Welcome to the start of the new academic year. To our students, we are delighted you are here at Colorado State University.
On March 1, I assumed a new position as vice president for a new division: the Division of Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, that reports directly to President Joyce McConnell. (Given the timing, it’s understandable if you didn’t hear about it.)
The new division includes a standalone Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity. By creating this office, and elevating the reporting structure, President McConnell wishes to emphasize the importance of the critical work that supports our students during a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking as well as our commitment to an equitable, fair and impartial complaint process for students and employees.
Diana Prieto is Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX at Colorado State University.
Changes to policies and procedures
What you may have heard about is the issuance of new Title IX regulations by the United States Department of Education that became effective Aug. 14.
Since the new regulations were first announced in May, a very dedicated group of CSU staff from several offices has been working hard to implement the final regulations. We have created a separate Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, a set of procedures, a Discrimination and Harassment Policy. and will be unveiling educational materials, online and in a live session in September, sharing information about Title IX and the changes brought by the new regulations.
Those are the issues covered by the federal regulation known as Title IX – formally Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 – which states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Colorado State is committed to the antidiscrimination mandate under Title IX.
Change can be challenging, and the changes required by the final Title IX regulations are substantial. We will navigate the changes together as a University community with the assistance of great colleagues in many offices in the Division of Student Affairs (Student Resolution Center, Women and Gender Advocacy Center and Student Case Management and Referral Coordination); the Division of Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX; the Office of Policy and Compliance; and the Office of General Counsel.
The number of changes required to be implemented in such a brief period, and the nuances that we have yet to encounter and learn, will mean a journey during which we will continually reevaluate our policy, procedures and practices to ensure we establish the most equitable, fair and impartial complaint process, provide support to students throughout the process, and are compliant with the final Title IX regulations.
Several offices are here on campus to support students through these changes and the Title IX complaint process, including the Victims Assistance Team in the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, CSU Health and Medical Center Counselling Services, Women’s Care Services at the CSU Health Network, Student Case Management and Referral Coordination, and, for employees, the Office of the Ombuds.
To learn more about Title IX, go to the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity and look for our educational offerings in September.
All the offices I have mentioned are here to be a resource to you. Do not hesitate to contact us.
Be safe, stay well and have a fantastic fall semester.