Burke: Title IX is not just about sports, it includes all of us

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Collegian | Trin Bonner

Callum Burke, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

The discussion of Title IX, specifically within a college setting, is not uncommon. It is a topic mentioned in classrooms, lecture halls and even in passing conversations on campus among students. But seldom do those discussions lead beyond the notion of the amendment giving women equal opportunities in sports.

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Although true and a pivotal role in the popularity of Title IX, equal sporting opportunities are not all there is to the amendment that a regular student should be able to comprehend. 

At its core, Title IX prohibits sexual discrimination in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. This does include sports, but beyond athletics, Title IX has provided women immense increases in educational and professional opportunities since coming into legislation in 1972.

In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2016, 42% of women ages 25-64 “held a bachelor’s degree and higher, compared with 11% in 1970.”

Unfortunately, not many people are well versed on what exactly those prohibitions are in terms of sexual discrimination, nor do they know how to file a complaint. I am here to feed you a spoonful of some fresh knowledge for the next time Title IX is mentioned on campus or beyond. 

Sexual discrimination can come in a lot of forms, so buckle up. First, it can be as simple as an establishment denying the admission of a person into an educational or training program strictly on the basis of their sex or even providing unequal educational resources to students of one sex compared to another. This is fairly easy information to grasp if you’re a remotely understanding person, but it doesn’t stop there.

“Altogether, Title IX has been the frontrunner in prohibiting sexual discrimination within an educational setting and provided countless opportunities to those who may have otherwise never been given the chance.” 

Title IX also prohibits the denial of any person in need of aid or service and/or subjecting someone to separate or different rules. It is a sad realization that these ideologies weren’t common knowledge back in the day, but at least we’re showing some progress now as a society.

Now, although most commonly known for its protections for women, Title IX emphasizes the protection of all students from sex-based discrimination. 

What’s even more important than obtaining a somewhat knowledgeable understanding of Title IX — so you can look out for infractions in your everyday life — is knowing how to report a violation and make a claim if you feel discriminatorily violated. It’s not as confusing as you might think. 

At Colorado State University specifically, the impacted party can file a written formal complaint with the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity. The form may be “filed online, via email, by postal mail or in person” at their on-campus office. After that, the hard part is completed, and what’s left is to await the procedures for the investigation to determine the claim. It is a simple procedure for what could be a monumental case — and even an eventual win. 

Altogether, Title IX has been the frontrunner in prohibiting sexual discrimination within an educational setting and provided countless opportunities to those who may have otherwise never been given the chance. 

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As a student, it is important to have a baseline understanding of what Title IX does for you and your fellow peers. Additionally, knowing how to report a violation and not feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by the process is equally as important. Everyone deserves the same opportunity, no matter their sex, and Title IX has paved the way for that change.

Reach Callum Burke at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @burkec0621.