Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Rucker discusses Title IX Revisions; SE Link under review

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Student Government Association (SGA) welcomed a guest speaker and discussed the evaluation of SE Link during its meeting Monday, Oct. 12.

Vice President for Equity, Access, Behavioral Health and Dean of Students Sonia Rucker informed SGA members about May Title IX revisions.

According to the United States Department of Education (ED), Title IX 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.

Rucker said ED’s Title IX Final Rule refined the definition of sexual harassment. Previously, ED’s Title IX defined sexual harassment as “unwelcomed sexual behavor” including “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other non-verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature.”

In a summary of major provisions released by ED, sexual harrasment is now defined as, “Any instance of quid pro quo harassment by a school's employee; any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access; any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clergy Act), dating violence, domestic violence or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act.”

“We want to make sure these changes are adhered to in future Southeast Title IX cases,” Rucker said.

In other business, Sen. Luke Collins updated SGA members on SE Link, an online engagement service available to Southeast students wishing to connect with clubs and organizations.

Collins said the functionality of SE Link will be evaluated through a survey.

As of Oct. 13, the recipients of the survey were not confirmed. Collins said he plans to release the questionnaire via email over the next two weeks. He said a student-led committee will review survey responses.

“The purpose of the committee is to investigate the options regarding our future with the organization engagement platform, SE Link,” Collins said. “We are evaluating whether it is best for us to continue our contract with them or if we should utilize a new program.”

Students who are not SGA members will also have a chance to voice their opinion.

“We are adding members to the evaluation committee as recommended by Campus Life and Event Services in order to gain a much-needed perspective from active SE Link users,” Collins said.

Minutes and agendas for SGA meetings can be found on their webpage. The Arrow streams every SGA meeting, Mondays at 8 p.m. on Facebook Live.