NSU to hire new administrator

Recently, former Title IX Coordinator Lori LeBlanc resigned. While NSU searches for a replacement, Dean of Students Frances Conine has adopted the role temporarily.

Under Conine’s supervision, NSU has appointed a committee to choose a new Title IX coordinator and hopes to make a decision by the end of this week.

“I hope we can continue the good work done by Lori LeBlanc and the many other people on our campus to end sexual misconduct and advocate for our students to get the help and resources needed to be successful in college,” Conine said. “I also hope we can continue to change the culture around consent and increase reporting.”

[Read: Trained and ready, Alexis Smith confidently steps into her new role as Title IX coordinator]

Title IX coordinator and student advocate works to give a voice to students and advocate for their safety and right to an equal work and school environment.

Included in every class syllabus is the Title IX statement of the Education Amendments of 1972. This is one of the many tasks controlled by the Title IX coordinator and student advocate. This person is responsible for all issues on campus regarding sexual misconduct including investigation, notification and recording of these issues.

NSU’s website says the following:

“Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 Prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. To ensure compliance with Title IX and other federal and state civil rights laws, Northwestern State University has developed internal policies that prohibit discrimination and sexual misconduct on the basis of sex.”

Whoever is hired will report to the Director of Student Conduct and Accountability, which Conine says will allow NSU to better advocate for victims.

“We’ve made great strides here at NSU,” she said. “We have trained on the brain science around trauma and how it affects victims. We have completed campus climate surveys and appointed confidential advisors. We have conducted bystander intervention training and changed our student code to comply with state and federal law.”

“I think we’ve done a lot of good work, empowered victims and protected our students,” Conine said. “However, we have to stay vigilant. Our work is not done as long as there are students who continue to be victimized by others.”

More information on Title IX can be found online. Students in need of assistance with Title IX issues should contact Conine either by phone, email or in her office, Room 309 in the Friedman Student Union.

To report a crime, students are encouraged to speak with University Police.