CSU lawyers to assess CPH’s Title IX and discrimination programs; open forums Dec. 6 and 8, students plan related speak out Dec. 7

Cal Poly Humboldt announced in an email sent on Dec. 1 that California State University is currently conducting a system wide assessment of the 23 campuses implementation of its Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) programs with ​​international law firm Cozen O’Connor.

An open forum with the Cozen team for faculty and staff will be held on Tuesday Dec. 6 from 3:45 until 4:45 p.m. in the Great Hall above the College Creek Marketplace. Employees are encouraged to provide input and share their experiences or observations regarding Cal Poly Humboldt’s Title IX and DHR Prevention programs during this session.

A separate open forum for students will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8, 11:00 a.m. at the same location. These forums are restricted for faculty, staff and students in their respective days. No members from CPH Administration will be present during these open forums. 

On Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. students will be holding a speak-out at the Cal Poly Humboldt SAC Quad in solidarity with survivors of sexualized violence on campus. They will also be brainstorming how a survivor center may be implemented on campus in response to the community outrage at the lack of survivor resources.

Why is this happening?

Janet Winston, California Faculty Association’s Humboldt Chapter Membership & Organizing Representative, has been reached out by members of the CFA, CPH staff and students about the dissatisfaction with the administration and President Tom Jackson Jr. Winston got word of Cozen’s expected arrival by colleagues from Cal State East Bay and Chico in early November, not from CPH administration. 

“We don’t have a campus Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator, a paid professionally staffed Women’s Center and LGBTQ Center, we don’t have a campus Racialized Violence Prevention Coordinator, we don’t have adequate funding for our cultural centers where a lot of students of color are going to seek support for the harassment, violence and discrimination they experience here,” said Winston.

Loren Cannon, CFA Humboldt Chapter president, has been having issues communicating with administration since he began his position during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For three years, Cannon has been trying to set up a meeting with Jackson but has yet to be successful

“I asked to meet with him regularly to start a conversation and I get crickets,” said Cannon. “It’s a weird experience on my side basically of being ignored personally and that’s not a fun experience by any means.” 

In the 2022 Fall Welcome, President Jackson said, “Imagine the ramification if you had a complaint made against you and it was played out in the national media, rightfully or wrongfully, without the facts all presented. It is troublesome. Particularly when you were seeking relief on a private confidential matter you didn’t want the rest of us to know it, otherwise you just publicize it. You see the difference? You don’t need Title IX to tell the world that there is a conflict. Title IX is designed to solve it behind the doors in a meaningful, amicable way even if it means separation from the university.”

The reception from Jackson’s comments made CPH staff, faculty, students and survivors of sexualized gender violence feel as if he was talking to them. Loren said, “Myself as CFA president I’m listening to it and thinking, ‘Oh is he talking to me?’”

On Nov. 7, President Jackson sent out an apology about the way he used the word “secret” during the Fall Welcome Speech. “It was too little too late and it took him three months and from our networks we understand people were harmed and were asking President Jackson to retract his statement, which he didn’t do in his apology statement,” said Winston. 

If you would like to give Cozen O’Connor your input and share experiences or observations regarding CPH’s Title IX & DHR Prevention programs email them at CalStateReview@cozen.com.

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