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January 31, 2003

Title IX anniversary celebrated

by Anne Krapfl
Several February events will celebrate the growth in participation of women and girls in organized athletics. The events coincide with the "National Girls and Women in Sports Day" on Feb. 5 and observe the 30th anniversary of the federal Title IX (1972) legislation, which prohibits sex discrimination in school programs, whether academic or athletic.

Next week, Feb. 3-7, small groups of Cyclone women athletes will visit all seven Ames elementary schools during the lunch hours to meet children and answer questions about being a college student athlete.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, is the annual "National Girls and Women in Sports Day." During a panel discussion at noon in the Memorial Union Sun Room, current and former ISU female student athletes, representing 30 years of Title IX, will talk about their experiences and the benefits of having participated in college athletics, before and since Title IX.

A second panel discussion will be held at noon Friday, Feb. 14, also in the Sun Room. Current Cyclone women student athletes will talk about how Title IX has changed their respective sports and the benefits to them personally.

On Feb. 14-15, the athletic department will host its fourth "Celebration of Women in Athletics," part of a five-year process to honor women's athletic teams at Iowa State. Student athletes who competed from fall 1994 to the present specifically will be recognized during a Friday evening reception, Saturday lunch and ceremony at halftime Saturday of the Cyclone women's basketball game against Texas.

And finally, former University of Iowa women's athletic director Christine Grant will be on campus March 6 for a noon lecture in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Grant, a nationally known proponent of gender equity in athletics, will address the question: "Will Title IX Survive?" She was a founding member of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, and served as its president from 1979 to 1982. She also served on the board of directors of the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administrators and as that group's president from 1987 to 1998.

What Title IX does
In athletics, Title IX governs the overall equity of treatment and opportunity for student athletes. The focus is on equal opportunities for women and men on a whole, rather than an individual, basis. It gives schools flexibility in choosing which sports it will field, based on student interest, influences of a school's geographic location, budget constraints and student body gender ratio. But it doesn't mandate, for example, that women be allowed to participate in wrestling, or that the same amount of money is spent on female and male basketball players.

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