NATHAN STEPHANY, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
One of the changes to Title IX this year is the addition of a live hearing with cross-examination — a move that concerns some Wartburg students.
Title IX changed for colleges and universities their sexual misconduct policies. One general fear from critics was that the changes intimidate victims into not coming forward.
“I see it as allowing the college to not take responsibility or action should it occur,” Jessica Sydnes, a fourth-year social work major at Wartburg, said. “Research has identified the ineffectiveness of testimonies of those who are suffering from PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] – which many sexual assaults and rape victims do. Why would someone want to come forward and face their attacker when they could face additional trauma from a trial that is dismissed or being forced to be emotionally vulnerable in front of their abuser?”
“With the previous system, there was some anonymity,” Katelyn Kluever, a second-year music education major at Wartburg, said. “Now, with a live hearing, it is all out in the open for multiple people to hear. I think it is extremely unfair to make the victim of sexual assault face their predator face-to-face. It was hard enough for victims to come forward with the previous system and now, I can’t imagine how traumatizing it would be to stand up at a live hearing and relive the whole moment all over again.”
Some students were worried about the definition of where sexual misconduct occurred to be covered by Title IX.
“There are quite a few students that live off campus,” John Hoehn, a fourth-year music therapy major at Wartburg, said. “This sort of change prevents any justice for survivors that were assaulted at one of these places by a Wartburg student because ‘technically’ it’s not campus. These changes in general appear to make it more difficult for a survivor to step forward in a system that is already biased against them.”
The changes to Title IX were released in a short article in The Juice newsletter at the beginning of the year. New changes were listed in the article and redirected students to a link where the current policy stands.
“As a student, I have not heard anything about any changes to Title IX,” Carly Van Keulen, a fourth-year biology major at Wartburg, said. “It says that RA’s have been briefed, and those in elected positions of the school, but the main student body seems to be in the dark.”
For more information on Wartburg’s Title IX policy, visit wartburg.edu/title-ix/.