Title IX enters new semester with new director, office encourages App State students to seek resources

The+Office+of+Title+IX+Compliance+lies+in+the+bottom+floor+of+IG+Greer+Hall%2C+where+they+work+to+uphold+Title+IX+of+the+Education+Amendments+of+1972.+This+prohibits+discrimination+on+the+basis+of+sex+in+any+federally+funded+education+program+or+activity.

Brendan Hoekstra

The Office of Title IX Compliance lies in the bottom floor of IG Greer Hall, where they work to uphold Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

Abi Pepin, Senior Reporter

After 16 years in law enforcement, a retired police officer is on a mission to spread awareness about what his office at App State does for students.

Jeff Lamoureux, the director of App State’s Title IX office, said he has noticed that students and community members are unaware of their rights and the opportunities his office can provide.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination for all educational institutions that receive federal funding.

Under App State’s policy, “sex-based” includes sex stereotypes, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or parenting status.

Jeff Lamoureaux, director of the university’s Title IX office, said he wants students and the community to know their rights and opportunities the office provides. (Courtesy of the Office of Title IX Compliance)

Activities prohibited under this federal law include, but are not limited to: sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment and coercion.  

“Not everybody knows what we do,” Lamoureaux said. “Whether you want to file a report or not, we can still provide support.”

If a student or employee has experienced sex-based discrimination, there are several steps they can follow to file a report.

Although students aren’t required to report an incident, Lamoureaux encourages students to reach out to the Title IX office for advice and resources.

Students living on campus can also reach out to their resident assistant for resources.

Shannon Jordan, senior associate director for residence life in University Housing, wrote in an email that it’s protocol for resident assistants to report sex-based misconduct and interpersonal violence to the coordinator on duty. 

The coordinator on duty responds to the situation by offering safety and medical resources and options to “report the situation, transportation to the hospital, protective orders or counseling.”

Our RAs go through a detailed training with the Title IX office during their training in August,” Jordan wrote. “They learn their responsibilities to report sex-based misconduct and interpersonal violence and also learn how to be supportive if they encounter these situations with residents.”

The Title IX office works with Case Management in Student Affairs, to assign a case manager to each student who files a report or has a report filed against them.

Ellen Grulke, interim director for Case Management, works as the Title IX liaison.

Grulke “assists with the implementation of supportive measures related to student safety including incidents involving Title IX/sexual misconduct concerns.”

The case manager offers support and resources to each student involved in the report.

After receiving and reviewing the report, the Title IX office assigns an investigator to the case, who schedules an interview.

Each student associated with the report selects an adviser of their choice. The adviser can be an attorney, victim advocate, a friend or a family member.

Lamoureaux said the process can be stressful and the advisor aids in making the student more comfortable.

The Title IX staff is working to find creative ways to increase awareness through technology, as well as posters throughout campus that will provide additional information.

Lamoureaux said the Title IX office is working to publish their first annual report that will list the number of incidents reported in 2020, the types of incidents reported and what the outcomes were.

“Our office is a resource for individuals that have experienced something and they’re not sure what they want to do,” Lamoureaux said. “We don’t force anybody. We let them know what their options and rights are. We want them to make an informed decision.”

Students or employees can file a report directly on the Title IX website, email [email protected], call 828-262-2144, report to law enforcement or report the incident anonymously.