Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paying it forward

I am usually pleased to see Title IX activism anywhere, and especially so when the activist(s) who files a complaints or makes known a potentially inequitable situation has no vested interest in the situation (besides a general interest in gender equity which everyone should have a vested interest in). But I was really, really pleased to read that Diane Milutinovich, one of the Fresno State plaintiffs, was getting involved in another gender equity case at another institution. Cuesta College in Can Luis Obispo, California dropped its women's tennis team this past summer (yes, we did miss that news) in an effort to cut costs. We know that California state schools are in tough shape but the rationale, that cutting the 8-member team, affected the least amount of students, is, of course, not quite legal if it turns out that the college is not offering equitable athletic opportunities for female students.
Milutinovich filed a complaint with OCR against the school this past weekend after feeling that she was not being heard by administrators at the school when she volunteered to help address the situation. Administrators are scheduled to address the issue at a February board meeting. But now that an OCR complaint has been filed I imagine any potential remedy (should one be necessary) would have to be negotiated with OCR.
Interestingly, when one visits the Cuesta College homepage there is a Title IX Notice link that is displayed fairly prominently. And it takes you here where you can find out how to reach the Title IX coordinator and that college's adherence federal antidiscrimination laws. Not sure if this is a new link, or a newly placed link, or if it is required of all California state schools given their previous issues with gender equity.