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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Schafer

UAFS Departments discuss Title IX and its effects at "Perspectives on Title IX" event

On Wednesday, representatives from various departments gathered in Campus Center Room 129 to discuss Title IX and its influence on academics and athletics. The event, titled “Perspectives on Title IX," was one of four events hosted by the Title IX office to celebrate 50 years of the laws passage.

The panel featured Head Volleyball Coach Jane Sargent, Associate History Professor Billy Higgins, Director of Athletics Curtis Janz, Computer & Information Sciences Professor Dr. Janet Renwick, Women’s Basketball Player Nya Steward, and UAFS Alum and 5 News Reporter Rachel Williams. The diverse panel offered some unique takes on Title IX and its long history.

“It’s a blessing to me that I get to be here,” Sophomore Guard Nya Steward stated in regard to what Title IX meant to her. “Title IX makes this a place with rules and laws and makes it so that if something I feel isn’t right for us and female athletes, I can go talk to someone and things will get handled”

Title IX was part in the Civil Rights Act that was signed into law on June 23, 1972. Though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, it was not until the passing of Title IX that sex discrimination against people employed at educational institutions became covered in those protections.

“Title IX to me is always going to be about sports. As a college coach, I can give these young ladies the opportunity to help pay for their education, to learn life lessons because that is what sports is all about,” Coach Jane Sargent added.

Since its signing however, it has been the target of criticism, most recently by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and attorney general who spoke out against the proposed expansion of protections to LGBTQ+ students and employees.

"The proposed rules would make it clear that sexual orientation and gender identity are both covered under the non-discrimination laws for our schools," Hutchinson said in a statement. "This would interfere with Arkansas law, it would interfere with common sense, and it would interfere with local control."

Even with this opposition, the panel members spoke very positively about the effects the law has had in each of their own lives. The stories exchanged by the panel obviously resonated with much of the audience.

“The event was very informative and opened my eyes to information I didn’t know about before.” Attendee Braden Tedford reminisced after the event. “I think that it was great to hear the real life experiences from the panel of all ages and how Title IX directly affected them.”

The next event hosted by Title IX will be a open discussion on the book “Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault On Campus.” and will be held on October 7th.


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