Breaking Boundaries: Assess. Empower. Act.

CMU’s 2016 Mosaic Gender Conference

This year’s special speaker was Jackie Fox: attorney and former bass player for the Runaways

This year’s conference was initiated by the #blacklivesmatter activist movement.

  • multiple identities
  • social media
  • there are all gender bathrooms here
  • there are recycling containers here as well

1:30-2:00 pm is reflect time – PAR is here along with survivor help networkers

Session 1: Title IX and Trans*Legal Issues in Higher Education

(Speakers: Jessica Oren and David Berberich)


  • How did it come into existence?
  • Which institutions of higher education does it impact?
  • What is the intent of Title IX?
  • What is “Transgender”?
  • Which court cases create major for Title IX?
  • What interpretations have been applied to trans*students?
    • case studies
    • critiques
    • best practices

Take away ideas:

  • What it is: can’t use gender as a means to prohibit someone from access to education
  • created in 1972
  • very short paragraph
  • 2011 dear caller letter
  • sports
  • San Dusky
  • North Carolina

What does it mean to be Trans*?

  • broad minority representation
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender (identity) vs. transsexual (changing biology) vs. transvestite (clothing) vs. drag
  • sex vs. gender
  • trans* vs. non binary
  • gender neutral vs. all gender (doesn’t take gender out of the equation)
  • definition: transgender/trans*, gender binary, transition

What is Title IX?

  • can’t discriminate based on gender – equal sports team and scholarship
  • How did come into existence?
  • department of education
  • federal law and federal money
  • regulations and requirements

Which institutions of higher education does Title IX impact?

  • all as federal fund
  • all departments and organizations within scope of higher education
  • keeping and distributing of records
  • gender binary labeled housing bathrooms, locker rooms
  • gender binary labeled teams and student groups

Records: housing and funding – for trans* students would say things like “we will have to figure you out and we will tell you what we will do to you” (not for you)

  • name change
  • graduation
  • Greek life

What is the intent of Title IX?

  • mirrors language of Title VII – prohibition of discrimination based on race
  • document and report discriminator practices based upon sex
  • rectify and change any discriminator practices

Bill Clinton: “Don’t ask don’t tell” – impact vs. intent – allowed for discrimination, no benefits … the intent was that one could not be asked to identify orientation but the impact or practice was that more people were closeted

Defense of marriage act – the intention was to separate out religion but the impact was discrimination against LGBT with not benefits and no recognition

Legal documentation – states are already so quickly looking for ways around federal law of gay marriage approval

Court cases:

  • Cannon v. University of Chicago
  • Franklin v.
  • Macy v. Holder appeal – appealing to decision that gender identity/ expression is protected under Title VII. A hostile environment is not created by allowing a transgender student to use the bathroom associated under their identity

Sexual harassment – actual notice to officials who have authority to act, display deliberate indifference

Harassment must be “…so severe, persuasive, and objectively offensive”

some Title IX coordinators are also HR reps – conflict of interest

Substantial control over harasser

  1. Sex harassment of male transsexual by male faculty
  2. Same sex actionable under Title VII
  3. Student failed to complain after graduation and college processed her complaint right away

What interpretations have been applied to trans*students?

  • records
  • housing
  • bathrooms
  • locker rooms
  • athletics


  • vague standards
  • inconsistent standards
  • collaboration
  • training and education

Do these things impede on students education? then it’s Title IX; Title IX issues

Session 2: Sexual Activity, Alcohol, and Sexual Violence

(Speaker: Laura Summers – PAAR)

3000 victims serve this past year

victim is never at fault

100% believe the victim regardless of anything else

consent v. not and alcohol

There are lots of messages out there about what it means to be a cis man or woman

Think about the messages that are given and growing about sex and sexuality – bad/ shameful, good, other, or nothing

Where do you stand?

  • sex/ sexuality is bad or shameful or embarrassing
  • is healthy and good
  • silence, no message
  • other

Beer goggles or jacket in order to enable them to pursue sex

What is sexual violence?

  • use health terms vs. legal terms
  • legal varies state to state (rape laws)
  • sexual violence is not just rape
  • sexual violence is ANY sexual activity without consent
  • our legal system is set up as hierarchies via some worst than others instead of all being valid and not competitive

Hook up cycle:

  • pre game – party before party, alcohol introduced early, smaller group
  • party – more people, more alcohol
  • let’s go somewhere – some sort of isolation cause can’t hook up on dance floor or in living room
  • sexual activity
  • morning after

3 factors involved in date rape:

  1. criminal intent
  2. alcohol or drugs – used as a weapon
  3. isolation


  • perhaps believe it is acceptable to take advantage of person who is high or drunk
  • sedating substances
  • quick effect

What drug is used most often in drug facilitated incidents? Alcohol


  • easily obtained
  • socially acceptable
  • legal
  • regulated

Saturday AM:

after a hook up

  • feel bad, hung over, feel dirty, embarrassed
  • avoid them at all cost
  • regret
  • social media
  • appointment at clinic

after a date

  • feel good
  • want to see them
  • details
  • facebook
  • talk about it

Sexual violence has a coexistence with alcohol and isolation:

