Quinnipiac Adds Women's Teams to Comply with Title IX
In an effort to adhere to Title IX regulations, Quinnipiac University is adding both a women's rugby and golf team, in addition to reinstating their women's volleyball team. Last year, the women's volleyball team was cut and competitive cheer put it in its place due to budget constraints and in order to meet Title IX regulations. The women's volleyball team, with the council of the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged in a lawsuit that the school failed to provide equal opportunity to women athletes to participate in varsity-level sports. District Judge Stefan Underhill agreed that Quinnipiac was not in line with Title IX requirements and gave the university 60 days to map out a plan to keep the team through the season.
The ruling in the case was based on Underhill's determination that cheerleading is not a sport, because "the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students." The school has decided to rename the cheer squad the "stunts and tumbling team" and is applying to have the team recognized as a varsity sport by the NCAA, according to the Associated Press. If the team is recognized by the NCAA prior to the 2011-2012 school year, Quinnipiac plans to revise it's Title IX compliance plan to include the team.
"Quinnipiac University plans to increase its investment in women's athletics in the years ahead," the school's vice president for public affairs, Lynn Bushnell, told the Associated Press.
In addition to cutting the volleyball team, Quinnipiac also allegedly inflated the rosters of women's sports and deflated those for men's sports by counting women who participated in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track three separate times, according to the New Haven Register. The school now plans to have Mark Thompson, Quinnipiac's Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, monitor the team rosters.
The school's proposal to add new teams is currently being reviewed by the American Civil Liberties Union and is waiting to be approved by a judge. ACLU attorney David McGuire told the Associated Press, "the issue is whether the compliance plan provides sufficient genuine varsity participation opportunities for Quinnipiac University's female students. With that question in mind, we will evaluate the proposal and discuss it with our clients."
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 5/12/09, 7/23/10; New York Daily News 7/22/10; Associated Press 8/12/10; New Haven Register 7/22/10