Title IX protects both victims and perpetrators


Maria Echeverry

Image by Maria Echeverry.

Story by Brenna Thompson, News Editor

If Baker students repeatedly plagiarize and are caught in the act, the offense will be indicated on their academic transcript if they transfer to another university. However, if students are expelled for sexual assault, the offense will not be noted on their transcript.

This isn’t to say that Title IX does more harm than good, though, according to Dean of Students Cassy Bailey, who is Baker University’s Title IX coordinator. Title IX still protects both men and women who have been victims of sexual or gender-based crimes.

Bailey said that Title IX policies require schools to investigate cases involving sexual misconduct.

“Prior to them, institutions were sweeping things under the rug,” Bailey said. “Title IX doesn’t allow that to happen.”

However, she said there are still aspects of the Title IX protocols that are not only concerning, but dangerous.

Federal law says that colleges and universities are not responsible or legally allowed to release the names of students who are accused of sexual assault unless they have been identified in official police investigations or court documents. If a victim chooses to report a sexual assault to a campus official but not to the police, for example, a Title IX investigation could find the perpetrator guilty, but there might be no police investigation.

Bailey said that since Baker accepts federal money, the university has to abide by federal laws. Until a person is formally charged or until an investigation has been conducted outside of the university, a school cannot legally release an accused person’s name.

However, Bailey said if the name is released through documents as part of the legal system, “Baker is free to use that name, since it now is public information.”

Students who decide to transfer after being found guilty of a Title IX offense are typically free to do so without any repercussions as long as their name has not been published as part of law-enforcement or court records.

For example, after being expelled from the University of Kansas for an alleged sexual assault that was part of a campus Title IX investigation, a KU football player transferred to Indiana State in order to continue his collegiate football career; however, academic officials at Indiana State were initially not aware of the alleged assault at KU because it was not part of the student-athlete’s official record.

According to Bailey, once students are dismissed, the reason they were expelled will not be included in their record.

“If a school called me and asked why they were dismissed, and I didn’t have the permission of this person … I couldn’t tell them,” Bailey said.

Bailey said professors, athletes or students can often move on to another university after they have been dismissed from a school for assaulting another person.

Although Title IX guidelines are intended to protect men and women who have been victims of sexual or gender-based crimes, they also protect perpetrators by not allowing names to be released without legal identification.

Bailey said this is all is an effort to keep the system fair and balanced. When Title IX laws were first initiated and integrated into universities, it wasn’t always fair or balanced.

“Schools swung heavily to the side of the victim,” Bailey said. “Some of the schools swung so heavily that they were demonizing a person that had been accused without going through the whole process.”

Therefore, until changes are made, Bailey said the accuser and the accused have to be treated equally.

She added that in the past eight years, every Baker student who has been found guilty of sexual misconduct following a Title IX investigation has been dismissed from the university.

As a result of the recent election, Title IX laws are likely to become more concentrated in the criminal justice system. The Republican National Convention platform statement said sexual assault “must be promptly investigated by civil authorities and prosecuted in a courtroom, not a faculty lounge.”