Rio to host Title IX training summit

By Jessica Patterson - Special to OVP

RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College will host a Shared Responsibility Title IX Training Summit.

The Title IX Training Summit will be held on Thursday and Friday in the Bob Evans Farms Hall Auditorium Room 118 on the main campus. The summit is free and open to the public and will feature a variety of two to four hour sessions designed to teach students, faculty, staff, title IX administrators, advisory groups, survivor advocate and support services, and the community effective practices and strategies aimed at ending sexual violence and gender discrimination on college campuses. Chris Nourse, Title IX Coordinator, said Rio is dedicated to enhancing Title IX’s recent work in sexual assault prevention programs and services and hopes this new initiative will continue to further those efforts.

“This is something that effects campuses across the country. The summit will allow participants to better understand what steps they can take to prevent sexual assault and violence, as well as what they can do to support survivors. We’ve invited university students and staff from across the state as well as our local support agencies,” Nourse said. “Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. In recent years, Title IX has taken a large focus on sexual assault and violence on college campuses across the country, so our initiative will help us to bring even more awareness to the problem and what we can do to prevent it. Our goal is to promote a campus culture of shared responsibility and mutual respect for all students.”

The summit is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Higher Education through the Shared Responsibility Grant, which was awarded last summer to Rio, Ohio University Southern, Shawnee State University and Southern State Community College to promote the See, Hear, and Speak Campaign. Rio took the lead in planning the summit. The sessions will feature discussions on how to train student groups and community partners in ways to prevent sexual assault and share that knowledge with others, as well as have talks with Saundra Schuster, a nationally recognized expert in civil rights law for education and co-founder of the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA).

Dena Warren, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, said she feels it is important for the institutions to come together for the campaign to increase awareness and prevention efforts and to provide the tools for students, staff, faculty, and the community to speak out against offensive behavior, interpersonal violence, and sexual assault.

“This is important for us to offer this opportunity of free training to students, faculty, and staff throughout Ohio as well as to our local communities. This is our way to show we take this very seriously because the safety of our students and communities is important to us. While this summit is geared toward Title IX, this training can be used to help prevent sexual assault or harassment anywhere,” Warren said. “We’re grateful for the partnership with our neighboring schools in this summit because our campuses are very different, but we are all the same when it comes to this topic. It isn’t just Rio taking care of Rio; it’s each institution reaching out to support each other as well as our communities.”

The free two-day summit will include lunch for the registered participants. For more information on Title IX or the summit, contact Chris Nourse at 740-245-7228 or Dena Warren at 740-245-7396.

To view the agenda and register, please visit:

Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with the University of Rio Grande.

By Jessica Patterson

Special to OVP