Lariat Letter: On Title IX education

By Dr. Laura Johnson | Guest Contributor

On March 12, The Editorial Board of The Baylor Lariat published an opinion piece highlighting the unacceptably large number of sexual assaults and interpersonal misconduct issues that occur on college campuses around the country. They went on to express the importance of Title IX training in helping students recognize, prevent, intervene and report sexual misconduct when it happens.

First, I applaud the Lariat staff for bringing this important issue to the forefront. Student-led initiatives are vital to decreasing the number of sexual assaults and making campuses safe. We also agree that more training is an important part of this effort.

At Baylor, the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office exists to engage in these issues of sexual and interpersonal misconduct with care and integrity. We take very seriously our role to actively shape a conscientious community where members are valued, empowered, recognized and supported.

Unfortunately, The Editorial Board failed to fully research the subject and understand the full gamut of training provided by our staff. While each student, faculty and staff member who is a part of Baylor University is required to complete a mandatory Title IX training that complies with federal and state regulations, the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office also provides additional prevention and education to the Baylor community year-round. In fact, more than 50% of our education and prevention programming includes specialized training to groups and organizations and tabling events that allow us to offer additional resources to students.

Training programs include topics like consent, social media awareness, self-defense, healthy relationships, setting boundaries, adaptable resolution, restorative practices and bystander intervention. Additionally, throughout the school year, our office leads programming around national recognitions like Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) and Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).

In the 2022-2023 school year, more than 1,400 people engaged in training and prevention programs hosted by our office, and this number does not include those who complete the online training or participate in the many tabling events. Midway through the spring semester this year, we have already exceeded that number by nearly 30%. According to surveys completed after training programs, more than 90% of attendees feel better equipped to address issues related to sexual and interpersonal misconduct.

The impact of sexual assault is devastating. That makes our work together as a caring community even more important. This is why we focus many of our efforts on prevention education. As we approach Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, our office will offer multiple opportunities to engage in conversation and learning. We hope each student, faculty and staff member will join in our efforts to increase awareness and engage in learning opportunities like these and others we will share as the month progresses:

  • SAAM Awareness Event | April 3 | 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. | SUB Stage (across from Common Grounds)
  • Bringing in the Bystander with the Advocacy Center | April 10 | 6 – 8 p.m. | BSB Room
  • Light the Night – Campus Lit Teal for SAAM | April 17 | Fountain Mall
  • Denim Day | April 24 | 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. | SUB Stage (across from Common Grounds)

Prevention of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal misconduct is strongest when we all work together to keep our friends, our classmates, our colleagues and all those we encounter safe. If you would like to request training for a group you are a part of, please let us know by emailing me at

Dr. Laura Johnson serves as Baylor University’s associate vice president for equity and Title IX coordinator.