The History of Title IX, the Failure of LSU to implement Title IX, and Practices it can adopt to ensure Student Safety
Title IX is a federal law established in 1972. The civil rights law prohibits the exclusion from participation, denial of benefits, discrimination under different educational programs, and barring federal financial aid to students based on their gender. Sex stereotyping, sexual harassment, sexist attitudes, unfair treatment, and behaviors based on gender also fall under the evils the IX title tries to protect college students from. The Louisiana State University is among the many universities that enact the IX title ((LSU), 2021). Despite its compliance with Title IX, the University has failed to achieve its goal and guarantee safety for its students and staff members on campus. For this reason, many students, especially females, have fallen victim to sexual harassment and discrimination. The sad truth is that these issues have been in the University for decades, yet no substantial change has been experienced over the years. This discussion looks into the history of Title IX in Louisiana State University and how it has failed to combat it.
Title IX, also known as Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, was officially signed into law in 1972 and demanded all universities to comply with its rules. Most programs in Universities apply Title IX in their operations (Williams, 2017). However, athletics seemed to have been impacted the most by Title IX. The court rejected a plea from opposers of the amendment to exclude sports that generated income from Title X coverage. Similar second and third amendments followed in 1975 and 1977, respectively but were both rejected as well. In 1975, Educational institutions were given a timeframe of three years to fulfill and enact the Title IX amendments, which had already been signed into law, and prohibited gender-based discrimination within their institutions. Opponents persisted with the Title IX restriction plea in 1978, which prompted the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare HEW to issue a final draft and interpretation of the Title IX effect on college athletics. The directive contained in the final interpretation required all educational institutions to provide men and women in athletic programs with equal opportunities.
Consequently, the Department of Education was established in 1980. Its civil rights office was entitled to the responsibility to ensure all learning facilities complied with and enforced the Title IX requirements. In 1984, opponents of Title IX emerged victorious in their fight against the signed law. In the lawsuit of Bell against Grove City, the court ruled in favor of the opponents. It stated that Title IX could only affect or cover learning institutions that received federal assistance directly (Wiersma-Mosley & Di Loreto, 2018). This ruling freed athletic programs from the clause applicability. However, the victory of the opponents of the signed law was short-lived after the Civil Rights Restoration Act overrode the Bell vs. Grove City lawsuit ruling. It stated that the applicability of the Title IX requirements covered all the activities and programs in any learning institution that received federal financial support in its course. The court formulated an Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, and all learning institutions under the federal wing were expected to enforce it.
In 1996, all learning institutions under the Federal Finance wings were instructed to submit their annual reports containing intercollegiate athletic programs. This call’s main purpose was to scrutinize these learning institutions and determine whether they adhered to Title IX. Institutions that failed to cater to both genders in their sports programs faced lawsuits emanating from the decision of the supreme court of the US on Gwinnett County Public Schools against Franklin in 1992 (Druckman et al., 2018). The proof of institutions intentionally breaking the Title IX regulations led to Plaintiff being awarded punitive damage. The Title IX compliance stated that all learning institutions under the Federal financial aid umbrella should have an athlete female to male ratio equal to the school female to male ratio. Schools that had not achieved this ratio but showed effort and intention of complying with this law were pardoned. The Title IX law was later changed to Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in 2002, following the death of its coauthor, a US representative, Patsy Takemoto Mink.
The Louisiana State University has failed to implement the right policies for the sake of its students and staff members. Students report new cases of gender-based discrimination in various fields and departments within the institutions, files pile up in the responsible offices, yet little to no action is taken against these treacherous acts. Firstly, the University fails to provide adequate information about all types of crimes prohibited on campus and develop measures to improve student security, as required by the Clergy Act amended under Title IX in 1990 (Williams, 2017). In addition, they are unable to offer victims of sexual assault options to enable them to continue with their studies and achieve their goals. The LSU has not established a strong disciplinary committee or process for offenders and the victims, making it difficult for the victims to cope.
The University has also failed in enacting the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, amended in 2013. It was designed to protect students and staff members from sexual assault. Students on campus still report cases of rape and assault in their dorms and other school premises, while others claim they’ve been asked for sexual favors by their instructors for better grades. Some students are still shy and stigmatized and choose not to gather such information (Druckman et al., 2018). Offenders go to the extent of threatening their victims because they know the school system is not strong enough to track them down and punish them under the law.
Female students have been seen protesting and demanding that female delegates be increased in the leadership council to achieve equality. It means that the University is biased towards male students and offers them more leadership positions. This fact can be quite demoralizing for female students, and they feel inferior on campus. As a matter of fact, the total population of male students is higher than that of females (Wiersma-Mosley & Di Loreto, 2018). It seems quite unfair for the female students because the same learning instructions and materials are provided to all of them, yet more is expected from them to prove that they are just as able. In addition, the school tends to channel most of its funds to boys’ teams in various sports in the sports department. It means that the boys’ team gets to buy uniforms and new equipment to facilitate their games while the girls lag behind. As if that is not enough, boys’ teams are always prioritized for tournaments and championships, unlike the girls’ teams on the same sport. These acts are an indication that the University has failed to combat gender-based discrimination, and it still goes on within the campus.
The Louisiana State University needs to be proactive in counterattacking sex discrimination cases. They should make students know that such behavior is not condoned, and anyone found will be punished according to the law. Safe and Working helplines through which victims can call on emergencies or report their cases should also be developed. Furthermore, it needs to establish solid and effective procedures for handling such cases (Sibanda, 2017). It will ensure that the victims are not subjected to mental torture by reliving their pains through long procedures. These cases should also be held privately to prevent stigmatization and exposure of the victim to more violence. Moreover, the offenders will also be tracked on time and punished accordingly. As a measure, the institution needs to take action immediately after a case of sexual harassment or discrimination is reported to its offices. It will put them in a better position to solve the case within a short period and appropriately ((LSU), 2021). This includes a change of classes, dorms, or any triggering environment for the victim, investigations, and thorough search of offenders. After an experience of violence, the campus should not charge such students an extra fee for any added advantage they have received in their isolation and environment improvement. The school should provide counseling services, tutoring, and other resources free of charge to such students.
Title IX has helped many learning institutions eliminate gender-based discrimination and cases of sexual harassment. It has shed light on how sexual harassment applies to women and men and why students of both genders need to be protected from such evils. The Louisiana State University needs to take Title IX compliance seriously and make the campus safe for all students and staff members. It needs to develop and implement new strategies that are more involving and transparent as a show of desire for change. This move will put things into perspective for the school and enable students to appreciate the school and express themselves freely.
(LSU), L. (2021). Title IX and Sexual Misconduct | LSU Human Resource Management. Lsu.edu. Retrieved 16 November 2021, from https://www.lsu.edu/hrm/policies_and_procedures/Title_IX_item71081.php.
Druckman, J. N., Rothschild, J. E., & Sharrod, E. A. (2018). Gender policy feedback: Perceptions of sex equity, Title IX, and political mobilization among college athletes. Political Research Quarterly, 71(3), 642-653.
Sibanda, P. (2017). Overcoming Gender-Based Discrimination Practices in Education. A Biography of Three Selected Women (Doctoral dissertation, Lupane State University).
Wiersma-Mosley, J. D., & Di Loreto, J. (2018). The role of Title IX coordinators on college and university campuses. Behavioral Sciences, 8(4), 38.
Williams, V. L. (2017). Title IX and Discriminatory School Discipline. Tenn. J. Race Gender & Soc. Just., 6, 67.