Debate begins on University’s Title IX stance

By Courtney Brown and By Courtney Brown

Undergraduate Student Government met with Dean of Students Christopher Bullins to discuss the University’s approach to changes to Title IX Monday evening.

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos changed Title IX standards of proof requirements for sexual assault last week, and now the University has the power to pick its own proof requirements — as is the case with colleges across the nation.

Bullins said at the USG meeting he did not know how the University was going to go about addressing DeVos’ changes.

“I can tell you that there are a number of us at the institution that will be talking about that very question, because we need to make some of those decisions,” he said. “The good thing is that it’s left to the discretion of a lot of the states and the institutions.”

During President Barack Obama’s administration, colleges only had to review sexual assault cases under a preponderance of evidence model. Now, colleges can choose whether they want to keep that standard or raise it to a stricter standard.

The University will make a decision on that issue soon so that its policy may address current federal standards and student concerns.

Bullins also said the University still has five staffing vacancies that have not been filled: Associate Dean for Campus Activities; Assistant Dean for New Student Orientation; and Coordinators for Student Case Management, Major Events and Fraternity and Sorority Life.

University officials are working on filling the first three jobs, Bullins said.

USG also decided to not yet vote on whether the University should become a tobacco-free campus, despite the fact the topic generated much discussion at previous meetings.