Seton Hall hosts Title IX conference on campus

Title IX, a federal civil rights law that protects Americans from discrimination on the basis of sex, received attention in the past year. In 2017, the Trump Administration rescinded an Obama-Era guideline that walks back “the enforcement authorities given to the Office for Civil Rights” according to U.S. News.

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Amid these alterations and media coverage, Seton Hall is hosting a two-day conference from Sept. 24-25, which intends to provide training for Title IX coordinators and investigators.

The upcoming workshop for Title IX investigators will incorporate a wide-range of sessions to include “investigation protocols, forensic interviewing, managing investigative issues and more,” according to the Seton Hall website.

Presenters Leslie Gomez and Gina Smith from Cozen O’Connor, a nationally recognized law firm that practices in litigation, government relations and business law, will present at the conference.

According to Seton Hall’s website, Gomez and Smith will focus “on the institutional response to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, child abuse, other forms of harassment and discrimination and criminal conduct.”

Karen Van Norman, associate vice president, dean of students and Title IX Deputy Compliance Coordinator, attended a meeting with two of her colleagues, Lori Brown, Director of EEO Compliance and Title IX coordinator, and Nicole Giglia, Associate Director of Student Life. Gomez and a colleague spoke at the meeting about how they were impressed with her presentation.

With the assistance of vice president of Student Service Tracy Gottlieb and other community members along with Van Norman, they decided to invite Gomez and Smith to present for this upcoming conference. According to Van Norman, she expects more than 100 guests from various institutions to attend the two-day event.

According to Giglia, the conference’s design aims to help staff who handle the Title IX process.” She added that these presenters provide a beneficial opportunity to share the best practices to investigative staff.

“It’s my hope that attendees walk away from the conference with some more knowledge and skills on how to conduct thorough and equitable investigations,” Giglia shared in an email. “I also hope that attendees are able to better understand the laws and guidelines regarding the Title IX process so that we can do the best job possible for all students affected by sexual assault and misconduct.”

Thomas Schwartz can be reached at

Author: Thomas Schwartz

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