Incoming Freshman, Don’t Count On Title IX If You Are Sexually Assaulted
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"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.” – Title IX (20 U.S.C. § 1681(a).)

In a few short months, students all over the US will begin their freshman year of college. The first six weeks of college is an exciting time full of new friends, freedom and the reality of buying books.

Attending college also brings the reality of sexual assault to the front of many students’ minds.

The beginning of the of a freshman’s first semester is also known as the “red zone.”

“The “red zone” is shorthand for the time at the beginning of the school year when a disproportionate number of campus sexual assaults take place.” – Redden, The Guardian

My freshman year, my university required me to attend bystander intervention class, learn how much “one drink” is and take basic sex ed.

These classes did not prepare me for watching my peers cope with sexual assault.

To their credit, I’m not sure anything would have.

Mandatory coursework and other university programs exist as an attempt to comply with Title IX.

Title IX is a part of American federal civil rights law. Established in 1972, Title IX promises equality among the sexes in education programs that receive federal funding.

Initially, Title IX became famous for equitable funding for female athletics. If you look at programs offered at your high school or university, you will find equitable funding between male and female sports.

It takes a lot of female athletes to make up for the money poured into the football complex.

Between 2011 and 2013 women at Yale, Amherst College and UNC-Chapel Hill filled Title IX complaints.

This was the first time that sexual assault was applied to Title IX.

In the past 7 years, this application of Title IX has shaped college campus’ and them polices.

I used to believe that Title IX existed to protect my peers and I.

I was wrong.

Every university must have a Title IX Coordinator.

That does not mean that person has the funding and ability to execute their work fully.

That does not mean that the people who are investigating the claims are qualified to do so.

Every university employee is REQUIRED to report sexual assault and harassment.

That does not mean that does not mean that universities have more accurate data about the number of assaults on campus.

That does not mean that reporting sexual assault is the best choice for every survivor. Forcing them to do so if they seek help from a university official only protects the university.

Every university will sell incoming freshman on their “safe learning environment.”

That does not mean that they will provide you reasonable accommodation even when the law calls for it.

Not every system is 100% broken.

I love my campus and the amazing people who work to support our students. I am proud to be a Coug.

Our system isn’t perfect. Not even close. I know that it has failed students and will most likely continue to do so.

To all the incoming freshman…

I hope you have the time of your life at college. You deserve to have the safe college experience you were promised.

Cover Image Credit: "The Hunting Ground" | Netflix

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If You Loved The Wrong Person That Much, Imagine How Much You Could Love The Right Person

You fell in love with the wrong person, sweetie. But, it isn't the end of your love story — this is only the beginning.

mrene38
mrene38
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Love.

We all crave, wish, hope, and pray for it.

If you're like me, you've been planning your wedding from a young age. I've always imagined what it would be like when my "Prince Charming" finally waltzed his way into my life. Eventually, he did, or at least I thought he did.

I fell in love with whom I believed was my "Prince Charming," Ross to my Rachel, Augustus Waters to my Hazel Grace, Jim to my Pam. You name it, I believed it. I truly saw myself spending the rest of my life with this man. I loved him with every piece of me. I trusted him with my heart, but he broke all of that. I truly believed he put the stars in the sky.

Sadly, I was wrong. So. Wrong.

I, of course, would have done anything for this man. I was head over heels in love and just wanted to make him happy. I loved him so much. However, after he broke the trust that we had built and decided that he no longer loved me, that all vanished. I was left questioning what I did wrong? What did I do to deserve this? All I did was give you love and shower you with it. I did everything for you.

Then, the answer hit me. I didn't do anything wrong. In fact, I did everything right.

See, the thing is, when you are loving the person who you think you are supposed to be with at the end of the day, all you are doing is wasting your time. The person that you are meant to be with will look past your flaws and fall in love with them. You won't have to ask the person that you are supposed to be with for him/her to spend time with you, to prioritize you, to act like they truly want to be in your life. You won't have to ask the person that you are supposed to be with to love you, because they will do it unconditionally, just like how you did with the wrong person.

