CMU celebrates 50 years of Title IX

University will host events and activities throughout the year

| Author: Ari Harris | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

In 1972, the United States Congress passed Title IX of the Education Acts into law, protecting individuals from discrimination based on sex. The law reads:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

This year, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the law’s passage, Central Michigan University will host a yearlong celebration featuring educational events and activities. 

Mary Martinez, Title IX coordinator and executive director of the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity, said Title IX positively impacts all CMU students, faculty and staff.

“Title IX applies to everyone at CMU – not just our students. It ensures everything from equitable access in athletics, course offerings and student organizations to education and training,” she said.

50 years of Title IX at CMU
Martinez said CMU adopted policies and practices to comply with Title IX right away and has come far in the decades since.

“Some examples of the impact of Title IX at CMU include eliminating on-campus curfews for women only, integrating women into the Marching Chips, and the creation of co-ed residence halls.”

In addition, as part of its commitment to Title IX, CMU became the first public institution in Michigan to adopt a standalone Sexual Misconduct Policy in 2016, she said.

Compliance is an ongoing effort
Martinez said CMU continues to identify opportunities to pursue the spirit of the Title IX law and works diligently to pursue a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community where everyone can thrive.

“This means ensuring that university policy and practices continue to provide equal opportunity and access to educational programs regardless of sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, or transgender status.” 

It also means ensuring that all students, faculty and staff are aware of the resources available to support them.

“There are confidential and non-confidential resources across campus and throughout our community,” she said. “If a member of our community or someone they know has experienced any form of sexual or gender-based misconduct, please reach out.” 

Martinez also strongly encourages every member of the CMU community to participate in OCRIE’s annual online training, which launches this fall.

Celebrate Title IX with CMU Athletics
CMU Athletics, OCRIE and other campus partners have teamed up to develop a yearlong schedule of events and activities to recognize Title IX.

“Title IX has changed so many lives over the past 50 years, including mine. Without this law, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I had to play as a student-athlete and now to be in a leadership role in athletics,” said Amy Folan, Zyzelewski Family Associate Vice President and director of athletics. “At CMU, we are committed to advancing this so that even more lives will be positively impacted in the future.”

CMU Athletics will make the Title IX anniversary the focal point for multiple games and events this year, Folan said.

This will include a social media campaign, on-field recognitions, special events, and conversations with prominent women in CMU Athletics’ history, including current and former coaches Margo Jonker (softball), Sue Guevera (women’s basketball), Marcy Weston (volleyball), and Cristy Freese (field hockey). 

Folan said the celebration will kick off in October with a special Title IX focus during Homecoming activities.

Get involved now
Martinez encourages every member of the CMU community to reflect on the values behind the Title IX law: inclusion, equity and respect. 

“These values are part of CMU’s value system every day, and we can all do our part to model those values in our behavior,” Martinez said. “As a university community dedicated to lifting up and supporting every member, we each carry the responsibility for preventing discrimination, harassment and unequal treatment.”

Martinez said students, faculty and staff can learn more about CMU’s commitment to equity and find links to training and other educational opportunities by visiting the OCRIE webpage.

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