January is Stalking Awareness Month, so the Title IX office held “Coffee and Consent” on January 16 at Starbucks to offer students a chance to connect with their staff. Title IX and Civil Rights Coordinator, Kevin Carmody, and Student Affairs Assistant, Kaydee Hall (’18), presented students with a chance to talk about stalking and other related issues on campus.
These rights were advocated for by Bernice Sandler, specifically, equality between sexes and the creation of Title IX. She helped pass legislation that affects higher education.
Sandler witnessed the inequality throughout her life, and it continued into her career as a teacher at the University of Maryland. The passage of Title IX effected athletics, financial assistance, and admission into colleges. It also addressed the issues of sexual harassment and assault and offered some protections.
A big motivation behind this event, for Carmody and Hall, was to provide opportunities for the campus to connect with the Title IX and Civil Rights office. They want to reach out to as many students as possible. They recognize that they might not get in other targeted awareness programs for organizations such as Greek life and athletics. “A big focus that I’ve had this year is around transparency,” said Carmody.
Their goal is for people to know it is okay to ask questions regarding stalking or other Title IX and Civil Rights issues. They want people to feel comfortable approaching them with these topics to start the conversation. Having events to encourage this is a start.
“[Stalking] is much more prolific than people understand,” said Carmody. He continued to say that it often goes underreported because it is “romanticized” in pop culture and the definition is not fully understood. This hinders students’ ability to know what to report because they are misinformed about it.
“Making ourselves available for students should be the biggest take away,” says Hall. There are events across campus but Carmody’s office is “always open”. This applies to asking questions regarding any Title IX or Civil Rights issues to reporting an incident.
In the case of needing to report an incident, it can be filed through Carmody in person or online. There are also national resources such as Safe horizon. If it is an immediate emergency, call 911 said Hall.
“The more that we can start to have these conversations, the better it’s going to be,” said Carmody. These events are meant to aid in facilitating the discussion. This topic “breeds its silence” stated Carmody, he explains that the longer students do not talk about this subject, the more it happens around them