By Allison Vernace and Denise Cunningham
As Hofstra’s Title IX Officers, we wanted to respond to the Op Ed submission, “Still a long way to go for Title IX at Hofstra” published on Sept. 18, 2018, regarding our policies, as well as relay some new initiatives and changes based on student feedback. Hofstra’s Title IX policies provide students and employees with resources both on and off campus, as well as options for pursuing a complaint, both formally and informally.
In addition to the resources provided by both our offices, annual training is provided to all employees on campus who have a role in the Title IX process. Training is not only provided internally on campus, but also through professional organizations and consultants, including trainings run by New York State. Our goal is always to improve our on-campus education both to students and employees. Feedback from both students and employees on trainings is highly encouraged.
One new initiative starting this year is the Title IX Advocacy Board, developed by students, with the intention of providing new ideas on trainings, policies and ways to improve communication.The goal of the board is to work closely with both our offices and for the students on the board to provide feedback that can be incorporated into our work. One change that has already been implemented based on student response is the extension of the encouraged reporting time frame from six months to one year as updated in the Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct.
All colleges and universities are held accountable to New York State Education Law, Article 129-B. Each year we submit information to the state and are fully in compliance with the regulations. Beyond compliance, Hofstra is fully committed providing a best-practices based approach to education and response.
Our shared goal is to create a safe, welcoming campus community for all. Student and employee feedback is vital in that process and is already starting to create great change as seen in our recently expanded reporting time frame. For ideas on how we may better communicate our policies, education and resources, please reach out to StudentTitleIX@hofstra.edu. Additionally, further information can be found on the Title IX website at https://hofstra.edu/titleix.
Allison Vernace is the Title IX officer for student issues.
Denise Cunningham is the Title IX officer for employee matters.