Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

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Change Isn’t Strange: President Janz Looks at Title IX at Winona State

Karalyn Kolstad
Inside the OASIS Advocacy Center located in Gildemeister Hall 110. Resources are provided for students experiencing or are interested in learning about violence on campus.

You see a girl walking home alone at night. How safe do you think she is on campus? How about off campus? How about in Rochester? What if she’s pregnant?

Kenneth Janz is looking through the Title IX practices at Winona State University which include equality of genders in athletics, investigating sexual assault/rape reports, and making sure pregnant students get the care that they need.

“Title IX states: 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,” according to the US Department of Education.

On Winona State’s website, Title IX states “Most people remember it as the law granting girls and women equal access to academic and athletic opportunities at schools, colleges, and universities. However, Title IX offers protection from discrimination on the basis of sex in wide variety of situations. This includes, but is not limited to Academics, Sexual Violence, Student Services and Campus Life, Employment, Retaliation, and Admissions/Recruitment,” According to Winona State.

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Kenneth Janz, the Interim President of Winona State, talks about why the school is looking into Title IX.

“It is not because of a particular issue; we just haven’t done it for a while. We’re just seeing how compliant we are,” Janz said factually. Lori Mikl, the leader of the Title IX investigation is the Title IX Coordinator on campus as well as the Director of Affirmative Action, Equity, and Legal Affairs. Mikl speaks about what she thinks is the weakest spot in terms of Title IX.

“From my perspective, I think facilities is always a point of weakness on this campus. We never have enough space. The facilities are older, so if anything will be a weakness for Title IX compliance, it is facilities,” Mikl said.

Mikl also explains what she and her team will be looking for during this process, saying that there is a “laundry list”.

“OCR (The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights) has a complete laundry list that we will look at. Athletics is pulling all their financial information for all the teams. We’re going to look at what those teams are fundraising (because that counts towards financial prospects). We’ll look at facilities, practice times, where they practice and compete, the distance of off campus competitions and practices, it just must be equitable,” Mikl stated.

Mikl ended her statement saying that she is excited about this investigation, saying she wants Winona State to be proactive rather than reactive.

Janz explained that they are splitting up the investigation into a couple parts, so that each section of Title IX can be investigated thoroughly.

“We’re looking at benefits, opportunities and treatment of athletics right now. As in, do we provide enough supplies? How are we scheduling game practices? This also includes travel allowances, coaching, academic tutoring, locker rooms, fields, facilities, competition, medical services, housing, and publicity recruitment,”
Janz stated.

Additionally, to the practices listed Janz will also be reviewing strength and conditioning, how many scholarships are given, and how many coaches they have signed. Janz said that they will issue this report in January of 2024.

Caylee Ludwig, a player for the women’s soccer team, talks about how she doesn’t even know what Title IX really is.

“I think we have an idea of what it is, but it’s not presented to us as much as you’d think,” Ludwig said. “I feel like I would have to go look for more information on my own to educate myself on it.”

Ludwig comments on her thoughts on how fair athletics is gender-wise.

“I definitely feel like there’s equality for male and female sports here,” Ludwig said. “Obviously, football has a lot more coaches, but they also have three times as many people that we do.” Reanne Weil, also a player for the women’s soccer team and the news editor for the Winonan, talks about her thoughts on athletic gender equality.

“I think that there could always be better. I think that football still gets a lot of things that we don’t, but I do think that they try their best to make up for it,” Weil said.

Weil continued, saying that even though there are more women sports on campus then men sport that men sports get more money in general.

Another aspect of athletics that Weil stated could be more equal, is how much free equipment her team gets.

“They’re [the equipment] just really expensive and the only free thing we get is our uniforms. So, it would just be nice to have a little more money for gear, balls or goals,” Weil voiced.

In the Spring, there will be an investigation of every other Title IX practice in other areas of campus.

An anonymous student who has used the Title IX practices on campus regarding sexual assault, speaks on how well she believes it has worked for her.

“The main issue I hear about is the amount of time it takes to resolve. Some of my friends have had serious assault complaints and didn’t put them in because the process, specifically at Winona State. It takes almost a year or more,” the student stated.

The student then continues, saying that victims who are upperclassmen even have less of a chance to see their case fully investigated, because of the time constraints. “My complaint is current, but I’m a senior, and I don’t know what happens when I graduate in the spring if it hasn’t been resolved before then. My guess is that it is dropped, and if that is the case, that is utterly stupid and throws me off from even putting in a complaint to make our campus safer again,” the student said.

Janz is looking to create a better safe space at Winona State, and that means investigating what we are doing wrong. He is committed to positive change.

“I hear people say, if you keep your head buried in the sand, then you will never know. But I want to know. I want to look at it and hand off this institution to the new pres- ident and say “hey, we reviewed Title IX and it’s in good shape” or “we have some concerns,” Janz said.

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About the Contributors
Sophia Sailer
Sophia Sailer, Editor-in-Chief

Sophia Sailer (she/her/hers) is currently the Editor-in-Chief at The Winonan.

Sailer is also a DJ for KQAL and hosts “Sippin’ with Sophie” on Saturdays from 3-6 PM. You’ll also catch Sailer at TV Services in Phelps, if you ever need to rent out a camera.

Sailer is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota and is a fourth-year student at Winona State University studying Mass Communication: Creative Digital Media as her major, and Advertising and Film studies as her minors. She loves talking to people and making sure their voices are heard and hopes to do that with her leadership at the Winonan.

Recently Sailer studied abroad for 2 weeks in Italy, creating art.

Sailer’s hobbies include listening to music, shopping, making art, and hanging out with friends.

Karalyn Kolstad
Karalyn Kolstad, Photographer
Karalyn Kolstad (she/her/hers) is a photographer for The Winonan. This is Karalyn's first semester with The Winonan. She is a third-year student at Winona State University majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. She is also the secretary of the Biology Club on campus. Outside of school, Karalyn enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching movies and reading. 

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