Stanford students launch new Title IX toolkit
January 24, 2019
Story by Jordan Baker
On November 16, the U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed changes to Title IX. Since then, the news has inspired many from around the country to call for more survivor-centered language for the new rules.
We’ve heard from students who are helping their peers write and submit comments together. NCLC spoke with Stanford students Julia Paris, Maia Elizabeth Brockbank, and Krithika Iyer about their recent effort in creating an all-inclusive toolkit for students looking to take action before the new extended deadline of January 30th.
NCLC: What inspired you to create a toolkit for the Title IX notice and comment period?
Krithika Iyer: What started as just wishful thinking of mobilizing all universities across America to mobilize turned into us planning an action plan to increase Notice and Comment submission, which led to the toolkit.
Julia Paris: We all took a class together on Title IX a year ago. So when I wanted to start doing work on Title 9 [in light of the proposed regulations], I reached out to Maia and Krithika who both wanted to get involved as well. The idea of the toolkit specifically came about when we wanted to engage Stanford students on campus and encourage them to submit their thoughts in order to ensure the incorporation actual student opinions and voice.
Maia Elizabeth Brockbank: We realized it was very possible the Department of Education would look at one comment for 30 seconds and not think much about it. The only way to make the comment process effective for students is to have a lot of momentum around it by getting as many people involved as possible and have the comments that people submit be as informed as possible. If we wanted to make this successful, we had to connect with people in our network and outside of it just to make sure that people are doing the very best they can.
NCLC: Why was it important to compile such a large bank of resources for students as opposed to writing a letter on behalf of your institution?
MEB: I don’t think student leaders across the country have time to duplicate efforts so it’s important that we maximize our efforts and make it as efficient as possible. Really the only excuse for people not to write a comment is just their own motivation.
NCLC: What are some of the most interesting resources students can find in this toolkit?
KI: The most helpful resources we have are a file that breaks down exactly what changed and compares the change’s effectiveness to older regulations and examples of legislation passed through our student government.
NCLC: What does it mean for student voice to be included in the notice and comment period?
MEB: We’re the bosses of our of our representatives and it’s our job to give them our feedback. It’s as simple as leaving a five-minute voicemail to your senator. They have to listen to that voicemail. People forget how much impact state and local policies really have on institutions. The ability to influence the state guidelines could have just as much impact when you look at how it actually affects the student body.
NCLC: Do you have any tips for how SGA presidents can make this notice and comment period a campus-wide plan of action?
KI: Given that the comment period ends soon, the most effective course of action would be to create an institution-wide comment and distribute widely to get students to sign the comment. In order to create a comment that reflects the entire
With the recent extension to the public comment period, students still have time to directly weigh in on this critical issue before the Jan 30th deadline. For access to a toolkit about this, contact Julia Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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