  • even if willing
  • separated from friends
  • communication

Continuum of risk:

  • minimal risk – both parties sober, long term committed relationship, mutual consent, open discussion
  • medium risk
  • high risk
  • risk goes up when alcohol consumption is increased

Language of sexual assault:

  • language often used to assess actions, ascribe blame and minimize perps responsibility
  • use of language of consensual sex to to describe assault acts
  • describing victims in terms that objectify them or blame them for violence
  • linguistic avoidance the invisible perp

Use language of consent sex:

  • describe acts in terms usually used for pleasurable and affectionate acts
  • minimizes and hides the intrinsic violence of an assault
  • makes it harder to visualize the acts as unwanted violations
  • allows society to rationalize
  • “Comfort women”
  • lack of appropriate language
  • analytic attention to the …
  • have language to talk about stranger danger
  • have language to talk about consensual
  • but not non consensual with intimate partners

Victims use of language:

  • may use language of consensual sex or mutual experience
  • often acknowledge they were forced to have sex but may not characterize as rape
  • may use vague or slang terms, impersonal verbs or passive language such as “something happened”
  • don’t want to see the ugliness
  • socialized to not call it rape

Expanding the dialogue:

  • movies like animal house
  • memes about consent – changing hook up culture
  • men for consent
  • PAAR services
  • Crisis services
  • Counseling
  • Prevention services
  • Child and family counseling center
  • Helpline: 1-866-END-RAPE

Point Park

2013 CDC asked about sexual assault etc. against same sex

women identify and bi-identify

safer – students advocating for …

Claudia Schafer works – criminologist


Special Speaker: Jackie Fox

  • former bassist for the Runaways
  • attorney

Queens of Silence: passive bystanders in the world of sex, drugs, and rock & roll

  • came out about sexual violence from her band management (1970s) 1975
  • happens when you come out about it and share your story
  • at a party and someone gets sexually assault?
  • how many people would act?
  • say you don’t act, how many feel that’s bad?

the Bystander Effect

a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present; the probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders

  • 15 y.o. when she joined the Runaways
  • band mates were comfortable with alcohol and cigarettes
  • succumbed to peer pressure and tried Quaaludes (legal access, prescribed, men typically carry around to give to those they want to have sex with)

Ataxia  – the loss of full control of bodily movements

  • the unspoken word

Preventing acts of violence:

  1. Notice the event
  2. Interpret it
  3. Decide whether to act – and how

Assault started when drugged

  • note was able when staggered to bed – friends noticed cause never saw before
  • interpret it (new years eve etc.)
  • how with strangers

cognitive biases – make assumptions about people – better motives with those who are attractive or powerful or successful

Wishful thinking bias – prefer feeling good to feeling bad

Conformity – compliance with standards, rules, or laws; behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards

  • tremendous pressure to conform to social norms
  • marks us cooperative and predictable
  • “the smoke filled room” – example
  • when alone 75% will leave and report smoke
  • as you add more people to the room, less will report – add people who don’t respond and only 10% will leave/ report

Pluralistic Ignorance

is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it… also described as “no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes.”

  • just recognize that the thing is not good, look around and think only one, harder to do something as time went on

Diffusion of responsibility

a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present

  • the more people that witness a horrible act the less likely they are to do something

Evaluation apprehension

predicts that when we work in the presence of others, our concern over what they will think can enhance or impair our performance

  • way risk against pros
  • physical harm, later consequences – retribution
  • don’t want to look foolish in front of others, get laughed at, think what if I’m wrong
  • takes someone you care an incredible amount for to step up in those situations

What can we do?

  • take a bystander intervention course
  • example: what if 2 friends who saw drunk went and sat with her? what if friend who left had know to come running back in and say hey this guy is calling the police?
  • after assault – hearing about it, don’t like to hear about it

Victim blaming: Why?

  • illusion of control
  • 75% assault with acquainted
  • larger on college campuses
  • come from date
  • self blame

Correlate with wishful thinking bias

Just world fallacy –

good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people

  • look for something bad about them
  • if can’t find then find something they don’t like about them
  • even if have no idea who they are
  • want to separate selves from sexual assaults so badly that want to disassociate from that
  • most of the time there are no witnesses
  • she had witnesses and still they can still say that it didn’t happen

Check your biases

  • Took 40 years to come out about it
  • people use this as a way to deny the experience and discredit it
  • what they need is support!
  • regardless of what happened, people need to have time to deal
  • people will say she should be lucky someone will have sex with her, as if it’s about attraction

Steelers Ben R. sex assault

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends” MLK Jr.


How were you able to work with those same people after the assault happened?