When you love the wrong person wholeheartedly, you never seem to win. You are always doing something wrong in the end. It's always your fault, isn't it? No matter how hard you try, how many kisses you shower them with, how much time you devote to them out of your schedule, it's still not enough. But why can't you win when you sacrifice so much for this one person? Aren't you supposed to be in love? Yes, YOU love them with your entire heart, but why can't you receive the same love and respect back?

Because you are not meant to be.

Those that you are not meant to be with will never see your worth. They will never appreciate you for the amazing, independent, strong, beautiful, and courageous person that you are. However, the person that you are meant to love wholeheartedly will, and they will do whatever it takes to show you your worth. They will love you for you and never make you question why you always seem to love more than your significant other does.

So, trust me, sweetheart, when I say you're meant to be will find their way to you. Maybe they already have and you don't even know it. Just have patience and love yourself, because when you fall in love with yourself, you will have so much more love to give to the right person.

Your right person is out there. We all have and deserve a Ross to our Rachel, an Augustus Waters to our Hazel Grace, a Jim to our Pam. So, straighten your head and hold it up high because your crown is tilting.

mrene38
mrene38

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Subtle Ways You May Be Disrespecting Your Friend's Relationship

If they make your friend happy, you shouldn't be doing these things.

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No ones significant other wants to tell them they don't like their friends. And trying to tell anyone not to hang out with the people they're closest too is a disaster waiting to happen.

Some people really just don't like their friend's partner, but others have no idea the damage they may be doing to the relationship. If you are more aware of some things to avoid, hopefully, you, your friend, and their partner can all get along in peace.

1. When you see your friend, make sure to acknowledge their partner.

To be honest, this is a basic courtesy. If you go to say hi to anyone in a group of people, it is polite to greet, or at least acknowledge, everyone there. If you completely ignore that your friend's partner is even there, it will make them feel awkward and neglected. Just say hi.

2. Don't be overly touchy-feely with your friend, especially around their partner.

Obviously, this mostly applies to friends of the opposite sex (for heterosexual couples). Look, there is nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex but just know your boundaries. You may think your friend's partner is being jealous for no reason, but are you doing anything that might make them uncomfortable?

You don't need to always have your arm around them or be leaned up against them. It is really inappropriate to kiss them on the cheek or give them super long hugs, even if that is something you did before they had a partner, and even if it is completely platonic.

You can still hug and be close to your friend, just be respectful of their boundaries. If you don't give their partner any reason to be jealous then they will have no basis to dislike you.

3. If you invite your friend somewhere, it is polite to also invite their partner.

Even if you assume your friend's partner is going to come, it is nice to make them feel welcomed. And if you don't want their partner to come, make sure they are not together or planning to be together when you invite your friend.

You don't have to always have their partner around, but don't make it a habit of not inviting them. If they don't feel welcomed around their partner's friends, then they probably won't feel as confident in their relationship.

4. Don't ever bring up your friend's past relationships, especially around their partner.

Even if they are on good terms. Even if you are still friends with their ex. Just don't bring them up. No one wants to hear about their partner's past relationships or flings. It is embarrassing and uncomfortable to have to hear about your partner's exes.

5. If you are all out together, don't try to separate your friend from their partner.

There is a good chance that if you are out with your friend and their partner, their partner does not know many people there. If that is the case, don't try to separate your friend from their partner.

There may be an exception if their partner has friends around too, or if they are outgoing and can talk to anybody easily, but otherwise, it is really awkward to be in that situation alone. They are with their partner for a reason, and it is nice to make their partner feel included as well.

Just don't make it a habit to always pull your friend away.

6. Don't put your friend in any awkward or risky situations.

If your friend is a cheater, that is not really any fault of yours. But don't be the friend who is known for putting your partnered friend in risky situations.

There is nothing wrong with going out occasionally with your friends, but it does not need to be a regular occurrence, especially if it makes their partner uncomfortable.

Along the same lines, if you know an ex-partner or fling will be there, you don't need to put your friend in that awkward situation. Just be aware of the situation and how it might make their partner feel.

To wrap up, you don't need to completely change your relationship with your friend just to make their partner happy; just make sure to be polite and respectful of their partner and their relationship.

These are some subtle things you may be doing that are hurting your friend's relationship that you don't even realize have negative consequences. Simply be more aware of some of these situations and how they could potentially make your friend's partner feel. After all, the best relationships are the ones where your partner's friends also become your friends.

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