Title IX office to host listening session Wednesday night

By Sam Cushing | November 14, 2018 8:54am

The Title IX office will host a Q&A and listening session on Nov. 14. 

The Office of Title IX will host a presentation and open discussion in the basement of Fields and Schoenfeldt Hall at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Students will be able ask questions during the event to the Title IX committee, but also can submit anonymous questions online in advance. 

Much of the conversation will focus on a proposed project to create a confidential advocate program, according to Title IX Coordinator for Education Matthew Rygg.

Seven weeks ago, SASA co-Presidents Emma Covert and Shelby Gavigan shared their hopes to bring an unaffiliated confidential advocate for victims of sexual assault or harassment to the UP campus at an event called “Building Courage UP.” 

This photo is from the event was a follow-up discussion on Sept. 26 to the event "Building Institutional Courage UP." The Title IX committee will also speak at the event tonight.  

by Paula Ortiz Cazaubon / The Beacon

The proposed confidential advocate program is currently being considered by the Title IX committee. Student input on the proposed program voiced during Wednesday night’s discussion will be taken into account as Title IX makes further decisions about the program, Rygg said.

Wednesday’s event will begin with an overview of new Title IX projects, which includes expanding the number of UP faculty and staff who are trained as confidential resources. Speakers will also go over the definition of consent, and the differences between intoxication and incapacitation. The Title IX committee will also present about resources on campus. 

The event will end with an open dialogue about student questions and a discussion about the confidential advocate program, Rygg said.

The proposed program is different than the now-retired SAFE Advocate program. Rygg said the current plan is to provide space on campus for victim advocacy groups, like the Portland YWCA, to come to campus and work with students.

“I think the conversation on Wednesday is exploratory,” Rygg said. “At this point, we’re at the brainstorming stages.”

Sam Cushing is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at cushing20@up.edu.