  • compartmentalize
  • hard to have relationship with people
  • hard to trust people

I’m not the one who should fear ashamed – the man who raped me should

  • sometimes those who participate in the worst victim blaming are those who are survivors
  • need that sense of control
  • that voice you don’t listen to, you don’t trust
  • survivors support network

Session 3: Ethics of Confidentiality

(Speakers: PAAR)

Activity: take a note card, write a secret on it, place in envelope

calling college interactions “hook up culture”

the sexual activity is actually sexual violence

understand that this is happening a lot on college campuses

Level of confidentiality – Responsibility:

  • mandatory reporter
  • confidentiality
  • women’s center
  • PAAR – will not testify in court unless given consent – resource

National and Federal level acts of what suppose to do…

  • a lot of people are unsure – wear multiple hats, unsure when can wear or take off
  • reporting to someone in confidence but they are mandatory reporter
  • university meant to tell people who they are and what they are to do
  • onion layers

*Mandated reporting of child report

  • contacted with under 18 – we all are mandated
  • threat to the campus community
  • not well defined on national level, universities differ
  • subpoenaed to testify
  • more specifics knowledge
  • 100% confidential*
  • SAC training

What does it impact?

  • 1 in 4 victims of childhood sexual abuse
  • 1 in 5 victims of college rape
  • 1 in 6 boys by age 18 sexually assaulted

(give card to someone else, they’ll read it … not actually do it… how felt?)

Have conversations about who you are on campus


Be in role of employee vs. volunteer

  • Who we are?
  • Who you are?
  • Who have to tell?

Types of disclosure:

  • direct and voluntary
  • indirect
  • involuntary – most typically with children, medical emergencies, pregnancies

Adhering to privacy

Scope of sexual violence

Recognition vs. frequency

Lack of awareness and recognition

Scooby Doo show – the “bad guy” is a person you know

  • What we’re told is that we can’t recognize the offender as the offender

Long term effects


  • It’s On Us
  • Say No More

Trying to create culture of sense of support for those to come forward

  • but when do there’s not something to protect them or conduates
  • beyond college campus
  • criminally happening

Keeping perspective:

  • feeling victimized is a terrible experience
  • not every experience can be played out in court or a student conduct process
  • many victims don’t utilize these systems b/c they fear they’ll be re-victimized
  • our legal advocated witness many injustices within the justice systems

We must refrain from making judgments

The first response to victims is critical in determining in how victims cope

You are not a therapist and do not try to fix it but acknowledge and support them

Immediately following receiving a disclosure:

  • Listen
  • Support
  • Offer resources
  • Let them guide – they’re the expert and you are the referral

If they say they have something confidential to share …

You should know that b/c I’m … here, I cannot keep this information

Can’t make survivors tell

What do I actually say?!

  • changing our gut response
  • disbelief, questions – stop that

Needs at disclosure:

  1. To be believed
  2. To be recognized as a survivor of an assault
  3. To have others to be honest

Managing compassion fatigue – Things you should do:

  • Find someone to talk to
  • Understand that the pain you feel is normal
  • Exercise and eat properly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take some time off
  • Identify what is important to you
  • Call PAAR
  • Creating safe spaces for sharing and not questioning
  • Basic counseling course

Session 4: Dismantling the Locker Room

(Speaker: Jerry McMeekin)


  • former college basketball player
  • current basketball coach (5th grade boys)
  • coaching boys into men
  • office located on East Carson and 18th street
  • Counseling – 2 yr old up to adults
  • Education
  • Crisis intervention – medical and legal advocates
  • Speaks on a local and national level

Quick stats on sexual assault:

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys before age of 18
  • 1 in 5 college women before graduation
  • 67% trans

Presentation: Men’s violence against women

Who do I relate to as a role model?

Recruiting and creating partnership: Champion coaches – partnerships, Hesitation/ reluctance, Training activity


Activity: write out on post note: 3 categories (written, physical, verbal) ask the boys or men on campus to write one thing on each note in either or all categories something regarding sexual violence; ask to be specific


  • Appropriate interactions with girls
  • Boundaries
  • Healthy relationships ideas

Easy to do with negatives

Harder to list things with the positive

Uses humor to break the ice and break down the walls young boys and men put up in order to have those serious and sensitive conversations

Discussion topic examples: 12 items

  1. Lot of teachable moments
  2. “locker room culture”
  3. pre-program speech/ expectations
  4. personal responsibility

Usually stops here with coaches

Insulting language

Disrespect of women

Big time names – coaches, players, mentors:

  • Bill Shay
  • Ray Rice – poster child for domestic violence
  • Coach – Greg Shiano

Why won’t males show up? disrespect females in the past and they are not proud of it

What goes down in the Locker Room:

  • What happens here, stays here
  • Bro code
  • Three types of dudes in the locker rooms
    1. Guy telling the story
    2. Guy tries rolling with the first guy, trying to compete with him
    3. Guy puts his ear buds in and rolls out of the locker room
  • Touching someone inappropriately
  • Using language that objectifies opposite sex
  • Hazing
  • Inappropriate names
  • Sexual jokes
  • Bragging
  • Attempt assaults

Some men will apologize, saying something like “I’m sorry for what my gender has done to your gender” but what’s better than an apology?

  • Building safe spaces
  • Being better
  • Actions

What are you doing?

  • bystander intervention
  • conversations around consent
  • challenging social norms (personal/ parenting)

Working with coaches first then trickle down to players/ students


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