Ithaca College cannot remain complacent with its level of adherence with Title IX within the Department of Athletics. There is still work to be done for complete equity. The college has not done as well as it has stated for meeting the requirements for Title IX. Equity is an ongoing goal the college should always work toward and continue to do so even if it is ahead of other colleges. The college should not be comfortable with the lack of equal annual wages for coaches of women’s sports teams in comparison with coaches in the men’s sports teams. This is not the standard the college community should be willing to settle for.
While the college has attempted to adhere to Title IX over the years and give women more athletic opportunities on campus, there is still much to be done. The college has been able to provide female-identifying and non-binary students more opportunities through club sports, like women’s rugby, but this club has yet to be promoted to the varsity level, despite being around since 1995. While there are other factors to take into consideration before adding sports teams, the college should take into consideration the level of interest and work female club sports have put in when it considers what new sports teams to add. This will give many female-identifying and non-binary students another opportunity to get into more sports on a competitive level.
In addition to annual wages, there is an imbalance in the funding that goes into recruitment for sports teams. Women’s sports teams are granted considerably less for recruiting than men’s sports teams. How can women’s sports teams increase their rosters and bridge the gap between the number of athletes on women’s teams compared with men’s teams if they are not given enough money to do so?
According to Title IX, the college does only need to be compliant with at least one of its three components of the legislation. But for the college to claim it values both women’s and men’s sports teams equally, there has to be action to support it. By only really committing to adhere to two of the three prongs of Title IX, the athletics department disrespects the entire college community and disregards the effort and commitment female-identifying and non-binary students put in. The college needs to step up and set an example for the community by assuring that there is gender equity across the board and show that it plans to continue to maintain its commitment to ensuring equity for all its students, faculty and staff members now and in the future.