Title IX failed my sister, schools failed trying to reform it

It’s heartbreaking to be away and helpless. The only thing I can do is pick up the phone and talk to my sister. The institution that was supposed to protect her has failed. My sister Sophia, a sophomore at Ithaca College, took all the right steps and instead was taken down a humiliating and haphazard path that helped no one but the students who hurt her.

While working as an orientation manager in August 2021, she was harassed by two male student athletes. What should be an easy process becomes similar to her college, making it seemingly impossible for her to receive justice.

A grueling three-and-a-half-month process that included several people from the Ithaca Title IX office telling her she shouldn’t hold a hearing. During midterm, she received a case, and the only dates she was offered for a hearing were at the end of the semester, during finals week. She received no information throughout the investigation. All her hard work and efforts to make herself heard gave nothing to show and no one believed her.

My sister’s audition was a direct result of the Amendment of Title IX which became law in 2020. It required assaulted students to be cross-examined by defenders for the attackers. It also forces the survivor to be in the same live audience as the abuser. Although I understand Ithaca followed the law, the law needs to be reformed. It would be naïve of me to think that his experience is unique and that it can change overnight, but it takes extra effort to push for change. Do schools not see their students suffer in this process?

Syracuse University is no stranger to Title IX issues. As recently as December 2021, a report revealed that the SU had engaged six rule violations concerning Title IX, the most in the State of New York. SU student union president David Bruen has acknowledged he would like to see reform to include more anonymity in the process. Fall campus protests also called for changes to Title IX.

Title IX has failed my sister, it is failing students nationwide, and will continue to fail students nationwide if there is no reform. The repercussions of her harassment will continue to hurt her and without justice, they will only empower the students who harassed her.


The Daily Orange has contacted Ithaca College’s Title IX office for comment. Although he said he could not comment on specific cases, Linda Koenig, Title IX coordinator at Ithaca College, said, “We work diligently to ensure that each complainant feels empowered to take their decisions, which includes letting a complainant know that if they engage in a formal complaint process, they have the option of opting out of that process if they choose to do so at a later date. Additionally, she commented on the timing of their process in general, and she added, “It’s important to note that we prioritize thoroughness over speed so that we can offer a full review of the evidence that we collect regarding the allegations to the decision. decision makers for the audience. As a result, some cases take less than 60 days, while others may take longer.

Nick Testani, class of 2024 from Syracuse University

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