Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-10-05

Title IX Lawsuit Avoided at Assumption College

In a victory for women's collegiate athletics, Assumption College, a Catholic four-year liberal arts college in Worchester, Massachusetts, has reinstated both the men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field teams. The college had planned to cut the teams, citing budget concerns, but received a letter from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ) informing them that the cuts would create a violation of Title IX regulations.

According to a TLPJ, Assumption College used the third part of Title IX’s three-part test for compliance. This guideline requires that the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex be met by the current program; TLPJ pointed out that cutting a viable women’s team would indicate a refusal to meet the interests and abilities of the women students and would lead the organization to file suit on behalf of the women’s team. Assumption chose to reinstate all teams rather than face the lawsuit. Track and field participant Amie Nolan told TLPJ, “I’m thrilled that the teams have been reinstated… I am happy and relieved that the school has finally agreed to do the right thing.”

Sue Klein, Education Equity Director at the Feminist Majority Foundation, said that “in this case it was clear that Assumption College’s plan to eliminate two women’s teams would not have been justified by any of the three standards… It is sad that school athletes need to threaten lawsuits to stop their college from backtracking on even limited progress in meeting the standards outlined in the Three-Part Test.”

A recent attempt by the Bush Dept. of Education could weaken the enforcement of the three-part test of Title IX. The Department of Education could alter the criteria for the third part of the test, which is used to measure compliance at two-thirds of colleges and universities, including Assumption College. The new policy interpretation by the Bush Administration would allow interest to be determined through an email survey, rather than by multiple indicators such as interviews with students, coaches, and faculty, and could strongly misrepresent actual levels of women’s interest.

Two recent actions by the US Supreme Court have affirmed Title IX. In March, the court ruled that victims of retaliation for pointing out violations could sue under the 1972 Title IX statute. More recently, the court dismissed a case alleging that Title IX regulations resulted in discriminatory cuts to men’s teams. Since the passage of Title IX, women’s participation in college athletics has risen by 400 percent.

LEARN MORE about the Feminist Majority Foundation’s effort to protect Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs

DONATE to support FMF’s work to save Title IX

Media Resources: Feminist Daily News Wire 3/23/05, 3/29/05, 6/8/05; Trial Lawyers for Public Justice 6/9/05; TLPJ Demand Letter 5/10/05


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges. President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
 
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment. Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .
 
9/11/2014 Missouri Legislators Pass 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Law - Missouri legislators voted late last night to triple the state's current 24-hour waiting period to 72 hours, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Governor Jay Nixon previously vetoed the bill in July, calling it "extreme and disrespectful." Missouri's House voted 117-44 to override the veto, and then the Senate used a procedural move to stop a Democratic filibuster of the bill and vote 23-7 to complete the veto override Wednesday. "The only purpose of a 72-hour waiting period is to attempt to punish, shame, and demean women who have arrived at a personal decision that politicians happen to disagree with," said the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement. . . .