Kathleen Flynn joined FSC in October as the Title IX Coordinator. Flynn brings years of experience to FSC in the areas of student services and higher education. She has worked in health education and prevention and addiction studies, and has been a prevention specialist since 1994. She also served as a rape crisis counselor, work which she said inspired her to apply for the job at FSC.
Flynn earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from SUNY Buffalo and a master’s degree in community health from Adelphi University and has received extensive training in substance use, substance use disorders, and sex-based harassment.
In her role, Flynn is the College’s primary resource on the scope, requirements, and sanctions involved with the 50-year-old federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender in education programs and activities that receive federal funds. Since Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 passed, it has not been without controversy and is often misunderstood. Flynn’s intention is to keep the lines of communication open on campus while bringing about a greater understanding of the law and how it is applied.
To start the process, Flynn answered some frequently asked questions about Title IX.
What is your role as the Title IX coordinator?
My role is to be a support, a resource, a sounding board, an information-gatherer, a non-judgmental problem-solver, and probably most importantly, to be accessible.
My role also serves as the principal institutional official responsible for coordinating, implementing, overseeing, and ensuring Title IX compliance. In addition, I promote and enforce the gender equity climate of the College.
What are your goals as the Title IX coordinator?
My goals are to ensure the campus staff, faculty, and students know what Title IX is and that I am here to serve and support them.
From what you have seen so far, where does FSC stand in terms of meeting Title IX requirements?
The College is very lucky to have a passionate Dean of Students, Frank Rampello, who has been wearing the Title IX Coordinator hat along with many other hats for a few years. He has met the state requirements and beyond. My full-time position dedicated to Title IX at the College will go beyond what is required by the state, especially in the area of outreach and education.
Do most people associate Title IX with athletics?
Most people do associate Title IX with athletics, but most people don’t know it goes much further. The law helps to ensure that our schools are free of gender-based discrimination and harassment. The changes over the years include the way we think about sex differences, gender roles, and sexuality in general. Under Title IX, colleges must ensure that someone who experiences sexual violence or sex-based discrimination is cared for and given access to support services.
What are the biggest misconceptions about Title IX and how do you plan to address those?
My plans to address the misconceptions are to get conversations started, “breaking the silence,” building a campus climate that allows conversations about any Title IX topic to happen on a regular basis. My first step is conducting focus groups for faculty, staff, and students to give them the information they need about Title IX.
If someone believes they have been impacted by a Title IX infraction on campus and wants to pursue a complaint, what is the procedure?
The type of situation will determine which steps will be best. If someone is looking to talk or gain information, they can reach out to any of the support services on campus including me.
If it is a situation that is happening and/or just happened they should contact University Police on the emergency at 934-420-2111. They will reach out to me so I can be present as well.
What else do you want people to know?
I really want people to know I am here for them and they don’t have to go through anything alone. There are no wrong inquires or questions. My door is always open. Pop in and introduce yourself.