Quinnipiac University is a suburban private university located in Hamden, Connecticut. The university is well-known for its degrees in the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. The institution has captured national attention over its student journalism with the universities’ control over student publications and students’ speech in 2007 and 2008 along with two Title IX cases that occurred in 2010 and 2016.These case studies will focus on Title IX issues that violated several acts including specific details that lead up to the decisions made by the courts. In 2010, the members of Quinnipiac’s volleyball team sued the university when they announced the school would eliminate the sport in concern of equal roster spots.
The school wanted to replace the sport with competitive cheerleading to stay in compliance with the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in athletics. However, several issues drew some red flags when presented in court. It turns out that the university forced an appearance of compliance with Title IX by manipulated its roster sizes. It was a way the university thought of creating equal roster sizes for competitions by eliminating certain sport programs. Overview, the school was oversized in roster spots to such a degree making way for competitive cheerleading to equal out the amount. The courts ruled that competitive cheerleading wasn’t an official sport looking to meet the Title IX gender-equity requirements. They also mentioned how underdeveloped the cheerleading team was and issued to the school that it maintains its volleyball program for the 2010-2011 season.
The second Title IX issue Quinnipiac University faced occurred in 2016-2017. Claims made by an anonymous student began to surface about an individual physically being violent towards two ex-girlfriends. This claim was investigated for a potential violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments 1972. The accuser was known as John Doe, who was unfairly presented because of the university not providing him with details that was collected during the investigation. In response to the two ex-girlfriends, Doe’s girlfriend at the time reported to campus officials about the two arguing to a point where they had to end their relationship. In her report, she stated about John Doe being physically abusive. In other words, she mentioned about John Doe’s ex-girlfriend had warned her about his misbehavior. The university ended up investigating his ex-girlfriend and gathering her side of the story to find an answer to his abusive behavior. After investigators met with Doe’s witnesses, he felt like he was treated unfairly. The witnesses were giving statements before him therefore giving them time to prepare statements. He also claimed the investigators were being biased in the Title IX hearing. Doe was unsatisfied and sued asking for a restraining order. This is was around the time the courts were setting up a second hearing. Unfortunately, he was denied.
The courts gave Doe permission to be allowed back onto campus for classes. However, he wasn’t allowed to participate in any events that took place on campus. He tried appealing this decision, but the courts upheld his appeal. Doe still felt like he wasn’t getting treated fairly and he later claimed the investigators destroyed his notes that led up to an initial hearing and the other from Doe’s appeal. Despite all of these accusations, Doe tried to get the university to investigate what he said was harassment against him. Sadly, he was cleared of all accusations. He plans to sue for violations of Title IX and state statutes. Despite the university complies with Title IX and respond to the complaints in which Doe states they did not do. In response to both of these cases, they could’ve been avoided depending on how the scenario for each other played out. The 2010 Title IX was preventable if equal treatment to the men and women athletics was fair and in compliance with the federal law. Making a cheerleading team competitive amongst the other female sports was something the university knew wasn’t going to go through. Especially since it violated the Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They were not creating equal opportunities for their whole athletics and found themselves discriminating on the basis of sex. The 2016-2017 Title IX is a toss up to a “what if” situation.
The accuser felt like he was treated unfairly by the university for claims he stated his written evidence was destroyed by investigators. However, the fact that both ex-girlfriends were warned about his behavior and abusiveness should indicate what kind of human being John Doe really is. In any Title IX case, the victims will always be the females and without a doubt, everyone will listen to the female’s side of the story. Despite how innocent the males think they are, they will always be the guilty accuser. The university should be held liable for John Doe actions and how the officials destroyed their notes during the investigation. Whether they did or not, this gives the university a bad reputation on handling situations regarding Title IX. Evidence should be presented to the courts and not destroyed for unknown reasons that gives John Doe a reason to plead his case was treated unfairly. In my opinion, Quinnipiac University needs understanding certain compliances into allowing equal opportunities for men and women athletics. Rather than cut the sport programs to reduce roster sizes and make a cheerleading squad a competitive sport. When they violated the Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the school knew they were discriminating on the basis of sex. Cutting an entire volleyball program was unacceptable. Looking ahead in the John Doe Title IX case, he knew what he did to those two women was inexcusable. Being treated inadequately because the two women were interviewed before him, he should know the victims will always get questioned first regardless if they were already preparing statements. However, the university handled this case poorly with having all of their notes destroyed. It gives the university a bad image and questions their ability to present themselves in courts against any Title IX situations. Ultimately, both of these case studies were very interesting to spend the time and research on. Understanding how serious Title IX can impact a role for the university or to an individual. The importance of Title IX helps prevent any gender discrimination especially in any sexual acts among the educational athletic systems.