SWOSU Conducts Title IX Campaign

“SWOSU Know Your IXs” was the focus of a recent campaign on the Southwestern Oklahoma State University campuses in Weatherford and Sayre.

The campaign, headed by SWOSU Title IX Coordinators David Misak and Cindy Dougherty, was designed to educate and warn all campus members about the rules, policies and laws on campus related to gender discrimination, harassment, violence or unwanted advances.

Weatherford native Krystin Turney, a senior psychology major, made a SWOSU student-produced video that is on You Tube, entitled  “SWOSU Know Your IXs.”  Production, staging, audio and filming was done by Tyler Steinly, senior communications arts major from Weatherford. 

Both Misak and Dougherty said the video is terrific and encourages everyone to watch it.

As part of the campaign, there was a series of story boards on campus on the following topics: Real Men Can Take ‘No’ For An Answer; Without Consent It’s Sexual Assault; You Always Have The Right To Say ‘No; and Stand Up, Speak Out, Be An Active Bystander.

Dougherty led discussion/updates for classes around campus including a seminar on “Women in the Criminal Justice System”  and “Sociology of Deviant and Criminal Behavior,” taught by attorney and SWOSU Professor Dr. Dori Astle. 

In another class, discussions centered on “You Have the Right to Say ‘No’ Even If…” Dougherty said the students were surprised to learn the answer includes but is not limited to:  you’ve been drinking, you’re wearing sexy clothes, you’ve been flirting, you’ve been making out, you said “yes” then changed your mind, you’ve had sex with this person before, and even then you can still say “no.”

Both Dougherty and Misak did presentations about mandates by federal law and SWOSU’s policies that require reporting any and all Title IX infractions. Once reported to any employee or student on campus, they must go to one of the two Title IX officers immediately and confidentially. That notification, verbal or written, launches the required investigation, education and sanctions that go with it, including possibly being fired or expelled. They also gave out other resources from getprogress.org; whitehousegov/1is2many; itsonus.org; and notalone.gov.

All students and employees will be required to take online Title IX training this year in order for SWOSU to continue receiving federal funding next year. That figure for fiscal year 2014 was $26,953,515, according to Executive Vice President Tom Fagan. Most of the funding was for student financial aid and loans.

Dougherty said SWOSU already has a safe campus with good safety education programming, and the additional online education program will add a new layer of attention.