In November, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, introduced the changes to the federal civil-rights law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools and other programs that receive federal funding.
DeVos said said the changes would make the process more fair for students accused and their schools.
- Eliminating schools’ responsibility to respond to off-campus incidents
- Requiring a higher burden of proof
- Conducting mediations
- Allowing cross-examination by Title IX advisors
Under the new provisions, schools would only be required to respond if an official report of an incident was made or if multiple complaints concerning the same person were made to an official with authority to respond.
If approved, this would be a change from the Obama-era regulations stating schools could be found in violation of Title IX for not responding to sexual misconduct allegations if they knew, or reasonably should have known, about them, according to NPR.
TCU Title IX Coordinator Darron Turner said his office is concerned with some of the proposed changes, but that they are “working with the ICUT (Independent College University of Texas)” and other professional organizations.
The proposed rule change can be found in the Federal Register and the public has until January 28, 2019 to provide feedback.
The U.S. Young Women’s Christian Association has already voiced its dislike of the new policies and blamed DeVos for potentially depriving students of “the support, resources & care they deserve.”
“Already vulnerable youth are at highest risk of being sexually harassed or abused at school…[DeVos’ proposed policy changes] could have an outsized impact on these marginalized students, & diminish access to the support, resources & care they deserve.” https://t.co/wcxgnQGPJZ
— YWCA USA (@YWCAUSA) November 28, 2018
TCU Student Body President, Abbey Widick, met with TCU general counsel, Lee Tyner, Friday to discuss the changes and TCU is working on an official response to the issue.
Widick said she wants to find a way for the Student Government Association to be involved with Title IX policy going forward.
Responses can be made at regulations.gov.