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Title IX updates: OCR opens investigations against Brown, Rutgers and Clemson – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Title IX updates: OCR opens investigations against Brown, Rutgers and Clemson Following my requests for review, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has opened investigations against the following universities for offering, promoting,  sponsoring, and hosting programs that I allege violate Title IX‘s prohibition of sex discrimination: 1. Rutgers University is being investigated by the OCR for its six single-gender, girl-only (no boys allowed) series of programs titled “The Academy at Rutgers for Girls in Engineering and Technology (TARGET).” Specifically, TARGET is a summer program at Rutgers designed for middle school and high school girls [only] to increase awareness and familiarize them with career opportunities within engineering.” Program Dates for 2019: TARGET encompasses six

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AEI
Title IX updates: OCR opens investigations against Brown, Rutgers and Clemson

Following my requests for review, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has opened investigations against the following universities for offering, promoting,  sponsoring, and hosting programs that I allege violate Title IX‘s prohibition of sex discrimination:

1. Rutgers University is being investigated by the OCR for its six single-gender, girl-only (no boys allowed) series of programs titled “The Academy at Rutgers for Girls in Engineering and Technology (TARGET).” Specifically, TARGET is a summer program at Rutgers designed for middle school and high school girls [only] to increase awareness and familiarize them with career opportunities within engineering.”

Program Dates for 2019: TARGET encompasses six different, one-week long, commuter programs for a group of 24 girls [only] each. Eligibility for each of the six programs is determined by grade-level.

TARGET I (6th grade girls) July 1- July 5
TARGET II (7th grade girls) July 8 – July 12
TARGET III (8th grade girls) July 15- July 19
TARGET IV (9th grade girls) July 22 – July 26
TARGET V (10th grade girls) July 29 – August 2
TARGET VI (11th grade girls) July 15 – July 19

2. Brown University is being investigated by the OCR for its single-gender, girl-only program [email protected]: Summer Math Camp for High School Girls that openly discriminates based on gender (no boys allowed), openly excludes some students (boys) from participation in that program based on gender, and openly denies some students (boys) from the benefits of those programs based on gender, in violation of Title IX. Eligibility for GirlsGetMath is 1restricted to 9th and 10th grade high school girls [only] in the Providence, RI area.

3. Clemson University is being investigated by the OCR for three single-gender, girl-only programs:

  • Clemson University’s Project WISE Summer Camp is a one-week gender-discriminatory residential single-gender, girl-only camp held annually since 1997 in June and is described as “a fun-filled academic summer camp for girls [only].” Eligibility is restricted to “young ladies [only, no boys allowed] who will enter 7th and 8th grade in the 2019-2020 school year.” The next Project WISE Summer Camp is scheduled to take place June 23-28, 2019.
  • Clemson University’s STEM Connections program is described as “an excellent opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school girls [only, no boys allowed] to make the connection between engineering and science and their lives.”
  • Clemson University’s WISE Choice program brings top performing female students [only, no boys allowed] interested in the STEM fields from around the state together for a one-day visit to explore majors in engineering and computer science at Clemson University. Fall 2019 dates are coming soon!

Quick legal review of Title IX:

Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that: 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.

In all cases above, it seems clear that some students, on the basis of sex: a) are excluded from participation in the programs, b) are denied the benefits of those programs, and c) are subjected to discrimination in all of those single-gender, girl-only programs.

The complaints request any of the following forms of relief deemed proper by the OCR:

1. The abolition of the discriminatory programs above within a reasonable period of time.

2. The conversion of the single-gender, girl-only programs above into gender-neutral, gender-inclusive programs within a reasonable period of time.

3. The creation of comparable, single-gender, all-boy programs to offset the current gender favoritism for girls and gender discrimination against boys, in violation of Title IX.

Related: A few minor victories from the more than 40 internal Title IX complaints that I’ve filed that have resulted in the corrections outlined above to comply with federal civil rights laws:

1. To comply with Title IX, the University of Florida agreed to convert its single-gender, girl-only spring science camp for girls in 6th and 7th grade into an inclusive, all-gender program starting this year. See the old flyer for UF’s 2018 all-girl program and the website for the new 2019 co-ed program that is now open to students of all genders, with a program name change that no longer includes the world “Girls.”

2. Eastern Michigan University agreed to comply with Title IX by supplementing and offsetting its existing girl-only “Digital Divas” program with a new boy-only “Digital Dudes” program this year, see news report here.

Kudos to the University of Florida and Eastern Michigan University for taking appropriate measures to bring their institutions into compliance with federal civil rights laws and agreeing to do so voluntarily, without getting the federal government involved. The Title IX Offices of most of the more than 40 universities that I’ve contacted, including the three universities above, haven’t even acknowledged my email requests for a review of their programs that appear to violate Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination. I suspect that the non-responsiveness of universities to legitimate allegations of Title IX violations for sex discrimination against males reflects a double-standard for enforcement — discrimination against females is strictly prohibited and violations are not tolerated, whereas discrimination against males is overlooked and ignored, and will be tolerated for as long as possible. Often until there’s an OCR investigation that forces an institution to comply with Title IX. Until then, it’s often “business as usual, and “we’ll openly violate Title IX for as long as possible, and won’t change until we get caught and are forced to comply.”

Exhibit A: Michigan State University (MSU) openly violated Title IX for more than than 40 years following the passage of the federal civil rights act in 1972 that prohibited sex discrimination, and openly practiced “gender apartheid” by maintaining a women-only study lounge on the main floor of the Student Union until 2016. See related CD posts here, here, here, and here. MSU only changed when its “gender apartheid” policy received some well-deserved media attention following civil rights complaints in 2016 that exposed its violations of Title IX.

Title IX updates: OCR opens investigations against Brown, Rutgers and Clemson
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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