Dear Willamette Community,
The Department of Education has released new Title IX regulations that will go into effect as soon as the fall semester. As the university Title IX coordinator, I want to assure you that Willamette will continue taking every reported incident seriously, offering support and resources to all victims, and ensuring a fair and equitable, trauma-informed process that centers the needs for all students to attain their educational goals.
Across the nation, universities and colleges have been anticipating these changes after the Department of Education released a draft of proposed Title IX regulations in November 2018. At that time, concerns surfaced in our communities about how the proposed changes would impact students and require modifications to a process that we have spent several years creating and fine-tuning under guidance from the Obama administration. Now that the regulations have been finalized, the university’s Title IX Team will spend the next few months reviewing them in comparison to our current practices and seek guidance from state and national experts to ensure our continued compliance.
As a university that accepts federal funding in the form of financial aid, compliance with the new regulations is necessary, or we risk losing our funding. Be assured that our perspective is to view compliance as a foundation for what’s expected. Our intent is to continue applying best practices so that students are supported and our adjudication process remains equitable. The vast majority of the types of complaints we receive at Willamette will continue to be addressed using the same process we currently use.
The secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, has argued that these new regulations are needed in order to bolster protections for students and employees accused of sexual misconduct. Critics of these proposed regulations are concerned that the new guidelines may dissuade the victims of sexual misconduct from coming forward. Please do not let these new rules be a deterrent to reporting sexual misconduct. As in the past, every student complainant still has the option of speaking to our confidential advocates in the Gender Resource & Advocacy Center who will provide support, resources, and information about a variety of options on how to proceed. We understand that sexual misconduct is an issue in every community, and we are committed to being at the forefront of institutions confronting this issue.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Willamette’s Title IX Coordinator, Jade Aguilar, at 503-370-6195 or email@example.com.
VP of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Title IX Coordinator