This Monday afternoon, victims of sexual assault and supporters of Title IX organized to present a list of demands to UT’s Office of Title IX.
Beginning their demonstration on Pedestrian Walkway near the Humanities and Social Sciences building, students representing nationwide organization Know Your IX marched with signs over to 1817 Melrose Avenue where the Title IX office is located.
Know Your IX is a nationwide organization that hopes to reform the Title IX policies of various college campuses that neglect intensifying cases of sexual assault. The organization aims to cover all forms of sexual discrimination, from anti-transgender bigotry and survivors' financial issues to cases of sexual assault.
The organizers, frustrated by what they see as the school’s lack of action towards sex criminals, procured a list of signatures to present with their list. They claimed that UT’s current Title IX policies aren’t strict enough and offer too many loopholes to avoid prosecution.
Title IX is a law that protects the rights of victims of sexual assault, while preventing other forms of sexual discrimination. Many universities fail to uphold the guidelines laid out in Title IX, exposing many of the nation’s students to unpunished sex criminals. This is an issue Know Your IX hopes to fix.
The University of Tennessee has their own Title IX policies, which Know Your IX supporters argue are lackluster. The school’s website offers a couple of resources survivors of sexual assault can use to assist in their recovery. The university’s efforts to suppress sex crimes on campus are insufficient for those who demonstrated today, however.
The demonstrators collected signatures from students passing by on Pedestrian Walkway, while they flashed signs at potential supporters of the law.
“It’s just a very important issue to me,” Andrea Subtirelu, a sophomore studying psychology at UT, said as she asked for signatures. “It’s ridiculous that the university won’t support survivors. It’s a huge issue.”
The small group moved on to the Title IX office, where a lead organizer presented the organization’s list of demands to the officials inside.
“We don’t focus on the incidence of violence itself,” Zoey Brewer, a UT sophomore and Know Your IX organizer, said. “We focus on the impacts of the university’s inaction towards sexual assault. You don’t have to be a survivor to support us.”
UT’s branch of the Know Your IX organization, Knox Needs IX, aims to protect potential victims of sexual assault by fighting for stricter Title IX policies. The organization meets multiple times a week and offers public meetings that cover various subjects related to managing sexual assault.
Those interested in supporting Knox Needs IX can find future meetings on their Instagram and sign the petition posted in their bio. Stay tuned for future Knox Needs IX education meetings.