college. Recently, they were told that their demands were either being met or could not be met under federal Title IX regulations.
The nature of those demands is a sign that a lot of college students don't understand what Title IX does.
Nebraska Students Disappointed with Title IX Programs
In March and April, 21 students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln wrote letters to the Chancellor of the school, outlining their experiences of sexual misconduct and the Title IX process.
To their dismay, they did not receive a personalized response.
Undeterred, the students formally requested to meet with the head of the school, forming a student organization – Dear UNL – in the process. At the same time, the school's newspaper, The Daily Nebraskan, published a feature article on Title IX at the school. That article, though, failed to engage with the big picture of Title IX law and ignored most of the problems associated with it.
As the Chancellor pointed out in a letter to the editor of The Daily Nebraskan a week later, both the feature article and the student organization didn't seem to understand the Title IX system and what it was there to do.
The Chancellor's letter only led to further demands by Dear UNL to meet with him to discuss Title IX changes at the school. That meeting happened over the summer, on June 10.
Two months later, on August 15, the Chancellor responded to the group's demands: The Title IX office was either already doing what they wanted, or could not do it due to Title IX's regulations.
Disappointed with the response, the group vented at a Board of Regents meeting the next day and has vowed to continue to fight for change.
Students' Demands are Vague and Miss the Point
The details of the students' demands are difficult to pin down, even though they are outlined on the student organization's website.
What is clear, though, is that the students want the school to cater much more to the emotional trauma that victims of sexual assault go through. What is also clear is that Dear UNL does not understand that there are two sides to the Title IX system: The side that supports victims and the side that prosecutes wrongdoing.
The emotional support that Dear UNL is demanding from their college only belongs to one of those sides. If victim support and empowerment trickles into Title IX's enforcement front, people who have been accused of sexual misconduct are going to have an even more difficult time being heard.
Joseph D. Lento: Title IX Defense and Advisor
Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer and a national advisor. With his help, you can fight against a groundless accusation that you committed an act of sexual misconduct on a college campus. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686 for the legal help you need.