Student concerns involving Florida Southern and the Title IX policy on-campus were addressed during the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Town Hall on March 23.
Concerns have primarily been focused on recent stories that have come out over the weekend of March 20 involving alleged Title IX violations throughout the FSC campus community.
FSC’s administration spent the first minutes of the meeting addressing these concerns, with Vice President of Student Life Susan Freeman responding to an open letter written and signed by students to administration at Florida Southern requesting amendments to the school’s Title IX policy.
College President Dr. Anne Kerr noted while responding to the open letter to faculty, many of the changes that had been suggested were measures already implemented by campus administration.
“What I would also like to share with the authors of this or those who are interested in it,” Kerr said. “…This [Title IX Protocols] is all very clearly outlined on the college’s website. Any student can access this, read it, study it, have it as a resource.”
Also addressed was the taking down of the #ISTANDWITHFSCWOMEN Instagram page, which had reportedly been taken down three hours after President Kerr’s email to students involving the reported Title IX violations on-campus. President Kerr dispersed any rumors that the Instagram had been removed by actions of the FSC administration.
“Florida Southern had nothing to do with that Instagram account coming up or going down,” Kerr said.
There had been questions raised by the FSC administration about the identity of the anonymous owner and their qualifications in matching students to professionals. This is in addition to the school being unable to investigate cases which are reported anonymously, whether they are posted to social media or reported to the school directly.
“Under the current law we are not allowed to investigate anonymous claims,” Dean of Students Mike Crawford said.
The Director of Campus Safety and Security Eric Rauch was also in attendance and able to answer questions about safety on campus, including the newly introduced mobile safety application.
“Ideally [the app] would be running in the background,” Rauch said. “That’s the idea of having it on campus.”
Information was also given about new Bluetooth tools that can be worn and used with the app.
Provost Brad Hollingshead answered questions regarding FSC’s plans for graduation and future Junior Journeys.
Junior Journeys will resume when there is evidence that it is safe to travel, according to Hollingshead. Any students who cannot participate in their Junior Journey will receive the option to take a travel stipend to fund their own travel, or will be invited to partake in future trips with the school.
It was confirmed that May graduation will be taking place in-person. Hollingshead stated that they are planning to allow two guests per student at the ceremony with more information to be released soon.
SGA President Madelyn Walsh also confirmed that Senior Splash will still occur this year but will look different in order to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.
Freeman encouraged students to continue to wear masks and follow COVID-19 guidelines as we continue through the semester.
“I know everyone is exhausted from following all these requirements to keep ourselves safe,” Freeman said. “…but as this vaccine continues to be rolled out and becomes available to people in our students’ age bracket, I just encourage you to please try to continue to wear your mask, distance, wash your hands so that we can finish out this semester very strong.”