What Is Title IX?
"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...." 20 U.S. Code § 1681
With those words defining the federal law known as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has come a civil rights effort aimed at leveling the playing field in American education. Passed in 1972, the law not only focuses on protecting equity in athletics, but also on providing access to academic opportunities (especially in the science, engineering, technology and math fields) and resources relating to sexual misconduct.
At East Carolina University, Title IX officers and a variety of programs serve students, faculty and staff--including victims of sexual violence--in need of help. Please explore the resources available to the ECU community by visiting these websites:
Title IX Online: This site explains the law and its implementation at ECU, as well as provides information on resources including those relating to sexual misconduct.
Students having difficulties at college is nothing new. But efforts to spot and help students who go beyond the usual stresses of university life have gained ground in recent years.
ECU Cares is an anonymous way students, staff, faculty members and others can immediately seek help or report concerning behavior. It connects the university community directly with campus resources for a wide variety of support services. The ECU Cares hotline is 252-737-5555 and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"We want to make sure everyone is doing well and being successful," said Travis Lewis, associate dean of students at ECU and one of the leaders of ECU Cares. "The good student who stops coming to class, has disjointed thoughts, is self-medicating, makes references to weapons or harm to self -- these kinds of things are red flags that someone is in distress."
Originally serving as a resource to report a person of concern following the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, in spring 2015, ECU Cares was expanded from a program within the Dean of Students office to a campus-wide initiative. The website -- www.ecu.edu/ECUCares -- was revamped and launched in January and serves as a portal for the university community including a comprehensive list of official ECU reporting options.
Visitors can browse a series of topics from anxiety to bullying and from stress to sexual abuse to find quick access to the program or department where they can get guidance, advice or take action. The ECU Cares website is intended to be the singular place where students, as well as faculty and staff, can seek information and get immediate assistance from campus experts and professionals.
When behavior is reported, if the worry is that the person might be a threat to a member or members of the campus community, the University Behavioral Concerns Team assesses the threat and takes appropriate action. For behavior where no threat is seen but significant concerns exist regarding the individual and his or her well-being, the team will intervene and provide resources and support.
"The entire campus community has a responsibility for reporting concerning behavior and keeping our campus safe," Lewis adds.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, ECU Cares assisted 235 students, Lewis says. "That's 235 students who wouldn't have gotten the help they needed otherwise," he says.
The university continually works to strengthen communication with students, the entire ECU community and our external partners. Safety will always be the highest priority at East Carolina University.