Belmont affirms commitment to students in light of Title IX changes
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Belmont affirms commitment to students in light of Title IX changes

Belmont’s Title IX office reassures students that they will remain committed to students’ safety, in light of recent changes to Title IX regulations.

On May 6, DeVos recently finalized changes to Title IX policies allowing those accused of sexual assault to challenge evidence and to conduct cross-examinations against their accusers. 

The revisions include the removal of the 60-day limit to Title IX investigations, a narrower definition of sexual harassment and the dismissal of complaints that occur off-campus, among other changes.

The changes will take effect August 14.

Belmont Director of Title IX Lauri Chaudoin issued the university’s official response to the new regulations:

“Belmont’s Title IX office is working diligently with multiple departments across campus to assess how the changes in this 2000-page document will affect our campus.”

“Please be assured that Belmont University’s response to these regulations will fully comply with our legal obligations while at the same time honoring the mission, vision and values of the university and maintaining our unwavering commitment to protect what is most precious to us–the health, safety, and well-being of every student at Belmont,” said Chaudoin.

The U.S. Department of Education’s changes are an effort to preserve the rights of those falsely accused of sexual misconduct, according to CNN.

Students like junior Sydney Lofton were concerned upon hearing of the new regulations and how it might affect future Title IX claims at Belmont, she said.

“These changes are a limit to victims coming forward, it would hurt the safety of our campus, and hurt the ability of Title IX to intervene on the half of survivors,” said Lofton.

Lofton began a petition calling for the university to uphold its current higher standard wherever it is legally able.

“We urge Belmont University to commit to​ taking sexual violence seriously by choosing the options that would create the least harm for student survivors,” the petition reads.

The petition has received over 500 signatures in support of the cause. 

Member of the Title IX Student Advisory Board Claire Hennigan wants to reassure students of how much Belmont cares about their safety.

She was recruited by Chaudoin to help put a face to the Title IX office and to ensure student input and concerns were being heard by the administration. 

Hennigan trusts that Chaudoin will do everything she can to champion student’s safety, she said.

“We have someone that is on our side, and she is going to do everything she can,” said Hennigan. 

“We are going to be OK.”

Article written by Kendall Crawford.

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