Although “Title IX” has become almost synonymous with “campus sexual assault,” that’s not all the federal law covers. It was designed to protect students and staff from all forms of gender discrimination, including limited sports opportunities, which is the issue at the heart of a new lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University. According to the lawsuit, the school shut down several women’s sports teams, including their tennis and softball teams.
Despite the fact that cuts were announced just earlier this year, legal experts have been referring to the discrimination case as “retro” because it feels like something that would have happened in the 1990s but shouldn’t be a problem in 2018. And yet, that’s exactly why Title IX was created in the first place – to ensure that female students are not only treated fairly but that they receive the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Women’s sports, along with men’s nonrevenue sports (such as wrestling and swimming) have long been considered expendable by schools that continue to funnel millions into their football and men’s basketball teams. While it feels like it should be an outdated discussion, the sad fact is that it remains all too relevant.
Despite claims that it’s all about the money, Eastern Michigan University’s faculty union did its own set of calculations, which it spread through a media campaign it set up. They found that cutting women’s tennis and softball (as well as wrestling and men’s swimming and diving) would actually cost the university money. Continue reading