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Students protest proposed Title IX changes

  • two women leading a march
  • student holding protest sign
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Posted on January 16, 2019

Grand Valley students held a rally and silent march January 16 to protest the U.S. Department of Education's proposed Title IX changes related to sexual assault.

About 40 students, administrators and staff members attended the rally in front of the Cook Carillon Tower on the Allendale Campus. It was organized by Student Senate and the student organization It's On Us.

Maddie Vervaeke, president of It's On Us, said proposed changes might harm sexual assault victims.

"Some of the changes would be that schools are no longer liable to investigate off-campus assaults and there would be a new definition of sexual harassment," Vervaeke said.

Rachel Jenkin, president of Student Senate, encouraged students and others to speak up against the changes via the Department of Education's website, www.regulations.gov. Comments are being accepted until January 28.

Jesse Bernal, vice president for Inclusion and Equity, said the Department of Education will take time to respond to comments, so it will take time before, or if, any changes are implemented.

"Grand Valley will continue to create an environment that is safe and healthy for all our community members and visitors," Bernal said.