The University of Alaska educational system has launched a litany of unusual initiatives administrators say are necessary to comply with the Title IX federal law which protects people from sex-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal financial assistance.
The actual law states that no person “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.” These rules apply to high schools, universities, libraries, museums and other institutions that accept federal dollars.
According to U.S. Dept. of Education, these groups must operate in a “manner free of discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity.” This includes areas such as recruitment, admissions, counseling, financial aid, athletics, treatment of pregnant and parenting students, LGBTQ students and so forth.
It appears that some University of Alaska administrators have gone above and beyond the basic requirements in their efforts to comply with Title IX.
On Nov. 10, the 11-member University of Alaska Board of Regents, which has constitutional authority to set policy and management decisions for the entire UA educational system, will hear about how the three main campuses in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau are implementing certain programs and events as part of their Title IX compliance initiatives.
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According to a brief, which will be shared with the regents, University of Fairbanks administrators have imposed a whole host of activities on students and staff. These include Queer Shopping Nights, “Gay-mer” Nights, LGBTQ+ History Month Activities, Gender Inclusion 101, diversity training, Indigenous Peoples Day, implicit bias training, diversity equity and inclusion training for staff, student Safe Zones, racism and marginalization workshops and much more.
Likewise, at the University of Alaska Southeast, the school has implemented LGBTQ Safe Zone training, LGBTQ history month celebrations and is working with Planned Parenthood and other “stakeholders” to develop programming events for students and staff.
The Anchorage campus has also implemented a series of initiatives to comply with Title IX.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents will hear testimony from the general public on Nov. 7 from 4-5 p.m. This provides all Alaskans the opportunity to speak directly to regents. Each caller will have two minutes to offer thoughts, concerns, feedback or updates on topics or issues related to the University of Alaska system.
The public testimony is being held in advance of the regent’s Nov. 10-11 board meeting at the UAF campus in Fairbanks.
Regents will also discuss tuition and fee changes, the upcoming operating budget and capital improvement requests.
Regents are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Alaska Legislature for eight-year terms. Established through the Alaska Constitution, the board is responsible for University of Alaska policy and management through the University President.
CONTACTS AND INFORMATION
— In addition to the opportunity to provide public testimony, written testimony is accepted at any time, and is shared with the board and the president. Written testimony can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— To email or call regent board members individually, click here.
— The Nov. 11 agenda for the full board meeting can be found here.
— For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416.