By EMILY GROTTLE
Now that Dr. Leah Cox has resigned from her position of Title IX Coordinator effective Jan. 19, President Paino has been working hard with multiple people to make sure her position will be filled, to ensure the safety of students and keep the Title IX position active. The University of Mary Washington has long been committed to keeping campus safe for the student body.
Although no one has officially replaced Dr. Cox, according to Martin Wilder, Chief of Staff, President Paino has been meeting with multiple people to assign the duties that previously belonged to Dr. Cox.
Wilder also noted that Dr. Cox’s responsibilities will be taken over by multiple people, including two groups, which are the President’s task force on Diversity and Inclusion and the Board of Visitors, specifically working on the diversity and safety of campus.
“The Board of Visitors,” Wilder says, “is comprised of 12 members of Virginia and is an Ad Hoc Committee formed by Rhonda Van Lowe specifically to work diversity.”
Other people taking over Dr. Cox’s responsibilities are Sabrina Johnson and Tiffany Oldfield. Johnson has been at UMW for 20 years and works in Human Resources to ensure equal employment as well as to resolve issues in the workplace.
As of right now, Johnson is only a temporary replacement for Dr. Cox. Johnson is the co-chair of the President’s task force team on Diversity and Inclusion where she works to create a more diverse set of faculty, staff and students while “offering an environment where a student can thrive and be successful.”
Johnson will be working on the task force team and as Title IX Coordinator until someone is able to replace Oldfield as investigator.
Oldfield will be the first full-time Title IX Coordinator UMW has had, since Dr. Cox was not full time. She expressed interest in the job when Dr. Cox retired and will be the Title IX Coordinator as soon as the President chooses someone to replace her as investigator.
Oldfield is determined to “continue what Dr. Cox already started,” she says and wants to, “get more into the community by talking to students, meeting with groups, and work with students to figure out their needs in gender and sexual based violence.”
Oldfield says she is committed to helping a wide and diverse group of survivors. “When a survivor comes in,” Oldfield said. “I want to continue to provide academic and housing contracts and support the student as a member of the community.”
She stressed her desire to listen to the students and to provide information of resources on and off campus. Oldfield wants to provide as much information and education as she can for students who are survivors of sexual assault, whether that be going through the Tally Center or law enforcement. Oldfield says she is “really excited to be in this role” and that it is a “testament to President Paino’s commitment to stop sexual assault on campus, and to continue to make UMW a warm and safe environment for students.”
With the resignation of Dr. Cox, President Paino has been working hard with faculty and staff to ensure the right people take over and has stressed that it is important that all students feel safe on campus no matter what.