Title IX and what it means for safety on campus

Abigail Nilsson –Staff Writer

Back in early February, RIC students received an email from President Sanchez informing the community that obscenities were yelled at a female walking across the campus. Following this episode, campus police and security were increased. No more emails have been sent out regarding similar occurrences on campus, but that is not to say that there has not been other discrimination issues going on which have been handled privately.

Title IX is a federal law that states, “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.” This means that any school who accepts federal funds must comply with this law, including Rhode Island College.

Anybody employed by RIC is considered to be “responsible employees,” including, but not limited to, professors, coaches, and advisers with the exception to the Student Health Center as they are covered under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. “Responsible employees” are required by law to report discrimination of any type or if a student does not feel safe.

A discrimination issue or concern does not have to be public and wide spread. “There is never any pressure from this office to file a complaint,” said Margaret “Peggy” Lynch-Gadaleta, Director of Institutional Equity.

RIC Health Services advises that if you feel that you are in danger, make sure you are in a safe place. Contact someone you trust. If you are in danger and need immediate assistance on campus contact Campus Police 401-456-8888 or call 9-1-1.

RIC has a new director of safety and security/chief of police, Colonel James Mendonca, starting on April 29. In an email sent out by Stephen J. Nedder, Interim Vice President for Admin. and Finance, welcoming Col. Mendonca to the RIC community, says, “he has pledged to hit the ground running, bringing his expertise in law enforcement and leadership to the department and institute and environment of community policing on our campus.”   

There are several on and off campus resources and counselors available. Any concerns regarding discrimination or inequality can be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator, Margaret Lynch-Gadaleta, she is located in Roberts Hall 301, or you can email at mlynchgadaleta@ric.edu or call her 401-456-8387. To view the annual Security Report at RIC visit http://www.ric.edu/studentlife/documents/RIC2018AnnualSecurityReport.pdf.