AUSG shared the following sentiment regarding the Title IX changes announced last week by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos- that AU policies are still intact, will remain intact and will continue to be developed in order to protect all survivors.
The American University Student Government remains committed to eradicating sexual assault and supporting survivors, and will continue to promote effective and trauma-informed sexual assault prevention policies as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos moves forward with plans to alter Title IX enforcement mechanisms.
As Secretary DeVos announced on September 7th, the Department of Education will be making changes to the federal government’s enforcement strategy for Title IX. At the outset of this process, the Department says it will be seeking advice from a wide array of groups in order to craft their proposals.
Our advice for Secretary DeVos is simple: any changes made to Title IX enforcement must empower survivors and promote campus communities where all students have equal access to education.
“Now is not the time to roll back the progress we’ve made on supporting survivors,” said AUSG President Taylor Dumpson. “We refuse to accept changes in Title IX enforcement that will make AU’s campus less safe for students and a process that is less accountable and less fair.”
AUSG will actively seek to influence the Department of Education’s deliberation process as they consider potential changes. We will work alongside students to amplify the voices that must be heard in discussions around sexual assault prevention. We encourage the university administration, which has consistently partnered with us to strengthen our prevention efforts, to do the same.
“Title IX is the law of the land, and the federal government’s obligation to enforce it does not change with who’s in the White House,” said Will Mascaro, director of AUSG’s Center for Advocacy and Student Equity. “As a Student Government, we look forward to making the case for the strongest possible Title IX enforcement strategy directly to Secretary DeVos.”
In the interim it is important for students to know that AU’s policies on sexual assault prevention remain unchanged. The university’s adjudication process for Title IX violations remains unchanged. Any questions about AU’s policies on Title IX enforcement can be directed to the university’s Title IX Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the survivors at American University and at college campuses across our country: we hear you, we believe you, and we will always stand with you.