Title IX backed in latest resolution

In response to a recent federal push to reevaluate Title IX, the law that requires gender equity in federally financed athletic and academic programs, the A.S. Council passed a resolution in support of Title IX at the Nov. 6 council meeting.

This year, George W. Bush’s administration began questioning the effectiveness of Title IX and created a panel that is traveling to various regions of the country holding open forum-style hearings in which anyone interested in speaking for or against Title IX can do so. The A.S. Council passed its resolution to coincide with the upcoming hearing that will be held at City Hall in San Diego on Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

The A.S. Council resolution calls for continued support of Title IX because of the “”numerous opportunities it has provided for American women and girls.”” The opportunities referred to in the resolution, in terms of sheer numbers, have grown at an astonishing rate since the introduction of Title IX.

In 1972, one year before Title IX’s introduction, ESPN.com cited that fewer than 300,000 girls participated in high school athletics, a ratio of 1 in 27. Today, the number of girls participating in high school sports is approaching 3 million, or more than 1 in 3.

Proponents of Title IX argue that this participation has increased due to the opportunities that the law has provided and has dispelled the myth that women are not interested in athletics, as many critics of Title IX argue.

Co-author of the A.S. Council resolution Senate Chair Corinne Hart said that she wrote the resolution because she believes that Title IX has been able to provide women with leadership qualities and higher self-esteem by providing them with an opportunity to play sports.

“”[The opportunities] men were benefiting from and women weren’t was not because women weren’t interested, but because they weren’t given the opportunity to take advantage of them,”” Hart said.

Title IX was designed to provide opportunities to male and female students proportionally to an institution’s gender make-up. According to the NCAA 1999-2000 survey, however, women comprise 54 percent of enrolled students, yet only 41 percent of athletes.

Financially, men’s athletics programs maintain significant advantages over women’s programs in average scholarships, operating expenses, recruiting expenses and head coaching salaries, the NCAA says. The difference between men’s and women’s programs since the passage of Title IX puts women’s programs roughly at $1.5 billion behind men’s.

Despite Title IX’s failure to meet its standards to the full extent, critics say that it still has done more harm than good because it has led to the cutting of men’s athletics teams. They also argue that because of Title IX, many schools have had to cut men’s athletics to accommodate women’s teams.

The A.S. Council’s resolution addresses this issue, saying that “”Title IX simply calls for gender equity and the aim is not to diminish the impact or importance of men’s sports.””

Since Title IX’s implementation, ESPN.com reports that while 400 men’s teams have been cut, more men’s teams have been added than were lost.

The A.S. Council’s resolution firmly supports Title IX, and members of council will be attending the Nov. 20 and Nov. 21 hearings and pre-hearing rally at the Wyndham San Diego at Emerald Park Hotel supporting Title IX.