Changes wrongly weaken Title IX

The new policy would undermine the reason for Title IX in the first place.

The recent changes to Title IX which would allow institutions to give student interest surveys regarding interest in athletics will only weaken its reach and stunt progress.

Originally, Title IX was passed to promote equal representation of the sexes in all aspects of publicly funded education. The new clarifications by the Department of Education suggest that institutions poll students through e-mail to gauge their interest in sports in order to equally represent the interest and abilities of their students. Since Title IX’s existence, the number of women in sports has increased tremendously through adding new women’s sports teams and adding more facilities for established women’s sports teams.

The new policy undermines Title IX in many ways. E-mail is hardly an appropriate manner to go about polling interest of students. Many recipients of such an e-mail would likely disregard it or read it without reply, therefore adding to the disinterested portion of students. Some women or men might not be interested in sports, but their opinions shouldn’t be able to hinder the opportunities of others. Most students who want to participate in collegiate athletics, both men and women, choose colleges that already satisfy their desires. If a university does not have a sport, members of that nonexistent sports cannot advocate for its creation

Additionally, Title IX was enacted to counterbalance a public opinion that generally didn’t support women’s sports as much as men’s. An interest survey would only regenerate this opinion and make it difficult to see who is making progress toward equal representation in sports and who isn’t. The best way to enforce Title IX is through the courts, and the new policy would make it hard to do so.

University Athletics Director Joel Maturi has already issued a statement saying he would decline to use the e-mail survey. The University instead will limit the number of participants in sports of both sexes, therefore creating more opportunity for female walk-on athletes and less opportunity for male walk-ons.

The new policy suggested by the Department of Education would only create disproportionate opportunities and thus undermining a major reason to have Title IX in the first place.