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College welcomes new Title IX coordinator

By Sydney Shaw
News Editor

According to a campus-wide email from Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht, the College is welcoming Jordan Draper as its Title IX coordinator on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

“Jordan comes to TCNJ from Rutgers University, where she was the Compliance Investigator with the Office of Student Affairs Compliance,” the email read.

Draper earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Maryland and is currently working toward her doctorate of education in education, culture and society from Rutgers University.

According to Hecht, Draper has numerous publications and presentations, including “Campus Collaborations: Barriers, Advantages and Possibilities” and “Crossing Oceans: Bridging Cultural Barriers to Successfully Support International Students Who Violate Academic Integrity Codes.”

In her role as Title IX Coordinator at the College, Draper will “facilitate notification and education, serve as an investigator and monitor compliance on all Title IX issues at the College,” according to the email.

“The Title IX Coordinator plays a critical role in ensuring that educational pursuits are not hindered by any form of gender discrimination,” Draper said.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 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.”

Outside of athletics, however, Title IX most often has an impact on the way sexual violence is handled by colleges.

“The number of individuals who have experienced even one act of sexual violence or dating violence is staggering,” Draper said. “As a Title IX coordinator, I have the responsibility to provide a safe and hostile-free environment for every individual that is connected to TCNJ’s campus.”

Since the law works to give men and women equal access to education, the American Civil Liberties Union wrote, “When students suffer sexual assault and harassment, they are deprived of equal and free access to an education.”

In her role as Title IX coordinator, Draper will also provide direct administration of the investigation and findings of responsibility on Title IX issues for faculty, staff and students as outlined in the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Conduct Codes and the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination.

“Nationally, institutions of higher education have created positions, similar to ours, that allow for a focus on the nuances of Title IX, the management of investigations, and the implementation of an educational component,” Hecht said.

Although Draper will report directly to Hecht, she will also be working closely with the Dean of Students Angela Chong, assistant vice presidents for Student Affairs, the Vice President for Human Resources Gregory Pogue and the College’s Chief Diversity Officer Kerri Thompson Tillett.

“In my previous role working with students, I learned that there is a lack of understanding around many issues such as consent and that students do not know the role a college can play in intervening and creating a hostile-free environment,” Draper said.

“I believe that it is essential to educate all students, faculty and staff on their rights, resources, and processes available to them,” Draper said. “I… hope to create a campus climate where every individual trusts the administration and feels comfortable reporting incidents of sexual violence, dating violence and stalking.”

She has high hopes for the College in regard to making the campus feel safe for all students.

“I believe TCNJ can be a national leader in the crusade against sexual violence and dating violence and I will work tirelessly with the devoted students, staff, and faculty here to accomplish this,” Draper said.

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