Texas Tech's Title IX coordinator explains new regulations - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas Tech's Title IX coordinator explains new regulations

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

In May, the U.S. Department of Education announced new Title IX federal regulations for colleges across the country to implement by August 14th.

Texas Tech's Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Kimberly Simon said there are 2,033 pages of regulations regarding sexual harassment.

"These regulations give myself and my colleagues the force of law to be able to say, this is what our institution is going to do for any student or faculty or staff member who's experienced any type of sexual violence," Simon said.

Some of the regulations have raised questions, specifically people wondered why it dropped the mandatory reporters guidance for coaches and athletic trainers.

"I think that's a change that has been causing a lot of alarm, but in some states like Texas we have a separate state law that requires every employee to report anyway," Simon explained. "So I think nationally some of the biggest changes, haven't really changed for us locally."

This rule was made to respect the student's privacy and protect how they want to proceed with an allegation.

"The new regulations don't require schools to investigate cases that happen off-campus," Simon said. "It's not required, but schools still can do that, so at Texas Tech we have elected to."

Per the documents, the new regulations also require "live hearings for the allegations in a system that would mirror legal proceedings in criminal cases".

"Most schools were actually doing this before, they just didn't call it cross examination," Simon said. "So it's just a period of question and answer where you talk about the event and everyone involved can ask questions."

Up until now, Simon said schools have been acting under federal guidance when it comes to handling sexual harassment.

"Guidance is exactly what it sounds like, it's not a law and it's not required, so these regulations really give it the force of law, so it's very clear what the expectations are," she said. "Every school across the country has to follow the same set of rules, there's less room for interpretation and all of our student athletes will still have to go through sexual violence training and their coaches will still be mandated reporters."

Simon says her staff is still offering all the same services to keep students safe, but the new laws will help everyone know what to expect from every institution.

The regulations will be implemented before students return to campus this Fall.

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