We were deeply concerned to learn that while Barnard searches for a new Title IX coordinator, they will not have an interim replacement. Instead, they will allocate various Title IX duties to members of General Counsel (the lawyers paid to protect Barnard from lawsuits) and other administrators.
The Office for Civil Rights mandates schools have a designated Title IX coordinator at all times. Even if a school has multiple Title IX coordinators, one should have overarching authority. Answer C-3 from OCR's "Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence" mandates:
If a school designates more than one Title IX coordinator, the school’s notice of nondiscrimination and Title IX grievance procedures should describe each coordinator’s responsibilities, and one coordinator should be designated as having ultimate oversight responsibility.
Barnard is blatantly violating this guideline by not having a specific interim coordinator while they hire a new one, and instead, randomly allocating different Title IX duties to various, untrained employees.
Further, in allocating Title IX coordinator duties to members of General Counsel (employees whose sole interest is in protecting the college's public image), Barnard is intimidating students and preventing them from seeking necessary assistance. Answer C-4 in the aforementioned OCR FAQ specifically states:
Because some complaints may raise issues as to whether or how well the school has met its Title IX obligations, designating the same employee to serve both as the Title IX coordinator and the general counsel (which could include representing the school in legal claims alleging Title IX violations) poses a serious risk of a conflict of interest.
We call upon Barnard to designate one employee not from General Counsel as interim Title IX coordinator. Not having a specific Title IX coordinator is unacceptable, and allocating duties to General Counsel is a clear conflict of interest that silences student voices.