Greek organizations throughout campus have joined the discussion about Title IX and its importance, and are hoping to make an impact in the Alma community.
“Title IX comes from the ‘Title IX of the Education Amendments’ of 1972. It was passed at that time because there were a lot of issues surrounding sex and gender discrimination,” said Kevin Carmody, Alma’s Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator.
“What Title IX says is that any institution of education–whether that is K-12 or higher education- -that accepts any federal funding of any form, cannot discriminate because of sex.
That includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and also things like stalking, dating and domestic violence,” said Carmody.
There has been active discussion about Title IX, including on our campus. Carmody explained that since 2011, there has been a flurry of attention around the issue, as well as a lot more guidance over what is supposed to happen in specific situations.
Another important topic he discussed is the importance of responding to the word of an incident quickly and effectively to eliminate the incident from happening again, and to remedy the ill effects.
“The remedy comes in when we try and prevent anything from happening again, and what we are doing with Greek Life is very important to help this situation,” said Carmody.
“The [Title IX training with Greek Life] is really based on organizational values, because that roots the issue in something. We wanted to do individual organizations because every chapter is at a different level of understanding of Title IX and sexual assault,” said Panhellenic President, Kaydee Hall (‘18).
Carmody touched on stereotypes within Greek Life and how to stomp them down.
“It is no secret that Greek Life does not always get the best reputation surrounding things such as sexual assault, so we are putting all our cards on the table and asking what needs to be done to change that.”
He continued, “The idea behind the Greek Life training is that we know that the members of sororities and fraternities are leaders here on campus, and they have an incredible opportunity to engage in the culture of the institution. We are really trying to partner with them to talk about these issues.
”The majority of the training with each organization has been strictly conversational.”
Carmody is meeting with each chapter individually to cater the training to their specific needs.
“We start by talking about individual values, then organizational values, and then we move into talking about reputation and how we can better the campus community as Greeks and be leaders on this issue,” said Hall.
Carmody has hope for the training, and for campus leaders such as those in Greek Life.
“My hope is that the conversation does not end with me. My hope is that students carry on with the discussion, and that is our hope with this training with the Greek organizations.”
So we start by talking about individual values, then organizational values, and then we move into talking about reputation and how we can better the campus community as Greeks and be leaders on this issue.