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Title IX & Athletic Equity Committee
The California NOW Athletic Equity Committee was formed in 1993. That was the year California NOW filed suit against the 19 campus California State University system for athletic equity discrimination based on state law. In the late 80s the percentage of women athletes had declined from 36% to 30%.
By 2005-06, the percentage of women athletes had increased to 55.9%. Women were 58.5% of the students. Funding has increased from $11.2 million in 92-93 to $77.6 million. Athletic scholarship funding has increased from $2.5 million to $12.2 million.
In 1999, California NOW filed Title IX complaints against the University of Southern California, UCLA and St. Mary’s College. UCLA added women’s crew. St. Mary’s added lacrosse. USC refused to add another women’s sport and the Bush administration was unwilling to do anything about it.
California NOW has also filed Title IX complaints against three high schools. Two of them added sports, the other adopted a policy taking control of booster club funds.
In April 2007, the California NOW Board of Directors voted to support three former employees of Feather River Community College who are charging whistle-blower retaliation. Details about the cases are available on the CA NOW web site. We have done press, including an op-ed piece in the local paper and written letters to the Board of Trustees.
At the same time CA NOW voted to support the lawsuit being brought by Karen Moe Humphreys against Cal Berkeley for wrongful termination. A settlement was reached in August 2007.
As chair of the California NOW Athletic Equity Committee, I was invited to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Gender Discrimination and Title IX Implementation on July 24, 2007.
While there are still problems in the CSU and UC systems, the California NOW Athletic Equity Committee will be focusing on California's Community Colleges. In 1992-93 women were only 27% of the athletes. By 1996-97, they had increased to 34%. By 2003-04 women were 34% of the athletes -- zero improvement in seven years.
A Women’s Sports Foundation report released in 2007, gives letter grades to each two and four year college and university in the country based on their percentage of women athletes as compared to their percentage of women students. Of the 99 community colleges in California 54 of them received a D or F.
The 35th anniversary of Title IX was celebrated in 2007. How long must girls and women wait for athletic equity? If you’d like to be a member of the California NOW Athletic Equity Committee, send me an email.
Chair, CA NOW Athletic Equity Committee