NJIT will be hosting its first ever Title IX Conference in the Campus Center on Thursday, April 13 from 8 AM to 3 PM. The conference is open to students and professionals at NJIT and other colleges.
“This conference begins to ‘break the silence’ and initiates a dialogue on sexual misconduct and sexual assault on college campuses,” says Dean Sharon Morgan, Associate Dean of Students, Title IX Deputy Coordinator and Title IX Student Summit Chairperson.
Studies have found that as many as 84% of female survivors report being sexually assaulted during their first four semesters on campus, and approximately 19% of women will be sexually assaulted while attending college. Despite these alarming statistics, only 12% of college student assault victims and survivors report the incident to police.
Title IX was implemented in the Educational Amendments of 1972 by The Office of Civil Rights, within the United States Department of Education. It states that “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.”
“As students begin to understand their rights under the Title IX law, recognizing, reporting, and preventing Title IX violations will help make college campuses a safer place to learn and live,” adds Dean Morgan.
The Title IX conference features three different tracks: Track 1 allows student leaders to obtain a certificate of Title IX Training Completion, Track 2 is a general track for students who are attending the conference simply to learn more about Title IX, and Track 3 is for higher education professionals only.
The various tracks will allow students of various backgrounds and experiences to come together and learn more about Title IX. “As an international student, this is a topic which tends to be overlooked in many other cultures,” says Ishani Chatterjee, a Graduate Student for the Dean of Students’ office who also has been working with Dean Morgan to prepare for the conference.
Former Supervisory Attorney/Team Leader for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights Rhasheda S. Douglas, Esq. will be the keynote speaker for the conference. Douglas has extensive experience with ensuring Rowan University’s compliance with Title IX and conducting investigations related to harassment, gender-related violence and sexual assault. Currently, Douglas serves as the Director of Minority Student Program at Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey.
Other notable speakers, from NJIT, include Title IX Coordinator Dr. Laura Valente, Director of Campus Life Anthony LaViscount, Director of Residence Life Sean Dowd, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs Holly Stern, Dr. Phyllis Bolling and Dr. Catherine Maranto from NJIT’s Center for Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CCAPS). Workshop topics include LGBTQ, Sexual Violence, Sexual Consent, and Drug Abuse.
“It is my hope that the students and professional staff attending the summit will leave inspired to continue the discussion on their campuses through facilitated discussion groups, workshops and Title IX training sessions,” says Dean Morgan.
For more information on the conference, and to register, visit https://www5.njit.edu/titleix/. The first 100 NJIT students to register will be able to attend the conference for free.