by Neena Chaudhry, Senior Counsel
National Women’s Law Center
I have spent a good chunk of time this week talking about a Title IX trial against Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. The issue is that the school cut its women’s volleyball team to save money and claims that it can nevertheless satisfy Title IX by elevating its cheerleading squad to a varsity sport. There’s also that pesky little issue about the school admittedly manipulating its athletic rosters to under report the number of men and inflate the number of women actually playing. At bottom, however, the Quinnipiac case is about whether a school is providing its female students with truly equal athletic opportunities or is simply cost cutting on the backs of women.
Today is the 38th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark civil rights law passed in 1972 that has literally revolutionized our world. Because of Title IX, I am sitting where I am, writing what I am. Women are now allowed to go to college and graduate schools, they are allowed to run the full length of a basketball court, they can go to the moon, and much more. Yet, despite the many doors that this remarkable law has opened, we are still having many of the same conversations that we did almost 40 years ago, especially in the realm of athletics.
Admittedly, I'm not the most patient person, and I feel like the child in the back of the car who keeps asking "Are we there yet?" Sadly, the answer is "no," which is why we must keep fighting until we are.