Hamline University Under Fire for Violating Title IX with Gender-Discriminatory Scholarships

Max Stewart, Writer

Hamline University was recently investigated by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for potential violations of Title IX in offering scholarships that either exclude males or express a preference for female recipients.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, of which Hamline University is a recipient.

The issue was brought to light by a Hamline student, who wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation. The student brought the matter to the attention of a Title IX scholar, who then filed a complaint on the student’s behalf. The student highlighted several scholarships, including the Carrie Hefte Women in Leadership Annual Scholarship and the Corner-Rose Scholarship Fund, which were exclusively for female students.

Furthermore, several other scholarships such as the Nancy Werner Annual Scholarship and the Abbot Downing Annual Scholarship, expressed a preference for female students. These scholarships were in violation of Title IX as they treated men and women differently based on their sex.

Despite already being under investigation by the OCR, the scholarships in question were still being promoted on Hamline’s website at the time. This was particularly concerning, considering President Biden’s recent executive order stating that “all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.”

The scholar who filed the complaint had planned to contact the OCR to ensure that the student’s concerns were addressed.

Not only did this potential violation of Title IX raise legal concerns, but it also had a negative impact on male students at the university. These scholarships may have made them feel unwelcome or marginalized in an educational environment that prioritized female students. Additionally, it may have also perpetuated harmful stereotypes about men and women and reinforced the idea that men are not capable of leadership or scholarship.

Hamline University has a stated policy of non-discrimination, including on the basis of sex. It was important for the university to address these concerns in a transparent and timely manner, and for all educational institutions to ensure that their policies and practices comply with Title IX and do not discriminate against any students based on their sex. The complaint against Hamline University’s scholarships raised concerns about the university’s adherence to Title IX and its own non-discrimination policy. This was not the first time that Title IX came under scrutiny in relation to scholarships and gender-based discrimination in education.

Mark Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan, had been a vocal critic of Title IX policies, specifically those that he argued discriminated against men. Perry had filed multiple complaints with the Department of Education (DOE) regarding gender-based discrimination on college campuses.

In one instance, Perry’s complaints led to the cancellation of women-only gym hours at both the University of Minnesota and Portland State. These exclusive access sessions had been offered for a few hours per week, but after Perry’s complaints, the universities were forced to cancel them.

This serves as a reminder that Title IX is an important tool to combat discrimination on college campuses, but it is also important to ensure that it is applied in a fair and equitable manner, without discriminating against any particular group. As the investigation into Hamline University’s scholarships continues, it will be crucial for the university to take swift action to address the violations and ensure that all students, regardless of their sex, have equal opportunities for education and leadership.

It is worth noting that, Hamline University has not yet issued a public statement about the investigation, and it is unclear what actions the university will take in response to the allegations. However, it is important for the university to take responsibility for any violations of Title IX and take steps to ensure that all students are treated fairly and with equal opportunities.

In conclusion, the investigation into Hamline University’s scholarships serves as a reminder of the importance of Title IX in protecting the rights of all students, and the need for universities to ensure that their policies and practices are in compliance with the law. The university must address the concerns in a transparent and timely manner to ensure that all students, regardless of their sex, have equal opportunities for education and leadership. The university should take necessary steps to ensure that they are not promoting discrimination in any way and are providing equal opportunities to all students.