By ZACK GLOSSER
The Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team (START) is a new initiative created this year by seniors Jamie Baum and Leah Ciffolillo and alumna McKenna Becker. Introduced Block 1, the team was created to be a confidential resource for students who seek advice on all forms of information related to Title IX, the federal law codifying that, “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.” (20 U.S. Code § 1681)
START aims to counsel students whose Title IX rights have been breached, as confidential resources. “It is a group of students who are trained to be confidential resources for other students,” said Baum. This includes all things under Title IX: rape, sexual harassment, assault, stalking, gender-based discrimination, as well as intimate partner violence.
This year, the co-chairs are seniors Suzie Taylor and Jasmin Thibou. The founding group of students had the idea for the group after they stumbled upon a troubling pattern, “We found that students would turn to their friends for advice,” said Baum, “Even though their friend is not trained in Title IX-related issues.”
Each member of START goes through a rigorous interview process and if chosen for one of the seven to nine spots available, comprehensive training begins. All members are trained in all aspects of Title IX and can present options tailored to each person and their specific situation.
“All we can do is provide options, because each person has the most knowledge of their situation,” said Baum, before going on to add, “We encourage students who are at all stages of dealing with any of these problems to come to a START appointment.” START is not a crisis resource that is available 24/7. Rather, students must make an appointment within certain hours set by each team member.
Students can schedule an appointment at start.setmore.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students interested in applying to be a member of START for the 2018-19 school year should go to coloradocollege.edu/offices/sarp/start to fill out the application, which is due the first Wednesday of Block 4. If you hold a position on campus that makes you a mandatory reporter, you are not eligible to be on the START Team.