January 20, 2023
Shawnee State University’s Office of Title IX recently held a Mock Hearing training session for its Title IX investigators. The Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Desiree Isaac, SSU’s Title IX Coordinator, oversaw this year’s Mock Hearing.
“Mock Hearings allow university-trained advisors to practice their skills before they are assigned advisees,” she said. “It ensures our hearing officers get comfortable with making determinations under pressure during a hearing and ensuring that our process runs as seamlessly as possible.”
Prior to the training session, participants were provided an Investigation Report ten business days before the mock hearing, mimicking the timeframe of real cases. Among the 20 participants in the training were hearing officers, advisors, parties, investigators, and volunteer actors. All the officers sat on a panel to practice relevancy determination, questioning parties and witnesses during the hearings, and deliberating to reach their determination on the case. Following the conclusion of the hearing, all of the officers, investigators, advisors, and participants gathered to discuss how that hearing went.
“The mock hearing gave investigators an opportunity to see what kind of information will be helpful to hearing officers, parties, and advisors,” said Isaac. “This will allow investigators to home in on their skills during investigations, as well as the drafting of their final Investigation Report.”
The Office of Title IX provides training and materials to staff members and students to properly educate the campus community of their rights under Title IX and how to report an incident. Isaac oversees training for new Title IX Investigators throughout the year and welcomes more participants among staff members.
“It is vital that the campus community understands how to pursue their rights under Title IX,” she said. “The Title IX Office can be reached with any questions and is here to assist the campus community in navigating difficult situations.”
To learn more about Title IX at Shawnee State University, visit shawnee.edu/title-ix.