Q&A with Bridgewater State University’s Title IX Coordinator, Erin DeBobes

Stephanie Dawber

Erin DeBobes Esq. serves as Bridgewater State University’s Title IX Coordinator. Her position on campus entails the rights and responsibilities of individuals on campus. She agreed to do a Q & A to better inform the Bridgewater State University community of her responsibilities and when to contact her.

Q: What is the purpose of a Title IX Coordinator? How long have you served as the Title IX Coordinator?

A: As with all institutions receiving federal financial funds, BSU is required to designate a Title IX Coordinator to oversee compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities. I am currently in my third semester as BSU’s Title IX Coordinator and previously served in a similar capacity at another Massachusetts state institution for a number of years.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a Title IX Coordinator?

A: A Title IX Coordinator oversees campus compliance with Title IX, including overseeing the complaint process and identifying and addressing any patterns or trends that may emerge. In addition, Title IX Coordinators provide training regarding the rights and responsibilities of campus community members and coordinate other preventative education efforts around sex discrimination.

Q: What type of situations do you typically handle?

A: Our office investigates a range of complaints including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. We also coordinate protective services, known as interim measures, such as No Contact Orders, academic accommodations, and housing changes for individuals impacted by incidents of sexual violence.  

Q: When should a student contact you?

A: Students should contact our office if they believe they, or someone they know, may have been involved in an incident related to sexual harassment or any form of sexual or relationship violence so we may explain available options and provide other resources to assist them. Our website http://bsutitleix.weebly.com also provides detailed information regarding resources and reporting options available for victim-survivors. Students who wish to confidentially weigh their options are encouraged to meet with a counselor located in the Wellness Center.

Q: What is something that you would like the BSU community to know about your job?

A: Our goal is for all students to enjoy academic and personal growth during their time at BSU and instances of sexual or relationship violence that may interfere with any student’s experience will not be tolerated on our campus. We will respond in a fair and compassionate way to immediately address any allegations that are made.

DeBobes can be reached via email at egaffney@bridgew.edu or by phone 508.531.1756.

Stephanie Dawber is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment newspaper. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieDawber.

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