By Claire Matthews-Lingen
Jade Aguilar (Vice President for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Associate Professor of Sociology) spoke at the Jan. 25 ASWU meeting about the regulations and implementations of Title IX on campus.
She also spent some time speaking with ASWU senators about furthering equity and outreach within ASWU itself. Aguilar has stepped into the role of Title IX coordinator on campus, and she wanted to stress that she authentically cares about the role and understands its deep importance. She said, “I will say we have good practices at Willamette.”
That being said these processes were put in place by Willamette, but the individual processes are not federally mandated. There can be a conversation about the effectiveness of the investigative work, but specific cases can not be discussed with students. A concern Aguilar brought to the table was that if the view goes out that the administration protects sexual assaulters, it discourages reports.
“A chilling climate on campus discourages folks who are dealing with assault to come forward,” Aguilar said.
But Aguilar assured the present students that the Threat Assessment Team goes through a full investigative procedure for every case, and she sees justice in this system. She made another point, saying, “I want to assure you that no one on the Title IX team is acting to protect the university’s reputation.” More reports can be a good sign; sexual assault is always present and reports bring the violence forward and allow it to be addressed.
Aguilar offered a resource in Andrea Hugmeyer (confidential advocate). If you have been assaulted going to Andrea is a good way to start the conversation or begin the process of reporting. Keep an eye out for emails about Convocation on Title IX (Feb. 8) and a general forum with campus staff involved in the investigative process.