Student awareness on access and Title IX resources




Ruiz, Rosie


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Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) are required to address reports of sexual violence, which has received increased examination, especially since the Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on April 4, 2011 (Department of Education, 2017). The DCL provides the IHE with guidelines on how to remedy sexual misconduct on campuses, a forum for students to report incidents of sexual misconduct, prevent future occurrences, and provide educational programming that addresses sexual violence (Department of Education, 2017). It is vital for IHE to stop, prevent, and remedy reports of sexual misconduct by ensuring students know how to report since close to 80% of sexual misconduct incidents go unreported to police (Department of Justice, 2014). Under the theoretical framework of Social Constructivist theory, this qualitative single-bounded case study used interviews, demographic profiles, and other related documentation. A total of five freshmen female participants were part of this study. Three themes emerged from the findings. The first theme, Lack of an Understanding of Role and Responsibilities of Title IX Office, with three subthemes: Lack of Awareness and Communication, Reaching Out to Other Campus Offices, and Not Utilizing Campus Title IX Resources. The second theme, Reluctance to Report Instance of Sexual Violence, includes three subthemes: Lack of Awareness of the Identity and Role of the Title IX Coordinator, Dynamics of Mistrust, and Stereotypes Associated with Reporting. The third theme, Vary Mediums in How Students Receive Information Regarding Title IX Resources, also includes three subthemes: Utilize Social Media Platforms, Weekly Distribution of Information, and Immediate Communication Upon Admission. The study found that participants lack an understanding of the role and obligations of the Title IX Office as there was an absence of awareness and perceived communication on Title IX information. The study also found the participants in this study had limited information and knowledge on the types of resources that can be provided by the Title IX office and the various resources that can assist with academic retention and success. Furthermore, the participants in the study did not fully understand the role nor the identity of the Title IX Coordinator for the campus. This outcome is impactful since Fowler (2013) highlights policies need to safeguard that student realize their rights and how to address situations that may impact their educational learning environment. Participants noted that the university needed to utilize various social media platforms to establish a clear line of communications with students. Utilizing social media to convey messages about Title IX arguably is now a component of how college students interact within their college environment (their social setting) to allow learning to occur (Burkholder & Pelaez, 2000).



educational leadership, student awareness, title ix



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