• Amy McDonald | Staff Writer

Changes to Title IX legislation in store for GC

In recent weeks, comments made by the Trump administration have raised questions about the future of Title IX provisions on college campuses.

As it currently stands, Title IX protects from discrimination in federally-funded environments based on sex; this includes sexual assault, academics settings and athletics.

A decrease in the federal Department of Education budget for the Office of Civil Rights, which Title IX falls under, could mean a decrease in overwatch and enforcement of these mandated regulations.

At this time, Georgia College administration is still reviewing what the changes could mean for our campus.

However, students need not worry just yet. For years, faculty and staff have demonstrated a dedication to enforcing Title IX, creating a space where the spirit of the law is an intrinsic part of the campus community in all aspects.

One of those aspects is in the athletics department.

Georgia College boasts 11 NCAA Division-II teams that compete in the Peach Belt Conference, six of which are women's sports--a statistics reflective of the GC student body male-to-female ratio, as mandated by Title IX.

"All athletes and students deserve and receive the same opportunities, the same resources and the same financial support," said Mark Gainous, men's basketball head coach. "I know [the women's teams] get good fan support, especially for volleyball and soccer right now, and are very successful in tournaments."

He has taken his son and daughter to soccer matches. Both enjoy going, and Coach Gainous enjoys that his children are able to look up to strong female athletes.

Coach Barsby of GC tennis coaches both men and women and has seen how advances have improved women's sports.

"The quality of play and competition {[is] increasing, starting at the grassroots level with youth sports," Barsby said. "As a nation we are going in the right direction."

He has faith that any changes the federal government makes will be handled well by GC’s administration.

“We have never had an issue with male-to-female spending in athletics,” Barsby said. “Our administration and leadership ensure fairness and are on board with equality.”

Barsby’s belief in equality extends onto the tennis courts where his athletes train, and he pushes both males and females equally to be their best and compete.

Associate athletic director Jimmy Wilson said he wishes laws were not needed to keep equality in women’s sports but knows this is unfortunately not the case.

“I think the government needs to stay involved,” Wilson said. “Reason being, when hiring head coaches, it is still a male-dominated world.”

In addition to being an athletic director, Jimmy Wilson serves as a member of the Title IX team responsible for the athletic department’s compliance with regulations. However, for Wilson, it’s as much a personal desire for equality as it is a job.

“One day I want to hire a woman as a coach for a men’s team,” Wilson said. “It happens all the time with men coaching women, and it is time for it to happen the other way around.”

Wilson recognizes that there are still advances to be made until such gaps are closed, and Title IX is an integral part of achieving that goal across college campuses.


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