The Saint Anselm Crier

Title IX experiences changes, Litz serves as coordinator

Alexa Carpenter, Crier staff

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Following drastic budget cuts made last May, Saint Anselm College let go 13 staff members. Among the individuals laid off was former Title IX coordinator Patricia Schuster, vice president for human resources.

The position of Title IX coordinator regulates affairs concerning gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct within the college.

Most of the positions that were removed were, from the College’s perspective, either deemed unnecessary or unworthy of receiving financing as independent offices due to their presumed dispensability.

However, according to this federal and civil rights law passed in 1972, “Under… Title IX regulations, a recipient [Saint Anselm College, as a place of education and recipient of federal funding] must designate at least one employee to serve as its Title IX coordinator.”

Additionally, according to the Saint Anselm’s Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy statement, “As a Benedictine Catholic institution of higher education, Saint Anselm College strives to create an environment in which the dignity and worth of all individuals are respected.”

The College pledges not to discriminate or harass students or staff members on the basis of their race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, marital status, and finally their national origin. Such information regarding the various statuses and demographics described will in no way influence the college’s activities, admissions, educational programs, or employment policies. This is included in the policy statement mentioned above.

In order to effectively enforce this policy throughout campus, Saint Anselm College faced a difficult decision in finding an adequate replacement for the previous Title IX coordinator, Schuster. Andrew Litz, the Associate Dean of Students, has now stepped up to the plate and taken over the responsibilities set forth by the position, officially serving as the coordinator.

Prior to taking on his role as the Title IX Coordinator, Litz worked closely alongside Schuster for several years as an investigator for cases relating to gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct on campus.

When asked why his position as Title IX coordinator is so vital to the college, Litz replied, “I think it plays an extremely valuable role to our community in terms of the protections afforded to both students and employees because of the sexual misconduct issues brought against either student on student, faculty on student, and other related issues.”

“Most of all complainants that I have engaged with in my previous role as an investigator have been students,” said Litz.

When cases of harassment or misconduct are reported, Litz acts as the first responder who informs his complainants of their options in terms of where to find support following incidents of misconduct, as well as assisting them in the process of filing an official report of the incident or instead opting to mandate a No Contact Order.

Litz is responsible for carrying out the terms ultimately decided upon by a complainant to ensure their safety and peace of mind on campus.

First and foremost, Litz made it clear that his main priority is always to make sure the complainant is in stable condition.

Litz remarked, “The first thing we want to ask is: ‘Are you okay? Are you safe?’ That’s always the priority. The second thing to talk about is: ‘Who do you want to report to and do you want to report?’, and what kinds of resources are available from that point forward.”

In addition to the emotional support provided to students upon reporting incidents of misconduct, students are also given a handout detailing their basic legal rights; options for help and assistance; options regarding accommodations for housing, scheduling, and other requests; as well as information about local services that further assist students on their journey to recovery.

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Title IX experiences changes, Litz serves as coordinator