Here To Help: Title IX
Dec. 11, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney
Story by: Jamol Simon
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Sam Houston State University continues to go above and beyond to ensure student safety with help of the Title IX office. Title IX aids victims of sexual assault or any type of sex or gender discrimination on campus and their services are available to all members of the SHSU community including students, faculty, staff and visitors.
The Title IX staff, located in the Arleigh B. Templeton building, work to ensure individuals are free of discrimination based on their sex or gender. Title IX Coordinator Jeanine Bias Nelson works daily to make sure students have the tools that they need to be successful without having to worry about these issues.
“Title IX is a gender discrimination federal regulation,” Bias Nelson said. “It’s in place to ensure that students feel free of discrimination based on their sex or gender and to make sure they can successfully continue on at school.”
Most people assume Title IX’s services are exclusively for sexual assault cases, but that is a common misconception.
“Our services are not limited to issues with sexual misconduct, but also things like pregnant or parenting students or LGBTQIA+ identifying students,” Bias Nelson said. “All of those things would fall under gender or sex discrimination.”
If members of the SHSU community are ever faced with discrimination, the Title IX offices offer service to assist victims in taking action or continue their roles on campus without further issues.
“If a student were to come in with a concern, then we can provide interim measures,” Bias Nelson said. “For example, if someone was being harassed, as long as they communicate what their needs are, we can send no contact orders, discuss changing to a new resident hall or even extensions on assignments.”
Students who encounter issues are welcome to contact Title IX directly by phone, email or visit the on-campus location, but Title IX also depends on faculty and staff to report anything they know about potential cases that they are privy to around campus.
“Someone can walk in and do a self-report or if they disclose to any faculty or staff member on campus, then they are considered responsible employees and have to report what they know or what they’ve been told to our offices,” Bias Nelson said. “We will then reach out to the person who has been a victim of any sort of misconduct.”
Even if students aren’t sure if Title IX is the correct place to bring their particular issue, they are still encouraged to come so a staff member will help refer them to the correct place.
“If it is harassment that isn’t sexual or something that doesn’t fall into the sex or gender role then we’ll always try to be the liaison to get them the help they need,” Bias Nelson said.
A concern for many people is that Title IX will be invasive and do more than they are asked to, but Bias Nelson assures that the main priority for them is to provide encouragement and a discrimination free campus.
“A misconception is that we are automatically going to go into investigation mode and that isn’t the case,” Bias Nelson said. “Our first job is to make sure that they feel like they’re discrimination free, provide resources and empower them if they do decide to take further action.”
To report an incident or for more information, visit shsu.edu/titleix or email Jeanine Bias Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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