San Marcos, TX — First and foremost, this is Title IX:

“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.”

It’s a federal law that was passed in 1972 to, to put it simply, protect people from discrimination based on gender.

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For the most part, people seem to remember one aspect: It gave women the same athletic opportunities that men got.

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“I believe that was the old view of Title IX is, 'My daughter wants to play softball so she needs to have an equal field that the guys have a baseball field,’” said Alexandria Hatcher, the deputy Title IX coordinator at Texas State. “But it has evolved to much more to include all male and female rights here on campus.”

Title IX went through some clarifications in the 1990s that helped expand the protection possibilities, so it holds a lot more weight now than it did in the 70s.

Hatcher said faculty and staff are trained to be “mandated reporters.”

“They are required to tell us as much as they know about the incident,” Hatcher said.

Under Title IX, the incident could include discrimination, harassment or violence. It could also include sexual harassment or sexual violence.

For example, if a coach sees or hears about something happening, Hatcher said they are required to report “any instance.”

“If a coach does not report an incident that they hear of, that will be notated that they hear something, and that can cost them their job or their responsibilities at the university,” Hatcher said.

The 37-word federal law is powerful when it comes to protecting people on campus.

“It definitely holds a lot of weight” said Hatcher. “When you think about all the things it encompasses … to protect our students and faculty and staff on campus, it’s definitely important for everyone in our office to be aware of what’s going on and to do prevention and awareness on campus.”