The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Title IX expands its reach with online orientation

%23NotAnymore+is+a+Title+IX+link+accessible+through+myTCC+to+a+video+on+sexual+harassment+and+assault.
#NotAnymore is a Title IX link accessible through myTCC to a video on sexual harassment and assault.

By Jonathan Rose/reporter

As public awareness about sexual harassment increases, TCC students have options available to them for reporting sexual assault, and campus officials are working to publicize how they can assist.

One option is notifying the campus Title IX office. Often, people think of Title IX when it comes to ensuring equal opportunities for men and women in sports, but the federal education law also addresses sexual offenses in the classroom or workplace for students, faculty and staff.

Title IX protects people from discrimination based on gender in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. This includes a wide range of sexual and gender-based misconduct, like sexual violence, assault and exploitation, domestic and dating violence and stalking and harassment, according to TCC’s website.

This spring, the college introduced an online module to educate more students about its sexual assault policies in compliance with Title IX and a new Texas law, said Kateeka Harris, TCC’s Title IX compliance officer.

House Bill 968, which took effect last June, requires higher education institutions to develop and implement a public awareness campaign to inform its students and employees of the policy.

The module is designed to educate students about sexual assault and harassment and teach them how to report incidents to both campus police and Title IX deputy coordinators located on every campus, Harris said.

“Eventually, the online module will be mandatory for students,” she said.

Right now, officials are trying to increase student awareness about the module on TCC’s Blackboard home page under the link titled #NotAnymore, she said.

In addition to educating students about policies, orientation sessions encourage students to take proactive roles in preventing sexual harassment, said NW Title IX deputy coordinator Leon Minor.

“Students need to be aware of the resources they have to stay safe, such as having the campus police number in their phones,” he said. TCC police can be reached at 817-515-8911.

The sexual assault policy orientations also teach students about the importance of awareness, he said.

In her orientation, TR student Amy Sturgess said she learned that sexual threats are not limited to physical threats.

“I also learned that I can be tracked on my phone,” she said.

The session also taught Sturgess to carry her keys balled up in her hand with the sharp edges sticking out when she’s alone in the parking garage on campus, she said.

TR student Jasman Taylor said she learned that she can go to the campus police if she experiences sexual harassment.

“I know that I can follow the instructions and report sexual harassment,” Taylor said. “The rules I learned in the workshop helped me feel I can be safe on campus if I follow the rules they talked about.”

One in five students experience some form of sexual assault, according to the RTI Center for Justice, Safety and Resilience, which directed a campus sexual assault study funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Ricardo Coronado, associate vice chancellor for human resources and the district’s Title IX coordinator, said TCC makes it easier for students to report sexual assault and misconduct online by going to www.tccd.edu/care.

“Students need to know their names are confidential when they report sexual assault,” Coronado said.

To find out who to report to on each campus and how to reach them, go to the Title IX page under student rights and responsibilities on TCC’s website.

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