acpa position on Title IX and Sexual Harassment and Assault on the College Campus
As an association dedicated to inclusiveness and human dignity, ACPA College Student Educators-International supports the many calls for action regarding Title IX’s ability to continue effectively protecting victims and survivors of sexual assault. Protections were rolled back under the Trump administration, resulting in structural barriers for victims and survivors when coming forward with their stories.
While new regulations regarding Title IX were announced by the Department of Education, we remain steadfast in our position that our primary focus remain on ensuring fairness for all students in the process, for responding to and handling sexual assault cases, and for responding with care and concern to the needs of the victims. We know that sexual assault remains a significant issue on our campuses.
While we are disappointed that the Department of Education did not heed the advice and suggestions from the various Higher Education associations, this does not change our focus to protect our students. As representatives of student affairs leaders and college student educators, ACPA stands with the community of advocates for victims and survivors of sexual violence, and we strongly encourage continued institutional support for the rights and human dignity of students.
We understand that there is a lot of anxiety about the technical aspects of hearings, cross-examinations, and the process; however, it does not hinder our ability to be effective stewards in addressing and resolving these concerns.
We are also aware that the new regulations affect our member institutions in distinct ways. It is imperative that institutions ensure that their policies and procedures reflect their own values while abiding with the technical requirements that are now required.
This is not the first time that higher education has faced governmental regulations that make our work more difficult, but we need to ensure that our focus remains on the students we serve and how we can ensure that students feel comfortable in reporting sexual assault, that they can receive the support that they need, and that processes are fair and objective in holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
As the new administration begins their work, we remain committed to continuing to advocate for the priorities outlined above.