Manali’s post on diversity in the college admission process represents one of many controversial issues educational systems face with race and gender. In high school I was involved in several sports both in school and outside. At this time I watched my sister go through the college application process with intentions of running division one track. As a white female with adequate grades she was recruited to run at Columbia University. A few years later I was recruited by her coach to run as well as play soccer at Columbia. Student athletes often receive criticism for being favored in application processes as well as differential treatment throughout their college experiences. There is no question neither my sister nor I would have been granted admission to Columbia had it not been for athletics.
I apologize for the personal story but I promise that I am getting to a point. My interest in sports in high school led me to write one of my final research papers on Title IX. Originally Title IX was an equal opportunity in education act. The law states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”
The law applies to schools or institutions that receive federal funds. Universities are required to provide equal opportunities based on sex for athletic programs. While there are other facets under the act, athletics have received the most controversy and attention. Several factors are considered when determining if equal treatment exists within athletic programs. Is there an equal selection of sports and competition levels to accommodate both sexes? Is there equal access to equipment? These are just a few examples of factors considered.
The controversy surrounding the act claims that males suffer under Title IX. While the act strives for gender equality, some complain that male athletes are negatively affected. Since Title IX’s enactment there has been substantial growth in the number of females who participate in sports and receive sports scholarships. These advances lead to more opportunities for females to compete at elite levels like the Olympics.
Studies have proven these benefits for female athletes. Studies have also shown the lack of enforcement surrounding the act. The Office for Civil Rights rarely follows through on investigations of schools failing to meet Title IX regulations. I think it would be an interesting discussion for our class to investigate the Rhodes athletic department. Does Rhodes provide equal opportunity for female athletes?
If interested in more information this is a helpful website.